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Do as I Say, Not as I Do

President Obama advises high school graduates not to blame others for their mistakes

6:52 PM, Jun 8, 2010 • By PEYTON R. MILLER
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At a Kalamazoo Central High School commencement speech yesterday, President Obama reminded graduates that there will be times they “screw up” no matter how hard they try, and when that happens, “it’s the easiest thing in the world to start looking around for someone to blame.”  “We see it every day in Washington,” he continued, “with folks calling each other names and making all sorts of accusations on TV.”

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

The president might have indicated himself as an example of this. Obama has relentlessly blamed Republicans, as well as his predecessor, for his and the nation’s problems. He has made all sorts of accusations on TV, at major press conferences and even the State of the Union address.

A small sampling from the past several months: 

Dec. 8, 2009: At the Brookings Institution, the president introduced a stimulus-style jobs program as part of an effort to revive the economy “largely without the help of an opposition party which, unfortunately, after having presided over the decision-making that had led to the crisis, decided to hand it over to others to solve.”

Jan. 28, 2010: In his State of the Union message, the president complained of the deficit he inherited from President Bush, which he said was the result of “not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program.”  He implied Republican opposition to health care reform was based on self-interest rather than principle, saying to Senate Republicans, “Just saying ‘no’ to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.  We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.”

June 2, 2010: While discussing the Gulf oil spill at Carnegie Mellon University, the president said Republicans had “gutted regulations and put [oil] industry insiders in charge of industry oversight.”  The Bush administration, he said, believed that “if you’re a Wall Street bank or an insurance company or an oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences for everybody else.”  Obama also criticized congressional Republicans for stalling his economic agenda, saying they had “made a calculation” that they would win if he failed, and had mostly “sat on the sidelines and shouted from the bleachers.”

Peyton R. Miller is the editor of the Harvard Salient and a Student Free Press Association intern at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

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