The news today is all abuzz about the question of whether Romney was in charge of Bain Capital in the period when they laid off a bunch of people. NPR’s Planet Money blog has a nice exploration of the question of whether he was in charge… and more importantly, what does it mean? It ends with an interesting question: “Is the CEO responsible for the actions of different units of his company, whether or not he’s making day-to-day decisions?”
Both parties should think about the implications of this question. It may very well be, fellow Democrats, that Romney being in charge of Bain during that period doesn’t mean he was responsible for the outsourcing decisions. There are other reasons not to vote for him, this isn’t one of them.
And, my Republican friends, think about this question when you blame Obama for everything. Obama has no control over what bills are introduced in Congress, the specific form they take, whether they progress through committee or come to a floor vote. All he can do is issue executive orders, sign or not sign what comes across his desk, and try to influence people. Therefore, to blame Obama for actions that were not done is incorrect: if the bills were never introduced or never made it out of Congress, it isn’t his fault. Similarly, if a flawed bill such as the Affordable Care Act comes across his desk, his only choice is to decide whether to veto it entirely, or whether the good in the bill outweighs the bad… and whether to trust that Congress will adjust and correct it in the future. As for influencing people — the situation in Congress is so polarized that Obama has little influence outside of his party; even when he has worked to adjust things to appease the other party, this hasn’t satisfied them and they’ve moved further to the right.
If you look closely at what Obama is being blamed for, it really isn’t his fault. The problem, my friends on both sides of the aisle, is Congress. They are not doing their jobs and working in the interest of the country–they are working for their party and to score political points (why else would the House waste its time voting to repeal Obamacare when they know it will not pass, instead of working to fix it).
Let’s hold politicians responsible for what they had the capability to fix… and didn’t. If something is out of their hands, let’s blame the folks whose hands are really dirty.
Music: Parade! A Musical Review (Dody Goodman): Maria in Spats