All during his campaign, Mr. Obama harped on the theme that the Republicans were corrupt and that they politicized everything. In his view, the Republicans were the kings of pork or “earmarks.” Mr. Obama’s campaign website claimed: “Barack Obama is committed to returning earmarks to less than $7.8 billion a year, the level they were at before 1994.”
He now admits that he hasn’t been able to control Congress as he had hoped and agrees that “earmarks” have not gone down. He does, however, blame Congress for his failure to live up to his promise.
I find it very interesting that a leader chooses to blame his own team for his inability to live up to his promises. Imagine, if you will, a real leader blaming his team for his own failings. If John Wooden’s UCLA basketball team lost a game, Wooden took responsibility for not preparing his team or for having a poor game plan. Truman didn’t say, “The Buck Stops with those guys in Congress except when it is something for which I want the credit.” I think he said, “The Buck Stops Here.” Leaders take responsibility. They blame themselves and spread among their team members all credit for successes.
So I have a simple solution for Mr. Obama. If he truly wants to change the system and reduce or eliminate porkbarrel politics, all he need do is have a little chat with Congress. His remarks could be very short and very sweet, “I will not sign any legislation that contains any pork (earmarks), period. If the legislation cannot stand without bribing a few Members or Senators with pork, it does not deserve to become law. If you, Nancy Pelosi and you, Harry Reid, want to override my veto, you will have to answer to the American People for the bribery and fraud you are perpetuating.”
Of course, then he would have to follow through and keep his promise. What do you think the chances are he would do that?