The recent spate of stories coming out of the NFL regarding domestic violence, child abuse and other nastiness on the home front has led to a great deal of soul-searching and debate across this country.

What is the cause of all of this? Does our culture’s adoration of professional athletes lead them to believe they can get away with anything? Is it a symptom of some deeper societal problem?

To the right wing, however, the answer is clear, as it always is when the question “Who or what should we be angry at for this?” is raised. That answer is: President Barack Obama.

Fox News-harpy Andrea Tantaros, for example, leapt right to the attack after the now-infamous tape surfaced showing Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee’s lights out.

“I wanna know, where is the president on this one?” fumed Tantaros from inside the cloud of peevishness that enshrouds her at all times. “My question is, and not to bring it back to politics, but this is a White House that seems to bring up a ‘war on women’ every other week.”

Yeah, Andrea. We certainly wouldn’t want to bring it back to politics.

Meanwhile, washed-up actor Kevin Sorbo (of “Hercules” and “Andromeda” fame) tried to kick-start his new career as a right-wing wacko celeb (a la Ted Nugent, Adam Baldwin and Kirk Cameron) by going on Fox and parroting the same line.

“There’s no accountability in the White House with Benghazi, the IRS and all that kind of stuff,” he explained. “How do we expect to have accountability with something like a professional football team?”

The National Review’s Jim Geraghty went even further. He blamed not only the NFL’s failure to act promptly on the Rice scandal, but a laundry list of other bad things, on “The Obama Era of American Leadership.”

Those bad things ranged from GM’s recall of 2.6 million cars with defective ignition switches, to the chemical spill in West Virginia that poisoned the drinking water of 300,000 people, to NBC’s decision to hire Chelsea Clinton for “$600,000 a year for three years.” (I’m still scratching my head over why he’s so cheesed off about that last one.)

As I’ve pointed out before in this column, the right has even found ways to blame Barack Obama for the failed response to Hurricane Katrina (which occurred three years before Obama’s first election win); the recession that began the year before he took office; and high oil prices before the 2008 election.

Back in March of this year, former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (who used to seem like a pretty smart lady) blamed Obama for “dictators like Bashar al-Assad in Syria (who came to power in 2000) and Vladimir Putin in Russia (who first became president of that country in 1999).”

It’s a time-honored technique. Make your gripes about “leadership” or “tone-setting” broad enough, and you can blame the president for just about everything:

“I’m sorry, ma’am, we know you came in for a tonsillectomy, but we, um, amputated your left leg. We blame Obama’s lack of leadership. Gee, thanks, Obama!”

“Yeah, Your Honor, I beat up an elderly African-American storekeeper and robbed his cash register. If Obama hadn’t inflamed racial tensions by commenting on the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases, I wouldn’t have been so angry. Gee, thanks, Obama!”

“Yeah, I showed up three hours late for work, I smell like a distillery, and there’s an unconscious stripper in the back seat of my car in the parking lot. I’ve just been really depressed lately over Obama’s lack of accountability. Oh, I’m fired? Gee, thanks, Obama!”

And so on.

Sadly, it’s not just the right-wingers who blame Obama for everything. Far too many on the left are prone to what blogger Oliver Willis has dubbed “Green Lantern Liberalism”: the idea that, like the nearly omnipotent comic book character, the president could create all the things they want — single-payer health care, banking reform, minimum wage increases — through the sheer force of his will if he just wanted it enough.

Thankfully, the president isn’t omnipotent. He can’t travel through time. He’s not responsible for domestic violence, chemical spills, the fact that Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin are brutal thugs, or the fact that the Middle East is the same tangled mess it’s been for more than 2,000 years.

He’s not responsible for Republican obstructionism or the weak-kneed Democrats who fear it. That’s just the hand he was dealt, and he’s playing it pretty well, despite the silliness of the far right and their lapdog news network.

Recommended for you

(12) comments

Mark Hayes

The Republicans certainly do not want anything to happen to Obama, he will be an asset to them in coming elections.

gail hanley

Francis, you and I have both witnessed attempts on presidents lives that got much closer than into the WH. You're not forgetting Reagan right? Seems like the dogs were asleep with the secret service! Ha....not good.

Mark Hayes

The impeachment talks have become silent, and for good reason, Obama is in self destruct mode, the Republicans are watching him implode on the world stage, actually it is not really funny, he is taking us with him. The only saving grace he has is his pandering to our own welfare wagon, social system fed, and government subsidized population, along with his illegal band of hopefuls who are waiting for his much anticipated executive decision of giving them amnesty. Watching his Pentagon spokesmen blunder his way through that " no boots on the ground " questioning is embarrassing to watch, Obama has put another man in uniform to defend his honor, talk about a defenseless position. Secret Service seems to be a little lax on the job also, Whitehouse intruders, shots being fired at the Whitehouse, Michelle is quite upset about that so you know someone is getting fired, just have never witnessed such things happening to one President on a constant basis, and now Holder is leaving him, if this administration were in a boat they would already be waist deep in water and with only one bucket with a hole in it to bail them out.

It's not his fault. Perpetual campaigning and attending dem fund raisers, golfing and vacationing leaves little time for security briefings.

Keith Miller

Heard again today, once again using that great line, I DIDN"T KNOW, that the king didn't know what isis was doing and blamed it on clapper for under estimating isis in Iraq. Brillant, the king must have not been watching the news, wasn't it isis that came into Iraq and by force took over Fullujah a year or so ago ???

gail hanley

No, Francis I think those were shirts stains from a spilled latte!

Mark Hayes

Surprised he did not have a sign hanging around his neck while addressing the U.N., "Hands Up, Don't Shoot".

Keith Miller

Didn't your king declare that he "would slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet" ?? If any human can do that, then yes, everything is your king's fault !!

"Back in March of this year, former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (who used to seem like a pretty smart lady)"

She still is a smart lady. She also is great at the piano.

" fumed Tantaros from inside the cloud of peevishness that enshrouds her at all times."

From the above line it would seem that DR is a regular viewer of "The Five"

gail hanley

I don't expect much from US Presidents so I'm generally not disappointed. They always live up to my low expectations of them. In Obama's case I wish he would realize he's the president of the United States and not the UN.

Ce Foote

Thank you!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Comments that violate any of the rules above are subject to removal by staff.

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

The Pilot

Get unlimited digital access and support award-winning local journalism, for just $5 a month. This includes access to the electronic replica edition of The Pilot.

Starting at
$5.35 for 30 days

Already have a Print Subscription? Get Digital Access Free.

The Pilot

As a print subscriber, you also have unlimited digital access. Connect your account now.

Home Delivery

The Pilot

Our best deal: Get all the news of Moore County delivered to your home each Wednesday and Sunday — and receive unlimited digital access to thepilot.com.

Starting at
$27.82 for 90 days