Something struck me as incredibly self-serving, narcissistic even, when I read than in response to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s lengthy and angry tirade against the United States at the Summit of the Americas, the President of the United States responded, “You can’t blame the U.S. for every problem in this hemisphere. . . . I am very grateful that President Ortega didn’t blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.a’ (Emphasis added.)
Well, Law Professor William Jacobson, referencing the times the President attempted to use his youth to excuse the behavior of a terrorist associate, helped me find the words to express why Obama’s response to Ortega was so off-putting:
There is something truly bizarre about this reasoning. If something happened when Obama was not of a certain age (we know it is at least eight years old, although we don’t know where the line is drawn) then he accepts no responsibility. That is fine if one is talking about personal responsibility only. Obama is no more responsible on a personal level for what others did, be it yesterday or 30 years ago, than anyone else.
But Obama no longer is “anyone else.” Obama is the President and bears the burden of dealing with accusations and attacks on this country related to events which did not take place on his watch.
Exactly. Obama is no longer “anyone else.” He speaks for the nation, for all of us. Not just himself.