COMMENTARY | President Barack Obama and the White House are trying to defer some of the anger over the lavish party held by the General Services Administration by pointing out how the amount for the GSA parties increased under the previous administration, according to Fox News. As a political consultant, I see a sign of weakness in the current administration exposed in this particular action of attempting to shift the blame. The president and the White House are committing a cardinal sin of politics.
The GSA trip in 2010 cost taxpayers over $800,000 and came to light within the last few weeks even though the current administration knew about the party as early as March 2010. The idea is not sitting well with people who have had to cut back on vacations due to current economic hardships.
The idea of having to pay for someone else's vacation through tax money can distance many people during an election year. President Obama could have shown strength by pointing to strong measures his administration had taken to discipline the GSA leaders and to ensure this would never happen again. Instead, he is shifting the blame to President George W. Bush.
According to the White House, the amount used for the GSA convention increased during the Bush years. The idea the administration is introducing is that President Obama should not be blamed for a trend started before he took office. The current convention, though, took place during President Obama's term, so he should be held responsible. President Bush had nothing to do with it and it was someone under the current president who signed for the money to be allocated. The current president needs to step up and take some responsibility for the wasteful spending during his watch.
I mentioned earlier how President Obama and the White House have committed a cardinal sin of politics. The action of shifting the blame is not the cardinal sin as sometimes shifting the blame in politics is justified. Sometimes issues are out of the control of a president and the blame needs to be shifted to the appropriate person or group. In this case, though, the president and the White House are blatantly shifting the blame when the responsibility should be held by the current administration. The cardinal sin in politics is attempting to bend the obvious truth.