There is a reason we refer to government as the “Ship of State” and not “Government Inc.” That’s why ship captains make much better templates for President than CEOs and Mittgate shows it. When a ship runs aground the captain is ALWAYS responsible. There is no ducking responsibility by saying, “Someone else was piloting the boat.” The ship ran aground. It happened on your watch. You are responsible, regardless of the bone-headed mistakes your crew may have made. It’s called the “responsibility of command”.
This is the same reasoning that makes the Republican argument the economy is worse since Obama took over – regardless of whether George the Lesser caused the whole mess with his typical bumbling – is a frustratingly correct answer. The O-Man didn’t create the iceberg. The problem is so huge NO ONE could fix it – Mitt included. But, Cap’n O is at the helm of the ship of state. When he walked down PA Avenue in the Inauguration Parade it became his losing proposition to shoulder and wiggling around it by saying it isn’t his fault is a non-starter defense.
Compare that with a typical CEO reaction to disaster. Jamie Dimon, captain of the leaking hulk JPMorgan, loses a billion or so every time they check the books. Yet, it was those mean old rogue traders that caused the problem, not the man at the helm. He threw them overboard, as well he should, but told Congress, ‘Do anything you want to the traders, just don’t hurt me!’
Mittens now finds himself in much the same spot. He’s crowed excessively about how he’d be a dandy President because of his Bainness acumen. Now there is a hole in the bottom of his campaign and he’s headed for the life boats faster than the crackhead captain of the Costa Concordia.
‘You can’t blame me for the offensive actions of Bain Capital. I left before it happened,’ he demurs. ‘I wasn’t part of the management team I left in charge. Sure, the post-1999 SEC filings show me as CEO and sole owner, but someone else was calling the shots.’ That’s as weak an argument as saying his investments were in a blind trust – that just happened to invest heavily in his son’s business.
Welcome to your court martial Captain Romney. You are charged with 2 counts of failure of command. Count 1: Being incompetently unaware of the actions of your crew. Count 2: Criminal perjury in SEC filings bearing your signature. Either way, it’s your fault and your ass is going to the political brig.
This is the big lesson of the misguided infatuation with CEO Presidents – aside from their abysmal record as Presidents (Exhibit A: George the Lesser). Government is not a business and the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t get to blame others when he is leader of the increasingly less-free world. Mitt is a wannabe President who must prove he can follow the rules. The rules that say, “You, and only you, are responsible for whatever happens on your watch – logical or not, fair or not, embarrassing or not.
It’s called the “responsibility of command”.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor