, Newburyport, MA


May 18, 2013

Obama should embrace Truman's slogan

Big Freddy was sitting there, head thrown back, eyes shut, hand on his cup when I began to push my way into the booth.

“Don’t spill my coffee,” he said.

“Inhale,” I said.

“And good morning to you,” he said as he grabbed the cup in two hands.

“Sorry to disturb whatever was on your mind,” I said.

“Harry Truman was on my mind,” Freddy said.

“As in what?” I asked.

“As in how long it took for Obama to learn that the buck really does stop on every President’s desk, which was what Truman had as a reminder,” Freddy said.

“Because he played a lot of poker,” I said.

“Because he knew what goes around comes around, which is what happens when you deal the cards,” Freddy said.

“Truman liked playing poker,” I said.

“And Obama likes playing basketball,” Freddy said.

“So?” I asked.

“Different game, different strategies,” Freddy said. “Poker’s different. You play with what’s been dealt.”

“Basketball, you play with what you and the officials can get away with.

“Right now, Obama’s got more than a hand full.”

“But not enough bucks,” I said.

“Different kind, but that’s not what passing the buck means,” Freddy said.

“In poker, and in politics, it means responsibility for dealing the cards. You can look it up. Presidents can’t pass the buck for what goes haywire, which is what has happened for Obama.

“And heads have to roll,” I said.

“Which is what’s happening,” Freddy said. “Political blood over a lot of desks before it’s over.”

“The CIA and State Department are head to head over the Benghazi deaths,” I said.

“That and who’s to blame for the stupid business of the feds delaying the okay for the Tea Party fund raising,” Freddy said.

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