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Old 8th January 2023, 12:37 PM   #1
BobTheCoward
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do you actually think the buck stops with the president?

On a different thread, someone mentioned Benghazi. And while people think there was no wrongdoing by the white house, in a sense, "the buck stops here."

I believe the buck stops at the president. But does anyone else?

4 million people work for the executive branch. If only 1 percent commit a violation in a year, the president is responsible for the commission of over 100 violations a day. Several of those a day are likely worth resignation.

It seems to me the president should be in a constant state of vacancy until we find one that can actually reduce the number of resignation worthy violations to zero.

What does everyone else think? Do you agree the buck stops with the president? If so, am I misunderstanding the meaning of the buck stopping?
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Old 8th January 2023, 12:42 PM   #2
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Truman did not mean that he, or any other president should be punished for anyone in the executive branch doing anything wrong when he said that. It means decisions that get to him stop there. He can't "pass the buck" on.

https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/educat...tops-here-sign
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Old 8th January 2023, 12:42 PM   #3
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Oh Bob. Please don't ask, ever -- never! -- if you've misunderstood something.
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Old 8th January 2023, 12:45 PM   #4
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Truman did not mean that he, or any other president should be punished for anyone in the executive branch doing anything wrong when he said that. It means decisions that get to him stop there. He can't "pass the buck" on.

https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/educat...tops-here-sign
from the article

Quote:
The saying "the buck stops here" derives from the slang expression "pass the buck" which means passing the responsibility on to someone else.
Then he is responsible for what happens?
If something goes wrong at work, the buck (blame) stops with the person responsible?

Isn't he responsible for every decision if the decisions stop with him?

Last edited by BobTheCoward; 8th January 2023 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 8th January 2023, 12:47 PM   #5
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The buck should stop at the person who committed the crime. "I was just following orders" is not a buck passing excuse. If someone higher up was complicit, that is a separate crime, for which they should be separately accountable.
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Old 8th January 2023, 12:51 PM   #6
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
The buck should stop at the person who committed the crime. "I was just following orders" is not a buck passing excuse. If someone higher up was complicit, that is a separate crime, for which they should be separately accountable.
Agreed. That is why Im so confused why people want the president to have the buck stops with him and have him responsible for the crimes of 4 million people
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Old 8th January 2023, 01:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Agreed. That is why Im so confused why people want the president to have the buck stops with him and have him responsible for the crimes of 4 million people
I take the expression as meaning that the responsibility will no longer be shucked around when it reaches the attention of the Chief Executive, and responsibility for action will fall upon that Office, rather than culpability.
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Old 8th January 2023, 01:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I take the expression as meaning that the responsibility will no longer be shucked around when it reaches the attention of the Chief Executive, and responsibility for action will fall upon that Office, rather than culpability.
If the president is responsible for that action, then he is culpable? Just as everyone responsible for a bank robbery is to blame for that bank robbery?
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Old 8th January 2023, 01:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If the president is responsible for that action, then he is culpable? Just as everyone responsible for a bank robbery is to blame for that bank robbery?
I take it as meaning taking responsibility for future, or remedial action, not the original illegal/improper act.
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Old 8th January 2023, 07:02 PM   #10
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As an aside but relevant to the topic, back in the 1970s as an underling I had to open a certain percentage of general mail to my department and figure out to whom it belonged. We had little Referred To: Tags that we could staple to the mail that were called "Buck Slips" as in, passing the Buck.
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Old 8th January 2023, 07:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post

4 million people work for the executive branch.

It seems to me the president should be in a constant state of vacancy until we find one that can actually reduce the number of resignation worthy violations to zero.
assuming there are no human beings that can be responsible for every individual action of 4 million other human beings, I'm reading you as suggesting that there should be no executive branch
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Old 8th January 2023, 07:59 PM   #12
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I think there is a general confusion in the meaning of "responsibility" here. It is a broad word, I think, and does not mean just one thing for everything.

The kind of buck stopping about which Truman spoke was the responsibility for decisions, especially difficult ones. You cannot kick a difficult question upstairs if you are at the top of the staircase. That is a big responsibility, indeed.

But this is not the same thing as the responsibility of a scapegoat. The president is responsible for final decisions on what to do, and that includes decisions which his subordinates carry out under orders, but not their mstakes, errors and crimes.

(I think Thermal and others might have trod on the nightingale stair before me here)
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Old 8th January 2023, 08:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
On a different thread, someone mentioned Benghazi. And while people think there was no wrongdoing by the white house, in a sense, "the buck stops here."

I believe the buck stops at the president. But does anyone else?

4 million people work for the executive branch. If only 1 percent commit a violation in a year, the president is responsible for the commission of over 100 violations a day. Several of those a day are likely worth resignation.

It seems to me the president should be in a constant state of vacancy until we find one that can actually reduce the number of resignation worthy violations to zero.

What does everyone else think? Do you agree the buck stops with the president? If so, am I misunderstanding the meaning of the buck stopping?
I think that, as usual, you are being disingenuous for the sake of starting a silly argument, and nobody should waste their time arguing with you.
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Old 8th January 2023, 09:04 PM   #14
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I think there is a general confusion in the meaning of "responsibility" here. It is a broad word, I think, and does not mean just one thing for everything.

The kind of buck stopping about which Truman spoke was the responsibility for decisions, especially difficult ones. You cannot kick a difficult question upstairs if you are at the top of the staircase. That is a big responsibility, indeed.

But this is not the same thing as the responsibility of a scapegoat. The president is responsible for final decisions on what to do, and that includes decisions which his subordinates carry out under orders, but not their mstakes, errors and crimes.

(I think Thermal and others might have trod on the nightingale stair before me here)
Hmm. I did not think that was what they meant.

I understand the crime thing, but mistakes and errors? Isnt training and hiring a downstream product of decisions made by the president?
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Old 8th January 2023, 09:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Truman did not mean that he, or any other president should be punished for anyone in the executive branch doing anything wrong when he said that. It means decisions that get to him stop there. He can't "pass the buck" on.

https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/educat...tops-here-sign
This here. End of.
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Old 9th January 2023, 07:26 PM   #16
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Here are some questions to ask if you want to know if a manager (including the President of the USA) should be blamed for the actions of others
1. Could the person have done something to stop it?
2. Did the person allow a culture that allowed it?
3. Are there blockages in communications that stopped the person from knowing about this?
4. Did the person do anything that allowed such actions?
If yes to any of these questions then that person is responsible for what happened.
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Old 9th January 2023, 07:36 PM   #17
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I'm on board with all but number 3. How is the guy at the top supposed to know about blocked information channels, without running his own parallel info ops outside the established system? Do we really expect - or want - the president-elect to have his own private intelligence service when he takes office? That sounds disturbingly... Russian.

My concern is more about we the electorate. We're the actual government, in the sense that our elected officials are supposed to answer to us. But our elected officials control all our information channels.

So we should run our own parallel info ops? How's that working out for us? The fourth estate has already been co-opted. Further attempts are demonized as insurrectionists or worse.
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Old 9th January 2023, 08:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm on board with all but number 3. How is the guy at the top supposed to know about blocked information channels, without running his own parallel info ops outside the established system? Do we really expect - or want - the president-elect to have his own private intelligence service when he takes office? That sounds disturbingly... Russian.

My concern is more about we the electorate. We're the actual government, in the sense that our elected officials are supposed to answer to us. But our elected officials control all our information channels.

So we should run our own parallel info ops? How's that working out for us? The fourth estate has already been co-opted. Further attempts are demonized as insurrectionists or worse.
If the guy at the top finds out about a blockage then they need to fix that as a matter of urgency. They also need to make sure they do not create one. And to actively discourage them.
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Old 10th January 2023, 04:21 AM   #19
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The buck has to stop somewhere .

If not with the Executive, then where?

I'm open for suggestions.
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Old 10th January 2023, 06:14 AM   #20
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We all know the republican party's answer to this question:

If the president is a Democrat then they're responsible even if the action has nothing to do with them (c.f. Benghazi); if the president is a republican then the buck never stops with him, even if the consequences are a direct result of his words or actions.
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Old 10th January 2023, 12:31 PM   #21
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As one would suspect there is an existing office of ethics:

Quote:
The United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE) leads and oversees the executive branch ethics program which is at work every day in more than 130 agencies. The executive branch ethics program works to prevent financial conflicts of interest to help ensure government decisions are made free from personal financial bias.
https://www.oge.gov
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