Editorial: You Break It, You Buy It

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U.S. Presidents often muse about accepting responsibility—most famously with Harry S. Truman’s “the buck stops here” and more recently George W. Bush’s charming “the reason the oval office is round is there are no corners you can hide in.”

The latest quote about the responsibilities of the President is a tad less poetic and far more demoralizing: “I’m not going to own it.” Those are the words of President Donald Trump, which he made last week in reference to the current state of health care in the country. When the Senate failed to pass the latest Republican health care bill, Trump glibly said he would essentially prefer to allow Obamacare to die rather than work to improve health care—and that he would pin the death on Democrats and the Republicans who voted against Sen. Mitch McConnell’s act.

In the new world of politics in 2017, the President stating “I’m not going to own it” barely registered on the “did he really just say that” list of Trumpisms. However, it might prove to be the tag line that sticks with the President in the long run.

Through the term of any president, there are many ups and downs. There are good days and bad days. Trump doesn’t get to choose which moments he owns. He will own all of it—the better and the worse.

His lack of transparency disguised as defiance against the press? He owns that. Running the Presidency as if it was a family-owned car wash? He owns that. Choosing to act like a bloviating ringleader rather than a dignified statesman? He owns that. And the health care mess? Yeah, he owns that.

Before he became President Trump, Citizen Trump loved to boast about all the things he owned: the business holdings, the towers, the women. Now he suddenly wants to break from that personality trait when it comes to issues of dire national interest? No, President Trump. You own that.

—Steve Mosco

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