Just as many others who watch football, I have always thought that quarterbacks get far too much credit and far too much blame for how a team performs. Yes, the QB is the most important position on the field, but there are 22 players on the field at all times. And it’s not the QB, but rather the coaching staff that devises the game plan. Plus, it’s the General Manager who assembles the team in the first place. Not to mention the fact that the quarterback is only on the field on offense. Anyone ever hear the saying “defense wins championships”?
Looking at some examples, Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset as a Denver Bronco. People will soon forget that he missed the better part of that season and threw for 141 yards with 0 TD’s in the Super Bowl. Speaking of Mannings, how about his brother Eli? He’s a lock for the Hall of Fame, but would he be without that Giants defense pressuring Tom Brady in the pocket during those Super Bowl wins? Doubtful. John Elway won back to back Super Bowls but couldn’t do it until Terrell Davis came along. We could go on and on.
Why am I bringing up such an obvious argument now, especially when it’s not football season? Because I’ve always felt that the same analysis applied to U.S. Presidents. Think about President Obama. He inherited a financial mess and sure, he took solid steps to clean it up, but the clean-up was already underway when Hank Paulson and co. bailed out the banks in ’08. For those who couldn’t stand Dubya, what about Vice President Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and of course Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld? Everybody touts the economic successes of Presidents Reagan and Clinton, depending on which side of the aisle you reside. But both achieved that success while compromising with Congresses comprised of the opposing party.
The point is, yes, the President of the United States holds a ton of sway and has an inordinate amount of power for one person. However, that power is checked by the other two branches of government. Not only that, but the President delegates much of his work to other members of his Administration and relies on information collected and synthesized before it ever gets to him. The President ultimately goes down in history as being credited for several things he may have never had a hand in doing. Until now.
Donald Trump changed everything. His Presidency is unprecedented. Never has one person had so much personal responsibility for the sum total of what his Presidency has produced, or not produced in this case. The Republicans all stood behind Trump because they want to achieve certain goals, or really one goal: lower taxes for the top tier. But they can’t get that done because the circus that is Trump makes it impossible. So my philosophy has now changed: The President of the United States gets far too much credit or blame for his tenure, unless that President is a walking dumpster fire.
To put this Presidency in football terms, what we have is a quarterback running the team with a 0 passer rating and Johnny Manziel’s tabloid exploits. Imagine the President as Rex Grossman completing 2 of 12 passes for 33 yards and 3 interceptions in the first half and getting benched for the second half. Then, that night, he goes out, snorts a bunch of coke, and gets filmed on TMZ with his shirt off coming out of the club. Now imagine that happens every day. That’s the Trump Presidency. The only problem is, while it looks like Trump may get benched for the second half, I don’t necessarily love his backup.