The unaccountable president

Each time Mr. Obama is faced with a scandal, he does three things: First, he expresses outrage (he is, after all, a man only of words, not deeds); then, he blames his predecessor, George W. Bush; finally, he wraps the entire mess up in bureaucratic red tape — a blue-ribbon investigation.

That last move, Mr. Obama’s go-to dodge, does two things: No one, not even the president himself, can speak on the matter (“It’s under investigation and we should hold off on any … “); And second, a lengthy probe means Americans will be distracted and move on by the time any final finding is reached.

That’s what happened with Fast and Furious, the gun-running scandal that eventually prompted Congress to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt. What did the president do? Nothing. Not a thing. All the other scandals have followed the same template.