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Scapegoats

January 12, 1986

It seems to me that one of the first priorities of the Reagan Administration has always been to find someone to blame when things go wrong. Leaving aside the questions of whether a President who appoints an apparently vast array of incompetents to serve him can be blameless himself, or whether in any case it is the primary duty of a President to avoid blame, I advance the following suggestion:

Appoint a full-time Excuse-and-Finger-Pointing Commission whose sole responsibility is to deflect potential tarnish on the President's sheen by establishing scapegoats and mitigating circumstances in advance for each of the President's policies should they miscarry in some way. I would view this as merely an organizational change, since these activities are already consuming a large share of the Administrations's talent and manpower.

I also propose a new sign for the President's desk: "The buck doesn't even slow down here if I can help it."

RANDALL SMITH

La Jolla

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