Wrapping up a chaotic week long media tour de force that found him cynically stoking the fires of public rage over millions in AIG bonus payments, off-handily offending advocates and families of special needs Americans on The Tonight Show and caught in the throes of a patently inappropriate bout of giggles when queried about the economy on 60 Minutes, President Obama held his second primetime news conference in as many months Tuesday night. No sooner had he taken the podium than he launched into a kinder, gentler version of what has become his standard refrain on the economy, saying, Now, its important to remember that this crisis didnt happen overnight....It took many years and many failures to lead us here. Despite the faux machismo of his The Buck Stops Here bravado, the President is quick to point out that, to paraphrase Billy Joel, he didnt start the fire when it comes to the current economic crisis. Either prefacing or summarizing his remarks on the economy, he is keen there be no misunderstanding about the fact he inherited the daunting set of circumstances that await him and the nation with each mornings sunrise. Adding to his list of points he believes we need to be clear on, when told Republicans characterized his proposed budget and projections it would add between $7 and $9.3 trillion to over the next ten years as the most irresponsible budget in American history , the President replied, I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory, because as I recall, Im inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit, from them. Everyone sing along now. He didnt start the fire! Granted we are a mere 66 days into his term, but the question must be asked, when does the President plan to stop campaigning and start acting presidential? When does he take responsibility without prefacing it or adding an asterisk afterwards? Its as if your house were engulfed in flames and in the midst of fighting the inferno the fireman at the head of the hose put it down, walked over to your gathered neighbors and the press and insisted that they were all clear on the fact that he didnt start the fire, but it was his job to fight it regardless. Meanwhile, as he reiterates the fact hes not responsible for the fires outbreak, your home is consumed and burns to the ground. Nonetheless you know the words, sing it with me he didnt start the fire! Join me, if you will, Mr. President, as we go over a few points just for claritys sake. First, we are all well aware of the fact that the economic crisis didnt begin on your watch. Truth be told, its origins are to be found even beyond your immediate predecessors term, though the toxic, flammable mixture of deregulation and speculation admittedly burst into flames in his final 18 months. Rest assured, though. We understand the concept of time and can read a calendar. We're good to go and youre off the hook on that count. Second, while you took over in the relative middle of the current fiscal year, the projected $1.3 trillion deficit was racked up with a Democratically-controlled Congress. Not a Democratically-controlled House or Senate, but both houses of the august body and pinnacle of legislative deliberation and wisdom. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall Speaker Pelosi or Majority Leader Reid running helter skelter through the Capitol with their red budget cutting pens in hand, frantically defending current and future generations of taxpayers. No, they remain safely ensconced beneath layers of dust, behind faded labels that read "In Case of Fiscal Responsibility Break Glass!". Fear not, though, Mr. President. Even were they freed from their zombie-like state and a semblence of fiscal responsibility fell upon them, the pens' ink have long since dried up. They pose no threat to your budgetary priorities and their subsequent astronomic deficits, however destructive or misguided they may ultimately be. Next, regardless of who shares the blame for this year's current deficit, the issue at hand are future deficits that are a result of your proposed budget. To use the current year's and previous deficits as justification for your own is the political equivalent of your daughters saying, "They did it too!" Whenever I leaned on that old crutch, my father would kick it out from under me with the customary "If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you do it, too?" Be strong, Mr. President. Step back from the railing. Remember, two wrongs don't make a right, you know. Finally, now that we're all clear on the fact that the economy didn't implode on your watch, it is nonetheless your watch now. Like the metaphorical firefighter, you were not forcibly pressed into service or drafted into your job. You freely and willfully sought it, because like the firefighter you have a passion for it and a commitment to public service. That being said, the time has come to man up, grab the hose and meet the inferno head on. There will be time enough for glory and fame or tears and blame later on. Now is the time for action, not reprobation. Failing that, though, perhaps you could have a button mounted on your podium. That way Billy Joel's catchy chorus will always be at your fingertips. He didn't start the fire, faithful readers! No, he didn't light it, but he's trying to fight it. Trying, indeed. Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and the faint refrains of "Burning Down The House" drift across the White House lawn.