The Back Page

The Buck Stops Somewhere Else

By Michael Silverstein

Old Harry Truman had a sign
That sat upon his desk;
His thinking a-bout leadership
The sign straight out expressed;
Four little words were on that sign,
Their message true and clear;
They told you who to praise and blame,
They said: "The buck stops here."

The buck stops here,
The buck stops here,
The sign made clear,
The buck stops here.

But nowadays another view
Pervades a new White House;
As policies in I-raq spawn
A universal grouse;
Alas things there ain't going well,
Not going well at all;
And someone for this fi-as-co
Has gotta take the fall.

The buck stops here?
Now, now, be fair.
All praise we snare,
But blame we share.

"'Twas bad intel that pulled us in,"
Revisionists now say;
"'Twas lying, ex-pat, I-raq-ees
Who made us want to play;"
Colin's haggard, Wolfie's sheepish,
Rumy raves: "The mission!"
And the Oval Office occupant
Has appointed a commission.

We wouldn't err,
Oh no, dear, dear.
'Bout this affair,
The buck stops there.
Or there.
Or there.
Or . . .

(This piece carries a copyright and may not be used elsewhere without permission.) Visit the writer's website at: to enjoy a large selection of Michael Silverstein's work.