Is the phrase "...and who can blame him?" ever used in a sarcastic or rhetorical manner when referring to someone who is in reality very blameworthy?
What is the meaning that is conveyed when this term is used generally?
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I don't (or can't) blame you (or her etc.) — ODO
Used to indicate that one agrees that the action or attitude taken was reasonable
"he was becoming impatient and I couldn’t blame him"
"If you are confused by all this, I don't blame you."
"I guess I can't blame him for being impatient, if indeed he is and not simply excited."
When it is changed to "Who can blame him?", it's almost always a rhetorical question that means the same thing as "I don't blame him".
See usage examples in Google Books