Free Markets, Free People

Quote of the day – Bob Herbert Obama leadership edition

If the administration has lost Bob Herbert, an up to now dependable Obama sycophant, I’d say they’re in deep trouble.

Not that Herbert’s column is an outright declaration of incompetence or anything. In fact he tip toes around quite assiduously laying out the woes the nation faces and his idea of what is necessary (more spending – much more spending) to correct the situation.

He laments the depth of unemployment and the economic demise of the private sector. And he is sure, that had some things been done when necessary (more spending – much more spending) we might be on the road to recovery. But since those things weren’t done (more spending – much more spending) we’re in the quagmire and, says Herbert, “there is no plan that I can see to get us out of this fix.”

Any guess why he says that? The last to sentences in his column and our quote of the day explain:

Bold and effective leadership would have put us on this road to a sustainable future. Instead, we’re approaching a dead end.

When even Herbert figures it out you have to figure the gig is pretty much up.



15 Responses to Quote of the day – Bob Herbert Obama leadership edition

  • Herbert is of course only lamenting that Obama is not more of a socialist, which means that Herbert, like fellow Times’ columnist Thomas Friedman, longs for the power of a dictator. Herbert’s idea of leadership is the will to steal more from people living and yet unborn. I’m sure Obama would be happy to accomodate him, if and when the opportunity arises.

    • I’m sorry to say that I think that this is dead on.  We’re seeing a repeat of the ’30s, complete with “intellectuals” pining for some authoritarian messiah to sort out all of our problems (“If only he didn’t have to deal with this messy, pesky democracy stuff!”).  The left then had its love affairs with Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini*; the left now looks for a reprise in Imeme, and is disappointed that he hasn’t quite met their expectations.


      (*) In fairness, there were people on the right who shared this admiration for these monsters.  I suppose we can throw Franco into the mix as well, though he was not quite the genocidal monster that Hitler and Stalin were, not did he share the imperial ambitions of Il Duce.

  • I realize it’s a criticism, but really, claiming we need ‘bold’ and ‘effective’ leadership is not stating anything.  I guess that’s why this guy is a journalist.

    • That’s not what he said, Grimshaw – he said if we’d had that sort of leadership it would have put us on the road to a sustainable future. The obvious point being that’s not what we’ve had, which is why, in his opinion, all he sees is a “dead end”.

      • Are you really taking issue with past vs. present tense here?  I’m just criticizing Herbert’s vacuous statement.

        • I didn’t see it as vacuous, thus the comment.

          • Okay, whatever.

          • Bold and effective leadership would have put us on this road to a sustainable future. Instead, we’re approaching a dead end.

            “Bold and effective leadership” would have merely put us on the course that said leader wanted us to go; it doesn’t mean the end would be liberty and prosperity.
            Hell, every dictator of the 20th century exercised “bold and effective leadership”.

  • For all the money that has been spent so far, the Obama administration and Congress have not made the kinds of investments that would put large numbers of Americans back to work and lead to robust economic growth. What is needed are the same things that have been needed all along: a vast program of infrastructure repair and renewal; an enormous national investment in clean energy aimed at transforming the way we develop and use energy in this country; and a transformation of the public schools to guarantee every child a first-rate education in a first-rate facility.

    While I can, at least in part, agree with the first of his list of the “big three” (infrastructure repair and renewal), I find “clean energy” and “first-rate education in a first-rate facility” the same old wish that have been around since the 50’s. Fusion was supposed to make energy so cheap that “it wouldn’t be metered” and on the education front, the meme that some how “first rate facilities” make for a “first rate education” has yet to be proven.
    Frankly, if you look around the only “first rate facilities” around are (in order of likelihood) schools, federal buildings and insurance companies; even the phone company doesn’t keep up any more.  It must be a real “downer” for graduating school students to enter the business world were most likely they will be confronted with “inferior” facilities and equipment.
    As for “clean energy”, we are still on the quest.  There have been some interesting discoveries and inventions, but the laws of thermodynamics haven’t yet been repealed.  Meanwhile, I came across an interesting piece recently asking if just using energy was making the Earth warmer, leaving aside the questions of GHGs and the unknowns of “climate science.”  Exactly who except the purest of “treehuggers” are really ready to scale back their energy use.  And practically every expert on the subject has a “carbon footprint” that is out of control.  Simply, it is more likely that in the next 200 years we will find the actual “Holy Grail” than find anything resembling “clean energy” that fits a common sense definition.

  •  “first-rate education in a first-rate facility”

    If we haven’t spent enough money for that by now, we’ll never get it

  • Quick:
    Which candidate on the presidential ticket of the 2008 election had the most experience negotiating with oil companies, often to their detriment, i.e. who did kick their ass?

  • Economies are not run by leaders, bold or otherwise. Economies are run by millions of decisions every day, few if any of which are made according to the wishes of a bold leader.
    We do have examples of economies run by bold leaders–Zimbabwe, Venezuela, etc. I prefer the disorderly chaos of a leaderless economy.