Free Markets, Free People

Even Bob Herbert notices the lack of presidential leadership

He doesn’t come right out and say it, but it is certainly evident in his column.  If even a lapdog like Bob Herbert is noticing it – it must be pretty darn evident to everyone else:

President Obama missed his opportunity early last year to rally the public behind a call for shared sacrifice and a great national mission to rebuild the United States in a way that would create employment for millions and establish a gleaming new industrial platform for the great advances of the 21st century.

It would have taken fire and imagination, but the public was poised to respond to bold leadership. If the Republicans had balked, and they would have, the president had the option of taking his case to the people, as Truman did in his great underdog campaign of 1948.

But, he didn’t do any of that. 

Herbert’s ideas of what he should have done are pure poo.  However the underlying point of why he didn’t is what’s important.  Whatever the plan, there was no leadership evident or apparently available to enthuse Americans, move the ball forward and rally support for whatever plan there was.


Instead we got a few carefully orchestrated campaign style events where themes such as “shared sacrifice” were mouthed, but then the president never visibly showed anyone what that meant.  In fact, we saw the guy calling for “shared sacrifice” golfing repeatedly and now on a 5 vacations since July marathon.  When you’re calling for “shared sacrifice”, perception is reality and that reality is critical to the success of your attempt.  When leadership essentially excepts themselves from things like “shared sacrifice” those from whom they ask it feel no remorse in excepting themselves as well.

This is what Obama has never, ever gotten.  Real leaders lead by example.  Say what you will about him but George Bush understood that and refused to play golf while the nation was at war because he thought it was inappropriate and set the wrong example.

Obama doesn’t understand that basic point, apparently.  That’s because the man isn’t a leader.  And, as mentioned, when even your media lapdogs start pointing that out, it has to be so evident that even they can’t ignore it any longer.


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20 Responses to Even Bob Herbert notices the lack of presidential leadership

  • Obama is effective, intelligent, and has the personal stability and clarity of vision to be a great President. Stop laughing! He is too effective! Look at all the stuff he’s passed! And don’t start up about the economy keeps getting worse! Laws make reality, as I learned when I was a gopher staffer for a Republican senator. All he has to do is pass laws and he will be remembered as great. I decree it.

    And that wonderful clarity of vision! He thinks like me! That’s enough right there to ensure that he’s going down in history, because any president that thinks like someone with advanced degrees in political science and who has godlike powers as a result is guaranteed to be great.

    So don’t start up with your litany of economic bad news. That’s not Obama’s fault! He inherited all of it from the odious Bush! If the economy wasn’t doing so poorly he’d be doing great. Just like if it weren’t for the fact that I’m a boring pompous nerd wimp with a receding hairline, I would have a fan club of beautiful women. I’m completely convinced of it.

    The problem, as I discuss in my blog last week, is that we’re undergoing massive cultural change, and a lot people can’t stomach it. Yes, our march to glorious leftist utopia is almost complete, and you dense righties just can’t stomach seeing your ideas made obsolete. All this silly stuff about personal responsibility and honor and stuff like that. Why, we have grown far beyond that to the point that wise leftists can take responsibility for people’s jobs, health, education, transportation, food, and we’ll even take responsibility for their mood as soon as we are satisfied with the drugs we’re developing to make sure everyone is happy all the time.

    The America of the 1980s is gone forever because of culture shift. Thank goodness. That odious Reagan was almost as bad as Bush. He started our rampant consumerist culture and put us in horrible debt, and don’t you dare bring up his Democratic congresses! I was there in DC, working for a Republican, so my word on this is final! I decree it! Reagan did it all!!!!

    The noise of the minority tea partiers is simply people trying to deny reality. So don’t tell me how their candidates are winning and their rallies have hundreds of thousands of people. And for goodness sake, stop with the aerial photos and such. We have a perfectly fine socially constructed consensus that the tea partiers are just a noisy minority. So stop denying reality by putting forth your “evidence.” Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! My fingers are in my ears! I can’t hear you!

    Obama is a reflection of where the country is going, and that’s good news. Yes, constantly taking vacations and playing golf is a great reflection of where we should be as a country. Enjoying ourselves, and basking in the socially constructed reality that everything is going to be wonderful as soon as we wrench enough control from thick righties.

    So whine and moan, but you’re views are anachronistic. Stupid stuff like “honor” for example. Or “living within our means.” How silly! Even calling someone socialist or getting uptight about Rev. Wright represents out of date perspectives. Because we have redefined socialism to be a verboten word to use about leftists. Besides, I’m left libertarian, which is completely different from socialist in ways that you dense righties cannot understand. And who cares if Wright is a racist and socialist anyway? He’s a person of color, and he has been so badly treated by dense righties like you, that he’s like those wogs in the Middle East. He’s just not responsible for what he says, and you mean, vicious, sterile, inbred, mindless righties ought not hold him to any of that.

    Obama’s trying to stimulate the economy in a recession, which makes sense. And it’s going to work! It is! No more charts, I said! And then he will cut spending like I said last year. Yes, I think Obama will be remembered as a great President. Stop laughing, I said! You sound like a bunch of hyenas! Besides, I have long, long blog posts which say so! Isn’t that enough for you!

    Besides, you just insult me all the time, and that proves I’ve won. Instead, you should engage me and answer every one of my points with long laboriously constructed arguments which I can handwave aside because of my godlike powers of political science. Which means I win that way too. Because I have advanced degrees and a book and stuff, which means I get to set the rules for argument.

    So stop your whining that playing by my rules means I always win. Heck, I spent years sucking up to studying under political science professors, and they finally gave me a degree which was not either just to get rid of me, and that means I get to set the rules. It’s simple really. Especially since you dense righties don’t understand the first thing about post-modern rhetoric. Even though I don’t buy post-modernism. Except when I defend it as generally accepted. Which is not a contradiction or a lie, so stop saying that. It’s just another socially constructed multiple truth. *chuckle* *giggle* LOL {eyes rolling}

  • Hebert doesn’t really get it…on several levels, of course.
    First, Truman was stomped in terms of his attempt to continue the FDR collectivist programs.  The people resoundingly turn them out, via Congressional elections.  The new post-war Congress began the process of dismantling the New Deal, and partly succeeded, leading to the post-war boom.
    Second, Obama does not understand the first thing about leadership.  He only understands rule.  The first requires character; the second only power.  Obama doesn’t care about leading the American people down his path.  He may know…in his darkest places of knowing…that they won’t follow him there.
    (Copied from the “other” posting of the same piece.  Hey, if McQ can do it…)

  • Did you ever notice that the first people to call for sacrifice are the ones with well compensated full time gigs? But to be fair, I’m willing to sacrifice 30% of Bob Herbert’s income to achieve some great national purpose.

  • Of course, Herbert will enthusiastically endorse him in the next election regardless.

    What they say means nothing.

  • Obama thinks deep thoughts then unveils them in inspirational speeches to adoring audiences.

    McQ: You’re saying there’s more to leadership than that?

  • In fact, we saw the guy calling for “shared sacrifice” golfing repeatedly and now on a 5 vacations since July marathon.

    Technically, President Obama is only on Vacation #5.  I don’t count his wife’s trip to Spain as a vacation for the man…  A reprieve, sure.  But not a vacation.

  • Herbert and Obama do not understand what leadership is. Great leadership would mean that you do not engage in purely hateful partisan attacks each and every time you make a speech.  Real Leadership would call upon the talents and ideas of many different people, carefully weighing and balancing their views, not just a small clatch of like minded ideologies pushing a century old movement.

  • In case you hadn’t heard, Thursday’s action on the New York Stock Exchange registered a technical anomaly known as the Hindenburg Omen.

  • Obama has never been a position leadership before.  No business experience; no military service; no great legislation.
    He won elections by taking out his opponents.  He did it the Illinois Senate and again in the US Senate race.  He did it in the democrat caucus states, taking out Hillary.  Dodd, Frank, Waxman and Schumer sprung the financial crisis and helped Obama take out McCain.
    To his credit, he warned America about Transformational Change.
    My question is who is really president?

    • ” He won elections by taking out his opponents.  He did it the Illinois Senate and again in the US Senate race.  ”

      Actually, in his US Senate race there wasn’t really an opponent to take out. The best the Rep. establishment could do was import a political hack from Maryland who was chosen because he was available, having lost in Md.,  and he was black. He is not even very popular among MD. Republicans. 

      • I must add  that the guy, Alan Keyes, is  far more articulate than Obama. Even without teleprompters. And just as clean and bright.

        • However, he can’t be a real black because he’s Republican. Just like Clarence Thomas isn’t a real black.

          See, that’s what passes for logic on the left. Just redefine the terms to suit your argument.

          The full-court press is already underway, based on recent regurgitated talking points from our resident leftist idiot from Maine, to redefine Obama’s presidency into success. I’m sure Herbert will come around as soon as the talking points solidify. This article just lets him feel better about the next time he goes full throttle into Obama-boosting mode.

          There is no way to have a rational engagement, discussion, or argument with people who feel free to redefine the very nature of what’s being talked about just for rhetorical advantage. It’s playing a game, one that we’re guaranteed to lose because we impose Enlightenment-based rules of logic and reason on ourselves, and we agree to pretend that they are playing by those same rules. It’s also a pointless game, because in the end reality always wins.