Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of Disunion

Politics is a nasty business.

You can get elected by trying to make everyone like you. But you can’t govern that way. To be effective, you have to embrace a take-no-prisoners attitude.

I wasn’t a George Bush fan. But like most Republicans, he grasped that power resided in the ability to stay focused on a mission, a mission of his choosing, not someone else’s.

Barack Obama has vision, but has shown little if any wherewithal to complete his mission.

It’s philosophically laudatory that Obama ceded power back to Congress. But it resulted in anarchy and failed healthcare reform. Obama has ignored at least three decades of executive branch ascendancy over the legislature. Instead of Obama being the fulcrum of progress, self-centered opportunists like Lieberman, Baucus, Nelson and Landrieu commandeered healthcare reform by exposing the manipulations of backroom deals. It’s analogous to peering inside a restaurant kitchen—you wouldn’t want to eat after seeing how food is prepared, even in the best of establishments. After being exposed to the cooking chicanery of Democratic politicians, it’s no wonder the public is turned off.

Hate the Republicans, or love, them, but at the very least be respectful that they stay focused, on message, even if the message is not agreeable to you.

I blame Obama for failing to comprehend that a president leads, not follows. He’s like the quarterback of a football team. In the huddle, the QB calls the play, not a lineman or a halfback. Healthcare reform was his issue. He should have been driving the bus, not sitting wherever he pleased. (I know I’m mixing metaphors, but he gets me so frustrated!)

As we await tonight’s State of Disunion speech, the calendar shows Obama has three years remaining in his first term. The reality is that he has less than 10 months of effective leadership time to turn his presidency around. After the mid-term elections next November, Obama either will be in command of the political stage again or he will most surely, prematurely and involuntarily join the no socks needed anymore brigade.