Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How to lead...

Imagine the following speech by the president:
This administration intends to be candid about its errors. For as a wise man once said, "An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors.... We're not going to have any search for scapegoats ... the final responsibilities of any failure are mine, and mine alone.
What would happen to W's credibility if he spoke these words? It would likely skyrocket -- well, skyrocket is relative, but I'm sure it would improve immensely.

Starting such a frank discussion with the American people would demonstrate real leadership: an acknowledgment of the obvious would go a long way toward addressing a leadership legacy that -- at this point -- is probably the worst in American history.

However, our leader appears to be incapable of seeing his actions as errant -- or even learning from them. He doesn't see mistakes, just "bigger challenges" that take more determination. This is the style of the oligarch: of someone who sees himself as infallible or, at least, much smarter than those who dissent.

This puts the country on a single-tracked path --with no way of changing course. This is what we see in W's "leadership" style: a steadfastness in the face of overwhelming evidence that a re-evaluation is needed.

Actually a president did speak the above words. They were spoken by JF Kennedy -- after the Bay of Pigs disaster. That president's approval rating shot up after the speech.

Demonstrating contact with reality will have that effect... Unfortunately, I don't expect this president to demonstrate any contact with reality.

6 comments:

Intellectual Insurgent said...

Your argument assumes that what he has done have been mistakes. And with his incredible track record, I can only assume that it has all been intentional.

The only way to steal Iraq's oil is to divide and conquer. No surprise there.

The only way to give lucrative domestic contracts is to start war.

The only way to clear out a section of waterfront property is to neglect people stranded in a hurricane (while renovating all the other parts of the city).

You give W too much credit to suggest that all of these things were mere mistakes that he should admit to make better. Perhaps you should admit that you, like most of America, have been had by a con man.

Reign of Reason said...

I'm not sold on the "con man" argument.. not completely anyway.

I believe that he believes he's doing the right thing. Never underestimate the power of the psyche at self-deception.

It was explained to me thus:

I'm a good guy... I tried to do what I thought was right... It doesn't look like it turned out well, but that can't be my fault since I tried to do what I thought was right... It must be the facts are wrong.

He's a spectacular idiot in my book... a self-deceiving one... But that's more likely than your explanation -- from my vantage point.

Reign of Reason said...

BTW -- I was never "had" ... I thought he was an idiot back in 2001... And his actions have only borne that out.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

I believe that he believes he's doing the right thing.

Of course he does. The appropriate inquiry is doing the right thing for whom?

He's not an idiot. That clip in Fahrenheit 9/11 where he smugly speaks to a group and says "Some people call you the elite. I call you my base" lets you know exactly who he works for and he's been doing a tremendously fine job for them.

Don't forget the family he comes from.

Reign of Reason said...

That's true... but I honestly think he believes that "what's good for big-business is good for everyone" ... he believes in the trickle down bull shit that Reagan started.

It does come from his background: he believes in "the system" ... that abstract concept by which people can supposedly work their way "up" the economic ladder.

Of course, he never had to do it himself so its all theory for him...

Intellectual Insurgent said...

His grandfather funded Hitler. His father was behind many of the worst atrocities in Latin America.

The Bush family doesn't give a god damn about anyone but their benefactors. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will cease to be surprised by their antics in that regard.