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George Bush Is Not A Leader

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Message Jerry Frey
Spring.  2008.  The final throw down:   Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton take pokes at each other's candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination to the detriment of their party and tulips poke through the soil, while the power of the George W. Bush presidency wanes and Dubya's personal influence diminishes. 

In the twilight of a failed presidency, a Gallup poll disclosed that the Texas soufflé's approval rating had settled at another all time low: 28%.  

Former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, however, provided a better intelligence indicator of Bush's national opprobrium. 

Writing in the April 25 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Noonan revealed that in "the heart of Texas conservatism," Lubbock, Texas, the Decider-in-Chief had become disliked.  "He has lost them.  I was there and saw it.  Confusion has been followed by frustration [and] has turned into resentment, and this is huge. 

Everyone knows the president's poll numbers are at historic lows, but if he is over in Lubbock, there is no place in this country that likes him....The reasons for the quiet break with Mr. Bush: spending, they say first, growth in the power and size of government, Iraq." 

Perhaps that good ol' boy Karl Rove shares some of the responsibility for his former patron's fall from grace.Speaking to a Republican gathering in New Hampshire, Rove informed Bush's disciples as reported by the June 18, 2006 edition of the The Manchester Union Leader: 

KARL ROVE might not have lied to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about his role in publicly identifying CIA employee Valerie Plame, but he told one heck of a whopper when he stopped in Manchester on Monday. Speaking of what separates Democrats from Republicans, President Bush's top political adviser said, "They're for more spending.  We're for less spending."

Republicans for less spending?  Less than what? 

President Bush has overseen the largest expansion of federal spending since Lyndon Johnson - even if you exclude defense and national security spending.   

Considering that George Bush has increased the national debt by more than $3 trillion and finances his war of choice by obtaining overseas loans from Asia and the Middle East, Rove's hypocrisy is only surpassed by Dubya's pretensions at being a leader, who increasingly exercises the power of his office through photo-ops, sound-bites, and fruitless overseas forays. 

Leaders inspire soldiers, athletes, or employees to strive, sweat, and sacrifice for victory, a championship, or market share.  Leadership is the ability to inspire with words and deeds, not electronic images.

Following the death of the arch-terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June 2006, President Bush visited Iraq to show the flag and meet Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, and gain a "firsthand feel" for the nascent democratic government.  Returning to the White House, President Bush held a robust news conference in the Rose Garden, during which he described his understanding of leadership: "I understand leadership. You've got to have will. You've got to have desire to succeed. You've got to have a plan. And that's what I found in Iraq." 

The apparent focus of the President's understanding of leadership rests with the notion that an unwavering commitment to a course of action represents leadership.  In that view, a teacher with a lesson plan who will teach or a student who will study to become an engineer stand as leaders.

Web-sites are devoted to the speech of George Bush.  These clusters of his remarks reveal his true intellectually vacuous self.   

Wait a minute.  What did you just say?  You're predicting $4-a-gallon gas? ... That's interesting.  I hadn't heard that.

George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Feb. 28, 2008 

The solution to Iraq -- an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself -- is more than a military mission.  Precisely the reason why I sent more troops into Baghdad. George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007

My job is a job to make decisions. I'm a decision -- if the job description were, what do you do – it's decision maker.George W. Bush, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. George W. Bush, Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000 

Lieutenant Bush got it half right.  Successful leaders make decisions based upon sound judgment, after assessing the available information. 

George Bush lacks an auto-data base of knowledge.  Bush's conclusions and actions seem to derive from the college principle of  S.W.A.G. (scientific wild-ass guess).  His lack of intellectual curiosity is a given fact of his presidency, as fixed as his daily exercise regimen. 

George Packer established this verity in his 2003 New York Times piece Dreaming of Democracy when he informed readers that during a meeting with Iraqi exiles in January, they "spent a good portion of the time explaining to the president that there are two kinds of Arabs in Iraq, Sunnis and Shiites.  The very notion of an Iraqi opposition appeared to be new to him."  Shiites rebelled in the aftermath of the Gulf War and were suppressed by Sadaam's helicopter gun ships, a fact our less than curious George overlooked or ignored in his calculus for war.         

In 1968, George Bush graduated from Yale with a degree in history.  Studying European history, Our George's courses must have included 1066, 1492, Martin Luther, the French Revolution, and the reign of Napoleon, which would have taught him that the emperor's design to establish a new government in Spain, promulgate a new constitution and bring modernity to that country, failed, because the Spanish hated the French. A sampling of lessons that can be gleaned from the French experience in Spain that parallel the American experience in Iraq include: weak central authority, disbanded military units that resulted in individual economic hardship due to loss of income, unemployed young men, banditry, and smuggling, disdain for and suspicion of foreigners, along with religious antipathy.  

Napoleon conquered most of Spain but failed to subdue the country for a variety of reasons, the chief one being the strong support offered by the English who provided gold, men, and Wellington, a general superior to any of Napoleon's marshals.  The brief appearance of the emperor in 1808 resulted in the evacuation of the English army from the Iberian Peninsula. 

Like the American effort in Afghanistan, which was distracted by the invasion of Iraq, Napoleon left Spain to again confront Austria, which had been defeated in 1797, 1800, and 1805.  Another formidable parallel fact is that initially, Napoleon attempted to dominate Spain on the cheap, by not devoting enough military force.  Writing in The Campaigns of Napoleon, David Chandler observed: "Napoleon the statesman had set Napoleon the soldier an impossible task.  Consequently, although the immediate military aims were more or less achieved, the long-term requirement of winning popular support for the new regime was hopelessly compromised. 

The lesson was there for the world to read: military conquest in itself cannot bring about political victory."

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I have three Civil War books that have been published (see: www.threequartercadillac.info). What the North fought for, and what the South reconciled to, the greatness of the United States of America, has been waning since the Carter administration. (more...)
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