17 July 2003

Jack M Balkin is really angry

Being a decisive leader is not the same thing as being a good leader. Decisive action may make a person appear tough and principled, but it may just be a cover for recklessness, stubbornness and the refusal to listen to reason. These are characteristics that leaders can do without. For that sort of leadership, willfully blind to consequences, engaged in wishful thinking, and disgusing its real motives, may cause enormous problems for the country down the road. I have long believed that this President, and this Administration, are not providing strong leadership, but rather reckless leadership. That recklessness is becoming more apparent every day, as the economy worsens, the deficits soar, and more and more Americans die in a war that the President stated was officially over as he strutted like a popinjay up and down the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Good government is not a crap shoot, nor is it best achieved through bluffing. It is a sign of the President's failure of leadership that all he has to offer now is what he has always offered-- tough talk, vague generalities, and attempts to change the subject. Such forced machismo rings increasingly hollow as the casualties mount, the predicted duration of occupation lengthens, the forces necessary to our self-defense are stretched to the breaking point, and the long term economic health of the nation is endangered by a massive redistirbution to the wealthy and the powerful.

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