President Obama is screwing up the incredible opportunity to lead that the American people gave him!
by Charlie Leck
Yesterday, on National Public Radio (NPR), I listened to Drew Westen, who had written a piece in the Sunday New York Times (What Happened to Obama’s Passion?) about how disappointing President Obama has been during these first three years of his Presidency. The NPR presentation was a remarkable discussion about Obama’s excruciating effort at compromise and cooperation and his failure at the leadership he promised in his 2008 campaign!
This is a discussion of about 17 minutes that is very worth listening to. I hope the President gets to hear it. Westen talks about the mistakes that the President has made by being such a conciliator – trying so hard to find middle ground and compromise. He contends that we had elected Obama to be a tough leader.
“He just couldn’t get himself to do it,” Westen contends. “We had just tried out the Republican ideas for eight years and they had been just about as collosal failures as you could possibly ask for…”
I agree with Westen’s take. Whether Obama can shake him out of this lethargy is a real question. The right wing of the Republican Party needs to be fought and beaten back. They can not be dealt with and we won’t find compromise with them.
The people, Westen explains, wanted a fix to this bad situation. It was only going to come through tough leadership. It was Obama’s weaknesses as a leader that led to the Republican victories in the House and Senate in 2010.
Obama keeps calling for common sense and compromise. How long will it be before he realizes that this is not possible in this political environment.
Westen commically quotes Sarah Palin: “How’s that hopey, changey thing workin’ out for yuh?”
Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University. I think he has nailed Obama’s weaknesses very accurately.
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