Friday, October 9, 2009

Random Rants--A Friday Feature

I worked with a guy once who had the whole package. He was tall and trim and impeccably dressed. He carried a Mont Blanc pen in his leather portfolio which was always tucked under his arm, or placed on the table in front of him with the pen positioned just so. He was grave and had an immense vocabulary. He knew all the right people, worked out regularly and had a big corner office overlooking the San Francisco Bay. In fact he had two offices: the large, bookshelf-lined office where he entertained visitors and the inner sanctum where he retreated to think big thoughts.

The problem was he just couldn't seem to pull the trigger.

He consumed great amounts of people's time gathering evidence and conducting research. He considered each problem from every angle, delving into the minutest detail. But when it came time to act, he froze. Inevitably he would zig when he should zag or worse, stay put in the middle of the tracks as the express rounded the bend. His decisions (or perhaps I should say un-decisions) were very expensive for the shareholders but since he controlled the dialogue, those decisions were rarely examined after the fact, the way they had been before.

I thought of my old colleague today when I read Charles Krauthammer's article, Young Hamlet's Agony discussing Obama's inaction on General McChrystal's request for more troops in Afghanistan.

McChrystal was appointed in March by President Obama after the "conclusion of a serious policy review." The general submitted his recommendation to Obama August 30th. Obama has yet to take action while our troops encounter increasing violence. He says he is focused on developing a strategy...the one I guess he had not yet developed at the "conclusion of the serious policy review" that prompted him to appoint the general in March...yikes! I am getting dizzy.

Ironic that while Obama fiddles, the Nobel Prize Committee awards him the Peace Prize?
Ironic that Alfred Nobel made his fortune from the invention of dynamite?
I'm just wondering,
  • If former President Bush had remarked to Jay Leno as Obama did, “I bowled a 129. It was like the Special Olympics or something” would the media or Leno for that matter have been so forgiving?

  • If Sara Palin had claimed, as Obama did during the campaign, to have visited "57 states with one more to go" wouldn't the late night hosts and Saturday Night Live have had a field day at her expense?

  • If Bush I, of "read my lips fame" had remarked as Obama did during a press conference that he had spoken to all the presidents "...who are living," (laughter), "I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing you know about doing any seances." (more laughter) I wonder if the outrage would have been so muted.

Regardless, thank goodness for Bob Woodward who received a leaked copy of the General's request that was submitted to but not accepted by the President, and had the courage to publish it. At least we know the score now; that our military leaders are on the job even while our President is vying for the Olympics and health care and the hearts and minds of our youth or accepting the Peace Prize while our enemies keep fighting and our young men and women in the military keep defending.


  1. how did he keep his corner office and his pigskin notebook, then? Sounds like sour grapes, friend.

    You've left a few things out, and indulged in a slew of logical and rhetorical fallacies, including, but not limited too: false equivalencies, false comparison, ad hominem, strawmen and worst of all, you have mixed you metaphors. For the last alone, you should swing(rhetorically speaking, of course).

    DOn't you have anything better to do? Or, at least, a copy editor?

  2. Perhaps I should use your copy editor.

  3. she'd fire you. she'd fire me too if she knew i was beating up short-bus bloggers during working hours.