Thursday, October 14, 2010

From Atop the Rubble: A Contrast in Leaders

On September 14th, 2001, President George W. Bush toured the ruins of the World Trade Center, wading through the myriad rescue workers searching frantically for survivors of an event few would ever forget. Three days after the vile terrorist attack turned two 110 story buildings to nothing but rubble, the mood was as lugubrious as it was urgent. Rescue workers clawed at the rubble as if in a daze, hoping to find one more alive, barely able to comprehend the reality of what had happened.


President Bush then grabbed a bullhorn and climbed atop a pile of rubble and - with his left arm around the shoulder of firefighter Bob Beckwith - uttered the words that not only shook the veil of disbelief from the eyes of the crowd, but energized them in a way that only a true leader could. Bush raised the bullhorn and said:
“I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”
Never once did it occur to President Bush to say that this mess was caused by the inattentiveness of Bill Clinton, and that cleaning it up was going to be hard work.

In sharp contrast, President Obama now finds himself atop his own figurative pile of rubble, the wreckage and remnants of the country he and his Democrat cohorts in Congress have systematically dismantled. Obama's bullhorn is his teleprompters, no doubt etched at the top with the indelible inscription, "Blame Bush", which he dutifully repeats at every speech like a nun says her Rosary.

We're nearly two years removed from the Bush administration and four years into a Democrat-controlled Congress, yet the mantra has not changed. Not only has the din not subsided, it is now moving toward full crescendo as the mid-term elections draw near, with the president and the candidates alike sounding the wolf alarm.

Rather than campaign on a continuation of their great achievements - there are none - the Democrats have set up their miserable failures as the work of their predecessors, and now warn us that returning Republicans to power will be a return to those policies. While it may be true that Republicans lost their way, and were drawn away from fiscal conservatism, the Democrats grabbed that baton like the anchor in a four-man relay team.

If Reagan and Bush ran deficits, they at least fostered an environment of prosperity, one that showed promise of paying them back down with time. Since the Democrats took control - and particularly since the election of Barack Obama - those relatively small deficits are not even visible in the rear view mirror any longer, and any hope of paying them down is dwindling like a parchment consumed by fire.

With less than three weeks to go until Election Day, people must think long and hard about their choices in the voting booth. Think of one leader on the rubble inspiring people in a terrible time of tragedy, and another wailing about the surrounding devastation like a kid who broke his mother's lamp and trying to blame it on his big brother.

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2 comments:

Edisto Joe said...

Woody:
You have hit directly at the core of Obama's failure...leadership!
The ability to take a moment of desperation and turn it into a positive one, inspiring faith and hope. Obama made much of faith and hope in his speeches but has failed in every aspect. He promised everything to everybody but delivered to only the favored select. Not only has he failed the nation he is also failing our military by not supporting his own surge in Afghanistan. How inspiring it must be for the troops to hear the CIC talk of their efforts as, doubtful, uncertain, and deteriorating. When they have only a mindset of win and victory. Bush may have done some things wrong but he was far better a leader for the country, our military and the future.
Thanks for the great post and pointing out that the billboards that read "Miss Me Yet?" were not all wrong.

Woody said...

Thanks, EJ. Regarding the military, my greatest fear is the damage Obama may have inflicted on the institution itself. How hard it must be to be a good soldier and not criticize one's CinC.

With my son-in-law ready to re-deploy and my son in basic training, I'm more worried about their alleged support structure causing them harm than the enemy.

As for domestic issues, it must be pointed out that the country - particularly the economy - began to deteriorate shortly after Reid and Pelosi grabbed the reins of Congress. Obama was the final nail.