Saturday, December 04, 2010

Failure of Leadership

I make it a policy to do as little block quoting as possible here, and never to post lengthy block quotes, but Paul Krugman has two short articles which are eloquent and so on target that I cannot let them simply pass by. The quotes are not the entirety of either post, so you may want to go read them.

The first is Getting Obama's Drift and refers to Jared Bernstein's efforts to explain the administration’s attempt to downplay the terrible jobs numbers, and the lack of a change of direction. Krugman says,

But to do that, someone at the top has to make the decision to change direction. And clearly, nobody has. I don’t think there was a deliberate decision to persist in an obviously losing strategy; I just think top management has gone missing. And so the administration drifts...

The other is Men In Suits, Talking and refers to an economic meeting he attending. I'm not sure he is making his comment about leadership in a global sense, but he well could be,

They (we?) aren’t stupid; everyone pretty much understands how badly things are going. But nowhere is there the leadership to do anything more than drift, with a few palliative actions, waiting for things finally to get so bad that something must be done.

That, I think, addresses our problem of governance. They really aren't stupid, they are just waiting for someone to take the lead and no one will.


  1. The concept of the military as a democracy, where what the troops think dictates, or even influences, what is done, is really scary. REALLY scary. Wars would not be won that way. "No, that offensive is not a good idea; I might be killed". Well, actually, most of them wouldn't say that. When I joined the Navy, I knew I would have to follow rules I had no say about, & probably wouldn't understand or like. No choices. And some of them would be silly, and/or wrong headed. But that is how it is, and I chose it. So did all the current members of all military services. I could rant on, but the idea that "the troops don't like it so we shouldn't do it" just makes me crazy. And really, most of the troops don't even care. Politics should NOT run the military. Civilians, yes, politicians, NO.

  2. Ok, I got lost - the above belongs below. Sorry