Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Neither hedgehog nor fox

Peggy Noonan, who (if memory serves) once flirted with being impressed by Barack Obama, nails it, or rather him.

There are many good zingers in the piece, but I’ll restrict myself to two:

Leadership is needed here. Not talkership, leadership.


These are the two great issues, the economic crisis and our safety. In the face of them, what strikes one is the weightlessness of the Obama administration, the jumping from issue to issue and venue to venue from day to day. Isaiah Berlin famously suggested a leader is a fox or a hedgehog. The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing. In political leadership the hedgehog has certain significant advantages, focus and clarity of vision among them. Most presidents are one or the other. So far Mr. Obama seems neither.

Read the whole thing.   

Discussions - 3 Comments

It continues to amaze me how many supposedly knowledgeable people are surprised at how unprepared Obama is to govern. How in the world would he have the skills and expertise to lead the greatest nation on earth? This man has spent his entire adult life TALKING - as a professor, a spokesman for community involvement, a lobbyist - he has never really DONE anything, except campaign, and that is what he is still doing.

“Never mind dealing with either domestic or foreign crisis, leave that to congress (the same congress, by the way, which was mainly responsible for the “failed policies of the last eight years”), I have to go on Jay Leno.”

It’s as if the debating champion at the local junior high school was suddenly made governor of the state, and all of his teachers and classmates are astonished that he can’t handle the job. OF COURSE he can’t handle it. How could anyone have really expected him too? I just hope the voters learn from their mistake before it’s too late.

That all may be true, but what makes him any less prepared then most other politicians. Wanting leadership from the high political office is dangerous. Our country is great because it is based on saying no. The bill of rights are all negative rights and the constitution was supposed to say no to the type of crap that our beloved oligarchs are ramming down our throats right now. What would help is a little defederalization, not wanting to led by the leader. As for the safety, is that in the bill of rights? The right to be safe? No government anywhere, anytime can garuntee that without lying. The only thing they can or will do is become tyranical in the name of safety. If you want to be safe then the only place for you is inside a fema camp locked in a cell away from all those possible terrorists/ fellow citizens.

I doubt its an original comment, or even thought, but the second quotation immediately brought something to my mind.

Perhaps Obama's win is an unfortunate reflection of our own society, especially the younger and the liberal. This administration's actions appear to be a textbook example of ADD or ADHD (no, I am not smart enough to know the difference - see below.)

The "followers" remind me of those with these supposed "ailments" as well. Are we now a nation of ADD and ADHD afflicted? Are we now unable to focus on the important tasks because we cannot decide which toy to pick up next? Is this the only way folks can relate to their politicians today?

For what it's worth, I do believe ADD and / or ADHD are "curable." It's not that I don't believe in their existence, for in the early '60s, I too was afflicted with it.... Mrs. Ball, my third grade teacher cured me of it. In a single afternoon. To paraphrase at least one school teacher acquaintance of mine.... "Yes, I believe in ADD. I used to have it, until Mrs. so-and-so beat it out of me in the third grade."

What do we expect from a nation where we no longer believe in the importance of learning how to lose (gracefully,) at sport?

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