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07/21/2008

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I don't think it is too much to ask of applicants for the most difficult job in the nation that they have both policy and a grand vision.

Absolutely correct. It is an interesting reality that the higher one rises in the world, the more responsible they are for the big picture and the less in control they are of the most basic parameters of their life. Ask any executive where all those things they have to do in the day come from, and you'll likely get an "I dunno" sort of response.

It's no surprise then, that the two most successful Presidents of the past century, were two of least detail oriented; FDR and Reagan. Carter, the worst President of our lifetimes was easily the most detailed. I once worked for an ex General who when he was still in the military was asked to deliver a briefing book to the whitehouse. The thing was highly detailed hundreds of pages long, and he dropped it off late on a Friday afternoon. The following Monday he was called to pick it up, and found to his amazement that Carter had not only read the whole thing, but included detailed notes and questions in the margins on many of the pages.

This was at once quite impressive and deeply troubling. Nobody, not even a man as intelligent (and lets be honest, vain) as Carter can absorb that level of detail in everything a President must control. If they try, they fail, often spectacularly, and that is exactly what happened. Most troubling about this example is that Carter actually had executive experience, O'Bama just thinks he does and portrays the confidence of the untested.

Not to mention, of course, Obama's, shall we say, unorthodox ideas themselves, like his proposal for "a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the US military.

Has the full impact of that sunk in? It means Obama wants a domestic army--but for what purpose? Who is to be policed--or intimidated--by this heretofore nonexistent force--illegal aliens? Hah! Domestic dissenters? Perhaps.

Follow the link--it's chilling.

I followed the link, it was not chilling. He was very plainly referring to the Peace Corps. Here, I perhaps take liberty to say that his meaning was that Americans serving as cultural ambassadors in the Peace Corps will indeed strengthen America's security by letting the world see us as a nation of helpers rather than a notion of aggressors. Please listen to the two or three sentences preceding the quotation and I think you will agree he is not referring to creating a standing civilian "army".

Error correction (not mine): Obama switched topics. He had been talking about AmeriCorps-type involvement, and then switched gears.

Listen for yourself.

Squid,
I hope you can agree that the interpretation is something on which reasonable people could reasonably disagree.

My only question about Obama's suggestion is this; exactly why do either the Peace Corp or Americorp need the kind of funding which is provided to the military? I could see calling for increased funding for these programs, which would be a very Democrat thing to do, but to call for a civilian force that is just as powerful and just as well funded as the military does leave some huge questions left unanswered until Obama explains exactly what he meant.

Nailed it Frank. One has to wonder if anybody who supports this guy actually listens to what he says. Its kind of like listening to an articulate George Bush

Frank,

Let's not forget that Obama wants this civilian national security force to be "just as powerful" as the US military.

I have long maintained that if we had spent our money on tractors in Iran instead of military aid to the Shah and his Savak we would not be the great satan and both John Deere and Caterpillar would be better off. It is perhaps naive but when faced with the choice between what looks like an advantageous short term result and doing the ethical thing we would probably be better off in most circumstances if we had done the "right thing." Every time we have ditched our philosophical commitment to democracy by backing a "pro-American" dictator over an anti-American who would have won the election it has come back to bite us in the ass.

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