Back on the Leadership Train

When I wrote this post on Leadership back in April of last year, I had a couple of people specifically in mind. None of them are Presidential candidates.

Going back to that post, well, it reminds me of just one more reason that the Democratic race post Edwards, is about as exciting as a sardine sandwich.

When you look up “Leader” in the Dictionary, you come back with:

1 the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country : the leader of a protest group.
• a person followed by others : he is a leader among his classmates.
• an organization or company that is the most advanced or successful in a particular area : a leader in the use of video conferencing.
• the horse placed at the front in a team or pair.
• (also Leader of the House) Brit. a member of the government officially responsible for initiating business in Parliament.

Now, it’s not hard to say that the remaining Democratic candidates are leaders in one way or another. Together, they’ve raised over $200m! They’re neck and neck in the polls. That’s “leading” to some degree. But the notion of a “leader”, the qualities that define that “leadership”, the way that “leader” reacts in the face of criticism, justified or not, and the people that a “leader” surround themselves with, also defines what kind of “leader” that individual would be.

Taking all of these things into account, and applying them in the only way I can, with statements from the campaigns and individual voting records, leaves me with an empty feeling on the leadership front. Neither candidate has really put themselves in front of an issue in a way that made me happy with them in their time in the Senate, or in the campaign for that matter.

Certainly, Hillary has more negatives than Obama. She’s been in the public eye longer, and for me, since I was about 8 as First Lady of Arkansas. But Hillary also has some positives. One of those is that I feel like I know what she will do. There is little question with her. She has been on the record for longer. That’s a plus for me. I know she’ll make me mad, and I know how, I’m just not sure when.

For those of us on the “Change” tip, Obama has many positives. I don’t think his version of “Change®” is as much change as some of his supporters think it is, but, in reality, ANY Democratic candidate would be “change” from the current administration. I’m not saying this to take anything away from Obama. America needs a change…we just need to make sure it’s a positive one. Bush brought on all kinds of change, and it was anything but positive. And that’s the foundation or my skepticism about Obama.

In 2000, Bush ran on change, that change was restoring integrity to the White House (what a joke!). He ran as a “uniter:, not a divider…WOW! We see how that worked out. That whole “Compassionate Conservative” thing was a great marketing ploy, and a complete crock. Ultimately, Bush didn’t have much real policy in his campaign, and he didn’t need it. He ran with his strengths, which was communicating to the public in a way that made them feel comfortable, and playing on deep seated fears that had been planted in the public psyche long ago.

From my perspective, when you look at the campaigns, there are striking similarities. Obama is running a “Post-Partisan®” campaign…sounds like a uniter. He wants to “Change Washington” which just about every politician says but never does. Finally, until recently, his proposals have been amorphous at best. That’s a good way to not get criticized for not having a position even though your position is not really a position (got that?).

Now, I’m not comparing Barak Obama to W. In truth, every political campaign I can remember hit on these themes in some way. What bothers me, is that Obama has been given a pass by just about everyone for not really nailing down some of the more important proposals in his platform, and when people do have the gall to call him on something, they are dismissed as an example of insiders being resistant to “Change®”, or partisan hacks.

If that’s what “Post-Partisanship” is, then “Post-Partisanship” is not change, it’s what we’ve had for the past 8 years.

No Thank You.

Look people, I’m a RED MEAT Democrat. I don’t want no chicken or fish or even pork, unless it’s slow smoked Bar-B-Cue, I want RED MEAT! I’ll take my blatant partisanship with a heavy dose of lefty hollerin’, sir. I want bare-knuckled boxing, not my hind quarters tickled with a feather, and I have no problem admitting that I may be the only person on the planet that wants that.

It’s not that I look at my values VS. Republican values as a race to be won. I look at the contrast as the most critical moral, social, and ethical issue of our time…period. Every four years we have the opportunity to chose a leader, one that the world will look to, one that has an impact far outside our borders. Here we are, at a critical point in our history, and the Democratic nominees that are left are the political equivalent of Justin and Brittany. GREAT!

Exxxcccuuuussssseeeee me if I’m not excited by the diversity thing, be it sex or race. If the level of diversity was matched by the level of lefty cred, then you’d have me throwing my panties on the stage screamin’ for more like I was at the Foo Fighters show on the 25th. That ain’t happening so I’ ain’t throwin’.

I’m not picking sides until after the 5th because I ALREADY PICKED MY GUY AND HE WITHDREW. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t vote for him anyway. Until someone shows me something better, I’m content to sit here and bitch about the mess that I FEEL WE’RE LEFT WITH. After that, I’ll play nice…

….maybe.

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