“The next President has to do three big things, which are in conflict with one another, increase growth, reduce debt and increase social equity. The Democrats offer no actual plan, but Obama at least offers a vague whiff that he would be capable of advancing these cross cutting challenges. Romney offers one sided change that is nerve-rackingly out of balance.” – David Brooks, New York Times, September 7th
“Has to do?”
Much of politics today is just about winning an election, not about governing. Like Wall Street, where it seems that it doesn’t matter if your client makes money, but rather only important that a trader makes a commission. Today, winning an election is an end in itself. Even if this were not true, Brooks conclusion has one other fatal flaw.
President Obama lacks the humility necessary to be a 21st century consensus builder. His competitive instincts make him have to be the smartest guy in the room, which is a major turn off and stands in the way or thoughtful collaboration. He lacks Dr. King’s willingness to sacrifice himself for a cause that was greater than him. It truly is a cult of personality. Obama doesn’t know or acknowledge anyone or anything greater than himself.
Finally, Brooks’ description of my own Party’s prospects is spot on. It’s funny how we can see the faults of those closest to us much more clearly while dismissing the true short comings of our opponents.
Upon further review, perhaps even Brooks had his doubts about his conclusions. Below is the online version of his article which differed from the print edition!
The next president has to do three big things, which are in tension with one another: increase growth, reduce debt and increase social equity. President Obama has the intelligence, the dexterity and the sense of balance to navigate these crosscutting challenges. But he apparently lacks the creativity to break out of the partisan categories, the trench warfare gridlock.