Besides being the ‘adults’ who were to come in and clean up the various messes made by the ‘kids’ in the Clinton Administration, the Bush Administration also proclaimed that integrity would be restored to the Oval Office: “…do not only what is legal but what is right, not what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves.”

Label this a clarion call for greater transparency and morality in decision-making.

Well, go ahead and lambaste Bill Clinton, as has been done, for supposedly making presidential decisions based on poll numbers, focus groups and the like.
But also save plenty of venom for his successor who has demonstrably lacked the courage of his so-called convictions.

Two prime examples;

* why did George Bush cloak his ardor to transform Social Security with the ruse of an impending crisis?

He knew this wasn’t true but still resorted to his standby flim-flammery. He also buried the fact that his inital proposal to ‘save’ Social Security would have had zero effect on the projected deficit he was railing about.

* Why shield the unremitting desire to take out Saddam Hussein behind the numerous known-to-be-false-when-stated claims?

His various claims of ‘we know,’ ‘there is no doubt,’ ‘mushroom cloud’ and the like did not match the facts. It wasn’t reality-based.

Attemping to change something as economically fundamental to American society as Social Security and actually leading a country into the brutality of war under the pretense of an impending apocalypse are two of the most sweeping actions a President can initiate. To employ subterfuge while doing so is unfathomable political and moral cowardice.

Offering false monologues in either of these two areas described above is simply inexplicable. It’s unconscionably insincere–such depravity borders on the criminal.

And such from a self and media-described straight-talker? Where is the standup ‘commander’ employing unchallengeable details, laying out a factual case, the basic who, what, when, where and why change is not only necessary but beneficial.

To accomplish change, be a leader.

Isn’t that a primary expectation of any president?

My favorite book on leadership  “The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: When Leaders Are at Their Best” by Barry Posner and James Kouzes offers five behavioral action elements in the actual demonstration of and application of leadership:

    * Model the way.
    * Inspire a shared vision.
    * Challenge the process.
    * Enable others to act.
    * Encourage the heart.

President Bush never even got started in the first two. Rather it was, and has always been, fear, fear and more fear as his chosen and singlular mode of communication..

For someone who has lived a facade life, all the while in the clutches of cowardice, it’s apparently all he knows. It’s certainly all he’s practiced.  

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