“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Indecisive Leadership

Should we be surprised at the "Stimulus Package" announcement? Not really. Geitner's announcement was so full of vague there was no substance to it at all. It was almost as if the administration was trying to see what would public opinion might be, rather than making a statement of policy. Of course, this is nothing new for Obama. The signs of this style of decision making were all there during the Presidential Election Debates. When asked a question that required a direct answer, Obama never gave one unless someone else did first. Not so McCain. Even if the answer was not popular, McCain spoke directly to almost every question. Obama ALWAYS spoke in generalities first, specifics later. Yet he demands swift passage of his plan...which still lacks details. That smacks of everything the Democrats were complaining about during the Bush years. I guess somethings don't change.

The lesson of the Bush administration should be to act with consideration and restraint. That is, by the way, the function of government. It is, by design, slow to accomplish anything. Swift change is dangerous for government to enact. Consider the billions released during the closing years of the Bush presidency that are unaccounted for. As much as we would like to blame Bush for everything, Congress is equally at fault for not providing oversight of the money. It was a knee jerk reaction to a crisis, which is understandable. Mistakes in things done that quickly should be unstandable as well. But, now we are angry at the consequences--while looking for someone to blame. And, of course, Bush is an easy target. But so are the Democrats that continue to chair the financial committes in Congress but haven't done their jobs.

Meanwhile, we have Congress wrangling over passage of the Stimulus package. Why? Maybe it's because they are trying to create something the American people can actually live with. Maybe the creation of some a new super agency, with more funding than the military, to monitor and control healthcare access. If nothing else, maybe there are enough Senators and Congressmen who aren't sure where the money for that will come from to pay for that. But, since it was put on the Stimulus Package without disagreement by either party, that's probably not true.

It's been said that it takes anywhere from 5-8 years for Presidential policies to take full effect. If true, that would actually mean that most of the economic success attributed to Clinton was actually the result of the Reagan-Bush policies. It would also mean that, taking the Iraq and Afghanistan expenses out, the economic failures of the W years were actually Clinton's fault. Not too far fetched since the economy was already strating to slide during Clinton's last two years in office.

So, now we have Congress dragging it's feet in tackling the economy, just as it did during the Bush years. And, we have a President who demands things change immediately, while threatening to use Presidential Orders to accomplish his goals--just like Bush did, and Clinton. Some things just don't change--even though party affiliations do.