Monday, November 10, 2008

The Dalibama and His Court

My new BFF on the Internet (she doesn’t know it yet, so don’t say anything), Logistics Monster, used a video that caught my eye, too. You can view it on her site – it contains the crack by Valerie Jarret that The Dalibama “is ready to take power and be ready to rule day one.”

“Rule”? WTF? I can accept “lead” or “govern.” But “rule”? Cut me a break.

It cuts straight to the heart of the difference between people in the government – some are there to serve, some are there because they think only they should be. Pelosi’s comments in a post a few down, The Pelosi Delusion, addresses this same issue. While Val Girl’s comment is a variation on the theme, Pelosi espoused the same culture: Those people that voted against Prop 8 are just different than us. We understood what we voted on; they didn’t. It doesn't matter whether you or I would have voted for or against - she is telling us that if you voted differently than in "X" manner on "Y" issue you are incapable of understanding what you are doing. That just brings out the male in me ...

I’ve worked for and with all sorts of people in my life. Those that believed themselves to be “special” never penetrated my walls. I recall something relevant but a little off point …

A friend of mine was another lawyer and he held a large party every summer. His practice was estate law and the party was a wonderful mix of blue hairs and beautiful people. I naturally spent time helping the old folks and talking about their lives. I love stories that span decades. So anyway, this cousin twice removed from Away always came to the party. He was a state legislator in Georgia. We spoke for an hour or more. Very engaging person. Told me about the thrill of being in front of a crowd. Told me that I wasn’t “conservative enough” because I understood the logic of a rape victim having an abortion. I stayed quiet about the thrill of arguing to a jury or his rather stoic abortion view – it was his turn to tell his story.

The next year, I was walking on the expansive porch and there he sat talking it up to a rapt audience. I listened just long enough – he was sharing the same stories I got, the same words, the same enthusiasm. It felt as if I slipped in a DVD of a movie I had forgotten that I watched, but soon came to remember a scene. Most telling, as I walked towards and past him, he looked up to me with the same look my child had when he got busted taking cookies before dinner.

It was to laugh.

Onward. I’m not sure why some people that govern with an iron fist are ok with me. I am certain Patton was not a very sympathetic person – but I am equally certain that he cared, genuinely cared for the people that followed his orders.

What I perceive about The Dalibama and the people around him is a cloud of arrogance. They act if as W just created a mess, and they are uniquely qualified to clean it up.

Mark my words – W will be vindicated by history. He did not take the job to be a wartime president. Did he do everything right? Of course not. Neither did Clinton, George the Elder, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, and so on. Have I done everything right as a parent? No. Neither did my parents, their parents, and so on.

The more focused the light on what is done from moment to moment the more “could have” and “should have” issues that come up. No problem with that. And I am not going to launch into an impassioned defense of W. Neither will I go into the details of why Clinton finally signed the Welfare to Work legislation. Or how George the Elder was lied to by the dems in Congress in order to get him to raise taxes. Or how Reagan will vilified his entire administration for being stupid. Or how Carter was accused of needing an on-going primer in macroeconomics to understand just what the fuck his policies would impact. Or how Ford’s Whip Inflation Now (WIN!) was just stupid. Or how Nixon’s wage and price freezes was an idea stolen from Stalin. Or how LBJ didn’t have the testicular fortitude to lead a war – all he could do was put our men and women in the theatre.

It’s easy to criticize. It’s like the picture we see of post-war Germany with wheelbarrows full of currency to buy a loaf of bread. Gee, it bought a lot more before the Russians came to Berlin!

What is hard is to lead. It is humbling. It requires a servant’s heart. It requires checking the ego at the door. It requires knowing you are wrong on many issues before you even make a decision.

The Dalibama and His Court have none of these attributes.

It’s going to be an interesting ride.

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