WE'RE IN A LEADERSHIP VACUUM
IMPORTANT! THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: There is a
relatively old saying:"It's given to everyone to be wrong once in a while,
but you seem to abuse that privilege." It is probably true that we can all
think of someone to whom that statement would apply. Maybe quite a few.
But today we want to focus on its application to Barack Hussein Obama,
who presently holds the office of President of the United States. We have
received a few -- very few -- comments to the effect that we are so biased
against Mr. Obama that whenever he might do something good we would
ignore it. Not true! If he should do something right or something good for
America, we would strongly commend him for it. But until then, let's stay
with the facts, and not speculate on what might happen.
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TO USE A POSSIBLY OVERWORKED TERM:
HERE IN AMERICA WE'RE IN A LEADERSHIP VACUUM
Any discussion of leadership seems to recall to memory the often quoted
comment of the 19th century French politician Alexandre Ledru-Rollin:
"There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can
lead them." Those words are certainly applicable to Barack Hussein
Obama (yes -- beginning with his inauguration it became OK to use his
middle name, a practice which had been forbidden during the campaign)
in his desire to become a leader.
In any such discussion, four terms come to mind: the Person, the Position,
the Performance and the Perception.
 The Person: Reflect for a moment on what we do not know about
him, and what we do know about him. For example, we do not know
where he was born -- although three possible birthplaces have been
offered for consideration: Hawaii, Kenya or Indonesia. For some reason
he has taken every possible step to keep this a secret. We have been led
to believe that he is college educated, and trained as a lawyer, but again
for some reason he has kept secret any such records which would verify
those qualifications. What he has not kept secret is that he worked as a
"ward heeler" (more politely called "community organizer") -- a job
defined as "a low-level political operative who solicits votes and
performs chores for his political boss" -- in Obama's case the Daley
political machine in Chicago. And we know that in 2004 he won a seat
in the U.S. Senate, served part of a term, and in 2007 began an active
campaign for president in the 2008 election.
This also we know about him, in his own words. On June 3, 2008, after
winning the Democrat nomination he said: "I am absolutely certain
that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our
children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for
the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the
rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal..." And
on Oct. 31, 2008, just prior to Election Day, he said: â•˛We are five days
away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.â•ˇ
 The Position: This doesn't require much discussion; he is President
of the United States, with solid, unassailable support of both Houses of
Congress through the Democrat majorities, and an almost equally
unassailable support of the U.S. Supreme Court with a very likely 5-4
Liberal majority. And such control brings to mind the warning of
Founding Father, James Madison, in 1788:"The accumulation of all
power, legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands ... may
justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." And yet, as we
shall see, even tyranny does not always guarantee success as a leader.
 The Performance. Our opening quote from Ledru-Rollin portrays
the disconnect between the American people and the nation's elected
leader. One of the first major undertakings by President Obama was to
reshape the nation's health care system. A strong majority of American
voters opposed the proposed bill -- even though neither they nor their
elected members of the House and Senate had read it. After it had been
rammed through to passage by both houses and signed into law by the
president, calls for its repeal began to be voiced, and as of the latest
polls, just released this week, now a full 60% favor repeal, and already
several states are taking legal action to reject certain provisions in their
state. It is difficult to be a leader, when a major portion of your people
oppose what you are proposing.
Obama's other major performance was his $787 billion "stimulus" plan
which would bring stability to the economic deficits, and bolster the
employment situation, with a projected total unemployment rate of 8%.
For months now that figure has hovered closer to 10%, with at least 15
million unemployed while our future national indebtedness is at the $13
trillion level, large segments of the automobile and the financial service
industries are now owned by the federal government, and other further
spending bills in the multi-billion dollar range are becoming common.
And to add to the serious economic problems of health care, debt and
unemployment, there is the intense pro-Islamic, anti-American viewpoint
which Mr. Obama expresses at every opportunity. He had been president
for just three months when he undertook his "apologize for America" tour
and in major addresses in April, 2009, to Muslim audiences in Ankara,
Turkey and Cairo, Egypt, he said, "I've come here to seek a new
beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,
one based on mutual interest and mutual respect ... I consider it part
of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against
negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear... Although we have
a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a
Christian nation ... We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are
bound by ideals and a set of values."
It is obvious that at that time Obama thought that he could, by his own
personal charm and personal conviction, make Muslims like us and end
the conflicts in the middle-East. It is also obvious that he is now
beginning to discover that his desires are incompatible with reality, that
long-ingrained tribal animosities are more powerful than he at first
imagined them to be. That discovery will ultimately come to match the
existing reality when he faces failure, as have all others before him, to
reason successfully with unreasonable people.
 The Perception. This has frequently been called "The age of the
polls." Like it or not . . . agree with the results of the various polls or
not . . . polling does give us a quick snap-shot of how the American
people feel about any one subject at any one point in time. Thus after
slightly over 18 months in office, President Obama's approval ratings
have been on a steady down-hill slide. As of this week his overall
approval rating is at its lowest point -- just 43% approve of the way he
is fulfilling his responsibilities as president; 56% disapprove. On a daily
basis, the Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll remains locked in
double digit negatives, just 3 points above its lowest rating ever.
But on one of the specific performances which Obama undertook, the
establishing of a new, friendly, cooperative relationship with the
Muslim nations, there is a very interesting new poll to note. In 2008, the
last year of the much maligned Bush presidency, a Zogby International
poll surveyed the 6 Arab countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco,
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The result? 83% viewed
the United States as "somewhat" or "very" unfavorably.
Now after 19 months of the Barack Hussein Obama presidency, under a
man with supposedly a keen understanding of the Muslim world, who
had promised to restore the American image by apologizing for our
mistakes, and by extending the hand of fellowship, respect and
understanding, Zogby has repeated the same poll among the same 6
nations -- and the result is that 85% now view the United States as
"somewhat" or "very" unfavorably -- 2 points higher than during the
last year of the George W. Bush presidency.
The result of this brief, 4-fold approach? The performance, to date, of
Barack Hussein Obama, as the leader of the United States of America,
has fallen short -- far short -- of what is expected of him as that leader.
A new headline this week: "Hamas and Obama Agree!" This has
been, and remains, a major news story, perplexing to the liberal,
pro-Obama media, and providing consternation, at best, to the
bewildered White House staff members. At the dinner event honoring
Ramadan on Friday of the first week of the holy month, Mr. Obama
interjected himself into the ongoing controversy over the proposed $100
million mosque and Islamic center to erected at Ground Zero. A very
logical comparison would have been for the Japanese to erect a Shinto
shrine at Pearl Harbor. Common sense and national respect would
eliminate such a proposal immediately, as unworthy of any discussion.
But at that dinner honoring the Islamic religion, President Barack Obama,
who refused to permit any White House recognition of the National Day
of Prayer (as previous presidents of both parties have done), gave his
apparent approval to the project, in these words, "Let me be clear: as a
citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right
to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.That includes
the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private
The usual question, and the usual answer; both of which are important:
It is evident -- or it should be by now -- that as Christians we are faced with
some serious problems and responsibilities. This we can -- and must -- do:
(1) Pray for God to give wisdom to our leaders in dealing with our nation's
problems, and to deal with them in a truly American way, based not on
"Political Correctness" but on the historic Judeo-Christian principles upon
which this nation was founded. (2) We can contact our Representatives and
Senators and tell them what we want them to do, always remembering that
they are in office because we put them there, and they work for us! And (3)
We can vote, and put in office candidates whom we can trust -- or whom we
think we can trust -- to do the right thing. Remember: Election Day, Nov.2,
is now just 76 days from today.
Take note of "what Others Are Saying"
Fouad Ajami (Johns Hopkins University): "Not long ago, Barack
Obama, for those who were spellbound by him, had the stylishness of
JFK and the historic mission of FDR riding to the nation's rescue. Now
it is to Lyndon B. Johnson's unhappy presidency that Democrat strategist
Robert Shrum compares the stewardship of Mr. Obama. 'Johnson,'
wrote Mr. Shrum, 'never sustained an emotional link with the American
people,' and chose to escalate a war that 'forced his abdication as
president.' A broken link with the public and a war in Afghanistan he
neither embraces nor chooses to abandon -- this is a time of puzzlement
for President Obama."
Bill Keller (Liveprayer.com): "This President has endorsed a memorial
being built by Muslims to their greatest military victory in the 1400
years of Islam, 9/11/2001...This is a President who refused to hold any
services in the White House for the National Day of Prayer, or any
other Christian holiday, yet holds a dinner to commemorate Ramadan.
But why would anyone be surprised? After all, the Obama administration
is paying for the "ground zero victory mosque" Imam, Feisal Rauf, to go
to the Middle East on the US taxpayers dime to raise the $110 million he
needs for his 'victory mosque!'"
A few random Afterthoughts . . .
When you hear talk about "trillions," think of this: A million seconds
pass in 12 days . . . a billion seconds pass in 31 years . . . but a trillion
seconds pass in 31,688 years!
If you already didn't like lawyers, here's a new reason: The American
Bar Association (ABA) through its House of Delegates, last week
adopted Resolution 111, calling for same-sex marriage nationwide, and
urging government at every level to â•˛eliminateâ•ˇ any restrictions on
homosexual civil marriages.
A trend of our time (no pun intended): Islam is now taking over time
itself, and is declaring that all time will be reset to "Mecca Time" which
will replace "Greenwich Mean Time." "Mecca Time" will run on
Arabia Standard Time which is 3 hours ahead of GMT. The new time
will start with a 3 month trial period, beginning in this month of Ramadan.
"If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and foundation
is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to
promote the general happiness than any other form?"
-- John Adams, 1776
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of
the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than
by violent and sudden usurpations." -- James Madison, 1788
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