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Is Bush really "leading"?
Previous | Next by Casey 27 June, 2003 - 2:12 AM

I've decided to take another pot-shot at Bush this morning. I've noticed that even people who would seem to support Bush think he's an idiot. (I'm thinking of you, render "Which is not to say that Bush is not a stoopid shit. He almost certainly is.") The thing that scares me about this is that no one seems to mind. As if its OK to have a simple figure-head as president. I don't know, I really think I'd rather elect someone who was actually calling the shots. I still wasn't really sure though, is it so bad? Then I came across this link.

For the record, I'm a swing voter. I can't help but think that the likes of John McCain, Olympia Snowe, or Colin Powell would have jumped out of thier seat as if they were electrocuted if they had been president instead (I know, only one of those three ran for the office, I'm being hypothetical with my favorite republicans). It made me care about having a president who actually has the thinking skills and self-confidence to make decisions without having to be "handled".

6/27/2003 >> Render

Obviously I've given the wrong impression. I do not support Bush. Bush is an ass. The sooner he's gone, the better (not that I have hope that the next will be worthwhile). There are many, many legitimate reasons to condemn the man.

This does not prevent me from thinking critically about the various comments about him. Nor does it mean that Bush will not perform an act with which, coincidentally, I happen to agree.

I happen not to think that the various "Bush lied about taxes and the war!" accusations are particularly accurate or useful (not to mention being insulting to poor Mr. Occam). I'll comment on it. I find any statements that come close to "no WMD == unjustifiable war" to be rather simplistic, so I'll comment on those.

And I'll also comment on the link above (which I've seen before) that paints Bush as a modern Nero ...

"What did the Commander in Chief do? Nothing. He sat there." This is the kind of statement that grabs the plinky little heartstrings of people whose first reaction to crisis is "Oh my god, we've got to do SOMETHING!" What, precisely, was he supposed to do?

Here's a phrase for you ... general staff structure. It's the organizational structure that is used to make the management of something ridiculously huge actually managable, when final authority rests with a single person. The job of the guy at the top is to react decisively to information provided to him by the guys at the rung right below. The job of the guys at the rung right below is to make every effort to get useful and accurate information to him as quickly as possible, and suggest plausible courses of action. They also have a collection of contingency plans that they can use as guidelines for actions without going to the top, and they have a certain level of authority for specifying actions on their own. And so on down the organizational tree. All of this is intended to make the overall entity react more rapidly without overwhelming each node in the tree with an excess of information or responsibility.

A sign of a bad general staff is one in which each node can't be relied upon to do its job, for whatever reason. A sign of a bad leader in a general staff structure (not to mention one of the characteristics I attribute to foolish people in general) is one who reacts impulsively when he has little or no information. Another indicator that a person is a bad leader is that he can't continue with the mundane when there's a crisis. "When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout" are NOT words to live by, let alone lead by.

As I said, there are plenty of good reasons to condemn Bush. Don't present a depiction and condemnation of behavior that half the country is going to be impressed with!

6/27/2003 >> Casey

Don't present a depiction and condemnation of behavior that half the country is going to be impressed with!

Except I don't think they are going to be impressed. You can school me all you want render, but I'm just gong to go by the way if looks, and frankly I'm not going to think about "general staff structure". If you think half the people who look at that video are going to think about how well the Bush staff handled that moment, I think you're dreaming. I think more than half of the the country is not going to be even a tenth as intense in analyzing it as you were, and will simply conclude that he was waiting for someone to tell him what to do.

(PS: to Joe Six-Pack, that's a bad thing)

6/27/2003 >> Render

Which is why, on my more misogynistic days, I think our idolization of "democracy" will be our downfall.

(Corporations work on the same structure, so many corporate leaders will probably interpret it the way I do, but that's just because of the neo-con capitalist conspiracy.)

6/27/2003 >> Render

err ... not misogynist. The other one. I'll figure it out later ... I've lost some cats.

6/27/2003 >> Casey


6/27/2003 >> Render

Yes, thank you.

Cats found and duct taped to the floor.

10/24/2004 >> Casey

Hi Melanie!

The ressurection of this thread has motivated me to reply to one of render's comments above, (render, do you still hang here?).

(Corporations work on the same structure, so many corporate leaders will probably interpret it the way I do, but that's just because of the neo-con capitalist conspiracy.)

Ya, except corporate officers are elected on a one-vote-per share basis, not a one-vote-per shareholder (aka: citizen). While the management structure is similar (no judicial equivalent though), the mechanism is based on the exact opposite premise of democracy. Democracy is based on equality, capitalism and corporations are based on stratification (winners and losers). Democracies elect using equal power per individual, Corporations elect using concentrated power per owner.

Personally I value both systems and think they complement each other perfectly. A government system that ensures equality of opportunity supports an economic system that ensures freedom of achievement, and vice versa. Even though they are philosophically dicotomous, I think they make the ultimate check and balance of natural human behaivor. I don't think an over-emphasis of democracy is the only thing to worry about (you said "idolization of "democracy" will be our downfall"). I think any excessive disruption of the democracy-capitalism balance is what will be our downfall. It could go either way. Personally, I think the biggest problem right now is that capitalism (corporations) have been given too much influence over democracy via the FCC relaxtion of media ownership rules and also the continued problems of campaign finance.

Don't get me wrong either, I love working for the corporation I do, and I like the system. I just don't agree with your implication that we have "too much democracy". I think the imbalance (and the problem) is coming from the other direction.

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