“Obama’s Challenge” – it’s getting better

“It may be hard, in the eighth year of the reign of George Bush II, for some readers to believe that the presidency has moral authority. But the history of the uses of power by Roosevelt and Lincoln and Johnson, and the fascination with the leadership potential of Barack Obama, suggest that the latent authority of the president of the United States to appeal to our best selves has not been extinguished, only anesthetized. Some may think that after eight years of Bush, Americans are fearful of presidential leadership per se. But political scientists distinguish between power and authority. Power can be brute force. Authority is earned respect. The fear of abusive presidential power is the flip side of a hunger for legitimate authority that only great leadership can restore.”
Kuttner, R. Obama’s Challenge, Chapter 2: How Transformative Presidents Lead, page 53. Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont. ISBN 978-1-60358-079-6 Chelsea Green Publishing

After eight years of bush, I’m more fearful of a wicked gutless immoral lamebrained Congress (except Barbara Lee) who handed all our asses to a sociopath (gw bush) on September 12, 2001 and have continued to do so ever since. Y’know, it’s not like bush didn’t have help running the country and selected parts of the world into the ground, if not right into Hell. And now those of us who stayed awake all know what happens when all that stuff they made us learn in High School Civics goes wrong. Congress (except for Barbara Lee) have failed dismally as a bulwark against tyranny. Jerks (except Barbara Lee).

Well, the Kuttner book is getting better. President Obama (just keep saying it [see below]) is going to have an uphill battle and then continual resistance from the psycho-right. But I’d be more worried if the psycho-right liked him, so I guess life is full of these little trade-offs. Since morality means so many things to so many people, moral authority is a tricky concept. I’ve no idea why the Golden Rule doesn’t work for everyone, maybe it’s too simple:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Yes, simple, but I like it. It’s practically the little black dress of philosophy, and yet we live in a world where it means almost nothing. Go figure.

President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama President Obama and so on.

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