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Defining Leadership Down

If Bill Clinton's defenders expected us to believe that committing adultery in the White House with a White House intern was a private matter, Elliot Spitzer's defenders expect us to believe that a former Attorney General and Governor soliciting prostitutes from his own office was somehow not a crime and a private matter that the media blew out of proportion. But considering that the qualifications of the two most likely candidates for President is being a black man and a Vietnam veteran, respectively, we've already defined leadership down almost past the point of return.

In elections we have a choice between liars and idiots. We presume that the liars are competent because they're at least smart enough to lie successfully to us and we assume that the idiots are honest because they're too stupid to lie to us. Except as it usually turns out, the liars are also idiots and the idiots are also liars.

Now as we watch state and federal administrations implode, the Peter Principle insists on further centralizing unworkable systems. And so Europe gets the EU whose united incompetence, corruption and sheer unworkability tops that of even the worst functioning Eastern European country to create a sheer vortex of corruption and incompetence that exceeds anything that even Italy can manage. I'm not one of the believers in the North-American Union but I have no doubt that at some point a system like that will move forward, if only because federalization in the hands of the incompetent allows for more money to be shoveled away and less accountability at the top.

In Israel meanwhile Olmert is following the precedent of defining leadership down to the point where it is nearly undetectable by modern technology.

However, during a visit to an Ashkelon school, one of the students shared an idea for curbing the rocket fire.

"My dad said that we should have some sort of button, so every time a Qassam is fired, it will fire back at them," the fourth-grader told Olmert.

"Well, I think your father should have that idea patented," answered the PM

The closest fortified room – the school's computers class – was two minutes away from the yard and most classrooms. "We don't have enough time to get to the shelter, so we hide under our desk," the school's fourth-graders told the prime minister.

Deputy Mayor Levi Shafran told the prime minister, "As you have seen with your own eyes during the drill we conducted in the class you visited, the children's only protection (from the rockets) is their desks. (The government) must protect, not fortify; it must deal with the Qassams and the Grads and not fortify the city with a budget that is equal the what the city spends in 15 years."

Olmert told the city council that "the only way to deal with the harsh reality is by gritting teeth."

Toward the end of his visit to the southern city the prime minister said "I am leaving encouraged. I did not come to make any promises to the residents, but to convey to them that the situation is complex and that we have no immediate solutions. However, I am encouraged by the fact that the municipality, the residents and the students are not afraid.

So what exactly can we expect of our leaders at the end of the day? We can't expect them not to commit crimes while in public office. We can't even expect them to defend us against Islamic terrorism. All we can apparently expect from them is criminal incompetence and lies.

But that's the problem, our own diminished expectations. The rise of the television President or Prime Minister has also driven political style over substance. Every time a politician commits a crime and gets away with it, he makes it safe for future politicians to behave amorally. Each time expectations are defined down, the standards get lowered for the country as a whole.

What seems to matter least in elections these days is a track record of results. Instead we're expected to choose the candidate whose political machines puts forward the best narrative or anti-narrative. We confuse political instability with democracy as parties rise and fall, little realizing that rather than political change, all that results is political rhythm. A revolving door for crooks. One party leaves and another party enters and both know that the results will soon be reversed anyway.

We've spent far too long allowing leadership to be defined down. We've taken the privilege of government for granted, but it is a privilege for government to exist and that privilege depends on results. Without results the public owes no obedience to government whose authority is derived from the people, rather than the other way around. No government in America, Europe or Israel has the right to exist unless it protects the public from external threats and internal corruption from its own organs. The repeated failure to do so and the admission that it has no intention of even doing so, as exemplified by the quote above, frees the people from any obedience to the government.


  1. The kid's father should come up with a button that everytime a rocket is fired a cattle prod inserted deep inside Olmert goes off at the same time.
    I think that ought to be patented too.

  2. Olmert: "I did not come to make any promises to the residents, but to convey to them that the situation is complex and that we have no immediate solutions."

    The situation is not complex to this Israeli; former Croation Jew:

    "Come, Kill, Destroy."


  3. Wow! I am listening to Limbaugh playing sermons made by Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor. My goodness.

    The Obama's pastor made a sermon after the 2001 atrocities. Wright cried, "America is a terrorist state." Israel is a terrorist state. America supports Israel in her state-sponsored terrorism against the Palestinians. Thus America got what she deserved on September 11, 2001.

  4. I'm shaking my head.

    Olmert actually told school children facing death to grit their teeths. Is another George Bush with these ridiculous and grossly insensitive comments or is he truly that heartless?

  5. he's not jewish but yes he's right and he plays for the right team, I had the video up on jchannel

    wright is a black radical and pro-terrorist and left wing... like obama

  6. Why the mainstream media is going light on something such as this is baffling.

    I hope once the election goes into full swing McCain starts really attacking Obama on this stuff.

  7. Hillary Clinton apologized to Black voters for Geraldine Ferraro's comments about Obama. Ferraro was dismissed from Clinton's campaign.

    Limbaugh says Wright is working on Obama's campaign. He is asking Obama to apologize for his pator's comments. I think Obama owes Jewish voters an apology for his pastor's anti-Semitic comments.

  8. the mainstream media has a crush on obama and has great difficulty reporting on anything negative about him

    ABC has run the story though

  9. "We can't just go in Gaza and boom boom boom boom..." feckless chubbo.
    50 60 years its enough. Sure.. try a few thousand years its enough.
    Whose fault? Everyone.
    Til Israel learns to be tough and be Jewish.. 100% Jewish, not part Jewish part lover of the world.. this will continue.
    Remember Shaul? He had to learn that politically correct was not the way.
    If I have a bad dog that bites me .. I work to teach it not to bite.
    If it bites me again, I smack it hard.
    But if it rises yet again to bite me, its time to put the dog down permanenantly. If I don't ..it is no longer the dog's fault , it is my own.

  10. "the mainstream media has a crush on obama and has great difficulty reporting on anything negative about him..."

    In a way, you've got to admit, George W. Bush's policies have been consistent with Jeremiah Wright's anti-Semitic rhetoric. Haven't they?

    Bush may just as well have said American support of Israel was in part responsible for 9/11 because only days after 9/11 -- it seems in response to the atrocities -- Bush pledged he would work to establish a Muslim (terror) state in the Holy Land and has expended considerable political capital toward this goal from then on.

    How would Wright advise Obama any differently? Maybe Wright would advise Obama to issue an ultimatum to the Israelis, if they did not establish a Palestinian state immediately, Obama would work to cut American aid to the Jewish state.

    But that would be a good thing, wouldn't it?

  11. Anonymous13/3/08

    Sultan, his maternal grandmother was Jewish though he was raised with zero Judaism

  12. No, more like Wright would advise Obama to begin providing advanced weapons and nuclear technology to Israel's enemies while joining the Arab boycott of Israel and okaying further UN sanctions on Israel, putting it in the same category as Saddam Hussein's Iraq

    and then maybe upgrade Israel to the status of Milosevic's Yugoslavia and begin bombing Israel because of "Israel's genocide of Palestinians"

  13. You may be right. Ultimately, I expect America to do many of the things you describe to Israel, including upgrade Israel to the status of Milosevic's Yugoslavia, cobble together an international coalition and begin bombing or invading Israel because of Israel's 'obstinacy'.

    America is increasingly turning against Israel at any rate. Give it a few more years as well as increased U.S. dependency on Arab oil. The prophet wrote, "all" the nations will go against Jerusalem. All would include the U.S.

  14. that may well happen... which is why it should be delayed as much as possible

    at least until israel has a government capable of standing up for itself against a worst case scenario

  15. Israel is never going to have a government capable of standing up for itself. There are no men in Israel to do it.

    As for evil olmert and his saying the sitch is complex. It's not complex. You wipe out the enemy and that's that. If the world doesn't like it, too bad.

    If someone enters your house and kills one of your kids and keeps coming back again and again, do you try to reason with him? Do you "grit your teeth" and refuse to hurt the murderer because communities around you will get upset with you?

    Only if you're a total incompetent moron. And right now, that's where Israel is. I say hand the leadership over to the women who are going through menopause. It will end the problem in a flash. (no pun intended. grin)

  16. Our leadership amounts to a bunch of pandering sycophants.

  17. Next time around Nadia Mattar should run against Ruth Mattar that way no matter who wins or who loses you still have a woman as PM and I don't think a woman would tolerate what happening to the children of Israel.

    I like Yo's idea of a post menopausal woman as PM--she would probably be a grandmother and all the more sensitive. And if a tad low on estrogen...fiesty, too.

  18. Anonymous14/3/08

    "THE FACE OF A DOG" - Jewish Sages on the leaders of the generation right before Moshiach.

    It can't be long now. But, it will seem like it.


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