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Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis is University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business at the University of Southern California. His newest book is 'Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.'

Perversely Beneficial

In an unintended but major way, Bush has been perversely beneficial to the U.S. and maybe to other fledgling and/or fragile democracies the world over. With all its imperfections, democracies are vivid utopias, reminders of how blessed we are. At its best, the United States represents peace, freedom, generosity and governance by law.

The last eight years under President Bush have been a vivid dystopia, a daily prompt and longing for what we've been missing, of what our country once was and could be again. It was Bush 43 who made possible the election of Barack Obama, who symbolized the end of slavery and oppression. It was Bush who brought us together to be be proud once again of what our Founding Fathers had in mind with their foresight and courage. We should cheer him for that.

By Warren Bennis

 |  January 7, 2009; 10:11 AM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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You give Bush too much credit. Any seasoned observer knows that the Obama election was delivered by a fawning media, a national obsession with the easy way out, the structure and substance of American Idol, and above all the ever-present tendency of Americans to buy into the Democrat socialist agenda about once a decade.

We know almost nothing about Barack Obama. (What does that say about you who laud him as the second coming of Thomas Jefferson?) We are, however, learning day by day that he is at the very least smart enough to reverse course and support some of the Bush policies and personnel. I would say "support" turns to "embrace" in a matter of weeks.

Save some of that hot air you are blowing. You may need it to keep your hands warm when "Obamanomics" take hold.

Posted by: dwash1 | January 12, 2009 1:30 PM
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I think, in a perverse way (which is exactly what Bennis is saying), he is right. Although, I have to go along with the Bronx Cheer part as well by my fellow poster, since any good he did was largely unintentional. It's like a disaster movie, where the lucky survivors--, spiritually grow. All that's missing is, "The Morning After," sung by Maureen McGovern. On second thought, here it is:


Posted by: Jeff-for-progress | January 11, 2009 3:11 AM
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Bush is not solely responsible for Obama's election. Bush is not the only dopey Republican: Abramoff, Cheney, Rove, Delay, Safavian, Lewis, Rumsfeld, Addington, Atwater, and gay hypocrites, just to name a few. To say that Bush got Obama elected doesn't credit Obama for his near flawless campaign. It's too early to say whether Obama will be successful. Slavery may have ended, but oppression is alive and well as evidenced by a seemingly ever-widening inequality gap (a label which will soon evolve from "gap" to some other adjective to describe a larger separation than a gap)that Republicans helped to sustain through lies, deception, the tax code, and taking advantage of their fellow Republican's ignorance.
The only cheer Bush deserves is a "Bronx cheer."

Posted by: rhideokim1 | January 10, 2009 7:59 PM
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Well said. richard allbritton, Miami

Posted by: rigel1 | January 10, 2009 12:56 PM
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