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Yash Gupta
Business School Dean

Yash Gupta

Yash Gupta is Professor and Dean of The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Wistful for W.'s Resolve

I disagree with the premise that leaders must be feared in order to achieve success. Leaders should be trusted and admired, not feared. Certainly, the people within an organization should face consequences if they fail to uphold the required standards. But it's up to the leaders of the organization to communicate these benchmarks in a clear, constructive, professional way that doesn't imply any kind of threat. Managers who use "the fear factor" in their dealings with their employees are simply not good leaders.

I once witnessed a situation in which a CEO was visiting one of his company's sites. Before the visit, the managers at the site worked the employees into a near-panic: "Look out! The CEO's coming to town!" They had this great fear that something bad was about to happen. When the CEO arrived and detected this fearful atmosphere, he was upset. I talked to him about it and told him that he hadn't created the right kind of atmosphere within his company. He hadn't created a sense of trust. Good leaders don't put fear into their organizations; they take it out.

As for President Obama and his supposed reluctance to use more stick and less carrot - particularly in regard to his health care proposal -- remember that he does not have direct control over Congress. The members of Congress don't work for the president; they're co-equals. Therefore, the carrot-and-stick approach won't work, at least not in public. Maybe the president is privately working the phones from inside the Oval Office, trying to win the backing of certain members. That would be the wise approach.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, the White House seems to be sending out confused signals. Where exactly does the administration stand on the option to have a government-run component of health care? Over the weekend, the president indicated a willingness to compromise on this point, but then some of his lieutenants contradicted him. This shows disorganization within the administration, and President Obama should take the blame for failing to send a clear, consistent message.

Whether or not you liked George W. Bush, you have to concede that he often showed resolve. Some people took it for arrogance, but at least it reflected an unmistakable stance. You don't see a lot of resolve in President Obama when he speaks about policies. Maybe that's the intellectual in him, having the ability to look at all sides of an argument and appreciate their merits. But he's not a professor in the classroom; he's the president, the political leader of the nation, and he needs to show the kind of resolve that's required in a fight as crucial as the one over health care reform.

By Yash Gupta

 |  August 18, 2009; 1:05 PM ET
Category:  Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Obama makes me long daily for the sanity, clarity, honesty and forthrightness of George W. Bush. The voters this past November managed to place this country in a pitiful predicament with the buffoon they’ve elected.

POSTED BY: FENOY
==

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I don't know where Bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

Found those WMDs yet?

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | August 22, 2009 8:15 PM
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==
PURLGURL:
Last I checked, George W. Bush is no longer our president. This complaining about Bush is simply inane, just as inane as Obama blaming Bush for everything.
==

Except that Bush is to blame for what Bush did:

Two wars, doubling of the national debt when he took over from Clinton what were budget surpluses, getting 4500 of our soldiers wasted, taking away civil liberties, tanking the economy, bailing out banks, automakers, insurance companies...ruined the housing industry with his 2003 dream of everyone owning a house even those who could not afford it.

Speaking of which, shouldn't you really be focusing on how it is all "Clinton's fault"?

LOL

==
PURLGURL:

Obama screws up, "This is the fault of Bush!"
==

Nope. Obama screws up, it is Obama's fault. Just like when Bush screwed up it was his.

==
PURLGURL:
This serves as additional evidence Obama refuses to deal with reality, refuses to accept accountability for his actions.
=

Er, no. It only shows that you are out of touch with reality,

Perhaps you are upset that he is dark-skinned

==
PURLGURL:
"George Bush is to blame, not me!"

Sit down and shut-up, sissy boy Obama.

==

Sissy boy? Oh you went black and want to back?

LOL


==
PURLGURL:
Blaming George Bush for everything is stupid.
==

Yes, it is. Fortunately no one is doing that. See, it would easy to prove it if Bush was being blamed for everything. You'd have quotes.

Why not instead try

"Blaming Clinton for everything is stupid"

==
Once again, Obama is a sissy boy.
==

Again with that sissy-boy? What, you were left thirsty after he came?

LOL


Posted by: HumanSimpleton | August 22, 2009 8:12 PM
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"Whether or not you liked George W. Bush, you have to concede that he often showed resolve"

LOL

"Whether or not you liked Adolf Hitler, you have to concede that he often showed resolve"

"Whether or not you liked Saddam Hussein, you have to concede that he often showed resolve"

"Whether or not you liked Ted Bundy, you have to concede that he often showed resolve"

"Whether or not you liked Osama bin Laden, you have to concede that he often showed resolve"

"Whether or not you liked Al Capone, you have to concede that he often showed resolve"


OK, I concede.

LOL

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | August 22, 2009 8:03 PM
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For all you lemmings that think Øbama is so brilliant, what is your proof? He can read telepromters well? I think he was a C and D student that, as he said himself, did cocaine. All of his college records are sealed so where is the evidence of his brilliance? 57 states? Pronouncing Orion 'Oh-ree-un' His Special Olympics jokes, his 'I don't have all the facts, but the cops acted stupidly.' Trying to sell healthcare by comparing the Post Office to Fed-Ex. Nope, this guy is average intelligence, and every time he is not reading the teleprompter, his LACK of brilliance is on full display. Remember, he was a C and D student, prove me wrong.

Posted by: schwalbe262e1 | August 20, 2009 1:03 PM
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Obama makes me long daily for the sanity, clarity, honesty and forthrightness of George W. Bush. The voters this past November managed to place this country in a pitiful predicament with the buffoon they’ve elected.

Posted by: fenoy | August 20, 2009 10:29 AM
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It is pretty clear that President Obama is an abject coward before the tantrums of the left wing folks. He talks a great bipartisan game, but it never ever happens. He should tell the Left, if you don't like me, vote for Sarah Palin because that's the choice. Both Reagan and Clinton knew when and how to call the wingnuts bluff, Obama better learn the trick or he's in for one miserable term and will leave a legacy of big talk and little accomplished.

Posted by: SanchoK | August 20, 2009 2:33 AM
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I haven't posted for a while. Made a mistake signing in and the response was that I had tried to sign in too many times and needed to go through all the hoops. It seems my detractors were trying to sandbag me, bwa ha ha ha ha ha.

I saw W as the worst of 2 evils, but Obama is the worst of evils. This country has been in a struggle since its inception. There has been a constant effort to gain power and turn the US into another thugocracy (i.e. return to monarchism in the late 1700's and early 1800's and a totalitarian state now). With whatever flaws the US has (and they do exist) it has afforded its citizens more freedom and a higher standard of living than any nation on earth. The middle class of the 3rd world could only hope to asceed to the level of the most impoverished in the US, (the upper class, Kleptocrats in their countries, having all the wealth). It appears that our esteemed Congress, Senate and Executive Branch envy these Kleptocrats and are emulating them. The difference being, Americans do not have a history of being subjugated.

I'm betting on the average American.

Posted by: macombo | August 20, 2009 1:54 AM
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It's the bobbing back and forth between the twin teleprompters that ruins it for him. GWB would look the camera in the lens and speak his mind: Obama looks like he's trying to follow a tennis match and give his speech at the same time.

More8 seriously, Obama really doesn't believe the lines he's reciting from teleprompter and people are catching on. He's just a hack machine politician from Chicago and has never accomplished anything in his life.

Posted by: orionca | August 20, 2009 12:14 AM
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Bush's resolve lead to the death and mutilation of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Thank you George W. Bush.

Posted by: whocares666 | August 19, 2009 11:50 PM
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Satan has even more resolve.

Posted by: James10 | August 19, 2009 11:23 PM
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The American model is a license to steal for hospitals, drug and insurance companies. Eighteen percent of our GNP goes for health care. That is double what it is in England. What that means is almost twenty percent of every dollar spent in America goes into the pockets of the greedy health care industries.

This whole plan has been badly mismanaged by the incompetence and lack of resolve and vision by the leadership. What happened?

Posted by: alance | August 19, 2009 11:14 PM
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We do not need a leader who does not try to understand all sides of a national issue before trying to address it. We had one for 8 years and what his inferior, ineffectual, incompetent intellectual reasoning coupled with his inability to be flexible (so called "resolve") gave us was a messed up economy, unnecessary and expensive wars and an erosion of American prestige and cache globally.
What we are facing as a nation are complex issues - and IF in trying to get a better grasp on these issues Obama does not come across as "as resolute" as Bush then that's a cause for celebration as far as I am concerned!

Posted by: Netcomment | August 19, 2009 9:40 PM
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Dictators also have resolve. By the way G.W. Bush finished with an approval rate of 28% What was the results of all that "resolve." This was an idiotic exercise in navel gazing if I ever saw one.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | August 19, 2009 9:08 PM
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Mr. Gupta obviously has not read 'Angler: The Cheney Vice-Presidency'. Mr. Cheney ran the government, and President Bush complied in blissful ignorance. Mr. Gupta needs to come out of his ivory tower.

As for those who hate their government, I can only say that this is the most responsive government in the world, and if you do not like it, go tell the responsible guy in the mirror. He needs to know that. Churchill had it right. Except for all other forms of government, democracy is the worst. There are 300 million of us. No one group can win all of the time. I'm still grateful to be here.

Posted by: mugwumper | August 19, 2009 8:34 PM
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first of all:

'The members of Congress don't work for the president; they're co-equals. '

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney did not believe this.

-------------

secondly:

'...he often showed resolve. Some people took it for arrogance, but at least it reflected an unmistakable stance. '

This is a negative trait when you are wrong, such as with Iraq, not a positive trait.

Posted by: vigor | August 19, 2009 7:14 PM
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Pretty cool how most people are focusing on Bush's bad decisions and missing the point of the article entirely.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | August 19, 2009 6:38 PM
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Obama did not grow up in America and hasn't internalized the values of our society. Posted by: tsapp77

*******************************************

Are you serious? What President Obama did not internalize is the fact that there are American citizens, Republicans and some Democrats in Congress wanting him to fail. What he didn't internalize was all the talk about bipartisanship meant to do it the Republican way or not at all. What he didn't internalize was that the country was in worse shape than he expected. What he didn't internalize was that people would not even give him a chance to accomplish anything. What he didn't internalize was how bigoted this country is. And my goodness, your comment really shows what the problem is.

Posted by: catmomtx | August 19, 2009 6:14 PM
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Purlgurl, you are what is wrong here. Reading your posts shows nothing but selfishness. What a sad person you must be to not care about your neighbor. Instead of counting your blessings you are showing how undeserving you are. I sure hope your luck never runs out. I hope you will never be in need of help from a neighbor or the government.

Oh, and by the way George Bush and Republicans blamed Bill Clinton and even started to blame Jimmie Carter for everything that went wrong in this country for the past 8 years. President Obama has been in office for all of seven months. The problems this country has did not just start on Jan. 20, 09. As much as you may want to rewrite history, George Bush and Republicans are to blame for the shape the country is in. Instead of going off on President Obama how about you asking and expecting Republicans to take responsibility for what happened on their watch rather than vilifying President Obama for trying to clean up the mess Bush and Republicans made.

Posted by: catmomtx | August 19, 2009 6:01 PM
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What Bush had was fear, scare and the terror alert system. He was also able to convince people using those tactics that if they didn't go along with what he wanted then you hated America, you hated the troops, you were unpatriotic and you forgot 9/11.

Posted by: catmomtx | August 19, 2009 5:44 PM
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i've got an oak stump in my back yard that has "resolve." it simply will not be moved. i can't say whether it is as dense as was w.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | August 19, 2009 5:05 PM
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"Whether or not you liked George W. Bush, you have to concede that he often showed resolve. Some people took it for arrogance,"

Yes, Mr. Gupta, I have to agree with you!

And he will continue to show that resolve, right down to the last soldier's body bag arriving in Dover.

Resolute! But Stupid!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | August 19, 2009 4:37 PM
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Before George W. Bush became president The Atlantic did a profile on him to give us an idea of what to expect. One of his faults listed was his reputation for being indecisive and inclined to let others make his decisions for him. This seems to be much closer to the truth than your opinion here. I believe that he had strong resolve like I believe that he read 100 books in a year after practically bragging that he didn't like to read. After finally putting a halt to Dick Cheney's toxic influence it seemed to take a virtual takeover by James Baker and others of his father's associates (including Robert Gates) to change many of his misguided policies. This piece seems foolishly optimistic and woefully naive concerning Bush. The man was like a little boy so far out of his league that he could be molded to fit whatever the Cheney's, Rove's, etc. wanted. Very poor column.

Posted by: curtb | August 19, 2009 4:23 PM
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Resolve? Profoundly absurd!!! The man claimed to make decisions either by his gut feelings or by claiming that God told him to do it.
For the Republicans, he was the lemming-in-chief. "The behavior of lemmings is much the same as that of many other rodents which have periodic population booms and then disperse in all directions, seeking the food and shelter that their natural habitat cannot provide."

Posted by: linguine33 | August 19, 2009 3:27 PM
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"Whether or not you liked George W. Bush, you have to concede that he often showed resolve. Some people took it for arrogance, but at least it reflected an unmistakable stance."

Irrespective of what is wrong with Obama, and there's plenty to criticize, it's still troubling that The Dean of the The Johns Hopkins Business School disregards the fact that many Americans took the so-called 'resolve' of Bush to be his ignorance, complete lack of management and leadership skills, lack of integrity and lack of honesty. Bush had "an unmistakable stance," and it shall always be remembered as the cod-piece stance of someone afraid to fight for their country but with no problem whatsoever about having others do it for him. Bushes' 'resolve' adn 'stances' were almost always unmistakenly wrong and damaging to the this country and to the world.

What would the Dean think about the resolve and stances of similar 'leaders'such as Robert Mugabe and other dictators in control without the benefit of an opposition party as Bush enjoyed?

Should they too, along with Bush, be admired for their Mission Accomplished on 'resolve' and 'stances' suppressing the rights of the people they supposedly govern or should they be shunned and disregarded because they fail to put anyone's interest higher than their own?

Posted by: Patriot3 | August 19, 2009 2:04 PM
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Obama and his accomplices are now appealing to emotion and “faith” because they are looking for better ways to lie, manipulate and intimidate!

They don't want to fix our health care problems, but USE our health care problems to enslave us with socialized medicine and socialism/Marxism.

We all would like to IMPROVE our health care system. Obamacare, however, has NOTHING to do with improving our health care system. It's just another power grab that will further destroy our health care, destroy our economy, multiply our deficit, and enslave us.

Imitating Hugo Chavez, Obama wants to nationalize everything, including our health care system! "Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama!" Chavez cheered on Venezuelan TV. He added that he and Cuba's Fidel Castro would now have to work harder just to keep up.
http://www.hacer.org/report/2009/06/us-obamas-red-chorus-investors-business.html

Posted by: AntonioSosa | August 19, 2009 1:35 PM
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Jesus wept -- when will we ever hear from a clear-headed academic something more than words bent to appeal to his/her sophomore curricula?

I cannot consider fear mongering, political cronyism, herding the 'unwashed flock' about thusly and then calling them one's "base" -- and namby-pamby catering to powerful industry special interests and Wall Street like some fawning schoolgirl as any sort of display of "resolve".

Gupta's entire thesis is absurd. If this is any example of what the Carey School imparts to its 'students' then God help us.

Of course, if 'we' are going to be paid to second-guess our leadership in various insipid, baseless, trivial opinion articles, it would be nice if we then place several ads for the Carey School in the WaPo -- yes?

Or is it the other way around?

Do tell...

.

Posted by: Frank57 | August 19, 2009 1:10 PM
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...but he couldn't spell it!

Posted by: free-donny | August 19, 2009 1:09 PM
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Ignoring the facts, and making-up your own is not "resolve". It's ignorance. And dangerous.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 19, 2009 12:41 PM
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Last I checked, George W. Bush is no longer our president. This complaining about Bush is simply inane, just as inane as Obama blaming Bush for everything.

Obama screws up, "This is the fault of Bush!"

This serves as additional evidence Obama refuses to deal with reality, refuses to accept accountability for his actions.

"George Bush is to blame, not me!"

Sit down and shut-up, sissy boy Obama.

Obama is responsible, is accountable, is our president. Truly offends me Obama refuses to accept accountability for himself and his actions; his behavior is very childish.

"I did not steal cookies from the cookie jar, my hand did!"

Blaming George Bush for everything is stupid.

Once again, Obama is a sissy boy.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 19, 2009 12:40 PM
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George Jones 5 comments, "Obama is unfocused, divisive, indecisive, and derisive of the citizen base. He will accomplish nothing, and the investor class will sit out his presidency lest they get caught in his meddling."

Our family meets Obama's definition of "wealthy". Last year, upon Obama taking the presidency, I immediately began shuffling our money around into short term and long term tax shelters to avoid having Obama take our money away.

Almost all of our income is capital gains through stock trading and real estate. When Charles Gibson caught Obama lying about capital gains taxes during the last primary debate, I knew right then Obama would tax America into the poor house, and Obama is working to this end; massive tax increases through backdoor methods.

Yes, savvy investors are pulling their money out of the American economy. Easy enough concept, increased taxes cause more losses than potential profits lost to withdrawing investment money from markets.

First rule of investing is protecting capital. No capital for investing, no profits. Better to cling to your cash than have Obama take your money to "spread the wealth around".

Evidence of Americans holding their cash is this sudden rise in our overall national savings rate. Americans are tightening their budget belts, Obama is spending money like a madman. This insane spending by Obama must lead to higher taxes. Most of us know when taxes go up, government tax revenue falls.

Obama is doing precisely the opposite of what is needed to have our economy recover.

This informs intelligent Americans Obama is out of touch with reality. Obama is stuck in identity politics and stuck in political ideology. Obama is a dreamer.

Obama being a dreamer, being unrealistic, is part of what leads him to be a wishy-washy president, a meek and timid president. Obama is fearful of reality thus avoids dealing with reality.

Obama will never be a strong leader; he has no realistic base upon which to stand.

Obama is a sissy boy.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 19, 2009 12:28 PM
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All I have to say about Bush's 'resolve' is 'Fools rush in where angels fear to tread'

It held true for GW's resolve.

Unfortunately, the nation paid (and still pays) a heavy price in blood & treasure for Bush's resolve & sheer stupidity.

Posted by: RG-Texas | August 19, 2009 12:22 PM
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WOW, this view of presidential 'leadership' centered around corporate or business model is so bizzare. we live in a democracy not a business. 'resolve'?... to reflect what? bush was an arrogant simpleton, he failed in business as well as governing. that's what 'resolve' got him. this mentality is lacking humanity and leaves open gaping hole for any clever fascist to dominate a nation of poorly educated. mussolini and stalin and hitler etc. all had resolve and even thought they were doing the right thing!

Posted by: dave86 | August 19, 2009 12:10 PM
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I do hope time and perspective will erode this wrong-headed and seemingly endless love affair with George W. Bush's "resolve." But then it's a common political and personal dysfunction -- i.e., preference for the devil you know. the thing that is certain, no matter how undesirable, as opposed to change in some form.

But history is replete with examples of people who perpetrated grievous wrongs based on one mistaken belief or another. It doesn't matter whether these people were sincere or not, as their resolve was the tool of bad and not good.

A truly mature person is able to adjust his or her thinking and plans based on what the facts are, and has the requisite humility to admit a mistake and act accordingly. For the most part George W. Bush is too immature and dysfunctional to do any of those things. It would be bad enough if his own family had to bear the consequences, but in this case the world does, and we are all the poorer for it.

Posted by: AnotherHagman | August 19, 2009 11:18 AM
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Bush had resolve alright. Of course, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Posted by: MarkDaniel | August 19, 2009 11:16 AM
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Bush resolve!!using lies (example Iraq).
Bush is not very intelligent that is why he was pushed by others.
To speak about Bush with regards to any decision is not very intelligent either. I wonder.

Posted by: mansour112 | August 19, 2009 10:51 AM
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Rick Perlstein wrote, "In America no one should go broke because they got sick."

Posted by: jama452 | August 19, 2009 10:49 AM
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bush/cheney worst administration in US history. Administration of lies/spin and propaganda.
Voters for bush/cheney unwilling to admit mistake, just like bush/cheney.

Posted by: jama452 | August 19, 2009 10:46 AM
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"Dead wrong and proud of it!" was the George W. Bush version of resolve.

Posted by: ColoradoQuantum | August 19, 2009 10:38 AM
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Uzis vs. Swiss Army Knives: What does that have to do with discussion of healthcare, best ways to solve problems?
Millions of Americans not having health care is unhealthy for the nation. How to solve that is extremely difficult and requires lots of listening, talking, deciding. Even intelligence on the part of many is needed here.

Posted by: patrxart | August 19, 2009 10:38 AM
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Uzis vs. Swiss Army Knives: What does that have to do with discussion of healthcare, best ways to solve problems?
Millions of Americans not having health care is unhealthy for the nation. How to solve that is extremely difficult and requires lots of listening, talking, deciding. Even intelligence on the part of many is needed here.

Posted by: patrxart | August 19, 2009 10:34 AM
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Resolve for the wrong reason, for the wrong policy, for the wrong plan is folley. The examples of Bush resolve for all the wrong reasons are too voluminous starting with Iraq. I'll take the Obama thoughtfulness and patience over knee jerk reactions any day.

Don in Florida

Posted by: DoninFlorida | August 19, 2009 10:05 AM
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Bush certainly showed resolve -- after the excessive tax cuts early in his administration, it became clear that although he inherited a healthy federal budget, future deficits loomed as far as the eye could see. He showed resolve in sticking to a policy that moved us to financial crisis. I am not sure that resolve to maintain an obviously failing policy should be considered leadership.

Posted by: Riograd | August 19, 2009 9:55 AM
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It is futile to compare the styles of the 2 presidents and using the example of President Bush belies the argument. It is my experience that thoughtful consideration of the issues, input from experts and a willingness to accept that you don't have all the answers are keys to good stewardship. It is resolve that lead to the invasion of Iraq, it is resolve that lead to the abuses of civil liberties, debasement of the Justice department, the outing of Valerie Plamne and many other questionalbe actions taken by the previous administration. Having been a leader of groups in my profession, a youth volunteer and as a parent I've always had success when I allowed those to be affected by my decisions the opportinuty to provide input. That doesn't mean that I didn't often follow my own course but it did provide those with whom I worked/ work to take some ownership of the decision and it's implementation. I understand the authors point of view and can even see where it might be applicable but it is not healthy to advocate singlemindedness for it's own sake.

Oh by the way, all of those "focused" CEOs who've run their companies into the ground and lost the public billions if not trillions of dollars, in my mind, are the poster children for "resolve" (although I do prefer the term arrogance) when it comes to leadership!

Posted by: youngj1 | August 19, 2009 4:12 AM
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Yash Gupta writes, "This shows disorganization within the administration, and President Obama should take the blame for failing to send a clear, consistent message."

Better for America Obama is not a strong leader when this comes to domestic issues. My personal preference is Obama not accomplish anything on a domestic level. Thus far, Obama has only succeeded in making our dire economic conditions, worse. Plans he has in the works, such as federal health care, would or will prove a disaster for America.

On an international level, I am very concerned. Those who profess to be enemies of America know Obama is meek and timid. They will certainly take advantage of this. This recent "World Apology Tour" by Obama is quite disheartening. Obama has only served to embolden our enemies.

On a domestic level, I hope Obama fails in all his endeavors so he will not devastate our nation more than he has. On an international level Obama cannot afford to fail but has already.

All around, Obama's sissy boy nature is causing great harm to our America.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 19, 2009 3:49 AM
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Yeah, right, just like Sarah Palin, ex-governor. .

Posted by: pyee | August 19, 2009 2:38 AM
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"Whether or not you liked George W. Bush, you have to concede that he often showed resolve. Some people took it for arrogance, but at least it reflected an unmistakable stance."

How absurd and thoughtless?! Mr. Bush was indeed resolute in ignoring reality. He was resolute in his ignorance. He was also resolute in taking actions that did enormous damage to the economic and political national interests of US. It is not about liking Bush or Obama. It is abut weighing how a leader makes decisions ---- impulsive, ignorant and ideological; or patient, thoughtful and aggregating. Please do not confuse resolute with rash or deliberate with indecisive. The evidence so far does not favor Bushian resolve.

Posted by: agupta11 | August 18, 2009 11:23 PM
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Obama is unfocused, divisive, indecisive, and derisive of the citizen base. He will accomplish nothing, and the investor class will sit out his presidency lest they get caught in his meddling.

Posted by: georgejones5 | August 18, 2009 10:22 PM
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Absolutely crack that whip. If these Dems in the Senate roll, then they get nothing. We can live without them. This is worth going to the wall for. A public option is a must. Once it were to become law, the fear would dissipate, and we would see the massive benefits to our state of mind, and happiness. There would be no denial of coverage.

People would begin to see how much better and cheaper it is when the Government working our behalf, runs a large collective bargaining tool, to push hospitals, and doctor co-operatives to look at costs.

Posted by: sarlat | August 18, 2009 9:15 PM
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The republicans are fighting with Uzis and Obama fights with a Swiss Army knife.

I have not seen the leadership and tough resolve necessary to push health reform through. Inspite of all the political capital endowed to Obama, he has been unable to craft a clear and concise plan and has been [along with his healthcare staff] promoting contradictory messages, and muddled explanations.

This healthcare discussion has been very
amauteurishly presented and lacks cohesion and clarity.
I get the feeling that Obama is getting lousy advice from Rahm/Axelrod, and that he is engulfed by the delusions about making nice with the GOP as a strategy.

Nothing could be further from political reality. The GOP has no intention of helping him on anything important at this point and in fact have stolen the debate.

When Grassley can outsmart Obama with his tactics of scaring seniors, it's time to ask Obama to stop talking. And start walking. Or has Rahm told him to Rahm anything through?

I am a democrat who voted for Obama. I don't know what he's talking about and am very concerned that he's losing the debate.
Worse, I don't know what he really wants, and listening to Sibelius makes me cringe.

Posted by: morris10301 | August 18, 2009 9:03 PM
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Obama did not grow up in America and hasn't internalized the values of our society.He has not been forthright with the American voters. He sealed all his test scores, academic records and passport to conceal some relevant facts. The media failed to examine his background and his political proclivites.His admiration and deep study of Saul Alinsky's works should have been a red flag, but the media imbued Obama with celebrity status. Our country will never recover from this grandiose social experiment to take from one group and give to another in order to create an egalitarian society.

Posted by: tsapp77 | August 18, 2009 6:41 PM
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Lyndon Johnson put down the hammer on conservative Democrats to get any legislation through that he deeply believed in. The same resolve and leadership he employed in pushing Medicare and other Great Society programs is what Obama has failed to echo. Sad.

Its unfortunate Johnson was not frozen like Ted Williams; we could thaw him out and prop him up for photographers while someone on the phone to Congress bullies the Public option through with those spineless Democrats.

Posted by: lionelroger | August 18, 2009 5:06 PM
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An open letter to the Democratic Congress:

The uniqueness of the American Healthcare Plan different from the Canadian or UK variety is that we are not making it Single Payer. So the least we can do is to have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give the American Public a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest.

Given the 2008 election of a Democratic Congress on OBAMA's co-tails the least this Congress can do is to support President Obama in his singular Domestic Agenda: The Healthcare for the American public.

If not now then when? If not here then where? If not by this CONGRESS them by whom? The Democratic Congress will sink or swim with President Obama and we will sink or swim with Him! Do not recreate the debacle of 1993-1994 AGAIN! Your seats are at stake!

Wake up Democrats and find your spine including the Blue Dogs. Why do you think (blue dogs) there are no Red Dogs because the Republicans do not have an Obama with them. They had/have the likes of McCain, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Grassley, and of all the BLUE DOGs Ross!

The day Healthcare is defeated in this Congress it will take this Democratic Congress down with it. President Clinton is speaking from great experience and wisdom, follow his advice!

Blue Dog Democrats and all the Democrats, Republicans like Grassley have shown their "true" color already! They WILL NOT support ANY Healthcare Bill whatsoever given ALL the compromises and cooperation from President Obama or the conservative Democrats.

Democrats of ALL colors it is your last chance to stand by our President on whose 2008 co-tails you are ALL standing today. So wake up and show some spine before its too late in your "one last term".

Give President Obama the support he needs in return for his 2008 co-tails. This is your last and only chance to do a Democratic thing in your generation, in your life time. Not many Presidents have achieved all that Obama has provided you on a silver platter so wrest the issue and make this generational national imperative your OWN. Thanks for your time.

Please send this message to all the Senators and Congressmen you ought to send to support this watershed Healthcare event of 2009. Its not too late and 2010 is still beyond us. Don't let your vote/stand of 2009 haunt you in 2010 and for life!

Obama - Biden 2012

Posted by: ajain31 | August 18, 2009 3:24 PM
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I feel like I'm watching a bunch of kindergarteners arguing over he-said-she-said. I do not understand the confusion and the double talk regarding the inclusion or exclusion of government run option! The administration keeps talking about saving cost by fostering more competition with this public option. HELLO!
What savings are they referring to? Wouldn't this just cost the taxpayers more?
I might be simplifying this whole mess but wouldn't the following solve this issue by fostering competition AND lowering cost?
1. allow inter-state bidding by insurance companies (oh yeah- can't do that b/c of the lobbyists)
2. allow employers to give medical savings account to each individuals and have THEM do the shopping instead of purchasing corporate group health plans. After all, consumers are the saaviest shoppers and with the internet and google, information is unlimited. This foster competition among insurers AND the individuals can shop for the BEST price
3.for small businesses, they just can't afford to make mandatory health option available. I do think in this case the co-op alternative is a good one as long as the government stays out of it

Posted by: american17 | August 18, 2009 2:47 PM
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