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A time to lead

There were a number of opinion pieces today that walked both sides of the same issue. One cannot avoid the question that yesterday's shooting at Fort Hood raised. Ann Althouse discussed that exact point in a post about the questions seeking answers. Her ending is the strongest part of the piece.

The president pledged "to get answers to every single question about this horrible incident."

I'm going to remember that pledge. And it is long past time for the President to step up and commit to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Enough with the demonstrations of thoughtful deliberation and concerned facial expressions made while saluting a flag-draped coffin. It is important for Obama to demonstrate leadership in war today.

Perhaps most interesting are the comments to that post, which immediately take Althouse to task for questioning the president without offering solutions of her own. I find that perplexing. What she is asking for is leadership--she isn't proposing that she take over. She isn't setting seeds for a 2012 campaign against him. She is asking for something for which it is reasonable for any citizen to ask, that our leaders show actual leadership.

Ed Morrissey offers caution.

Of course we shouldn't jump to any conclusions, although the impulse to do so is very, very tempting. What do we have? A single data point on a mass shooting where the suspect apparently yelled "Allahu akbar!" before killing 13 people. That could mean a wide range of things, from a conspiracy to commit a series of such attacks, to a militant anti-war action, or to just a lunatic with a religious delusion. That's why we have law enforcement to investigate crimes -- so that conclusions will be based on fact rather than conjecture.
I actually agree with Morrissey here. Just in trying to follow the story yesterday it was jarring just how often the details changed. The number of shooters? How many had died? Who was in custody? The identity of the shooter? Was he dead? A convert to Islam? Multiple tours of duty in Iraq/Afghanistan? The answers to those and other questions changed minute by minute, hour by hour. Each new detail triggered an eruption of reactions but how valid were these conclusions each time the details changed?

John Hinderaker has a different view of the president's comments over at Powerline.

"Don't jump to conclusions" is an all-purpose tautology, like "Don't panic." It's hard to argue with. One wonders, though, exactly what conclusions he has in mind. I think it's safe to predict that President Obama will never reach those conclusions, let alone jump to them.
That quote summarizes the real issue here. The short-term caution that Morrissey agrees with is prudent advice. What is missing is a confidence that President Obama will get past the caution and actually lead. I probably have a more critical view of President Bush than many that frequent wizbang. But that moment where he grabbed the bullhorn at ground zero represented true leadership. Not in the sense of "we are going to do X and then Y and it will take this long before we see results" kind of leadership. Leadership in the sense of "I know what just happened was horrible, but is going to be OK because I won't let you down."

There are times for reserved deliberation and there are times for action. Or, more accurately, there are times to give the impression that when appropriate we will act without doubt and second guesses. I have little confidence we will see that from this administration.


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Comments (7)

Interesting?:<a href... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:


A document on the Obama Homeland Security Transition Task Force.

Go look on page 32, and have a gander who was contributor to this. Hint: He was from the Uniformed Services Univ. School of Medicine.

Allahu Snackbar.

The question here is whethe... (Below threshold)
Edward Sisson Author Profile Page:

The question here is whether Obama is finally going to start thinking like the leader of the entire country and all its people, who protects them, or like the leader of a revolutionary segment that thinks it is better than most of the people, and wants to transform them.

Considering the fact that O... (Below threshold)

Considering the fact that Obama wouldn't know leadership if it bit his ass and hung on I think there is little worry he will ever demonstrate leadership skills.

Especially when it comes to anything Muslim related where he has done nothing but apologize for America's actions every where he has gone.

I dont want to go where He ... (Below threshold)

I dont want to go where He wants to lead.

Heard the crap from previou... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Heard the crap from previous President's, such as "dead or alive", "what is is," and so forth. It doesn't mean anything, they are all crooks.

Here's real leadership...<b... (Below threshold)

Here's real leadership...
OBAMA PLAYS "THE DOZENS" AT FORT HOOD MASSACRE ADDRESS (But at least he shows some compassion.)

(Obama)--- I want to thank everyone for this wonderful conference and I want to send a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner Joe Medicine Crow. Stand up Joe. There he is, let me tell you all, me and Joe have been good friends for a long time. I knew Joe when he was on the wagon, and I new Joe when he fell off the wagon, but unfortunately he fell right into a box of whiskey. (Laughs to himself) Joe say a few words.

(Joe Medicine Crow)--- Thanks Barry, but if I am Joe Medicine Crow then you must be Barry Socialized Medicine Crow. (Crowd laughter).

(Obama)--- No Joe, but that's what the Republicans call Pelosi "Nancy Old Socialized Medicine Crow". (Laughs to himself)

(Joe Medicine Crow)--- Don't forget Barry I've known you for many moons. I remember when you fell off the wagon too. Unfortunately you fell into a big box of yourself. (Crowd laughter).

(Obama)--- Joe you're always the kidder.

(Joe Medicine Crow)--- Yeh, I remember you had to use a stick to try to get some of the crap off you. (Crowd laughter).

(Obama)--- Oh I see you want to play the Dozens, OK Joe well, yo mama's so fat, when she hauls butt, she has to make two trips.

(Joe Medicine Crow)--- Yo mamma's so fat, when the medicine man diagnosed her with the flesh eating disease; he gave her 5 years to live.

(Obama)--- Oh it's on. Yo mamma's so fat, her butt has its own congressman.

(Joe Medicine Crow)--- Yo mama'so fat and old that when the Great Spirit said "Let there be Light", he told her to move her fat butt out of the way.

(Obama)--- Yo mama's so ugly, her mom had to be drunk to breastfeed her.

(Joe Medicine Crow)--- Yo mama's so ugly, I took her to a haunted house and she came out with a job application.

(Obama)--- Yo mama's so ugly, people go as her for Halloween.

(Joe Medicine Crow)---Yo father so ugly it's a good thing you never saw him.

(Obama)--- Damn Joe that hurt. By the way there was a massacre at Fort Hood. That's too bad. I got to go now....

Barry lead? That would be ... (Below threshold)

Barry lead? That would be a first!






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