Honestly, I don’t claim the be a raving fan, but today, Michael Gerson made another thoughtful reference, this time about Obama’s tactics: [ http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ignoring-foreign-policy-wont-make-it-go-away/2012/08/09/6f522cc6-e19a-11e1-a25e-15067bb31849_story.html ]
"He followed the same approach in foreign policy he often did elsewhere, which was to detach himself from two opposing camps or schools of thought, sympathize with each and insist the differences between them were less than believed,” James Mann writes in his book “The Obamians.”
Actually, James Mann has the insight here. Here, both commentators are referring to how Obama handles foreign policy. This is on target not only for foreign policy, but Obama does this in other situations. He did it for several budgets with Congress. He did it in formulating the Affordable Health Care Act. He certainly did it while the Republican Clown parade primary ensued. I call it Triangulating. He watches the two sides battle each other, then finds common ground he can accept, and makes policy. This is largely brilliant, because it offers absolution from blame, should he need it later, all the while giving him credit for finding a solution.
This behavior is attacked by the farther left as spineless. (JP?) This is why so many liberals are disappointed in him. Granted, it could fairly be characterized as leading from second in line. But Obama did it while campaigning last election. He’s doing it again now. What the country seemed to want last time was anything different than W. Change from all of those ways he ruined the country. Even conservatives and most who became right wing fanatics agree, W = bad. So Obama let the far right and far left dream, and he verbalized the dreams and hopes and changes he could get behind. The troops rallied, he was elected. Now he’s letting the Tea Party and the moderate republicans fuss over Romney. He campaigns in the way one would expect – enough substance to be credible, and enough vagueness to become correct.
I doubt this will change; I think it’s in his nature. I say he’s not void of true leadership. It’s not always best to be the first to buy the latest I-pad or Lexus (or fighter jet, or welfare reform, or wind power generator). However, if that hardware makes you truly more effective, then go for it. I can be happy with this approach to leadership. I sure beats gutting the government, free rides on taxes for the 1%, and no health care for 40 million people.