06/01/2004: Portrait of a true leader....
Sherman Wright, a West Point alumnus and former Army officer who describes himself as a moderate Republican and his website as a celebration of political moderation, has been watching the A&E docudrama about Eisenhower last night, and has interesting reflections thereon:
Sellick did a wonderful job of capturing Ike as the epitome of senior military leadership, in the way that Mel Gibson captured the essence of combat leadership in “We Were Soldiers.” The portrayal exactly conformed to my personal perspective on Eisenhower as one of America’s greatest military leaders, a perspective gained through a good amount of study. The second thought that struck me last night is how the leadership qualities of our present commander in chief are perfectly opposed to those of Ike. Pick any quality at random and you’ll see what I mean, for example, willingness to accept blame. Several times during the show Ike was shown to shoulder full accountability for the outcome of one of the most momentous – and risky - events in all of world history. Our present commander in chief (lets call him our PCIC) seems to be pathologically incapable of admitting to the smallest shred of responsibility for any outcome that is remotely negative (not that you can easily find him even admitting that an outcome from his term has any negative aspects to it). How about Ike’s ability to deal with very difficult personalities in order to form an effective international coalition, thus achieving much better results than had each ally operated independently. Could D Day have succeeded as an American-only operation? Clearly not. I won’t even bother pointing out how our PCIC’s record is pretty miserable in comparison. I was also struck by Eisenhower’s understanding of the necessity for hard choices and sacrifice. In contrast, all of our PCIC’s initiatives are sacrifice-free, if you don’t count the overstretched military and the monstrous debt he’s mounted up in Posterity’s name. One might argue that there is one similarity between the two – they both called themselves “Republicans.” Looking at their attitudes and policies of both men as president, however, there’s clearly some kind of mistaken identity at work here.
Len on 06.01.04 @ 08:14 PM CST