Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Style, Not Substance

David Brooks thinks that President Obama’s problem is his style of leadership.

Obama’s actual governing style emphasizes delegation and occasional passivity. Being led by Barack Obama is like being trumpeted into battle by Miles Davis. He makes you want to sit down and discern.

But this is who Obama is, and he’s not going to change, no matter how many liberals plead for him to start acting like Howard Dean.

The Obama style has advantages, but it has served his party poorly in the current budget fight. He has not educated the country about the debt challenge. He has not laid out a plan, aside from one vague, hyperpoliticized speech. He has ceded the initiative to the Republicans, who have dominated the debate by establishing facts on the ground.

Oh, so it has nothing to do with the fact that the Republicans are bound and determined to do anything to nuke the Obama presidency; it’s because Mr. Obama doesn’t scream, shout, and throw tantrums like Rahm Emanuel or Chris Christie. My mistake.

The question comes up occasionally as to why the New York Times pays Mr. Brooks to write such drivel. Granted, every pundit — even the good ones — write crap now and then, but his record is amazingly consistent. (I’ll be the first to admit that I write crap on occasion, too, but at least I do it for free.)