From the 30,000 foot view, sequestration cuts are essentially insignificant were they spread over the vast scope of the Federal bureaucracy; about 2-3%. Were that the case no one would suffer overly. The design was supposed to be so onerous that Congress would find a better way.
The President set off on a, now, typical campaign against the ideas his administration designed apparently unaware (shocking) of the potential for unintended consequence. The President could have campaigned for a set of ideas to ease the ‘crisis’, a middle ground proposal to spread the cuts. He could have been out in front with a proposed solution. The President, instead, chooses to demonize his own administration’s ideas, which he signed off on and blame others. Leadership?
The politics, so far, appear to favor the President if the numbers are to be believed. The numbers, of course, are disconnected. The President’s overall approval is at the 53-54%; on the issues, however, he’s in the red on a significant majority of the issues polled. That means that 53% could turn into 46% in a political heartbeat.
Our traditional perception of what effective leadership is appears to be eroding. We appear to be on the verge of defining leadership not based on strength, commitment to address challenges or the ability to gather disparate points of view in common cause. We move toward a milieu where the ability to deliver a speech (frequently) is the standard we apply to effective leadership. It’s always been a part of the job, is it now the entire job?
America redefines itself on a continual basis. There can be little doubt that we are the most successful democracy in history, due in large measure to that ongoing drumbeat of change. The question is in what context does that ongoing redefinition occur? Will it occur based on a rededication to Constitutional principles that served as the foundation for our success, or does it redefine itself based on the ongoing effort to vacate those principals.
Do we move back toward the model that created our success, or replicate models that have or are on the verge of failure?