Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Real Leadership

In this NY Times "Bloggingheads" video, which is well worth watching, the Rev. Daniel Schultz of Religion Dispatches and Mark Kleiman of U.C.L.A. debate whether President Obama is a great moral leader.

Schultz complains that Obama's has compromised too much and failed to deliver on lofty promises, but Klein silences him with a careful and confident argument that Obama's moral leadership comes precisely in the form of his declining to make a great show of himelf as a moral leader.

By exerting real leadership, Obama deprived himself of the chance of exerting phony moral leadership.

Giving the examples of the health care bill and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Klein convincingly portrays Obama as a leader who chooses real, achievable reform at the price of meaningless, flashy statements.

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