Friday, October 24, 2008

President Bush is a Community Organizer

And what’s the difference between Bush the Community Organizer and Obama the Community Organizer?


Bush inspires hope … AND … helps realize dreams:

I'm here today to recognize the sick that have been healed, the hungry that have been fed, the livelihoods that have improved, the hopes that have been inspired, and the dreams that have been realized because of President Bush's leadership.

-- Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Obama inspires hope … THEN … heads off for the next big job:

Obama’s professional colleagues, people like Jerry Kellman, believe his lasting accomplishment was to build an organization, the Developing Communities Project, that survived his departure. ...

Has any of that brought about the change Obama spoke of back in 1985? Not in any large sense. But if Obama doesn’t have much to show for his years as an organizer, it’s fair to say that many of the people he touched revere him deeply. Remember what Loretta Augustine-Herron said: Obama had such a powerful presence that he made her believe he could do the job, even though there was little in his résumé to suggest he could. Does that sound familiar to anyone who has watched the Obama campaign? When hope is the product, Obama can sell it with the best of them.

When he left for law school, Obama wondered what he had accomplished as an organizer. He certainly had some achievements, but he did not — perhaps could not — concede that there might be something wrong with his approach to Chicago’s problems. Instead of questioning his own premises, he concluded that he simply needed more power to get the job done. So he made plans to run for political office. And in each successive office, he has concluded that he did not have enough power to get the job done, so now he is running for the most powerful office in the land.

And what if he gets it? He’ll be the biggest, strongest organizer in the world. He’ll dazzle the country with his message of hope and possibility. But we shouldn’t expect much to actually get done.

It is certainly politically fashionable to run against President Bush in this election. And certainly politically wise.

That’s a shame.

For while the Democratic nominee to be the next President has talked a big game about helping “the least of these” and being his “brother’s keeper”, he has loved the sound of his own voice and the trajectory of his own career more than the people he has been talking about. Contrariwise, the current President quietly went about the business of actually doing it.

Standing up for President Bush may not be popular these days – may not be fashionable.

But it’s the right thing to do.

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