I’ve been listening to Ron Chernow’s biography of George Washington in the car. A number of things struck me about this great man who faced much adversity in the early days of the French & Indian War. Chernow points out how although the young officer in the British army made some, well, bone-headed military decisions, like establishing Fort Necessity, a frontier outpost near French lines “poorly situated to withstand and incursion,” he, by and large, learned from those mistakes.
The current occupant of the office he would be the first to hold seems to lack that ability. As the fetching Stephen Green observes:
Obama can’t recognize mistakes — even though the evidence is as plain as last month’s hideous jobs report. He will continue to demand that reality conform to his theories, no matter what damage he does to this country. He doesn’t doge, he doesn’t weave — he keeps pursuing failure in the face of failure.
(Via Instapundit.) Even after the failure of his “stimulus”, with the depletion of our coffers and the diminution of our nation’s once good credit, the Democrat still calls out for more spending* and fails to recognize that the regulations his administration has increased have reduced those he identified as those “produce most of the new jobs in this country” to hire new employees.
The president’s policies haven’t worked. A real leader would understand that his goal was not to demonstrate the rightness of his approach, but to shift course and find an approach that did.
George Washington did that. And because of that capacity, he won an unwinnable war and fathered a nation that offered opportunity for tens of millions, inspired others yearning to be free in distant corners of the globe and provided a level of prosperity that few had even imagined.
Our nation achieved all this in large part because George Washington learned form his mistakes. Would it that Barack Obama could follow his predecessor’s example.
*In his speech on Monday, he said, “We should also help companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, so that thousands of construction workers who’ve been without a job for the last few years can get a paycheck again. That will also help to spur economic growth.“