Perhaps because I have been listening to David McCullough’s 1776* as I drive around LA that I take issue with the opening of Jay Cost’s Weekly Standard piece on Obama’s Dilemma (referenced in my previous post):
Political winds are funny things. When they are blowing in from behind, leaders look poised, in control, and powerful. When they are blowing into their face, they look overwhelmed, out of their depth, and utterly impotent. We have seen this time and again over the years with presidents.
Following his success in Boston in the spring of 1776, George Washington faced incredibly adverse winds in New York that summer, with an enormous British fleet gathering as he attempted to hold the city. He failed in that attempt, having to retreat first across the East River, then across the Hudson, then through New Jersey and finally into Pennsylvania before turning the tables and undertaking his famous crossing.
After overcoming his initial shock at the overwhelming scale of the British invasion, Washington retained his poise and maintained control over his army. He succeeded as much because he knew how to manage defeat as because of his skills on the battlefield. In short, when the winds were blowing in his face, he stood tall and refused to let himself appear overwhelmed — or out of his depth.
He would not, at least not publicly, whine about the problems he inherited — or the tab left by another general. He appeared resolute in the face of adverse circumstances. George Washington didn’t let the strong winds blow him down.
Time and again, however, the man who currently holds the job Mr. Washington once held has shown his unfitness for the office. He laments the sorry situation he faces. Mr. Washington faced it head on. As did Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III.
Mr. Obama wants us to feel sorry for us as he blames his horrible, no good, very bad predecessor. George Washington didn’t ask for our pity; he sought to earn his men’s respect.
*A book I have already read (and enjoyed) and which Bruce has as well.