Friday, May 18, 2007

The value of loyalty from Bush is being shredded

Sidney Blumenthal has a new and excellent article in Salon on Bush and his paramount virtue, Loyalty.
Loyalty to Bush is the ultimate royal principle of the imperial presidency. The ruler must be unquestioned and those around him unquestioning. Allegiance to Bush's idea of himself as the "war president," "the decider" and "the commander guy" is paramount. But the notion that the ruler is loyal to those loyal to him is no longer necessarily true. While he must be beheld as the absolute incarnation of kingly virtue, his sense of obligation to those paying homage has become perilously relative.

Those who feel compelled to tell the truth rather than stick to the cover story are cast in the dust, like McNulty. Those Bush defends as an extension of his authority but who become too expensive become expendable, like Wolfowitz. And those who exist solely as Bush's creations and whose survival is crucial to his own are shielded, like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
This and the linked articles offer a great insight into the sad Presidency of George W. Bush.

This dependence on loyalty to the leader is the only thing that holds Bush's poorly led Presidency together. It certainly does not represent any reward to the great decisions that have been made.

It intrigues me. Loyalty is a very personal value, one that does not stretch down into an organization to provide a controlling mechanism. Good decisions presented well to subordinates would do that, but those good decisions have been mostly absent in this administration, and the ability to communicate the value of a decision made intuitively by a leader is nonexistent. Bush is supposedly quite a likable guy, but his skills (if any) certainly do not include leading a large organization. Unfortunately, his choices in subordinates seem to accentuate his weaknesses rather than work to supplement his positives.

The collapse of loyalty as a characteristic of the Bush Presidency is very much what would be expected as the Presidency continues to fail to a greater extent than any previous Presidency.

I'm a Texas Democrat. I am not surprised at the sad, sick nature of Bush's Presidency, only at the depth of its collapse. It remains interesting to observe the nature and mechanism of the collapse, however.

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