The Kerry Spot has an excellent take down of a front page story in the Washington Post. The basic thesis of the story is that President Bush is a bad person because he hadn’t personally acted with regard to the recent tsunami disaster.
Kerry Spot attributes this to the newpaper’s desire to find a down side for Bush in every situation, but I think that the general hair-shirtedness of modern liberalism factors in as well. That is, while I don’t doubt that the newpaper was looking for a shot at Bush, I think that the complaint was (sadly) mostly genuine. As we can see from things like MoveOn.org, the activist liberal mindset has really gone to the personal psychodrama as the touchstone of authentic politics. It’s not about Bush being a leader, or what actions his administration is taking to deal with the disaster. No, it’s about what Bush personally has done, whether he personally has put on the hair shirt and bemoaned cruel fate. Whether this helps those affected by the disaster seems to be a secondary issue. But isn’t that par for the course for modern liberalism?
As for me, what I want in a leader is someone who leads and, if appropriate, gets the $#%@ out of the way of the people who can help so they can do their jobs. A good leader does his job for disaster before the disaster hits by making sure there are people to handle it and that they have the tools to do so. A leader who needs to be personally involved beyond the “this it — get moving!” stage is one who hasn’t spent his time properly beforehand.