For those who might not quickly associate these three words, I consulted Webster’s Dictionary to confirm and clarify what I meant by them. They describe clearly how Barack Obama leads (or fails to lead).
- Abdicate: to cast off; to relinquish (as sovereign power) formally
- Prevaricate: to deviate from the truth
- Pontificate: to speak or express opinions in a pompous or dogmatic way
These are the most glaring evidence of the leadership failures of President Barack Obama. They are clearly seen in his behavior in the Benghazi crisis. They were obvious in the debt ceiling negotiation last fall. If one looks closely, every important issue faced by this White House is either decided by an arrogantly dogmatic position, one long-held by Obama and his ideological yes-men, or they are notable by his practice of abdication, prevarication or pontification.
And does he ever love to pontificate — on almost anything about which he speaks. The president makes the term “leading from behind” into a glorious proclamation of a successful leadership trait, when in fact it is a tacit admission of leadership failure.
About a year ago, my co-author D. M. Lukas and I wrote a book, Hope Is NOT A Strategy: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency. In it we chronicled dozens of failings that characterize his lack of leadership experience, competence and success. In fact, Barack Obama could be called the ultimate “surfer” of leadership decision-making: he waits for a wave and then rides it for all it’s worth.
The growing dependent class in America voted him in for a second term because they knew his fall back mode: when leadership fails, give the constituents something (whether you can afford it or not) that will allow you to retain their allegiance. It doesn’t matter whether what you give them is good for them, or for the nation, if it allows you to continue to “lead from behind.”
Few people, even the boldest of journalists, loathe to call the president a liar outright. However, he has so badly bent, distorted, misused and abused the truth that trusting him at his word is impossible. His favorite approach is to abdicate the tough decisions to subordinates and see how they come out before he joins the chorus in support.
For the first four years, George W. Bush was the whipping boy of the Obama presidency, and many of us agree, Bush gave him plenty of material to use as excuses. However, many of Obama’s glaring failures (Stimulus, Solyndra, etc.) were his alone — but carried out by his Democrat party allies, or cronies, or designates.
Obama’s “imperial presidency” is now, finally starting to be reviewed and rejected by the courts — most recently his illegal recess appointments. I could go on, but my purpose was to plant those three words — a concise description of how the man elected to lead the USA operates — in your mind. You will now find it hard to ignore the repeated, numerous times you see him practice his failed brand of leadership: abdicate, prevaricate, and pontificate, and especially the latter of these.
Obama’s State of the Union message will be yet another instance of the latter two. Sadly, many will accept and believe him. Therein lies the greatest mistake of all.
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