Warren Buffett has called the current crisis an "Economic Pearl Harbor." But can you imagine what December 7, 1940 might have been like if we hadn't had the inspirational leadership of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt?
If today's crisis is the economic equivalent of Pearl Harbor, what is missing the leadership to rally and galvanize the American Public into action. As the American ship of state sinks into an economic cesspool, no captain has emerged to organize the crew to begin bailing out the water and turning the ship's weapons toward the fight.
Missing in action is President Bush. The worst kind of lame duck, Captain Bush was late to spot the economic mine fields and slow to steer the ship past the danger. It goes without saying that Bush is no Roosevelt.
But the two would-be Captains were even worse. Both abandoned ship and instead worked to organize the crew into competing water polo teams. Suddenly the object was not to save the ship, but to "win the game."
Obama's phone-it-in failure is especially bad. Not that the press or public is paying any critical attention to Obama, but he is doing what he always does, he is "voting present." Even in the heat of the House vote yesterday, Obama never ever endorsed the plan. In fact he has never admitted any support or opposition for the plan. He is completely invisible.
Obama's pathetic performance over the last week may well win him the election. but it should actually disqualify him from the office. The pubic and the press will long regret giving Obama a free pass in this election. You cannot vote "present" during the biggest economic crisis of our time.
On the other hand, McCain flopped and floundered like a wounded fish. At first he attempted to take on the role of leader. He flew to Washington and assume the role of Captain. Except he, too, refused to actually take a position on the bailout. His failed attempt at action came off as political grandstanding.
America really wanted a leader. McCain should have opposed the bailout. I believe that was his natural inclination. But he didn't. Yet he failed to actually rally enough house support to get the compromise bill passed.
The debate last Friday night was revealing. Moderator Jim Leher allowed Obama to skate completely by the issue with making any kind of commitment, but then pressed McCain repeatedly and forced him to commit his very weak and tentative support.
It was a test of leadership. Obama cut class and never took the test. He, instead went to the mall. McCain took the test, but failed.
It would be really remiss of me not to point out the biggest failure of leadership was the "worst Speaker of the House in American history." Pathetic. Once again Speaker Nancy Pelosi could have easily and simply engineered a landslide victory for the bill in the House. But, as I have often pointed out, Pelosi doesn't care about America or the people, she only cares about cheer leading the water polo game.
While some Republicans falsely blamed Pelosi's incredibly tone deaf speech on the House floor for "poisoning the vote" her real failure was in poisoning the entire process. She constantly marginalized Republicans and typically refused any effort at bipartisanship.
She falsely claimed to support the bailout, but never organized the Democrats or attempted to whip the vote. Virtually every Democrat Party leader in the House except Pelosi and Barney Frank voted against the bailout. And she demonized Republicans every second of the day. She demanded bipartisanship from Republicans but practiced none.
Any other Speaker of the House in our nation's history (and I mean any) could have easily passed the bill. Only Pelosi failed. She must be removed from her role in the House.