Barack Obama and the Long Game

A reader at Andrew Sullivan’s blog today made a profound observation:

[T]he New Deal, arguably the most significant change in our government since the revolution, didn’t include healthcare, didn’t desegregate the schools, etc.  Only a George Bush thinks that the one-man “decider” gets to change things at once, at his whim.  What a fool.  Obama understands what the Bush’s of the world and even Bill Clinton fail to grasp.  A leader is only as great as her or his contributions to the flow of historical progress.

No way will Obama accomplish all that he wants. But when his time ends, the right person following him will be able to build on his accomplishments, just like the monks at Ellora and Ajanta left majestic but incomplete structures for those that followed them.  Contrast that to Bush, whose predecessor has had to devote much of his time to fixing the mess he left.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to Barack Obama and the Long Game

  1. The Center Square says:

    Very wise indeed.

    Here is a stark case in point. Pres. Bush spent the better part of his time in office explaining to the American public that the “war on terror” would take decades, a generation even, to win. And yet he pursued a course that all but ensured a huge political backlash against his policies, as we saw in the 2006 and 2008 elections. No long view there.

    Thanks for a good post.

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