I must rant today. I am ranting about “Podiumality” in our society.
I’ve listened to a lot of people who spend their lives behind the podium. Most of them are podiumating because of past accomplishments. Many of them are image sellers who are not all that accomplished in the real world. Podiumizers only teach, preach, or speechify. They stay propped up by collection plates and student’s tuition payments.
Normal people only have so much wordiness available to them. Podiumizers have abnormally large bags of word-laden gas and will continue to speak for long periods, after their verbal shelf life has expired.
President Obama seems to be obsessed with podiumating as the only effective means of leadership. He needs to get obsessed with leading as the only effective means of leading.
The core principles of leadership are: “Choose whether to lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.”
The core of that core is: “Choose well or fail.”
The core of that core is: Respect is earned. Respect is not an entitlement.
The podium, the head table, and the select panel are the gleaming public rewards for those who think, educate, and preach. Those who think, educate, or preach eventually spend too much of their time in podial pursuits. They are glued to the head table or pasted onto the select panel. They develop a restricted and unrealistic view of the world around them.
They don’t DO anything! They podiumize! They are podiumates!
President Obama has to leave that lifestyle behind and go to work. If he is going to speechify, he needs to edit it down to the important, fundamental facts that we need to hear.
But President Obama, as with other podiumphiles, can’t say something in a hundred words when a thousand words will do. He needs to edit, edit, and edit again. He is not Bill Clingon Clinton. Talking randomly and endlessly will not work for him, because he is just not allowed to be that kind of a player.
He needs to realize that he’s a president, not a preacher or a teacher. As with most of us, his greatest influences were preachers, politicians or educators who talked their way into lifelong emeritus level pursuits of the audience and the spoken word. They are addicted to the smell of podium varnish and hotel ballrooms.
But President Obama is above and beyond any podiumtate in his fundamental makeup. He is the stuff of history. He is dealing with the stuff of history. As a consequence, he has got to become an innovative do-er who will de-podiumize, get onto the ground, cuff a few ears, and haul a few boxes around.
He needs to start working on the idea of cutting off those Blue Dog Democrats from using party resources to get re-elected. He needs to disrupt their options for getting jobs-for-votes with the lobbying firms and medical industry giants that they are palling around with. Those back doors to our “party of change” need to be sealed up.
President Obama has been told to grow a spine and to stop being controlled by his lofty, but premature ideas: conciliation and reconciliation.
He has not been President for long enough to earn the respect required in order to reconcile. He, personally, has to kick some butt in order to have something to reconcile. He has to earn some respect. I didn’t vote for first year reconciliation. I voted for first year butt kicking and respect earning.
Conciliation is NOT going to work with the feral Right. Only hard core respect will compel the feral right to back off.
The extremists and moderates who have a fanatical obsession with President Obama’s race are not going to get better until they get an understanding that he has real power, and will use it. Right now, the virulent racist elements of our society sniff the political air. They smell weakness and freshly cut Podium Pine!
No amount of podiability, conciliation, or saintly patience is going to work with professional hecklers who disrespects the conciliator, abuse the patience, and ridicule the agreeable pandering, while escalating in the violence and unfairness of their relentless attacks.
He needs to realize that he’s dealing with an opposition that is obsessed with power and control, whatever the cost. The opposition has no ideas, goals, or plans that go beyond regaining power and restarting their policies of wealth and resource redistribution, military and strategic hegenomy, and gross corruption.
Bottom line: President Obama should stop emulating and imitating those yakking, action averse, “above the fray” academics and preachers.
Those podiumites are not the role models that he needs right now.
In fact, he HAS no role model for what he has to do. These are unprecedented times where improvisation is sorely needed. The scripts that were written for other times and for other presidents are not anywhere near sufficient for these times.
He needs a podiumectomy so that he can get his hands dirty doing the real work of the political vocation that he’s chosen for himself.
Right now, it’s about health care reform with a public option. Even major desparate, down and dirty political players like the Clintons couldn’t get it done, so President Obama will have to be insanely historical in getting it done. He needs to work those smoke filled back rooms as if prohibition has restarted.
He needs to keep Rahm Emmanuel in a dark corner, holding a baseball bat. Isn’t that Rahm supposed to be the political equivalent of “Big Pussy”? Where’s he been?
President Obama needs to Barney up! We want meat, in the form of a public health insurance option, and we want it now.
And that is my rant for now.
And now, as a reward for reading my rant, I give you the greatest little podiumite of all!