Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Better Leaders, Or Better Aides?

We've had some interesting leaders here in the U.S. recently. And throughout history, some interesting leaders outside of the U.S. have come and gone. Sometimes, we get a brilliant leader who is surrounded by idiots and other times we get a complete idiot surrounded by brilliant aides. I wonder, which is better?

Certainly, it seems that an idiot in the White House can do well with highly competent aides surrounding him. On the other hand, a highly intelligent President really can't do much when surrounded by morons. President Obama, perhaps the brightest president we've had since Eisenhower, is proving that. On the other hand, Bush II showed that one can be a highly effective moron when surrounded by intelligent people. By implication, electing another brilliant person after 2016, such as Hillary Clinton, might not be such a good idea. Or, flip side, voting for Sarah Palin in 2012 might not be such a distaster.

Or would it?

On second thought, nah. Bush was effective, but effective at rising up ten trillion of the 14 trillion in debt we're currently saddled with. Threw out the Constitution with Guantanomo Bay. Started two wars, botched them, then stayed firmly committed to his mistake. By contrast, Obama has, in spite of everything, accomplished everything Clinton failed to do in his first two years, albeit imperfectly. Churchill was a brilliant man who saved Britain while surrounded by dunderheads, while simultaneously Hitler, while surrounded by near geniuses, drove Germany into the ground with silly wartime tactics.

No, I'll stick with voting for brilliant presidents. Presidents who are, oddly, attacked as "elitist" for their brilliance (as if we wanted any other kind of leader).

Eric

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