Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Reality-based decision making

Bush: Only time will tell about his legacy
Carolyn Lochhead,
San Francisco Chronicle Washington Bureau
January 4, 2009

...Babson College business ethicist James Hoopes, author of "Hail to the CEO, the Failure of George W. Bush and the Cult of Moral Leadership," sees the roots of Bush's leadership style in the Harvard management fad, still filling bookstore shelves, that promotes a notion of moral leadership and "values" over knowledge, execution and competence.

Bush resembles the late Enron CEO Ken Lay, who "was also a values-based leader, and didn't know what was going on at Enron," Hoopes said. "He thought he could run the company by just walking around being a leader and he didn't have to really manage." Bush likewise, making Sept. 11 a case of good versus evil, "is the biggest case study of a guy who thought his job was to walk around and be a cheerleader talking about values and everything else was going to take care of itself," he said.

Bush made no secret of relying on his gut, seeking divine guidance and asserting faith in his values. He did not read deeply or delve deeply into policies. "I feel so strongly about my principles and values," he said last May...

Bush bet his presidency on the war...the plan for a swift victory and quick exit turned into a bungled and bloody occupation that has left roughly 4,800 U.S. troops dead, 33,000 Americans wounded, as well as thousands of contractors and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have lasted longer than World War II and cost 50 percent more than Vietnam: $904 billion since 2001, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. That ultimately could rise above $2 trillion, including decades of care for wounded veterans, estimated as high as $65 billion alone. Bush economic chief Lawrence Lindsay was fired for saying publicly that the Iraq war could cost $200 billion.

Bush delegated the war to the Pentagon, and fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld only after Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006.

By many accounts, he allowed Cheney, viewed by many as the Rasputin of the administration, to manipulate the White House policymaking process in a way he once himself warned was dangerous. Bush came within a hair of having a mass resignation at the Justice Department - and losing re-election - after Cheney and others left him blindsided on an internal fight over domestic surveillance.

George Bush has known or should have known since August that Iran stopped work on nuclear weapons four years ago, yet he's continued to talk about WW III and the need to sanction Iran.

The White House has shown contempt for reality-based decision making. One staffer said, "We make our own reality."*

These people think just like our own Chula Vista Elementary School District board. Perhaps George Bush has been coached by superintendent Lowell Billings in the fine art of analytical thinking.

* National Public Radio
News Analysis: Further Iran Sanctions Won't Sell Easily After Report
by Daniel Schorr
Dec-05-2007, All Things Considered
"...sometime ago Senior White House official was quoted by the New York Times Magazine as [deriding] what he called the reality based community and saying that in the Bush administration...'We make our own reality.'"

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