Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Not The Bully Lecturn

I agree with both Krugman and Robinson about President Obama. The 'fire' he showed during the campaign has not shown up enough since January. Rather, his professorial, technocratic side has dominated since then, and it isn't enough.

As a preacher, I tend to be professorial myself, rather than eloquent or fiery. And there are certain people who like that kind of 'teaching' sermon, thank goodness. But there are also plenty who don't, which has always been a problem for me. The great TV preachers, who can mobilize thousands and even millions of viewers, are not professorial, believe me!

So I can understand that Obama's tendency toward being a 'technocrat' (in Krugman's language) is where he normally resides, as he approaches the myriad problems he faces as President But in his public persona, he needs to put on the 'black preacher' persona and get back to lifting people up with his eloquence.

The President needs to stop trying to make little jokes and wry comments in town hall meetings, that mostly slide over people's heads ('unplugging Grandma'), and get morally passionate again. Because if he doesn't, he is going to fail. And then, not only will he have failed, but we will all have lost the biggest opportunity we may ever have to change the direction of this country.

'Fired up and ready to go' is not a description of sweet reason. It is what elected him in the first place.

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