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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thomas Friedman, "Who's the Decider?": Not Obama

In his latest New York Times opinion piece from India, "Who's the Decider?" (, Thomas Friedman has lost much of his exuberance concerning the subcontinent.

In a prior op-ed, "The Last Person" (, Friedman enthused that a stripped-down, Internet-enabled, wireless tablet, which, with government subsidies, even the poorest Indian families could afford, might free India of its poverty and contribute to global innovation. Today, reality has settled in, and Friedman acknowledges the magnitude of India's corruption, environmental pollution, and absence of governmental direction.

Friedman also uses his latest op-ed as a platform to take a potshot at President Obama:

"Here we are in America again on the eve of a major budgetary decision by yet another bipartisan 'supercommittee,' and does anyone know what President Obama’s preferred outcome is? Exactly which taxes does he want raised, and which spending does he want cut? The president’s politics on this issue seems to be a bowl of poll-tested mush."

Friedman concludes:

"But at the end of the day — whether you are a president, senator, mayor or on the steering committee of your local Occupy Wall Street — someone needs to meld those ideas into a vision of how to move forward, sculpt them into policies that can make a difference in peoples’ lives and then build a majority to deliver on them. Those are called leaders. Leaders shape polls. They don’t just read polls. And, today, across the globe and across all political systems, leaders are in dangerously short supply."

Obama is not a leader? You don't say. In fact, America's Procrastinator-in-Chief is the antithesis of a leader, a man whose own friends say that he "leads from behind," a narcissist now consumed with reelection instead of leading the US out of its current morass.

Over the next 12 months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, expect more indecision from Obama as he takes to the airwaves, defending his dismal record, notwithstanding stubbornly high US unemployment. With each passing week, the financial viability of another EU member will be deemed suspect. Powered by slave labor, business in China will continue to boom. And undeterred in any meaningful way by Obama, Iran will soon threaten its neighbors with nuclear weapons.

At the Times, Friedman's fellow pundits will soon focus their barbs upon the absurd "anyone-but-Romney" candidacy of Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination, given that Donald, Rick and Herman have already been milked to the limit and have grown passé.

Another day, and another "bowl of poll-tested mush"? Be careful about what you're impugning, Tom. Unlike politics and politicians, I take comfort in my oatmeal.

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