Monday, March 23, 2015
A Lesson In Leadership: Huckabee/Obama
In December of 2011, Jay Leno, then host of NBC's Tonight Show, asked President Obama about his "leading from behind" leadership model. You will recall that our American Embassy in Libya had been bombed and burned leaving 4 Americans dead, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama trying to blame it on some guy from California who had made a negative video about Islam.
President Obama told Leno that he was actually leading both from behind and from the front. The president then explained that this was "merely a phrase that the news media had piled up on."
Interestingly, only a few months before the president identified with the concept, the Harvard Business Review had published an in depth article advocating "leadership from behind" as the new paradigm for the 21st Century---a business model whose "time has come."
Leading from behind may have been a good model for Nelson Mandela who actually coined the phrase, but it doesn't work for America and the world. Mandela actually popularized the phrase in his 1994 autobiography, "Long Walk To Freedom," by using the metaphor of a shepherd who follows and herds his sheep.
Mandela suggests that if you successfully lead from behind, stay behind the flock, the sheep will go where you want them to go thinking it is their idea..
Last year Time Magazine concluded what most ordinary Americans already knew--- the "lead from behind" idea doesn't work for America. Or the world.
We continue to become painfully aware of just how much this model does not work in our world that is out of control.
The Middle East is now burning from the relentless actions of Islamic terrorists, Putin is expanding his empire and the rest of the world is holding its collective breath because of the vacuum created by the US "leading from behind."
Two recent letters, both written by patriots, have struck a clear and current contrast between "leading from behind" and simply leading by being a leader.
Last year, Time Magazine published a feature article that took an in depth look at the Obama model of leading from behind. The story is pretty conclusive. If you have "time," it's worth the read.
Senator Tom Cotton, R- Ark., has a clear and current understanding of how terrorism works. He has recently served in our military in the Middle East.
Newly elected to Congress and still under the notion that he was elected to look out for the best interests of those who elected him---and all the citizens in our country, he along with others realized that the "deal" President Obama is chasing with Iran is not in the best interest of America or Israel---both nations have been designated to be removed from the world scene because they are the "Big" and "Little Satan."
It doesn't take a long term study to discover that is not a good thing for our country. An Iran with nukes accelerates their goal being achieved.
Cotton proceeded to write a letter to Iran and its leadership reminding them that any "deal" with our president is nothing more than an agreement between two individuals, until and unless Congress would approve it.
About 46 of Cotton's colleagues in Congress joined him and signed the letter.
That's leading from the front.
The president took a short break from being mad at Netanyahu to express his anger toward this new senator while Sec.of State John Kerry told CBS news to remember that the letter was sent "by someone who has only been in Congress for 60 days."
This weekend, Cotton told the press, again, he has no regrets because Iran needs to "hear the message loud and clear"---as opposed to muffled suggestions from behind.
Since the letter was sent, "mature leaders" from both sides of the aisle have criticized Cotton.
However, it was former Governor Mike Huckabee whom I believe gave us the most clear lesson in leadership in the letter he sent to Sec. of State John Kerry this past week.
I will not attempt to paraphrase it. Read it for yourself, it's a lesson in leadership:
Secretary of State John Kerry
United States Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Kerry:
I find your opposition to congressional oversight offensive and hypocritical and your posture towards Israel deeply disturbing.
Appearing on CBS News' “Face the Nation,” you described the letter forty-seven U.S. Senators signed and sent to Iranian officials regarding ongoing nuclear negotiations as “unconstitutional.” Congress has the constitutional responsibility to serve as a check-and-balance on the executive branch. As has been done with immigration, health care and many other issues, the Obama Administration is once again deliberately bypassing Congress and exceeding its constitutional authority.
Frankly, your criticisms are hypocritical. You launched yourself into the public spotlight by directly and publicly criticizing the executive branch in a Senate committee hearing forty-four years ago. In 1985, you did more than just send a letter to a foreign nation—you flew to Nicaragua to negotiate with Daniel Ortega and other Sandinistas despite express opposition from the Reagan Administration.
You describe the Senate letter as “unprecedented” and “wrong.” The fact is, your willingness to trust Iran and undermine Israel is what is unprecedented and wrong.
Moreover, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently came to Washington and explained how a deal with Iran would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, threaten Israel's existence and embolden terrorists around the world. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a Churchill in a world full of Chamberlains. Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. As an American, I am embarrassed that you, Vice President Biden and other high-ranking administration officials boycotted Netanyahu’s address to Congress yet never miss an opportunity to visit with Iranian leaders.
I have the greatest respect for your long record of service to our country, beginning with combat in Vietnam. During those difficult years, you risked your life in a war that many Americans experienced only from afar. I also respect your role as Secretary of State. Hopefully, you will extend respect to those faithfully executing their oath of office in the U.S. Senate and to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who like you, want to stop terrorism worldwide.
Governor Mike Huckabee
Be Vigilant. Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.