About the Republicans’ Chicken Shit Use of the Words “Resolve” and “Leadership”

March 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM 3 comments

John McCain via Donkeyhotey on flickr

(Image:  Donkey Hotey on flickr)

The next time you hear the likes of John McCain or his sidekick Lindsey Graham accuse Obama of a lack of “leadership” or “resolve” in all things foreign policy, remember, when they use those words, they’re counting on us presuming they have detailed, deeply considered plans of their own.

Chances are good they don’t:

The Cliches of “Leadership” and “Resolve”

It’s true that hawks typically assume that real “leadership” requires the use of force or at least the threat to use force, but it can also function as a generic euphemism for U.S. hegemony. In this usage, there is really only one kind of international leadership that qualifies, and this is one in which the U.S. is dominant, preeminent, and preoccupied with policing the globe. This tends to view leadership more as an exercise in giving orders and dictating terms.


As with its ugly cousin “resolve,” one can always get away with insisting that a particular president isn’t showing enough “leadership” in the world, because there is no way to measure these things and no way for the complaint be remedied. Because it is so ill-defined and frequently abused, it can be applied to every issue without even having to think about the specific details. “Leadership” is always the correct response, and “leadership” can’t fail, because it means everything and nothing at the same time.


Too bad the “liberal media” doesn’t press them by asking, and following up on one simple question:  “What would you do?”


Entry filed under: Media - General, Republicans, Including Wingers & "Moderates", The "Liberal Media", Wars.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim Truett  |  March 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    My favorite “leadership” video of the week is Mayor Guillanni gushing rhapsodic about how Putin is able to make a decision and put it into action immediately while, “Obama ponders and questions and asks others their opinions. Putin makes a decision and asks permission later. Now that’s leadership.”
    No, that’s autocracy, authoritarianism, perhaps even dictatorial. Leave aside all the known forever weaknesses of liberal democracy, of the republican forms of government, Sen Graham and Sen McCain disdain it ~ when that fits their PR agenda. The opposite of course when democratic processes prevail ~ the ACA for example. McCain, Graham, Guillanni are the opposite of statesmen, the opposite of leadership, they are mere demagogues, interested in their own views, their own victories & successes.
    I find it desperately sad that they are so willing to find fault without leading themselves, as you say without disclosing what they would do, or reason and explain why their course would be better for the country, better for the world. Demagoguery will win for a time, may win an election or two, but in the end will fail because the goals are personal, not national.
    Just ask Guillanni’s true hero, Benito Mussolini.

  • 2. Say It Ain't So Already  |  March 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Bravo Tim.

  • […] About the Republicans’ Chicken Shit Use of the Words “Resolve” and “Leadership” | Say It A…. […]

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