Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The day of President Obama's inauguration and the departure of former President Bush, was a safe celebration. It was clearly a reward for the thousands and thousands of the new political activists and voters who found "hope" in the Obama message, style and substance. The visual message of the crowd must have been astounding to the new President and to the professionals in the military and law enforcement who made it a safe day. All the reviewers were articulate on his message, but one message that I noted was not discussed was his chastising of politics. With a Biblical reference President Obama called for the Congress (and I think Illinois in a subtle way) to give up childish ways. The most worrisome phrase in politics, I think, is to "play politics". Politics as a serious and generally successful process in the U.S. has been the "game" in Washington, the states, counties and cities rather than the facilitation process to deliver outstanding policy decisions. The President noted (to the former President and others) that the "ground has shifted" under the system and that new approaches and attitudes are needed. It is difficult to know that a new model might look like and whether it might be dangerous, but it is not difficult to believe that the substance of politics can be more professional, less personality driven and more authentic. Next, an analysis of the President's speech in terms of the "authentic enterprise" from www.awpagesociety.com study by the same name from class preparation this week.