Mr. Dillon and Mr. Bush
Still thinking about Mr. Dillon
... he provides a good model for leadership.
In bumper sticker form: Respect, Expect, Protect. He told his kids they could do a good job; he expected them to do a good job; and he protected them against snide wiseasses like Pete and me. Big caveat: This measurement doesn't apply to the direction or goal of a leader, but only to his interactions with his people.
Does Bush measure up to the Dillon model? No.
He never respects our intelligence by telling us what he's doing or why, except when he uses strange sets of concepts designed to appeal only to people (like the UN) who will never, ever, ever follow him in a trillion years. Even though the solid evidence and strategy of the Iraq war have been explained clearly by people like Hitchens, Hayes, and George Friedman, we never hear any of that clarity from Bush.
Does he expect anything from us? No. He doesn't expect us to pay more taxes or buy war bonds, and he refuses to describe the enemy accurately, leaving us to be 'vigilant' against 'odd behavior' and 'undefined color-codes'. This is an unfulfillable expectation, and was obviously intended as such.
Does he protect us? Possibly, since there hasn't been another 9/11 scale attack. But after seeing FEMA's total misfeasance against Katrina, we are left to wonder if this is just luck. Post hoc doesn't always mean propter hoc.
Does Jesse Jackson measure up to Mr. Dillon? Unfortunately, yes, though with an evil purpose. Jesse constantly tells his remedials that they are worthwhile. He expects them to protest or riot on his command. He shows up with a phalanx of lawyers to protect them against any hint of impartial justice or open competition. Under Jesse's leadership, which was locked in place by LBJ, the remedials have zoomed backwards toward cynicism, fatalism, criminality, sullen laziness and whining, as we witnessed beautifully in New Orleans.