Thu, 09 Apr 2009 15:18:44 +0000 – By Patrick DorinsonPolitical Commentator
Welcome home, Mr. President. You sure had a long trip. I hope your cold is much better and you get a chance to rest over the Easter Weekend.
There are folks that are a lot smarter than I am, or at least the media thinks they are, who are giving your trip a full political and policy proctologic examination.
Your job as trail boss of this outfit we call America is to lead the herd to the next watering hole, into the tall grass and keep it safe. You can't do that if you worry about the significance of every tumbleweed that rolls by.They are all over television and talk radio either praising or damning the things you did or didn't do while you were away. Frankly, it feels like watching ESPN after the Super Bowl as experts analyze each move as if it was a life or death situation.
I'm not going to grade you or criticize your trip. I just want to give you some Old West cowboy advice as you move forward. Here are five things I would suggest:
1. Never Drop Your Gun to Hug a Grizzly Bear.
I think it's great you want to talk to our enemies. If they want to parley, why not? Just make sure they know your holster is full of more than just leather and that if pushed too far you will draw. You don't need to threaten or act tough. Real cowboys never do that. Their actions do their talking.
2. Never Be too Quick to Criticize Yourself. It's Not Fair to All Your Friends and Relatives who are Dyin' to Do It for You.
In this case the friends and relatives are our allies who for the last eight years have done nothing but criticize. Funny thing is while they are criticizing they don't seem to mind us doing all the global dirty work of going after their enemies as well as ours.
And there sure seemed to me to be a whole lot of apologizing on this trip for one thing or another. I think you will find that most Americans don't think we have a lot to apologize for -- especially to the Europeans. I think in June when you visit Normandy for the 65thAnniversary of the D-Day landings and see the rows upon rows of marble crosses and Stars of David it will become more apparent to you.
Do we have flaws? You bet. Mistakes? You bet. But I think on balance we have been a force for good however imperfect.
3. Too Much Debt Doubles the Weight of Your Horse and Puts Another In Control of the Reins.
Now that you are back home and get to sleep in your own bed, you might want to think about all the money you want to spend on your agenda and going into debt bailing out everyone who shows up at the teller's window of the U.S. Treasury. I know you promised the voters that you were going to do all this stuff and that you could multi-task but you are the adult and you need to tell the rest of us that we just can't do all this right now and pare back your agenda.
Some will say we can't wait that all this must be done right now. Well, why not make a down payment on your agenda and make payments we can afford rather than putting nothing down and making your monthly payments on a credit card. We know how that ends.
If you don't, those holding our debt (like the Chinese) will have control of the reins.
4. Don't Go In if You Don't Know the Way Out.
I read a lot of military history and for my money Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. I know we all want to get Usama bin Laden and string him up, but what makes us think we will fare any better in the long run than the British did in the 19thCentury or the Russians in the 20th Century? Besides, when the going gets tough -- as it most surely will -- I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that the Europeans will skedaddle with their tails between their legs faster than you can say NATO.
Going in is the easy part. Getting out is a whole other breed of cat.
5. If You're Riding Ahead of the Herd, Take a Look Back Every Now and Then to Make Sure It's Still There.
And that doesn't mean endless polling. I've been hearing that your political folks are constantly polling everything you do and say. Don't listen to them and don't read the polls. If you are as smart as everyone says you are and you think you understand the American people, don't take their pulse every five minutes.
Your job as trail boss of this outfit we call America is to lead the herd to the next watering hole, into the tall grass and keep it safe. You can't do that if you worry about the significance of every tumbleweed that rolls by.
If you do your job right the herd will be there. If not they will scatter and it will be up to the next trail boss to round them up and start all over.
Patrick Dorinson is a radio talk show host and commentator who goes by the name"The Cowboy Libertarian." He can be heard on a radio program with the same name Saturdays, from 5-6 p.m. PT on Clear Channel's KFBK radio in Sacramento, California.