Leaders Lead, Followers Follow


J.D. Pendry


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote Pardon Me.In it, I disagreed with how

Conservatives were treating the Harriet Meirsí nomination.My comments got me banned from linking to articles on one popular conservative blog - so much for demands of intellectual honesty from professional conservative commentators.We taught the value of candor in the Army.Itís fine to share candor, but itís not an attribute you can claim for yourself until you are able to receive it.Rejection was tough on my ego, but the sun still came up the next day.


I tried to point out to my conservative minded mentors that what they were witnessing was leadership.Maybe the insult was when I said:


The problem is that youíve so rarely seen true leadership come from politicians, you donít recognize it for what it is, you donít know how to deal with it and youíre left seriously wanting to offer us an analysis of itÖ.Most of the talkers and writers, to whom I read and listen, never faced a true leadership challenge.Donít yaíll get too upset, but I wouldnít trust very many of you to lead hungry hogs to the slop if my welfare was depending on it.


I donít usually quote myself, but I needed to share with you what I consider candor that others might take as insulting.The truth is hard for some to accept when it hits them in the forehead like a piece of dimension lumber.


Fortunately, my conservative friends and their liberal foes are still not able to recognize some masterful leadership when they see it.I think the President is counting on that.I think heís studied Sun Tzu.Politics, thanks to career politicians, has turned into warfare in our country. The intricacies of the art of war taught by our famous Chinese General have been winning battles for centuries.I suggest that all of you conservative thinkers study a bit.Itíll help you understand what is happening Ė and how youíre helping.


Sun Tzu tell us:


All warfare is based on deception.And, sometimes we must deceive friend and foe.With all the genius attributed to the so-called architect behind the Presidentís political successes, what happened with the Meirsí nomination was surely anticipated.But, it served itís purpose.How so?The conservative movement has millions of readers and listeners each day.For a couple of weeks now, weíve been listening to them demand a stronger conservative nominee from the President.Also listening to them, were Republican Senators who in the past have shown weakness in dealing with their liberal counterparts in the Senate.Now, when the President puts out his next ďno doubt about itĒ nominee he knows that the career Republican Senators will feel the pressure to get the job done Ė or face extinction in 2006.


Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.Have you noticed how the liberals were giddy about this nominee?Only taking mild shots at the President and how minority leader Harry Reid loved the choice.When the conservative voices started to oppose, they cheered about a Republican party in disarray and losing its conservative base.I think the set up is in place for a liberal crushing.


If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.This one worked wonderfully, but maybe not as you think.Iím afraid the President used this principle on his own team.I canít count the times that Iíve heard Meirs referred to by conservatives as a weak choice.Mr. Rush said right out of the gate that the choice was one of weakness.The President led you to do what he needed you to do by irritating you into taking the action he needed from you.The Presidentís ďhot-temperedĒ supporters with their millions of listeners and readers Ė who are also voters Ė are now going to put that fire behind the next nominee and pity the Senator Specters that get in the way.


What is that word?Was it misunderestimated?You guys are great followers.Not conscious of it, but followers just the same.