Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Indian politicians SHOULD learn from Bush.

That anybody can learn anything from George Bush is an outrageous suggestion to many today. When "Economist" endorsed Kerry in 2004 the cover was "Incompetent (Bush) Vs Incomprehensible(Kerry)". Without going into justifiable complaints on Bush today I shall focus on a totally different side of Bush.

Ever since Obama and McCain became the presumptive-nominees of their respective parties Bush opened up his administration to establish communications with both. Given the unprecedented economic catastrophe, the 2 wars, a precarious security situation he felt compelled to help "whoever" wins way ahead of the election. He did this in a very non-partisan manner giving equal access to Obama and McCain. Note that during the primaries and even as this was happening Obama was savaging Bush in his stump speeches.

Today New YOrk Times ran an article on how Bush team is not just opening up to Obama but practically doing dry runs with the new team. Especially the homeland security team. Key passages merit a full quote:

"In addition to the White House contingency memorandums, the Department of Homeland Security said it had given crisis training to nearly 100 career officials who may fill in while Mr. Obama’s appointees await Senate confirmation. Starting before the election, those career workers have conducted exercises alongside departing political appointees to test their responses.
The administration has invited members of the Obama agency review teams to observe some of those so-called tabletop exercises between now and the inauguration, on Jan. 20. The Bush team has also invited Obama transition officials to attend a “national level exercise” set for Jan. 12 and 13 that may play out what would happen if the top leadership of the nation were wiped out in a single stroke, officials said.
At the same time, senior counterterrorism officials plan to hold personal briefings for their counterparts on the biggest threats they see. And the White House has drafted as many as three dozen other long-term policy memorandums outlining various pressing issues that will confront the new team and how Mr. Bush’s aides see the status of each of these issues as his presidency comes to a close."

One can argue endlessly about how Bush got us there in the first place but lets give him due appreciation. These are traits that every Indian poitician can learn but they never will because they are not Americans. Only a man who so loves his country above himself can do these, no Indian politician can match the least American on that.

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