It is rare in the great land of Canada for a day to go by without some comment about the antics and behavior of Rob Ford. It has reached the point in which members of the Toronto City Council swing their chairs around when the rotund man rises to speak. It is increasingly rare in the United States of America in which President Obama does not anger his former supporters. His decision to sign a pact with the corrupt government of President Karzai that keeps US troops in the nation of Afghanistan until a point in time when I, along with millions of Americans, will be dead has not made Barack the poster boy of joy and leadership. His decision was based on the assumption that if Americans completely left, the Afghan government would collapse is not supported by any evidence. The current Afghan government will not be able to maintain law and order until IT makes changes such as appointing honest, competent men to positions of authority. Rob Ford will not be able to maintain confidence among fellow members of the Toronto city government until he enters some version of therapy and drug counseling.
In a sense, both men suffer from the addiction of power. The desire for power transforms people into addicts. Barack Obama regards himself as a man who can control the allure of power. Successful American presidents surround themselves with several people who can utter words of caution without fearing retaliation from the president. Franklin Roosevelt always surrounded himself with individuals who would challenge. Ditto John Kennedy. For Obama, it is a sin to disagree, and he particularly avoids those who offer contradictory advice. Key economists like Paul Krugman were not appointed because their advice to focus on jobs clashed with the Wall Street crowd of Geithner and Summers.