Jim Sleeper: How (and How Not) to Rate Obama´s Leadership Now

Roundup: Historians' Take

Jim Sleeper, a former editor at Newsday and columnist for New York Daily News, is a lecturer in political science at Yale.

President Obama´s mishandling of the Republican-generated debt-ceiling crisis cannot be excused by comparing his fine motives and principles, which have the support of most Americans, with the Republicans´ all-too-obvious, increasingly wild, zealotry.

The question facing us isn't who's the most wise, reasonable, or even sane. It's the question of how leadership differs from mediation in moments of crisis.

I'm not the one to recommend a specific bold strategy for the president. And, yes, congressional Democrats have failed abysmally to insist on the agenda that most Americans really want as Stanley Greenberg showed clearly in Sunday's New York Times. But we can and should insist on holding him to the standard I articulated in the post below, both on April 13 and again yesterday:

That standard, at this hour, is that leadership requires telling the whole truth about conservative Republicans´ 30-year-long, many-staged coup détat, which I outlined here at some length last week (in an essay felicitously titled "Debt-Crisis Greedheads, Fountainheads, Godheads, Airheads, and the Rest of Us.")...

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