Sunday, December 7, 2008

Speaking with authority when you don't know what the fuck you're doing.

Dear Barack,

You seem confident that you can control the gaggle of Clintonistas you’ve packed your administration with. Some say you’ve hired the arsonists to put out the fire. One thing is for certain, you’re in for one hell of a ride over the next four years.

As you are peppered with arguments and white papers to implement this policy or that, to take the high road or the low road, to bomb this village or that, to play hardball or to be conciliatory, to bailout this bank or that, you must remember one thing: all definitive statements are suspect because only an absolute certainty can support a definitive statement, and there are no absolute certainties except birth and death.

Granted, the definitive statement does have its place as a marketing tool, but it makes for disastrous policy. History is replete with decisions gone bad because some damn fool thought a definitive statement was true.

Definitive statements were what put your predecessor’s administration on the rocks; statements such as:
· They’ll greet us a liberators
· It will be a cakewalk.
· It’s a slam-dunk.

It’s a good rule of thumb that the more definitive the statement, the more likely it is to be wrong.

The truth stutters; falsehood speaks with confidence.

The only time a leader should speak with authority is when he doesn’t have a clue, which is most of the time.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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