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Ought-Opsy

Coffin_lgLast month, I got to visit a friend and relative who's a county coroner.  (Lesson learned: never eat BBQ with an engaging story-telling coroner.)  I saw more than my fair share of dead bodies over the weekend, most of which were still intact.  However, a coroner's job is take bodies apart so they can find out why they died.  I saw one such body, dissected on the table like a 3D jigsaw puzzle.  What was more disturbing than the scene was the smell.  Dead, taken-part bodies stink.  Regardless, it was a highly educational weekend in many ways.

To take something else apart, we in Iowa recently held our election primaries.  As I predicted many months ago (in spite of the fact that our current governor has lost a lot of political capital from both parties), Bob Vander Plaats could have saved himself a lot of time and effort by not even entering the race.  He lost soundly to 4-term-Governor-turned-candidate, Terry Branstad.  Then he was shot down again at the convention when he tried to challenge the bid for Lieutenant Governor.  But what has amazed me is the reaction of his followers.  The social conservatives have spent so much energy over the past few months painting Branstad as a liberal-lover or a RINO (Republican In Name Only) because they claim he ignores their desires.

I recently debated this point with a far-right-conservative, and I tried to impress upon him that social issues were still important... just NOT AS important as economic issues at the moment.  Once the party got the economy back on track, then other issues may come to the forefront.  It's called PRIORITIES.  No candidate can take on everything and do it successfully (just ask Obama).  Suffice it to say, he didn't believe me.  It was a very black-and-white mentality of all-or-nothing, my-way-or-the-highway with him.  (To be fair, I see the same behavior in the far left too... that's why I only talk politics with logical moderates and independents... way more productive and far less annoying.)

But I didn't write this post to bash the political players.  In seeking to seize the accomplishment, one must learn to prioritize.  What task needs my attention today?  What relationship should I focus on?  Which project should I do first?  What OUGHT you do first? then second? then third?  What OUGHT your focus be?  What OUGHT to be your priorities?  When you learn to dissect what you OUGHT to do, then you get through things a lot faster.

To avoid prioritizing, whether in politics or in life or in business, means your accomplishment will die a questionable death, and somebody will end up dissecting it.

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Comments

Claire Celsi

Obama has been much more successful than his immediate successor in managing many complex issues. I have no idea where you came up with that implication! Healthcare reform, equal pay for women, credit card reform, Wall Street reform, managing two wars... I think he's doing a great job under very trying circumstances.

Timothy Johnson

Really, Claire? Really? When I hear even MSNBC criticizing his leadership and prioritization, one has to guess the honeymoon is over. But just a few others who seem to share this view:


http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35819

http://www.ksby.com/news/analysis-obamas-priority-more-than-an-oil-mess/

http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/jul2009/pi20090715_485028.htm

http://www.progressive.org/wx012510.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704289504575313181930072638.html

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37524.html

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2010/01/obamas_economic_stimulus_loses.html

(The Wall Street Journal one is my favorite.)

Bottom line: relativism of "I'm not George Bush" (who wasn't the most stellar president, I'll agree with you) is growing old. He's had the job 18 months. Bush didn't prevent him from waiting weeks to contact the BP execs to deal with the oil spill. I suppose Obama's current approval (and disapproval) ratings, given he has both houses of Congress on his side, is also Bush's fault? Obama's accomplishments have also come at an extremely high cost - financially and socially. How many of the American people really support all of his "priorities"?

Sorry, Claire, but I give you a full post criticizing far right Republicans and the ONE thing you pick out is a well deserved comment about Obama? Really? Really?

Mo

Tim, I think you are missing the point though....

The most important thing is she didn't bad mouth the BBQ.

David Johnson

As one of the "ultra-conservatives" that you probably talked to I would have to say I was not disappointed at all with the choice in the primary. I agree some times you have to prioritize what is important.
The point of the issue is, some people do not see economics as the highest priority right now as economics have a tend to become cyclical in nature and when government interferes with the cycle it takes longer to correct. (see Durdu and Sayan, 2010)
Many people also see the decision by the Iowa Supreme Court as an attack on the family by granting the ability for homosexuals to marry. Many of these people are not looking for the governor to do anything other than put the issue up for a vote in Iowa. They do not want him or her to overturn the supreme court but they want to enable the people to take over the government again. Citizens are upset when the government both Federally and Locally will not listen to the governed.

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