Washington Needs Ike-Like Calm
Today's politicians have forgotten his lessons: Jim Newton
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 5, 2011 2:10 PM CDT
Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife hold the front page of a newspaper announcing that he won the presidential election in 1952.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Coming into office after a series of crises, Dwight Eisenhower knew that part of his job as president was to calm us down. “He set out to project an aura of calm command” and, “through patient and temperate negotiation,” he sought to balance rival factions in the government, writes Jim Newton in the Los Angeles Times. Unfortunately, that’s been “lost on the heirs to his political legacy,” as the debt-ceiling debate has shown.

Of the “political sins” of recent weeks, “among the most striking is the rush of America's leaders to court crisis rather than exhibit sober, sound leadership.” Refusing to raise the debt limit, Republicans “risked economic calamity”—and “some seemed to enjoy it.” Eisenhower knew that “a sense of constant crisis inhibited the natural instincts" America's entrepreneurial culture. “No business can be reassured by congressional leaders who fume and bicker as the government careens toward the precipice.”