Here's a snippet of Tim Pawlenty, one of the Republicans scrambling to run for President denouncing Obama's approach to Libya:
Pawlenty makes it clear that he doesn't cotton to any "leading from behind."
In an interview with Terry Gross on NPR, Lizza ascribed the phrase "leading from behind" to an unnamed "adviser" among the policy elite. The source apparently thought phrase was complimentary.
Where have these Republicans and Lizza been all their lives? "Leading from behind" is a commonplace concept wherever people are trying to encourage others to take responsibility for new endeavors. For goodness sakes, I taught "leading from behind" to campers going on hiking trips at summer camp over 40 years ago. Organizers routinely practice "leading from behind" as part of leadership development. The Prez was once a community organizer after all.
Once the phrase was made controversial, Ben Armbruster at Think Progress dug up this from one of the great organizers alive:
Apparently Obama's rightwing critics have no concept of leadership more subtle than chest thumping.
None of this is to endorse Obama's policy in Libya whose outcome remains uncertain. But the butt-ignorance of how genuine leadership works among the other guys is stunning.