In addition to the fact that our “allies” look like something from Mad Max–and some consist of al Qaeda--I am struck that we’ve not heard an Oval Office address. I cannot recall a military action in my lifetime without some run up, a domestic debate, some sign off through resolution or otherwise by the Congress, and a solemn case made to the American people by the President.
Obama, instead, allowed himself to be persuaded this was a good idea–scared perhaps the Clintons would undermine him for inaction–and then he was off to Brazil. Obama seems to think he could get into war as an afterthought, much like his appointment of strange leftist weirdos such as Van Jones. He forgot forces on the right and left have an opinion about this. And he really forgot that he was not elected to start “wars of choice” but rather to end them.
Read Full Post »
George Will writes today about Obama’s strange “time warp” focus on the START Treaty with Russia. Indeed. If there is one problem not significantly affecting the world, it’s the dormant arm’s race with Russia.
But Obama does this often. He is obsessed with 60s era racial gripes and thus struck out against a Cambridge cop last summer. He views the Third World, which has mostly made peace with free trade and capitalism, through the lens of the Cold War’s socialist nonaligned movement. He pushed health care full steam ahead when it was very much the centerpiece Democratic issue of 10 years ago and irrelevant to our current economic problems. In short, he is a kind of idealist, pushing the liberal ideas of his youth, and he apparently does not adjust very quickly or very well to a changed landscape.
On arm’s control this is particularly apparent, as he was writing about the “deadly” nuclear arm’s race back in college, and it’s one of the few insights into the standard-issue liberal views Obama had at that time.
The problem with all this, in addition to the poverty of his imagination, is that the modern presidency is very much reactive, defined by events, and required to rearrange priorities based on changed circumstances. Bush, who campaigned for a more “humble” foreign policy, quickly realized how dramatically the 9/11 attacks changed the world. Clinton, for all his faults, was a genius at “triangulation,” pushing smaller and noncontroversial policies after the dramatic failure of healthcare in ’94.
Considering the scale of our current economic and foreign policy problems, Obama’s lack of agility and his impoverished vision do not portend well for success either politically or as a matter of policy.
Read Full Post »