Sometimes, it is better to say “I was wrong” than to say “I told you so”. It is unfortunate that I cannot do so today.
The President’s baggage was obvious during the Primaries: he was from the Leftmost fringes of a left-leaning party; he would not give legal protection to “born-alive” abortion survivors.
Maybe some of us hoped his election might at least — if nothing else — finally put to rest a long-standing racial tension. That didn’t really work out. But the concern that most alarmed me was his habit of voting “present”. Voting “present” can say a lot of things, certainly. But “leadership potential” is not one of them.
If we lived in a period of relative stability internationally, a “Voted Present” President might not be a big deal. We have no such a luxury. If anything, upheaval, not tranquility, is ascendant.
POTUS-44 arrived on the scene to international cheers and applause. The world preemptively awarded him a Peace Prize for his pledges of cooperation. Those cheers, perhaps you’ve noticed, have since turned to jeers.
The early warning signs of his leadership deficiency quickly mounted.
Domestically, his attempts to “fundamentally transform” America have served to fracture, rather than unite the American Public. We have seen America’s bloated bureaucracy, her rampant red tape, and the debt that drowns her. Freedoms are being curtailed, the rule of law overturned, and the military gutted.
Internationally, too, he’s a bungler: the same man who rejected Churchill’s bust instinctively bowed to foreign Heads of State, and eventually the CIA was expelled from Germany.
Obama’s priorities are seen in how he handles the Immigration File, refusing to even call them “illegal immigrants”. He warmly embraces people from foreign lands while illegally turning the destructive powers of Government Agencies against private citizens and businesses who dare to disagree with him.
So far as foreign policy is concerned, he’s hopeless.
The same man who nixed the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, who was caught on a hot mic promising Medvedev ”more flexibility” after the 2012 elections, famously mocked the idea of Russia being a significant Geopolitical threat. “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” he quipped. I suppose Obama’s “Jimmy Carter Playbook” is better suited for him?
Obama’s instincts aren’t merely bad, they are spectacularly and consistently wrong. The only reasonable explanation is because his motives and values are also wrong. How many “red lines” have been crossed during his administration with no meaningful consequence? The short answer? Too many.
The conflict in Gaza makes him squirm. His instincts are to blame Israel and excuse Hamas, even when Egypt is getting fed up with the behaviour of Hamas. How were Obama and Kerry received by Israel? With open arms? Hardly.
Obama’s instincts were to call on Iran’s help — Iran’s! — with stabilizing Iraq. Remember 2011, when Obama’s Mission Accomplished speech declared “the US was “leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq”? What’s happened since? Rivers of civilian blood.
A few civilians die in Gaza, and it’s an international outcry, but hundreds of thousands die in neighboring countries? Nothing. Girls as young as seven forcibly taken as “wives”. Rapes and beheadings are commonplace. We’ve seen footage of people — Christians, mostly, but also various minorities — beheaded, shot, and carried to their deaths. The Muslim Brotherhood in action.
That “Arab Spring” Obama cheered for? The one giving a New Beginning to Muslims? It gave rise to a virulent strain of Islam, and — unsurprisingly — still more rivers of blood.
A few Politically-expedient casualties in Gaza made him launch into action.
But where is this interest, where is this action when tens or hundreds of thousands of victims are killed for the crime of being non-Muslim? For the crime of being “Christian”? There is none.
The truly frightening thing is that this abdication of projecting international leadership, defending traditional values, and defending those too weak to defend themselves has led to open mockery of America. It is assumed that America is a “paper tiger”, a non-entity.
The whole point of “speaking softly and carrying a big stick” is that rattling the saber be enough to remind your foes that (a) you have one and (b)you are not afraid to use it, if needed.
The whole point of never, ever making an idle threat (*cough* Red Line *cough*) means that the real threat of war is something your enemy will always need to consider as a legitimate possibility. The mere reminder of your military might (and, just as importantly, will) serves, paradoxically enough, to avoid war. It forces the other guy to come to the diplomatic table, rather than escalating the situation.
Once the other guy doubts you have either the will or capacity (as nearly the whole world does today), lives will be needlessly lost on any future occasion when it truly comes time to put up or shut up. Pacifism costs lives. So does hesitation and weakness.
The leadership vacuum at 1600 Pennsylvania is having international consequences. It is not bridging us to some enlightened “neutral”. The League of Nations died for a reason.
No. Other men, other nations, and other ideologies — including dark and loathsome ideologies — are rising to challenge for that top spot. The time for leadership — real leadership — is now.