Friday, April 03, 2009

Bowed, But Unbloodied

I see a picture like this, and it’s easy to believe that that President Obama is doing everything he can think of to humiliate the nation that just elected him to its highest office. But then I consider, and really gather that when he does these things he’s really not thinking about what he’s doing at all.

My theory is that Obama has a very few things he’s interested in, very few things he’s developed strong beliefs about. For the rest he fakes it or borrows from advisers: economics, foreign policy (especially the war against Islamism), the credit crisis, the auto industry--I just don’t think he’s that interested. As Charles Krauthammer explains it, many of these things are just “sideshows,” things Obama tackles only because he has to, or delegates to cabinet members:

Obama has far different ambitions. His goal is to rewrite the American social compact, to recast the relationship between government and citizen. He wants government to narrow the nation's income and anxiety gaps. Soak the rich for reasons of revenue and justice. Nationalize health care and federalize education to grant all citizens of all classes the freedom from anxiety about health care and college that the rich enjoy. And fund this vast new social safety net through the cash cow of a disguised carbon tax.

Obama is a leveler. He has come to narrow the divide between rich and poor. For him the ultimate social value is fairness. Imposing it upon the American social order is his mission. (“Obama’s Ultimate Agenda”).
It’s an issue of principles, and I don’t think Obama is encumbered by many.

Bill Clinton wasn’t principled as a president. Wanting love and power isn’t being principled. But he was brainy and curious and able to sit for hours absorbing endless minutiae from his wonks on a policy question before making a decision. Out of that would come, occasionally, a rational policy decision, or an ability to compromise, say, with the Republicans on welfare reform. But when he was all done in the White House, still no body knew what he really stood for.

Then, for all the lambasting he continues to get, George W. Bush did govern with principles, and if you understood his principles, (like I and many of his supporters did), you’d have recognized that he acted consistently with them, with few exceptions, (e.g., Harriet Miers). He was unswerving on national security, refused to surrender an inch on American sovereignty, and even where his compassionate conservatism wasn’t as conservative as some would like, he managed to be a friend both to business and working taxpayers, unlike Obama and his open war on captains of industry. And the testimony of the good Bush did as a pro-life president is written in the amount of demolition work that Obama has undertaken to undo it.

I don't think Obama is principled that way. He’s got an agenda, clearly, but it’s a very narrow one, and almost all domestic. As Krauthammer points out, he is fixated on "fairness" and enormous government programs. I'm beginning to think his limited interest in international affairs has to do with his wanting to get America less involved, not more, in the rest of the world. That way we can turn inward and finish constructing the smaller, poorer, but more perfect Utopia he came into power to bring us.

His blindness about the jihadist war on us may have contain some genuine conviction that Islam is benevolent and misunderstood--an opinion sadly still shared by most Americans--but that opinion would only make him average. But I think really what it is with Obama is he just resents the cost, as if global security can be measured out on a grocery clicker. When he said in 2002 he thought Iraq was a “dumb” war, it wasn’t because he’d applied his Harvard-trained mind to the instabilities of the Middle East in a post-9/11 world and figured out the flaws in the Bush doctrine. He said he thought it was dumb because he saw it as a distraction from the need to enact more and greater government-led social programs at home:

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.”
His foreign policy so far hasn’t betrayed the slightest interest in maintaining or increasing America’s prestige or influence in the world. Instead, he manages to decrease it, either willfully or through gross negligence. When he insults Gordon Brown and the UK on the one hand, and vitiates 233 years of American revolutionary dignity by bowing to an Arab potentate on the other, it’s easy to think he just doesn’t care that much about these things. His every public statement abroad, literally, only adds to a catalogue of apologies for his nation and promises that we will do better, and play nicer, from now on.

I’m starting to think he really harbors an ambition--some kind of reverse dream of Manifest Destiny--by which America is diplomatically “rightsized” down to the North American equivalent of Luxembourg, just one more respectful Munchkin-scale equal among hundreds of global peers, disarmed, unthreatening, but with a kick-ass social welfare system. Leaving national pride out of it, the strategic problems this will cause for us and the whole world ought to be obvious. But Obama’s strategic universe appears to extend only to winning elections and packing the federal government with social radicals bent on increasing the abortion rate and making sure there’s public funding for it.


Anonymous said...

I was concerned about all of Obama's man-hugs. It's a shame to see your leader emasculate your country. But, bowing is even lower.

Enemies will take advantage of our vulnerabilities. Our leader bent over to them and we will be taking it in the _ _ _.

T.R. Clancy said...

It is a shame. Our enemies will see it as weakness.

nonimis said...

in the ---- !!