A spent force, with three years left in his term

Jennifer Rubin at the Commentary blog writes:

Obama’s never been anything but a conventional ultra-liberal…. Now that his ideology has proved unworkable, it’s hard to say which way he’ll turn.

I know! He’ll do what all presidents do when they find themselves stymied on—or, like Richard Nixon, not interested in—domestic policy. He’ll turn his attention to the area where presidents have much more freedom to act, which is foreign relations and national defense. He’ll spend the next three years trying to empower our enemies and weaken us as much as he can. A process on which he already has one hell of a start—and who’s been able to stop him?

What more can an anti-American ultra-liberal ask for? Think how much ruin there is in the national defense of a great nation!

(See Anne Bayefsky’s Corner article below which makes points similar to mine.)

Here’s a longer excerpt Rubin’s blog entry:

… And virtually no time was spent considering how it came to be that a man so celebrated for his intellect had left such a light footprint in his brief career. Why were there no major legislative initiatives or interesting deviations from liberal orthodoxy? Well, certainly the perpetual fixation with running for higher office didn’t leave much time for accomplishing anything. But perhaps he had little interest in real policy debates and even less in the nitty-gritty of putting together actual legislation.

… Obama got to the presidency not through the appeal of his ideas but by the idea of Him. To be blunt, maybe the reason why the administration “has not contributed a single innovative, bipartisan idea on a major issue” is that Obama doesn’t have any and isn’t interested in any.

It’s hard to know where Obama will turn now. Some “inauthentic populism”? Some small-beans measures that really do very little to address the very big economic problems we have? Gerson optimistically hopes for some Reaganism—a pro-growth, pro-jobs approach to jump-start hiring in the battered private sector. Then there’s a full-blown reform agenda offered by Rep. Paul Ryan. Well, one can dream, but it’s hard to conceive of Obama adopting an ideologically eclectic policy agenda or abandoning his fondness for big government.

In short, Obama’s never been anything but a conventional ultra-liberal. In all the hoopla of the campaign and the pretty packaging, that was neatly disguised. Now that his ideology has proved unworkable, it’s hard to say which way he’ll turn. We might get a hint tonight. Or then again, we might just get another dose of defiant liberalism (with some rhetorical window dressing). It’s what he knows best.

[end of Rubin article]

Anne Bayefsky’s analysis of Obama’s national security remarks in the State of the Union address on January 27 more or less back up what I said above about Obama’s intent to strengthen our enemies and weaken us.

SOTU: Dangerous Weakness [Anne Bayefsky]

President Obama’s message in the State of the Union address confirmed that he is tone deaf to the grievous threats that exist to American national security and incapable of changing course before those dangers become a terrible reality.

The catastrophe of nuclear proliferation had finally made it to the top of the agenda by the time he took office. But over the past year, this president added disarmament to the same platform. He put the retention of U.S. nuclear weaponry on the U.N. negotiating table alongside Iranian acquisition of such arms. In this State of the Union address he wasn’t shy about reasserting this world view: “We are also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American people—the threat of nuclear weapons.” By which he meant, in American hands too. The president did not first and foremost promise never to let the genocidal Iranian regime acquire these weapons of mass destruction. Instead, the first national-security priority he articulated was to seek “to reduce our stockpiles and launchers.”

According to President Obama, only by weakening America can we hope to convince our enemies to stand down.

The president alleged that it was “these diplomatic efforts” at disarmament that “have … strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that [are] … in pursuit of these weapons.” He knows Iran is closer than ever to acquiring nuclear weapons. He is fully aware that the U.N. Security Council is deadlocked on adopting new sanctions against Iran. He is cognizant that China has repudiated the suggestion of a unified front to stop Iranian ambitions. And yet he told the American people—with a straight face—that his diplomatic effort at disarmament “is why the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated.”

President Obama announced that in April he will hold another hand-shaking, hot-air-generating “nuclear security summit”—to control American and Russian arms. As for dealing with Iran, he could not manage to muster a single concrete move, just an empty “they too will face growing consequences.”

The president then touted the only leg on which his foreign policy has been standing: “engagement.” To Iran’s brutalized dissidents, engagement has meant crocodile tears. The State of the Union added yet another layer of verbiage over their gravestones. “We support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran,” claimed the president. Why the limitation? What about the children, the men, the myriad minorities? Why did the president delicately avoid naming any Iranian victim, including the Americans now being held hostage in Iran?

This is an administration that has turned its back on inconvenient victims from Tehran to Tibet to Israel. An administration that has climbed on board the U.N. Human Rights Council, despite its being a tool of Islamic states for defeating rights. And yet the president disingenuously lectured: “America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity.”

The president concluded his perfunctory remarks on national security by analogizing the need for strength in an increasingly dangerous world to a childish game: “Let’s put aside the schoolyard taunts about who is tough.” In so doing, he has underestimated the intelligence of his audience. Americans increasingly understand that the weakness exuded by President Obama over this past year, and venerated in this State of the Union address, has reinvigorated real enemies, not imaginary ones.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 27, 2010 08:10 PM | Send

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