The Two Obamas
Has anyone noticed that President Obama seems to have some kind of “Jekyll and Hyde thing” going on, depending upon whether the issue is domestic or foreign policy?
On the domestic front, Obama rules with an iron fist, sitting on high from his throne and mandating what is allowed and what is prohibited for his subjects. He runs the country a bit like England, except backwards, where he has all of the real power, while Congress is merely a figurehead just like the Royal Family. Those that dare challenge or publicly disagree with any of his royal decrees, leave themselves open to scorn and ridicule from his attack dogs and puppets in the media, or worse, a dreaded investigation from one of his governmental agencies. If a scandal breaks out, possibly exposing some dirty laundry, the media will stonewall on the story and there really is no other part of the government that legitimately will investigate or prosecute any wrongdoing. To sum it up, at home he projects nothing but strength and power, and a tough-guy refusal to work with or cooperate with others that have differing ideas.
On the foreign policy front, it is the exact opposite, where President Obama can appease foreign leaders and terrorists with the best of his White House predecessors from the Democrat party. Even those countries that should be among his strongest allies, like Israel and Poland, must live in constant fear that the weakness he projects will result in the end of their nations, either by invasion or annihilation. His entry into foreign policy started with an apology tour and has continued on a similar path, causing even the Editorial Board of the Washington Post to state that his foreign policy was based on fantasy, not reality. To sum it up, on foreign policy matters, while he projects a willingness to work and cooperate with others, that is overshadowed by a projection of weakness and lack of resolve.
It makes me think about how different our country would be if he had swapped those personas from the outset. On the domestic front, his “let’s work this out diplomatically” persona might have resulted in bipartisan health care reform, instead of the one-party mess rammed through Congress. If he caved on a “red line” with respect to the budget or debt limit, like he did in Syria, we might actually be on a path to a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility. On the international side, his “don’t mess with the O” domestic persona might have resulted in Iraq remaining a free democracy, instead of a bastion for terrorists. It might have also resulted in a more stable Egypt, better relations with Israel, increased chances for a nuclear-free Iran and North Korea, with Syria (and Russia) actually respecting his red line on chemical weapons, and a Russian-free Ukraine.
Is it just me, or does the year 2016 seem like it is light years away? And that’s not a good thing.
Dave Beltrami is a lawyer and political analyst living in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws (Taxation) degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.