Terrific article today from Der Spiegel, (that's German for you leftist twits out there), explaining from one German's point of view how Obama's ass-kiss diplomacy is failing. Giving away the ending, the article quotes Newt by saying that Obama's approach is "a lot like Jimmy Carter".
Barack Obama looked tired on Thursday, as he stood in the Blue House in Seoul, the official residence of the South Korean president. He also seemed irritable and even slightly forlorn. The CNN cameras had already been set up. But then Obama decided not to play along, and not to answer the question he had already been asked several times on his trip: what did he plan to take home with him? Instead, he simply said "thank you, guys," and disappeared. David Axelrod, senior advisor to the president, fielded the journalists' questions in the hallway of the Blue House instead, telling them that the public's expectations had been "too high."
Wait...whose expectations were "too high"? What people were sitting around back home going, 'Man, Obama's gonna topple Chinese Communism while he's over there and maybe Free Tibet while he's at it.'
Too high? I for one think that after watching our President bow down to royalty, his trip is a rousing success because he didn't bend over for Hu Jintao and take it up the tailpipe on State television. After watching Obama fail miserably everywhere he goes, my expectations for him consist of hopefully not selling nuclear secrets for a photo-op.Too high? Axelrod is a funny guy sometimes.
But what I'm not so sure about is the writer's suggestion that Obama may have to alter course and take a more, gasp!, Bush-like approach to foreign policy:
There are many indications that the man in charge at the White House will take a tougher stance in the future. Obama's advisors fear a comparison with former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, even more than with Bush.
Have you gotten this feeling from Obama or his team? I haven't. I've seen no indication of a toughening Obama except for some useless and meaningless get tough talk like "time is running out," Obama said in Korea. What the hell does that mean coming from Obama? Nothing.
Obama is a child, nothing more. He is a lost little boy playing grown-up in a serious and often dangerous world. I'll be honest with you and say that if Obama were thinking about transitioning to a more serious approach to foreign policy, that could end up being even more scary than the status quo because, like a child, Obama simply doesn't know how to act like a grown-up. If he tries playing Reagan or Bush on the world stage, there's a very good chance that the real grown-ups in the room won't take too kindly to the gesture. Like Newt says, "Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead..."
A year has passed now since Obama was elected and the world is acutely aware of who he is and who he isn't. He is a foreign policy neophyte with zero experience, a tendency toward condescension and little credibility. He is not willing to stand up for human rights, defend Freedom abroad or challenge the world to promote our interests. If Obama tries a 180 now it will be interpreted as disingenuous and backfire royally.
I'd just rather Obama stop traveling and get serious here at home for a while.