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Sunday, January 30, 2011

While He Fiddled On Obamacare

Obama does bear responsibility for the high, and now likely perpetual, unemployment rates, the skyrocketing budget deficits, and the rapid rise in our national debt in the past two years.  Domestically, the obsession with passing Obamacare and expanding government had a direct cause and effect relationship to our economic problems.

Internationally, it more is a matter of neglect and disregard, rather than a causal connection.

Having prostrated the United States before the world in the first months of his administration, and then having largely abandoned that world while focusing on Obamacare, we have watched a de facto Iranian takeover of Lebanon via Hezbollah, and a spread of Iranian and Islamist influence.  It remains to be seen in which direction the Egyptian crisis moves, but all signs point to creater instability in the region and greater influence of Islamists.

The administration's complete obsession with Obamacare has had intended and unintended consequences, only some of which presently are known.

Update:  Yes, I know, not all of the foreign policy has been neglectful.  The Obama administration was quite active in supporting the Hugo Chavez-wannabee who tried to make himself president-for-life over the objections of the Honduran people, and in publicly scolding the Israelis for the lack of progress in peace talks. 
Related Posts:
When Will The Europeans Apologize To Us?
Please Watch The Video -- Bush Didn't "Bow"
"Heads They Win, Tails We Lose" Diplomacy

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  1. not by neglect, but by design.

    what's happening in egypt is just what ayers and the akp and rashid khalidi want.

    baradei and the MB are achieving long held postmodern leftist and jihadist goals.

    goals obama shares.

    repeat: for the postmodern left and their allies in global jihad, these events are not a bug; they're a feature

  2. As we say in the Army, "not making a decision is still a decision". But given the disaster that most of Obama's decisions turn out to be, you have to take into account the possibility (probability?) that things might turn out better in the ME simply because he has NOT done anything to influence those countries.

  3. Obama will go down as the worst president in history. His administration is the blind leading the deaf and dumb. He is worse than Carter (And who said that you grow wiser with age?) and it will take at least a generation to recover.

  4. I supported President Bush, but it could be said that his overfocus on foreign policy allowed the economy to run off the rails. It just demonstrates that who is appointed to various posts can be just as important as the guy in the oval office. Hillary is just as big a disaster as secstate as Obama is as president.

  5. Wasn't spreading democracy in the Arab world the whole idea behind the Bush administration plans to invade Iraq?

    So I've been reading two narratives. One is that Bush The Younger was right all along! The other is that Obama "lost" Egypt.

    They really can't both be true.

  6. One subtext to your post is that but for Obamacare, Obama's foreign policy would have been more involved, assertive, helped reisist Iran in Lebanon, etc.

    Two things:

    1. Obama never showed any interest in foreign policy except that foreign problems be contained lest they interfere with his domestic "transformation" of America.

    2. If we had been more involved, he would have done things to resist those events you don't like, and supported things you do like.

    I suggest that, first, he doesn't care about foreign affairs as long as they don't interfere with his domestic agenda, and if it hadn't been Obamacare it would have been something else (Cap-and-Trade, Card Check, any number of possibilities).

    Further, if somehow he had focused on foreign policy, you wouldn't have liked what he did.

  7. Hang on a second. Didn't the Prez allow Harry and Nancy and Congressional staffers to do most of the heavy lifting? The writing and negotiating? Our hero mainly twisted arms at the end and gave speeches, explaining how doctors removed tonsils to pay for their Beamers, and lopped off legs for 10K or 15K a pop. Remember how disappointed he was it didn't have broader support? Maybe he needed to give another speech supporting it? Maybe if talked slower and used smaller words we would get it. How the red pills are cheaper and just as good, and grandma really doesn't need a new knee she's only going to use a little while. How selfish of her. He really didn't work that hard on health care reform other than to annoy the shit out of clear thinking people.

  8. So what you're saying is it's not clear which brings forth the worst result - when he pays attention to something or when he doesn't. America clearly needs an exit strategy at this juncture; not from the Egyptian mess but from the disastrous Obama presidency.

  9. If Egypt turns into Iran II, Obama's support will further illustrate the Progressive narrative as a dream world growing ever distant from reality. Just like his domestic agenda.

  10. As Reliapundit indicates, the more attention the Obama administration gives to foreign policy problems, the worse it is. I'm just as happy this way.

  11. Its hard not to be taken back by the intellectual dishonesty going on here. The United States has been propping up Mubarak at the detriment of the Egyptian people for THIRTY YEARS.

    Obama has been in office for the last two of them. During that time, he has had to clean up all sorts of messes that were left festering by his predecessor: a worldwide economic catastrophe on a scale not seen in decades, two ongoing wars, an ascendant Iran. All this while working in an atmosphere of unprecedented international hostility to American actions; indeed, America has never in history been more unpopular than she was when Obama took the reins.

    To top it all off, nothing in Egypt has happened yet. Mubarak hasn't left, Islamists haven't taken over. And here are all of you saying that Egypt is "Obama's Iran" or that "Obama is losing Eygpt". Do you people actually believe these things? Or are you constructing the narrative in advance so that *if* it does happen you can blame it on Obama after all?

    Obama derangement syndrome, it seems.

  12. "America has never in history been more unpopular than she was when Obama took the reins."


    Maybe you ought to save some of your self-righteous lecturing for those who HAVEN'T been paying attention to what's going on.

  13. Let's face it, right wing extremists, it's Palin's fault.

  14. The party of the President doesn't really matter at all. THE problem we have is that we canNOT seem to spread and support the same atmostphere of freedom that we demand for ourselves. We have rulers that don't like it. If we DEMANDED that ANY country receiving ANY American aid announce yearly their support for the U.S. Constitution First Amendment then we'd be able to define "friends" versus "enemy states". Aid and battle lines would be easy. Now we're stuck trying to figure out why it's good for U.S. to have G.E. selling stuff to Iran. Hit me with a clue.

  15. Is that the same GE who sells us compact fluorescent bulbs made in China, for great profit, but can't sell us incandescent bulbs? That GE? Whose CEO is now a residential adviser?

  16. Jim,

    How is that bullshit? When else in history was America more unpopular than she was in the waning years of the Bush presidency?

    The only possible competitor might be towards the end of our involvement in Vietnam, but even then our Western European allies were on our side. After all, its a little easier to believe in the whole anti-communism thing when there are thousands of Soviet tanks a few days' drive from your capitols.

    An important job of the POTUS is to serve as a spokesman for our nation. Obama had a lot of selling to do after Bush left. Just because your mind has difficulty accepting objective reality through your thick partisan filter does not make it less true.

    As for me, I'm a true patriot. I give the President of the United States the benefit of the doubt no matter which party he comes from, and I only criticize him when it is absolutely warranted. Its a shame a lot of Americans are partisans before they are patriots. Otherwise we'd all be rooting for Obama instead of hoping he fails so your pre-constructed narrative comes true, like some of you seem to be doing.

  17. The problem with supporting him revolves around his actions...our president has been grossly negligent in foreign policy(as the saying goes "partisanship ends at the waters edge") while attempting to cement his place in history on the domestic front. So we disagree with his 'transformation' which is our right while pointing out that other than another presser the potus 'still' hasn't done anything substantive of his own internationally.

  18. Someone give me concrete examples of where Obama has failed internationally.

    -He has expanded and intensified the War in Afghanistan, which was neglected almost criminally under George W. Bush.

    -He hasn't done much in Iraq mainly because there wasn't a ton to do.

    -He has drastically increased the international pressure on Iran. His offer to negotiate with Iran when he took power put America firmly back on the moral high ground. When Iran slapped away our outstretched hand, the international community took notice, and rallied around our sanction and containment efforts.

    -He has drastically improved relations with Russia and also with our traditional allies in Europe. Although to be fair, he did this more just by not being George W. Bush.

    In the medical profession, there is this saying that doctors should always live by: "do no harm". If there is a significant chance an intervention could make a patient less healthy, maybe its best to avoid it in most cases. If politicians lived by that motto, do no harm, I think we might be better off as a nation. So here is a list of things Obama HAS NOT done.

    -He has not expanded entitlements without funding them, as GWB did with medicare part D. While the ACA doesn't do a good job of controlling health care costs, its provisions are certainly accounted for and don't add to the deficit.

    -Obama also has not started any unnecessary wars based on false pretenses that would ultimately cost America thousands of soldiers, result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and cost hundreds of billions of dollars to wage.

    -Obama has not alienated America's staunchest allies and indeed most of the world with exceptionally inflammatory "us versus them" rhetoric.

    -Obama hasn't really improved our relations with the Muslim world but he certainly hasn't made them worse.

    These are just the things off the top of my head. When you think about all of the things that a president can do wrong, it suddenly seems prudent to wish for a president who doesn't do enough. Although the right seems inconsistent about this anyway: some of the time, you all argue that Obama is a failure and he hasn't done anything. Other times you argue that he has destroyed 'Merica. How can both be true?