Barack Obama’s America-effacing presidency

Yesterday, John was kind enough to link to, and quote from, my Examiner column called “Why Does He Hate Us?” Here, with your indulgence, is the whole thing.

On the morning after the deadliest instance of Islamist terrorism in the United States since 9/11, President Obama warned the American public not to “jump to conclusions” about the motives that impelled Nidal Hasan’s rampage of mass murder at Fort Hood.
By the time Obama issued this warning, it had already been reported that Hasan yelled “Allahu akbar” before he opened fire. This assertion of the supremacy of Allah is invoked by Islamic terrorists worldwide before they kill. It was also known that Hasan’s fellow participants in an Army program on public health had complained to military authorities about Hasan’s anti-American propaganda. Hasan had made a presentation that justified suicide bombing and argued that the war on terror is a war against Islam.
Yet no conclusions were warranted, as far as Obama was concerned. “We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing,” our “philosopher in chief” intoned.
Obama has not always been cautious about jumping to conclusions.When a white police officer in Cambridge, Mass., arrested an African-American Harvard professor, the president was quick to proclaim that the officer had “acted stupidly.” Obama was soon forced to back away from that statement, which was based on ignorance of the facts.
There is no underlying inconsistency between these seemingly divergent responses. Both are founded on the same antipathy Obama harbors toward America. Obama prematurely concluded that the professor’s arrest was improper because this conclusion comported with his view that American law enforcement officers habitually harass black Americans. In Hasan’s case, it was imperative to resist the obvious connection between Islamism and the killings because, in Obama’s view, Americans habitually are on the verge of persecuting Muslims.
As the president’s wife once put it, America is “just downright mean.”
Our malevolence is not confined to relations with our own minority groups, either.In our president’s opinion, we are global miscreants. For example, Obama has insisted that to compensate for our past arrogance, we need to negotiate, even absent any preconditions, with our worst enemies, including Iran. Applied to Russia, this has meant going hat in hand to the Kremlin and agreeing, among other concessions, to abandon missile defense for Russia’s Eastern European neighbors in the hope of demonstrating that we have turned over a new leaf.
Obama must therefore believe that the thuggish, autocratic, expansionist Russian regime is more sinned against than sinning in its relations with the United States. But if Russia is our victim, are there any regimes as to which we hold the high moral ground? Judging by Obama’s foreign policy to date, only Israel, Honduras, and perhaps Great Britain come to mind.
It might be argued in our defense that the United States faced down the Soviet Union, paving the way for the triumph of freedom in Central and Eastern Europe. But this fact apparently does not impress Obama.When heads of state gathered in Berlin last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Obama was absent.
Obama did appear in Berlin via video. But the president omitted from his remarks any mention of the Soviet Union or communism, Harry Truman, or Ronald Reagan. As my blog partner Scott Johnson put it, Obama neither “decried the villains nor saluted the heroes of the story.” That’s because we were the heroes.
Obama reportedly is contemplating a visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki…The venue is perfect for Obama’s signature public hand-wringing on behalf of his country.
Obama’s antipathy toward America should come as no surprise. Although he has lived a rich and varied life, there has been one constant – exposure to the left’s disparaging narrative about America.
Obama grew up in a radically left-wing household, attended elite colleges where a jaundiced view of America is orthodox, and spent the remainder of his formative years as a community organizer alongside the likes of former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and the “God damn America” ranting Jeremiah Wright.
No wonder Obama is serving up a “God damn America lite” presidency.
What will be the consequences of that presidency? Domestically, we can expect the president to continue trying to remodel the American economy along radical lines. And given his mistrust of his countrymen’s instincts, we can expect attempts to curb personal freedom.
Fortunately, in the domestic realm, Obama cannot implement very much of this agenda without the “consent of the governed,” as expressed through their elected representatives. Thus, Obama can be constrained. If the electorate chooses not to constrain him, he will have earned the right to work his radical transformation.
In the area of foreign and national security policy, however, Obama can operate largely unchecked. And a weak, guilt-ridden policy toward our foreign adversaries is almost certain to produce grave consequences.
To some extent, we have seen this act before. The damage of just four years of Jimmy Carter’s America-effacing presidency included Soviet expansion, communist inroads in Latin America, the replacement of a friendly government with a virulently anti-American theocracy in Iran, and a prolonged hostage crisis that came to symbolize the new American impotence.
But although Carter was ambivalent about America, his efforts to promote democracy abroad showed that he thought we had something to offer the world. Obama will not grant America even that. Emulating Carter the ex-president, rather than President Carter, Obama has shown essentially no interest in human rights or democracy promotion. His belated support of the Iranian protesters following this summer’s election could hardly have been more lukewarm.
It seems that, in Obama’s view, all we have to offer the world is our non-interference in its affairs, except perhaps when it comes to bullying our allies.
In the past, we have offered much more. We defeated fascism and communism, liberated Europe in two world wars, and took the lead in fighting back against Islamist extremism. A country burdened by a battered self-image will be incapable of any such achievements. We will suffer for it, and so will the world.

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