Posted by: Debby Durkee | March 16, 2011

The invisible president.

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The invisible president.

When there’s a crisis in the world, the world looks to the United States of America, and when the world basically explodes, as it has done lately what with the Middle East blowing up and the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, the world looks to the United States.  In a bit over two years, Barack Obama has changed the world’s expectations. Our president appears to be a scared little boy hiding under his covers and shows the world, including those in the Middle East who always admire the strong horse, just how weak a paper tiger can be. This is from John Podhoretz in the New York Post.

Where is the president? The world is beset. Moammar Khadafy is moving relentlessly to crush the Libyan revolt that once promised the overthrow of one of the world’s most despicable regimes.   Snip —

Japan may be on the verge of a disaster that dwarfs any we have yet seen. A self-governing nation like the United States needs its leader to take full measure of his position at times of crises when the path forward is no longer clear.

This is not a time for leadership; this is the time for leadership.

So where is Barack Obama?

The moment demands that he rise to the challenge of showing America and the world that he is taking the reins. How leaders act in times of unanticipated crisis, in which they do not have a formulated game plan and must instead navigate in treacherous waters, defines them.

Obama is defining himself in a way that will destroy him.

It is not merely that he isn’t rising to the challenge. He is avoiding the challenge.  Snip –

…since Friday and a press conference in which he managed to leave the American position on Libya more muddled than it was before, we have not heard his voice. Except in a radio address — he talked about education legislation.

And he appeared at a fund-raiser in DC. And sat down with ESPN to reveal his NCAA picks.

He cannot go on like this. Niall Ferguson, the very pessimistic economic historian, wrote the other day that the best we can now hope for is that Obama leaves the country in the same kind of shape that Jimmy Carter left it in.  Snip —

I’d say that the best we can hope for is that Obama does not get re-elected. The country will be a shambles in another couple of years. Podhoretz goes on to compare Obama, and his reaction to the multitude of crises he’s been challenged with, to Richard Nixon’s equally tumultuous world events in his first term as president from 1969-1972.

Then, as now, the world was on fire. Wars erupted between China and the Soviet Union, India and Pakistan, even El Salvador and Honduras.

Jordan was nearly taken over from within by the Palestine Liberation Organization. There were humanitarian disasters in Biafra (the result of civil war), Bangladesh (due to flooding) and Nicaragua (deadly earthquake).

There was more, much more — including a war he inherited in Vietnam…  Snip —

Nixon won re-election in 1972 in a landslide of 61%.

Nixon achieved it, in large measure, because he appeared to be a serious man grappling in deadly earnest with the serious problems presented to him by a world careening out of control.

He demonstrated high competency when it came to matters on the world stage. He and his team (primarily Henry Kissinger) developed coherent policies and strategies for coping with the world. There was no question, to friend or foe, that he was fully engaged, paying attention, deeply involved.

Podhoretz goes on to say that the way he handles these crises will determine whether he gets re-elected. He says he appears to be a pipsqueak and pipsqueaks don’t win second terms. If you pile that on top of Obama’s constant golf outings, parties in the White House, trips (most recently to Rio – is he visiting with Soros in Brazil?) – there’s no doubt that this president is avoiding his responsibilities. He can’t vote present as president of the United States, but he’s doing it anyway. God help us. Read all of Podhoretz here:


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