The President of the United States let slip a little revelation about Himself last week. I’ve been waiting for the BBC to say something, but there has been silence even on Twitter. Last Thursday, the New York Times published this:
Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, “No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.”
The context for this was the President’s unhappiness with how tough being President of the US is these days, with everyone looking to Him for leadership on what to do about Libya, Bahrain, and all the other Mohammedan countries where the citizenry is protesting against their autocratic rulers. Not to mention (and the Times doesn’t, because they are trying to protect Him just as much as the BBC does) the difficulties He’s facing at home right now regarding the economy, Wisconsin and the unions, the Tea Party movement, etc.
Now, imagine for a moment if George W. Bush had said something about wishing he was an autocratic ruler who had the power to control the media and have opponents arrested and disappeared on a whim. The BBC would be all over it, and their North America editor would be writing scornful blogpost after scornful blogpost, to go with a couple of segments for Today.
The fact that they haven’t done this means that the Beeboids simply don’t see this as remarkable at all. Not only do they sympathize with Him, but Matt Frei actually once openly wished for Him to be an autocratic ruler as well.
Matt Frei: Sometimes you look at countries like China and you think, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to be an autocracy in times like these?’
As DB said at the time, Matt Frei was heady with enthusiasm over the limitless possibilities for Change�™ at the dawn of The Obamessianic Age. The Beeboids certainly weren’t so enthusiastic for autocratic rule in the US back when Bush was elected. Have a look at their First 100 Days recap from 2001. It’s relentlessly negative. After reading that, get out the sick bag and remind yourselves of what the BBC put together for their beloved Obamessiah. Celebration after celebration.
Actually, I see something far worse in that quote. It reveals something about Him I was talking about here recently (pg. 8 on the Open Thread): He just isn’t interested in the US having a real leadership position in the world.
Right now, what many see as a lack of leadership and will over Libya is defended by Mark Mardell as pragmatism and a sign of His method of creating a better relationship between the US and the rest of the world. If we end up doing nothing and Ghaddafi kills more of his own people and ends up staying in power, Mardell accepts it willingly, because it would be His will.
The Obama administration is using the crisis as a test case. The key is whether the Arab world, the Muslim world will “cowboy up” and back some action. Although Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton have been crystal clear that UN backing is need, an invitation from the Arab League, or a coalition of Arab nations, to take action might tip the balance, as would an attention-grabbing massacre on the ground: at the UN there talk is of a “Guernica moment”.
If neither happens, Mr Obama may simply accept that an autocrat he has called on to go, is going nowhere.
In other words, sitting back and waiting for someone else to lead the way is not a sign of weakness or inability or – my personal opinion – lack of caring. Ironically, Mardell makes sure to tell everyone – again reading the President’s heart and mind for us – that He feels some sort of emotional connection with the protesters getting killed. Not sure how he squares that one when looking at himself in the mirror every morning.
Just the day before, Mardell was talking to Sen. John Kerry, who was the only high-profile Democrat really calling for the US to go in and do something (as opposed to Government officials talking about considering options or whatever). Even then Mardell was trying to shift blame away from Him. Other countries aren’t going to do anything, so why should He? Even as he acknowledges in the later post the irony of so many people who used to be hyper-critical of US intervention are now crying for us to do something, Mardell doesn’t see anything worth remarking about the President’s handling of the situation. Everything is either someone else’s fault, or something where He gets it right no matter what.
The thing is, what just might be the most damning part about that quote is the fact that the reason that we really do have what so many people either feared or celebrated: the first Post-American President.
The Beeboids can work to defend Him all they want, but what we’re seeing here is someone whose personal agenda has very little to do with having a success foreign policy which will strengthen the US. The reason He notes that nobody in Tahrir Square (or Tobruk, for that matter) cares about what Hu Jintao says is because He knows that China isn’t where the world looks for leadership in times of crisis. Whether the BBC likes it or not, the US has that position. And He’s squandering it, while they defend Him.
When Bush was in charge, we heard all the time about how he had weakened the US’s stature, and then we heard about how The Obamessiah would restore us to our rightful place. Now that He’s not actually doing it, the BBC is shifting blame and pretending it’s not happening.