Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Jack Kelly, writing of Barack Obama's miserable debut on the foreign stage, notes that those amazed with his je ne sais quoi increasingly include the leaders of other countries.
Obama has been particularly rude to our strongest, and most reliable allies, the British, on multiple occasions now.
"The murmurs began when President Obama returned to the British embassy the Winston Churchill bust that had been displayed in the Oval Office," wrote Dana Milbank of the Washington Post.This is disgraceful, to say the very least, and it may even be intentional. In either case, it has led Kelley to ask a variant of the "evil or stupid" question that seems to be on everyone's lips these days:
"The fears intensified when press secretary Robert Gibbs...demoted the Churchillian phrase 'special relationship' to a mere 'special partnership' across the Atlantic.
"And the alarm bells really went off when Brown's entourage landed at Andrews Air Force Base," Mr. Milbank said. "Obama, breaking with precedent, wouldn't grant the prime minister the customary honor of standing beside him in front of the two nation's flags for the TV cameras."
It got worse. The White House initially cancelled a joint press conference with the prime minister on account of snow. This explanation was unconvincing to Toby Harnden of the London Telegraph, who noted "there are 132 rooms in the White House at least some of which, presumably, are free of snow."
When Mr. Obama did hold a truncated press availability from which most of the British press were excluded, he went right to questions, skipping the usual words of welcome for his guest. The hapless Mr. Brown didn't even get invited to lunch. [bold added]
In the first of his autobiographies, Mr. Obama said his grandfather was tortured by the British during the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950s. Winston Churchill was prime minister at the time.Or Obama is deliberately betraying his country.
If the snub was deliberate, this is remarkably churlish behavior. If it wasn't, it is evidence Mr. Obama is not ready for prime time. [bold added]
Unsurprisingly, his behavior towards Iran has baffled all but the Iranians and the Russians, who see weakness for what it is, regardless of the cause.
I was about to say that I hope we have only a rough four years ahead of us -- until I realized that such hope depends on the Republicans, who put McCain up against Obama in 2008, after Bush set the table for him.
The GOP needs to get back to the drawing board in a hurry!
Regardless of what the Republicans do, America needs and deserves much better than this.
This post was composed in advance and scheduled for publication at 5:00 A.M. on March 10, 2009.