Along with just about everyone else, I was discouraged by President Obama’s speech yesterday at West Point. What I feared the most and what I was most on the lookout for was a delusional denial that America’s standing around the world has not been diminished during the Obama presidency. I don’t wade into foreign policy much, but I do travel around the world a lot. I regularly interact with foreign leaders, business people and media. In my travels overseas, everyone who voices an opinion believes America is in decline and that Obama is weak. Obviously, they are not partisans, and they usually don’t talk about America’s decline with delight. Most are reacting with anguish and worry. The rest of the world relies on America more than this president seems to realize.
No one thinks America is stronger today than it was five years ago. Period.
Anyway, I didn’t expect the president to admit defeat, but I was hoping for some evidence that he knows how bad things are getting. Instead, he addressed the decline question point-blank by saying those who suggest “America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away – are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.” I wonder who this administration talks to. Is no one candid with them? The complaints, concerns and observations that I hear are 100 percent consistent in that people think America is in retreat and Obama is a growing disappointment.
Despite this reality, the White House has pretentiously tried to declare there is an “Obama Doctrine.” Only the most compliant enablers and sycophants will agree and chime in. There is no Obama Doctrine; there is only an Obama-centric gloss on world events, declaring success no matter the facts. His speech reminded me of an old mantra, “Tell me what happened and I will tell you what the plan was.” Even the New York Times Editorial Board – that’s right, the New York Times, I had to do a double-take – said the president’s speech “did not match the hype, was largely uninspiring, lacked strategic sweep and is unlikely to quiet his detractors, on the right or the left.”
And was it just me, or did the president appear to be getting a very cool reception from the West Point audience? From watching a video of the speech, there appeared to be applause lines built in, but the audience wouldn’t take the bait. The news coverage made it look like the president fell flat in front of the U.S. military. The White House will have to deny it, but the imagery was terrible. In politics, bad gets worse.
Obama essentially wants us to see infallibility in everything he does. He is completely uninhibited by reality, and no one appears to be challenging his biases. By denying the obvious, the president looks out of touch, compounds his own problems and accelerates America’s decline.
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