President Obama’s tenure has weakened America, wounded our alliances and bolstered our enemies. The president may have inherited some difficult circumstances, but he consistently misplayed his hand and made matters worse — everywhere.
The Obama presidency opened in 2009 with an insult to Britain via the clumsy handling of the removal of Winston Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office, and it is concluding with an attempted destructive policy shift that is particularly harmful to America’s vital ally, Israel. In between, one secretary of state engineered a so-called pivot to Asia that no one in Asia noticed, demolished Libya and missed an opportunity to harness the potential of the Arab Spring. Another humiliated himself and the country by repeatedly allowing himself to be made a laughingstock by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and by badgering Middle Eastern leaders long after he had worn out his welcome.
To make matters worse, Obama has capitulated to and strengthened enemy regimes in Iran and Cuba. He scrambled our international priorities and declared global warming to be one of our most significant national security problems, requiring billions to be spent to lower carbon emissions in the United States at the expense of American businesses while giving China a pass. Obama refused to stand with the rest of the civilized world after the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in France and single-handedly destroyed the diplomatic tool of deterrence as one foe after another learned there were little or no consequences for ignoring the Obama administration.
Am I wrong about any of this? Where is the United States stronger today as a result of Obama’s stewardship of American foreign policy?
While it is mostly true that foreign policy and national security issues don’t drive votes, undoubtedly the feelings of insecurity and instability created by the Obama mismanagement of our foreign policy contributed to the Democrats’ defeat. And the bad politics of Obama’s national security policies has gotten worse for the Democrats because of the recent U.S. abstention from the U.N. vote against Israel. Even prominent elected Democrats are eager to distance themselves from the U.N. vote.
I’m in California visiting with some Jewish friends who have a history of supporting both Republicans and Democrats, and they made the point to me that being pro-Israel only gets you so much — but being anti-Israel could begin to hasten the decoupling of American Jewish voters from the Democratic Party. One of my friends guessed that the amount of time it will take Samantha Powers, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., to disclaim any responsibility for the U.N. vote after Obama leaves office is about “12 seconds.”
It will be hard for the Democrats who want to write books touting their service in the foreign policy realm during the Obama era. I suspect many officials who were planning to negotiate their book deals during the Clinton transition have canceled those plans. In the current environment, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to claim credit and success for any aspect of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.
Assuming the liberals are wrong and he doesn’t actually cause a nuclear holocaust, I’m looking forward to President-elect Donald Trump and his crew taking over. The United States needs to reassert itself. Say what you want about Trump, but I suspect he won’t be shy about asserting U.S. interests, and his Cabinet picks indicate that our national security is being returned to adult supervision.