Democrats abandon President Obama. “A number of powerful Senate Democrats broke with the Obama administration Friday by opposing proposed changes to Medicare’s prescription drug program. Led by newly installed Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), all but four Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee criticized a suggested overhaul that would enlarge the government’s role in Part D.”

Police officers detain a protester in St.Petersburg, March 2, 2014, during an unsanctioned rally against the Russia's military actions in Crimea. Police arrested today hundreds in Moscow and dozens in St.Petersburg as they protested against military intervention in Ukraine, after President Vladimir Putin won approval from senators to send troops into the crisis-hit country. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVAOLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images Police officers detain a protester in St.Petersburg on Sunday during an unsanctioned rally against the Russia’s military actions in Crimea. (Olga Maltseva/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Obama deserts Ukraine. “The administration’s inaction and Putin’s aggressive conduct may teach some lessons: that the Obama administration seeks above all to avoid confrontations, at whatever cost; that its efforts to engage dictators and repressive regimes appear always to end in grief; that friends and foes alike see us as increasingly disengaged and weak; that this appearance of weakness tempts enemies of the United States to act. The very week that Putin acts in Ukraine is the week when the Obama administration unveils its plan for the smallest U.S. Army since the Second World War.”

Obama flees the world, but the world protests. “Africa wants more U.S. investment. Latin America wants more U.S. trade. The Middle East and Asia just want more: more diplomacy, more security, more commerce. This may come as a surprise to those Americans who are convinced the world not only hates them but also welcomes their decline. But the world, or at least much of it, has moved beyond this post-Iraq narrative, even if we haven’t. These days, many foreign governments fret less about an overbearing America and more about a disappearing America. One way or another, it seems, every region in the world feels neglected by the United States. . . . The problem others see these days is not too much of the United States, but too little.”

In his Saturday afternoon call with Vladimir Putin, Obama signaled, once again, retreat. “President Obama will be doing a lot of consulting with, and some assisting of, Ukraine. But Ukraine can expect no serious assistance in getting Russian troops off Ukraine soil or helping secure Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Nor is President Obama committed to seeing to it that President Putin pay a real price for his actions. It would after all be unfair to treat President Putin worse than President Assad or Ayatollah Khamenei.”

Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown says Americans are so used to the president stranding allies that they “kind of chuckle because of what we’ve had and what we’ve seen with obviously Syria with the red line issues, with Benghazi . . . there [are] always these empty threats. So there is a problem of credibility. And I don’t think Putin really cares what President Obama says or does.”

Even Democrats are turning their backs on the White House. “Senior US politicians from both parties criticized President Barack Obama’s threats to Russian President Vladimir Putin and called for immediate sanctions if troops are not immediately withdrawn from Ukraine.”

Arthur Brooks urges Americans to disown the politics of envy. “How can we break the back of envy and rebuild the optimism that made America the marvel of the world? First and foremost, we must increase mobility for more Americans with a radical opportunity agenda. That means education reform that empowers parents through choice, and rewards teachers for innovation. It means regulatory and tax reform tailored to spark hiring and entrepreneurship at all levels, especially the bottom of the income scale. . . . Second, we must recognize that fomenting bitterness over income differences may be powerful politics, but it injures our nation.”