Obama: America is a dominant military power 'whether we like it or not'

Rick Moran
You can imagine the president's answer to whether he likes the idea of a strong American military.

But beyond that, Commentary's J.E. Dyer has a trenchant look at Obama's musings in front of an open mic and how detrimental they are to US policy:

Comments of this kind belong in seminar discussions and spitball sessions, not in the public addresses of national leaders.A national leader's job is to communicate his nation's intentions and interests, and to reinforce, when necessary, what the nation can be relied on to do. There is no need even to use words like "dominant military power." That's a theoretical description; a wonk's expression. What a president should be stating is what America's policy is. Instead, Obama has offered an explanation for our interest in reducing conflict overseas that can only come across as cynical and gratuitously insulting. Such conflicts, he laments, inevitably draw us, the dominant military power, into them.

The urge to editorialize is something effective statesmen rigorously suppress; their least-scripted comments align with the policies they advocate in official settings. Obama shouldn't even utter words that dilute and detract from his message about America's intentions. In the end, no one cares whether this president "gets" the irony and ambivalence attendant on national greatness. What will matter is the effect his words produce in the lives of millions. Perpetual consciousness of that is indeed a strain. It means setting a guard on one's tongue every waking moment. But as we say in the military: that's what we pay him the big bucks for.

We have elected a college professor president whose ignorance of statecraft is cheering our enemies and worrying our friends.

The man is so in love with the sound of his own voice, and so supremely confident that anything that comes out of his mouth is worthy of being bronzed, that he fails to follow the simple, common sense rules that a national leader must obey in order to make his utterances crystal clear.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



You can imagine the president's answer to whether he likes the idea of a strong American military.

But beyond that, Commentary's J.E. Dyer has a trenchant look at Obama's musings in front of an open mic and how detrimental they are to US policy:

Comments of this kind belong in seminar discussions and spitball sessions, not in the public addresses of national leaders.

A national leader's job is to communicate his nation's intentions and interests, and to reinforce, when necessary, what the nation can be relied on to do. There is no need even to use words like "dominant military power." That's a theoretical description; a wonk's expression. What a president should be stating is what America's policy is. Instead, Obama has offered an explanation for our interest in reducing conflict overseas that can only come across as cynical and gratuitously insulting. Such conflicts, he laments, inevitably draw us, the dominant military power, into them.

The urge to editorialize is something effective statesmen rigorously suppress; their least-scripted comments align with the policies they advocate in official settings. Obama shouldn't even utter words that dilute and detract from his message about America's intentions. In the end, no one cares whether this president "gets" the irony and ambivalence attendant on national greatness. What will matter is the effect his words produce in the lives of millions. Perpetual consciousness of that is indeed a strain. It means setting a guard on one's tongue every waking moment. But as we say in the military: that's what we pay him the big bucks for.

We have elected a college professor president whose ignorance of statecraft is cheering our enemies and worrying our friends.

The man is so in love with the sound of his own voice, and so supremely confident that anything that comes out of his mouth is worthy of being bronzed, that he fails to follow the simple, common sense rules that a national leader must obey in order to make his utterances crystal clear.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky