Be careful what you wish for......you may get a president that you don't respect!

Silvio Canto, Jr.
According to most polls, the country is happy that we got out of Iraq, phased out our presence in Afghanistan, stayed out of Syria & Ukraine. 

However, the country is getting what they wanted but no one is happy with it, as Fred Hiatt wrote a few days ago:

"Robert Kagan recently wrote on this page that, foreign policy decision by foreign policy decision, President Obama has given Americans what they say they want.

But the result hasn’t made them proud of America or of their president.   

The same phenomenon may explain the disappointment in Obama’s domestic record.  

Case by case overseas, Kagan suggested, Americans agree with Obama’s calls: pull out of Iraq, wind down in Afghanistan, steer clear of Syria. But the emerging picture of an America in retreat, and a leader half-heartedly committed to promoting liberty, is not what they were looking for.  

At home, the fateful moment came in 2011 when Obama cold-shouldered the bipartisan panel he had appointed to right the nation’s finances for the long term. That, too, was a decision in keeping with the polls.  

The Simpson-Bowles commission had called for higher taxes and slower growth in Medicare and Social Security spending. Neither is popular. Had Obama endorsed the recommendations, Democrats would have forfeited their trustiest campaign weapon: warning oldsters that Republicans want to take away their retirement benefits and health care. Obama’s reelection in 2012 seems to vindicate his judgment.  

 But at what cost? He defeated a weak opponent by tearing him down as a job-killing plutocrat. He didn’t come close to regaining the control of the House that he lost in 2010. His second-term agenda is meager.   

Now he stands in danger of losing the Senate, too. His weapon to ward that off is a poll-tested and cynical campaign against Republicans’ “war on women” — cynical because it overstates the wage gap between men and women, oversimplifies the cause of the problem that does exist and proposes an ostensible solution that wouldn’t reach the true causes."

President Obama's problem is that the made all of "the easy calls" but never explained that there could be unintended consequences.

In Iraq, the country got tired of the war but President Obama never explained that we had to keep a presence for regional security reasons.   

In Afghanistan, he called it the "right war" during the campaign and then did everything possible to get out. I remember talking to a young Marine who said that their work became a lot more difficult once the enemy could tell the locals that we were leaving in the near future.

In Syria, he never rallied world opinion against Assad, the way that President GHW Bush did against Sadam when he invaded Kuwait or the way that President GW Bush did at the UN in 2002.  He made speeches, drew red lines and then fizzled. 

In Ukraine, he is paying for "the reset" and getting manhandled by President Putin in the court of world opinion.  Even David Brooks said that President Obama has a "manhood problem".

The bottom line is that the public wanted all of those things that President Obama promised.  They don't seem so certain now that they got what they wished for.  

Nobody told the public that all of those things that President Obama promised would come by "retreating" from the world or shrinking as a superpower. 

 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

According to most polls, the country is happy that we got out of Iraq, phased out our presence in Afghanistan, stayed out of Syria & Ukraine. 

However, the country is getting what they wanted but no one is happy with it, as Fred Hiatt wrote a few days ago:

"Robert Kagan recently wrote on this page that, foreign policy decision by foreign policy decision, President Obama has given Americans what they say they want.

But the result hasn’t made them proud of America or of their president.   

The same phenomenon may explain the disappointment in Obama’s domestic record.  

Case by case overseas, Kagan suggested, Americans agree with Obama’s calls: pull out of Iraq, wind down in Afghanistan, steer clear of Syria. But the emerging picture of an America in retreat, and a leader half-heartedly committed to promoting liberty, is not what they were looking for.  

At home, the fateful moment came in 2011 when Obama cold-shouldered the bipartisan panel he had appointed to right the nation’s finances for the long term. That, too, was a decision in keeping with the polls.  

The Simpson-Bowles commission had called for higher taxes and slower growth in Medicare and Social Security spending. Neither is popular. Had Obama endorsed the recommendations, Democrats would have forfeited their trustiest campaign weapon: warning oldsters that Republicans want to take away their retirement benefits and health care. Obama’s reelection in 2012 seems to vindicate his judgment.  

 But at what cost? He defeated a weak opponent by tearing him down as a job-killing plutocrat. He didn’t come close to regaining the control of the House that he lost in 2010. His second-term agenda is meager.   

Now he stands in danger of losing the Senate, too. His weapon to ward that off is a poll-tested and cynical campaign against Republicans’ “war on women” — cynical because it overstates the wage gap between men and women, oversimplifies the cause of the problem that does exist and proposes an ostensible solution that wouldn’t reach the true causes."

President Obama's problem is that the made all of "the easy calls" but never explained that there could be unintended consequences.

In Iraq, the country got tired of the war but President Obama never explained that we had to keep a presence for regional security reasons.   

In Afghanistan, he called it the "right war" during the campaign and then did everything possible to get out. I remember talking to a young Marine who said that their work became a lot more difficult once the enemy could tell the locals that we were leaving in the near future.

In Syria, he never rallied world opinion against Assad, the way that President GHW Bush did against Sadam when he invaded Kuwait or the way that President GW Bush did at the UN in 2002.  He made speeches, drew red lines and then fizzled. 

In Ukraine, he is paying for "the reset" and getting manhandled by President Putin in the court of world opinion.  Even David Brooks said that President Obama has a "manhood problem".

The bottom line is that the public wanted all of those things that President Obama promised.  They don't seem so certain now that they got what they wished for.  

Nobody told the public that all of those things that President Obama promised would come by "retreating" from the world or shrinking as a superpower. 

 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.