There is a troubling pattern of capriciousness that has emerged from our current government. No one can take for granted that our government will do as it says. The word of the US government used to be something that world leaders, companies, employees, and the citizens of this great land could bank on. The breadth of the current administration's instability is unprecedented. From CIA interrogators to the Eastern European missile shield, keeping up with the number of on-again-off-again promises requires a full time staff to keep count.
The latest example of this destructive behavior has been among the amendments and proposals offered in the senate over the last 8 weeks. Christopher "Countrywide VIP mortgage recipient" Dodd, Richard "Doesn't have time to read the bill" Durbin, and Russ "Who needs free speech?" Feingold introduced various measures to override FISA Amendments Act of 2008. In other words these senators want their trial lawyer friends to be able to sue telecom companies that helped the government with the surveillance of suspected terrorists. Telecom CEO's will have every right to be worried, trial lawyers don't care if their companies survive, or if even if their claims are valid. If you're a telecom company you are immune from civil suits if you co-operated with the government, unless one of these proposals makes it into law -- and then your entire revenue stream is at risk for decades. It doesn't stop there. If you were in the CIA, then you won't get prosecuted if you acted in good faith, unless you get prosecuted because it's politically convenient. If you're a country that stands up for democracy then the US will stand with you, unless you're small and the autocrat you legally removed from power is supported by a dictator like Fidel Castro. The Obama administration believed that the Afghanistan war was ignored for too long until they got a general that wants to address that war more aggressively. Then suddenly the Obama administration is cautious. If you're a minority student in public school, the government is all about closing the achievement gap, unless that program is successful without the involvement of a unionized work force -- wait - on that last issue they may have changed their mind again.
Is it any wonder that we came in dead last during the recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote?
The world won't follow an indecisive leader, or a leader that goes back on promises. If President Obama wants to get the world's co-operation on Iran or a host of other issues, he will have to do more than just castigate the US in speeches. To earn the world's respect President Obama will have to abandon the capricious nature of a constantly shifting candidate and adopt the stony resolve of a seasoned leader that stands resolutely in the face of challenges.
Currently the only thing Obama and the US government stand for is capricious change, that doesn't bode well in an increasingly unstable world.