Remember that dumb cowboy George W. Bush, who alienated all our allies and dragged us into wars of choice in the Mideast? And remember that goofball Mitt Romney, whom Joe Biden a year ago accused of wanting to go to war in Syria?
Both of them must be having a big laugh over the way things are going for Obama now. When I wrote last week on our bumbling Syria diplomacy, it seemed that things couldn’t possibly go further downhill. Boy, was I wrong.
Last week, it seemed our only ally was France. But now the French are having second thoughts. Obama’s efforts to get support at the G20 conference came to nothing. Even the pope is undercutting him.
Meanwhile, at home, polls show Americans are against a strike, and Obama is facing double-digit defections among Democrats in the Senate. The outlook for passage in the House, meanwhile, looks so bad that a resolution to authorize war may not even make it to a vote. If it’s sure to fail, why force members — Republicans and Democrats alike — to go on record? You can bet they don’t appreciate Obama putting them in this position. The Pentagon isn’t happy, and even The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, a reliable Obama supporter, calls his policy “dumb.”
Some critics are even comparing the collapse of American influence under Obama to the end of the Soviet Union. Well, that may be an exaggeration — but Obama promised a “fundamental transformation,” after all.
At least Hollywood is still behind the president — or, anyway, is mostly keeping quiet about its opposition because, as old-line Hollywood liberal Ed Asner reports, they “don’t want to feel anti-black.” So it’s come to this — while George W. Bush was savaged for “bombing brown people,” now if you’re against bombing brown people you’re “anti-black.”
As I said, if I were George W. Bush or Romney, I’d be sorely tempted to laugh, because Obama’s chickens are coming home to roost. Obama was elected after he and his party sowed distrust of U.S. military endeavors, mocked “intelligence estimates” about “weapons of mass destruction,” and suggested that anything the United States did in the region was probably somehow a scheme to benefit oil companies. Now Obama and his administration are shocked to find that when they go on about intelligence estimates and weapons of mass destruction, people don’t take them seriously.
Likewise, Obama has repeatedly shown his disdain for Congress and his willingness to act without congressional approval in all sorts of areas, from ObamaCare implementation to gun control. So it’s not surprising that members of Congress seem to be a bit . . . distant now that Obama suddenly wants them to bail him out of his unfortunate “red line” remark.
But I’d bet that Bush and Romney aren’t actually laughing. That’s because they’re both serious men who understand international politics and who care for the future of the country. They no doubt understand that, as fun as it is to watch a political opponent twist in the wind due to his own ineptitude, the price will ultimately be paid not by Obama, but by the people of America.
Our diplomacy is a joke, our president is a laughing stock, our enemies are emboldened, and we’ve still got over three years of this to go. Nothing funny there at all, alas.
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Glenn Harlan Reynolds is professor of law at the University of Tennessee and the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself. He blogs at InstaPundit.com. Many of his articles are published in USAToday.