He doesn’t seem to know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t care. “It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all,” wrote Richard Cohen in the Washington Post last week. “For instance, it’s not clear that Obama is appalled by China’s appalling human rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia. . . . The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.
“This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?”
Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses.
And even today Cohen is still giving President Who-Is-This-Guy a pass. After all, whatever he feels about “China’s appalling human rights record” or “continued repression in Russia,” Obama is not directly responsible for it. Whereas the U.S. and allied deaths in Afghanistan are happening on his watch — and the border villagers killed by unmanned drones are being killed at his behest. Cohen calls the president “above all, a pragmatist,” but with the best will in the world you can’t stretch the definition of “pragmatism” to mean “lack of interest.”
“The ugly truth,” wrote Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, “is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it.”
The problem with Obama is that he was born to be worshipped. As soon as the worshipping stops, he is flummoxed. He does not know what to do when he is not being praised for being super-wise, super-wonderful and super-natural. He believes he is a wondrous being, and if he gets criticized, he immediately writes it off to disingenuousness on the part of the critic. The bizarre statements he uttered a number of times in meetings with Republicans – “The media is not here right now” were incredibly instructive.
He thinks it is not possible to criticize him without being unfair. In his curious mind, criticism automatically equates to: “Out of Bounds”.
Face it. A man who would ride into town at the head of a parade of sycophants, all of whom are shouting “He’s Lincoln! He’s Lincoln!” has a screw loose somewhere.