Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Will Obama Qualify as a Profile in Courage?

This from the NYT:

Disapproval of Obama’s Foreign Policy Rises

OK, yesterday I opined that Obama was pursuing a very brave path in risking the unknown and defying a repellant "ally" in whom we had invested tons of money and people and prestige and you name it.  Now we see even more headwinds, political unpopularity.  In politics, popularity is power, so losing it is not nothing, especially as midterm elections loom.  I don't know whether or not they foresaw this, but here it is.

Let's get it straight -- we remember FDR's statement about Somoza, "He's a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch."  Part of what Obama is saying is, "No more Somozas."  That's quite a statement, quite a change, a very important departure from short term to long term, an enlightened view of garnering soft power.  With change comes risk and sometimes opprobrium.

Let's also remember that Obama is doing a lot on the environment on his own, and pushing very hard for public recognition and acceptance of the necessity to lead on climate change.  They say you can't do too much at once, and that as you progress in second terms you get less and less done. But he's trying, and trying hard.  He's picking up the pace.

"Profiles in Courage" was a terrific book that emphasized the heroic individual.  Is Obama possibly becoming a new candidate for the ongoing list?

budd shenkin

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