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Brexit and Beyond
Obama Bluffs Again
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  • JR

    I like how an article about Obama’s incompetence morphed into a Trump hit piece in the end.

    • ronetc

      Yes, exactly. At least I think Trump likes America and would do his best to advance American interests. Unlike the current president, who is the reason America needs to be made great “again.” As others have remarked, if Obama were an avowed enemy of the United States, how would he do anything differently than he has?

    • George Gamble

      I used to respect Mead’s writing but I am at the point where he’s about to come off my feed list. What evidence could there possibly be for the assertion that “a flawed and unsuitable candidate whose election would reduce American prestige, damage many of our closest alliances, and offer Russia in particular untold opportunities for making mischief.” It might come to that but who knows what really will happen. Certainly not Mead who seems to become more sanctimonious with each post.

      What we do know is that the last 8 years have seen a tremendous amount of damage done to our closest alliances (UK, EU, Israel) which would only be exacerbated by Clinton who would essentially be an extension of the Obama regime. Would Trump really be any worse?

      Mead seems desperate to mindlessly get in Trump digs whenever he writes these days. Maybe he’s worried he won’t get invited to the important parties any more. It’s pathetic for someone who I used to hold in high regard.

      • seattleoutcast

        Since the media was so very wrong with their predictions of Obama’s abilities and his leading us into Utopia, maybe this is a sign that Trump would not be so bad after all. For starters, he hasn’t promised to stop the oceans from rising.

      • Tom

        Mead despises them both, as near as I can tell. However, Trump scares him more.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Then perhaps WRM is mistaken…

      • Jim__L

        I think Mead is old enough to have had an opinion (back in summer of 1980) of the grade-B movie actor we had running for president that year.

        But he’s definitely old enough to remember people who did think Reagan was, “a flawed and unsuitable candidate those election would reduce American prestige, damage many of our closest alliances, and offer Russia in particular untold opportunities for making mischief”. I’m old enough to remember people who thought that even after the Berlin Wall fell.

        “Trump is no Reagan”, is the reply. But could anyone honestly have said, in 1980, whether Reagan would be a Reagan?

        All I know is that Hillary is no Margaret Thatcher. And that’s yet another reason she’ll never get my vote.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Me too. It’s a sign that TAI isn’t necessarily offering as much reinforcement to its regulars in the comment section as they come here to find.

      • JR

        No, it’s just as boring and repetitive as your calls for stealing other people’s money. Yes, our self-appointed elites don’t like Trump. I just fail to see how their dislike is at all relevant with Obama lying again. How are the two connected? No one seems to know.

    • Jim__L

      I’m pretty sure WRM has noticed that his criticism of Obama (on foreign policy) has attracted a lot of people who are critical of Obama generally, especially because he was doling out that criticism back when Obama could do no wrong.

      I think that’s the deal with this bait-and-switch — he knows that bait works.

      I’m of two minds on the whole thing. My antipathy daily grows for anyone who is not intellectually honest enough to admit that Hillary is barely qualified to be First Lady and not qualified to be SecState, much less President.

      I hear and appreciate all of Trump’s critics too — but I can’t help but be reminded of Lincoln’s words to those who thought Grant should be fired after Shiloh — “I can’t spare this man, he fights!”

  • Beauceron

    Obama has really only been committed to the transformation of the US– that he has pursued with a zeal that has nearly broke the constitutional restrictions of the office. But it’s supported by our elites in the media, academia, and most of big business.
    Barring an actual revolt against them. there is little the public can do.

  • Anthony

    “In itself it’s not a big thing, but its part of a pattern of ill-considered statements leading to inelegant retreats that encourage foreign leaders to keep testing him….” Seasoning/experience/maturation are fundamental aspects to the Big Game (Power). WRM, you infer professionalism in the game of power – some skills are not transferable.

    More to your point, no man (Nation) lives without jostling and being jostled. In all ways men (Nations) have to elbow themselves through the world, giving and receiving offense – sometimes this can be learned on the job but generally it comes from living and identifying the mores of the playing field. That is, WRM, and to your point, “mores constitute the playing field of power. Stepping out of bounds too often disrupts your game’s momentum. Cater to them.” Thus, is your wish for our President.

  • JR

    On a related note, we should make all trade deals contingent on countries having a confiscatory level of taxation above a certain level. Why should we be the only ones living in paradise that action is sure to unleash? We must make them see the light.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Obama is an idiot, in order to Bluff, your threat has to be credible, at some point you actually have to follow through on a threat.

  • Fat_Man

    “It makes him, his office, and his country look small.”

    Yup. And he wanted it that way. Barack Obama the Midget President. That will be how he will be remembered.

  • LarryD

    Any contemplation of an October Surprise from Putin has to take into account the high probability that the KGB cracked Hillary’s mail servers, Putin doesn’t have to bully Obama, he can just expose the emails that Hillary went to such lengths to keep hidden.

  • gabrielsyme

    what he should not have done is made the empty, hollow threat that leaving the EU would put it at the back of the queue for new trade agreements with the U.S. It makes him, his office, and his country look small.

    Empty and hollow is the essence of Obama’s policies, his administration, his rhetoric and his very self. While he remains in office the presidency is small, and the stature of the Unites States internationally is seriously diminished. Obama is irresolute – and will be understood to be so until he demonstrates resolution – which is unlikely to be a newfound ability in the final six months of his presidency.

    With respect to Trump, there are many problems, but I think we can be confident that he won’t reliably back away from his positions and threats. Trump’s unpredictability, like that of Putin for Russia, will actually redound somewhat to the benefit of the United States – other states will be wary of treading on American toes when the American reaction is somewhat uncertain. There are negatives to this unpredictability, but it is better than being a predictable weakling.

  • Josephbleau

    Putin is for anything he thinks stirs the pot. He will rue the day Trump is elected.

    • Enemy Leopard

      Putin vs. Trump on the world stage would be like Kasparov vs. a drunken six-year-old in chess. But only if the six-year-old thought they were playing checkers.

  • f1b0nacc1

    As I have said in the past, describing Obama as ‘an empty suit’ is an insult to the garment industry….

  • Amadeus 48

    Hillary Clinton has disqualified herself from high public office with her incredible treatment of her emails. That leaves us with Trump. Mr. Mead had better get used to the reduction in American prestige, damage to many of our closest alliances, and further Russian mischief. He voted for Obama twice, I believe (I’m not sure about 2012), so he pretty much has asked for what he is getting here. For all his seeming good sense, Hillary is his kind of girl.

  • PierrePendre

    Pre-referendum, Obama dutifully parroted what Cameron and the EU leaders wanted him to say. Now that that is so yesterday and Cameron has embarked on a premature, premature retirement, Obama’s joined the new status quo. As Lord Palmerston observed, nations don’t have friends, they have interests and it’s usually in the deep interests of both the US and the UK to get along whatever their surface disagreements.

    As to Putin, he does what he does when he wants to do it. The EU does a pale simulacrum of what it sets out to do after its objectives have been processed by the digestive tracts of 28 countries whose interests do not necessarily overlap. It will be an advantage for the US for the UK no longer to be constrained by membership of a congested Eurometabolism.

  • DISQUS Inferno

    It’s not his fault. No, really!

    Which brings us to another sobering thought: it’s very clear that Vladimir Putin wants Trump, a flawed and unsuitable candidate whose election would reduce American prestige, damage many of our closest alliances, and offer Russia in particular untold opportunities for making mischief, to win.

    WRM overlooks the primary reason, ‘why’ Trump would be less effective in a scenario that requires the US to project power abroad[*]:

    Whereas Republicans would (grudgingly) rally behind a POTUS Clinton if and when the situation warrants it – it hard to imagine such a show of unity from the other side aisle when the US needs to take any kind of robust action. Given the state of the Democratic Party this would be true no matter which non-Dem holds the office. Trump won’t make it better, Trump won’t make it worse.
    This makes Trump the objectively weaker candidate (in this regard) and gut-wrenchingly… making the rational choice would mean punishing the responsible side and rewarding the pols who will refuse to prioritize US interests over populism.

    To make things worse: The only way out of this dilemma is that either Republicans (or whatever will be left of them in 2017+) will adopt the same Republic-corroding attitude of obstruction when the country (and world) needs unity the most… or to *forever* forfeit to the side who is already willing to play this despicable game.

    This is bad.

    [*] …and the reduced deterrence of US with him as the Commander in Chief, that results.

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