Shellacked at home, shellacked abroad. President Obama’s Asia trip is extending a losing streak with the latest setback – a refusal by other major financial powers to follow his lead to revive the global economy.The president’s nostrums, which began with a call for stimulus-style pump priming by other nations, had evolved into a plan to ease wild swings in currency values and overboard trade imbalances. But he got next to nothing in showdown meetings with other leaders of the G-20 nations, or major economic powers. U.S. leadership, once taken for granted, has all but vanished, and no one’s in charge.
The Chronicle seems surprised by the idea that US leadership “has vanished.” Where have they been for two years? Barack Obama’s centerpiece of his foreign policy was that the US was “first among equals” and would defer to the United Nations and other international organizations. He also clearly stated that he wished to abdicate American leadership when he said,
“[N]o one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.”
Refusing to lead is not a bug, it’s a feature of the Obama presidency. The real question is why would the administration be surprised when other nations take him at his word and ignore anything he proposes?
And why should liberals be surprised when his sweet words of surrender with which they became so enamored during the campaign and in the first heady days of the Obama administration would result in exactly the kind of international response we are seeing today?