Rick Wagner Column March 26, 2009

Obama administration talks tough to Americans, but not to foreign belligerents

Our 26th president said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Our 44th president has a different philosophy: Speak loudly, endlessly to everyone and carry no stick at all.

President Obama’s verbal onslaught has been tireless. I’m certain his teleprompter is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but it’s not entirely true to say that the president isn’t carrying a stick, he’s just using it on Americans. 

So far, the only culprits our president has felt the need to take to the woodshed have been taxpayers, investors and business. The health care industry is due for a trip in the near future.

The administration has saved its tough talk for calling the American people the sort of names that get you a poke in the nose everywhere but the salons of Washington and Manhattan. I’m referring to Attorney General Eric Holder’s popinjay remarks that the American people are a nation of cowards with regard to race. I took a moment to Google the graveyard at Gettysburg prior to writing this column to see if I could find any cowards among the Union dead; I saw none.

There certainly is no stick past the water’s edge to confront our unfriendly relations in Russia, Asia and the Middle East, but we do find the sort of diplomatic incompetence that, if continued, will make Jimmy Carter seem like Bismarck.

The Russians are eagerly trying to control much of the world supply and transportation of energy by encouraging Iranian adventurism. They laughed off Obama’s offer to give up our European missile shield in return for a little help with the Ayatollahs. They know this president will most likely never deploy any complex weapon system and they believe the more they incite the Iranians, the more pitiful the American response will be. 

They haven’t seen American diplomatic competence over the last three years, and the last two months have actually been worse. The second piece of the pincer in the administration’s charm offensive on Iran was a home video of the president sending greetings on an Iranian holiday. I had a chance to take a look at part of the video and it was mainly just one big head talking. The
Iranians responded by ignoring it and announcing their nuclear program should be finished sometime next year.

We haven’t seen this type of foreign-policy initiative since Narcissus fell face forward into the pond looking at his own reflection.

Meanwhile, back at the American ranch, the president was discussing his bowling score with Jay Leno one night and being asked if he’s punch-drunk by Steve Kroft the next. Apparently feeling left out of the press junket, North Korea’s loony leader is proceeding with a ballistic missile test.

The Japanese, who are oddly uninterested in the president’s bowling, are deploying cruisers equipped with American antimissile technology to the area. In response, the North Koreans threaten that any attempt to interfere will be taken as an act of war.

But we shouldn’t worry. Secretary Clinton seems to have this Asia thing all wrapped up by visiting China recently and begging them to buy American debt. This effort was responded to with an admonishment by the Chinese Communists for America to be more prudent in its dealing with business. This is a little bit like having Karl Marx tell you that your employee benefit package is too generous.

But we can tell her visit made some sort of impression because this week the Chinese and Russians have called for unpegging the world currency standard from the dollar to something completely different, which would devastate the American economy.

Even Hugo Chavez has been talking tough about how he intends to give the United States a dressing down at the Organization of American States meeting in April. Perhaps he can hitch a ride on one of the Russian bombers he has recently allowed a base in Venezuela.

Since our government now believes its most important matters are pork projects and denying workers a secret ballot, the wolves are sniffing at the door. Let’s hope someone remembers it’s their job to keep them out.


Rick Wagner offers more thoughts on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong, which can be reached through the blogs entry at GJSentinel.com.


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