Given a weekend cluttered with events, I have not had as much time to blog as I would like, so apologize if I appear to be hitting the same theme in subsequent posts.
One reason I return to the President’s grandiosity is that I was struck by the apparent contradiction in the President’s behavior or perhaps it was a form of compensation.
Here we have a Chief Executive who offers testimonials to his own greatness while bowing before unelected monarchs, being the first president to do so since Nixon (there’s that Nixon comparison again). He praises himself with his words, while with his body, he offers an image of obeisance to other world leaders.
In Japan, he also claimed to be the “first Pacific President.” Why can’t he leave it to others to indicate the fields he has pioneered? And anyway, that claim is not entirely accurate, as Ed Dricoll notes.
One of the Anchoress’s readers e-mailed her to point out something else the President has said in that speech in Tokyo, making up a claim out of whole cloth (or media misinformation) “I know that the United States has been disengaged from these organizations in recent years.”
Um, no. The media may have made it appear that Mr. Obama’s predecessor was so disengaged from international organizations, including those to which he was then referring, “multilateral organizations” which “advance the security and prosperity of this region”, i.e. Asia. But, the facts, as the Anchoress reminds us, tell a different story:
Obama is outright lying, there. In myriad ways, Bush was actually very attentive to our Asia and Pacific alliances, was swift and generous in aiding Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami (pdf), and -but it got no press- managed to forge an environmental agreement that went way beyond Kyoto. . . .
Last time I checked, India, in particular, was loving Bush. And Australia has been a strong alliance in our military coalitions, and elsewhere.
Well, maybe Obama wasn’t lying; he’s just willfully ignorant of his predecessor’s efforts and accomplishments.
And the Anchoress in her must-read post, notices something a number of other bloggers (and not just those on the right), including yours truly, have also been noticing: the incumbent “likes to indiscreetly bash the former president wherever he goes, whether his hammer is weighted with reality or make-believe.“
He could just say that as President of the United States, he is committed to strengthening our ties to and cooperation with such international organizations. He can show this commitment without maligning his predecessor. Instead, he seems to be attempting to rewrite history to conform to his jaundiced worldview.
If things really were as bad as he claims they were under Bush, well, then he wouldn’t need say anything. People would already know. And a simple expression of a a desire to improve/strengthen relationships would suffice. And they wouldn’t make him look petty.
But, his comparisons suggest an absence of confidence in himself. And a failure to let go of his campaign rhetoric. And his inability to live up to that campaign’s definition of his promise, you know that postpartisan leader who’d bring us together.