Friday, April 10, 2009

Krauthammer Publishes a Shameful Op-Ed

Charles Krauthammer's op-ed in today's Washington Post is petty and disingenuous. But, I can't say that I fault Charles too much. After all, it is a tough time to be a Republican. Yesterday, the economy saw an uptick, and Wells Fargo reported on its huge quarter earnings. Cite. These facts speak well of Mr. Obama's economic policies, which Charles and other GOPers have spent months bashing. Also, the poll numbers for Mr. Obama are strong, while the same polls show a strong rebuke of the GOP.

In light of all of this, there is no doubt that Charles is having a hard time coming up with worthwhile critiques to lob at Democrats. Thus, Charles had to resort to this loser...

Our president [went to Europe] bearing a basketful of mea culpas. With varying degrees of directness or obliqueness, Obama indicted his own people for arrogance, for dismissiveness and derisiveness, for genocide, for torture, for Hiroshima, for Guantanamo and for insufficient respect for the Muslim world.
This deception is shameful! When Charles's cherry-picked accusations are read in context, it becomes clear -- objectively, verifiably, factually clear -- that Obama was not "indict[ing] his own people." Instead, he was meeting the world half-way -- i.e., compromising (something that Republicans believe constitutes a mortal weakness, apparently). For instance, let's look at Obama's "arrogance" comment to which Charles referred:
In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.

On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth.
Far from constituting an "indictment," Obama is attempting to heal the divide between Europe and America. Does Charles presume that America can force Europeans to follow us? I hope not. Instead, it takes a partnership, which Obama is attempting to build. Notice how immediately after Obama delivered the "arrogance" comment, he criticized Europe. Interesting how Charles left bit of crucial info out!

We need look no further than the Bush-era to see the disastrous consequences of Charles's thinking. The Republicans' caviler attitude to the concerns of the world resulted in deep, global anti-American sentiment. Because of this unpopularity, we have been unable to garner support for our agendas, and we are less safe.

Also, it is more than a little ironic that Charles condemns Obama's attempt to meet the Europeans half-way on these issues, and yet simultaneously Charles lambastes Obama for his failure to garner sufficient support from Russia and China on the UN Security Council. The two propositions are intimately related: Because Bush utilized Charles's heavy-handed approach to foreign policy, America defeated her ability to compromise with Russia and China. In other words, Charles's op-ed is self-contradictory.

Charles's attack is designed to speak only to the ill-informed, only to those that will read the above-quoted passage from his op-ed and actually believe that Obama set out to "indict" America. Shameful! But, again, this is somewhat understandable, because it is a very, very hard time to be a Republican.

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