“Smart Power”: Obama’s Overbearing, Arrogant and Absurd Lectures Annoy European Sensibilities

Remember that phrase, “Smart Power?”

It was a term coined by Joseph Nye to describe “non-military dimensions of a state’s international influence:  culture, values, law, and ideas.” It was meant as a post 9/11 rebuke of President Bush’s  interventionist foreign policies.

It was the promise of American “smart power” that drew a crowd of 200,000 Germans to the Victory Column in Berlin to get a glimpse of “The One”.

In 2008, MSM types used it incessantly to  describe Obama’s style of world outreach. Here’s a nauseating example from 11/06/2008:

The importance of being Barrack Obama. A recurring theme about Obama is his ability to bring parties together, listen to all sides in a discussion or conflict, and make everyone in the discussion feel good about themselves without giving away his own preferences. I do not know Obama and have never met him (though I have supported his campaign), but this dimension to his persona strikes me as extremely well suited to diplomacy and mediation. The U.S. president is both commander-in-chief and diplomat-in-chief. He is the voice of the U.S. in all its international dealings, but is also often called upon to interpose himself in an international disputes, either in indirect ways or more directly as a formal mediator and guarantor.  Obama’s even-keeled, cool-headed approach to problems and conflict is an extraordinarily valuable coin in international diplomacy, where personality, temperament and style can help make or break deals and long-term relationships. His temperament is married with a keen intellect — the killer combination that will make him a formidable negotiator and a truly valuable mediator. Oh, and if there is any doubt that he knows how to be tough, just ask John McCain.

When  Obama took office, his  ballyhooed  “smart power”  promised to restore America’s “standing” in the world.

In essence this new approach to foreign policy was designed to distance the new US government in every way possible from the Bush administration, supposedly hated in every corner of the earth, from Berlin to Buenos Aires.

Hence, the hallmarks of Obama’s foreign policy have been the naive engagement of an array of odious dictatorial regimes, grovelling apologies before foreign audiences, lamb-like timidity in the face of intimidation, the ending of the War on Terror, and the trashing of traditional alliances.

After only eight months of his presidency, Obama was awarded  the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? SMART POWER.

We don’t hear too much about “smart power”, any more, do we?

That’s because he’s been spending the past three years annoying the hell out of our allies.

On Monday, during a fundraiser in California, Obama told the assembled that Europe’s debt problems and their inability to solve them was “scaring the world.”

Europe is not amused.

Spiegel Online reported:

US President Obama has given the Europeans a harsh lecture on the dangers of their ongoing debt crisis. Offended by the unsolicited advice, Europeans have suggested the US get its own house in order first. Obama’s remarks were “arrogant” and “absurd,” German commentators say on Wednesday.

Europeans are well aware of the seriousness of their ongoing debt crisis. But they don’t, it seems, like to receive lectures from other countries — especially the United States, which is struggling to deal with its own mountain of debt.

On Tuesday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble curtly rejected recent American criticism of Europe’s approach to solving its debt crisis. “I don’t think Europe’s problems are America’s only problems,” said Schäuble, who has become increasingly sharp-tongued as the euro crisis deepens. “It’s always easier to give other people advice.”

Schäuble was referring to strongly worded comments made by US President Barack Obama and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in recent days. At an event in California on Monday, Obama warned Europeans that their inaction was “scaring the world.” The Europeans, he said, “have not fully healed from the crisis back in 2007 and never fully dealt with all the challenges that their banking system faced. It’s now being compounded by what’s happening in Greece.” He continued: “They’re going through a financial crisis that is scaring the world, and they’re trying to take responsible actions, but those actions haven’t been quite as quick as they need to be.”

On Wednesday, German media commentators slam Obama’s criticism of Europe.

The mass-circulation Bild writes:

“Obama’s lecture on the euro crisis . . . is overbearing, arrogant and absurd. . . . In a nutshell, he is claiming that Europe is to blame for the current financial crisis, which is ‘scaring the world.’ Excuse me?”

“The American president seems to have forgotten a few details. The most important trigger of the financial and economic crisis was US banks and their insane real-estate dealings. The US is still piling up debt. . . The American congress is crippled by a battle between the right and the left. The banks are gambling just as recklessly as they did before the crisis. The president’s scolding is a pathetic attempt to distract attention from his own failures. How embarrassing.”

John Hayward at Human Events noted:

There are all sorts of lessons to be learned here.  Obama’s staggering domestic incompetence has burned away his credibility on the world stage, which was never accurately measured by rock-star crowds lining up in Berlin to get a look at him.  Welfare recipients, whether they be individuals or beggar nations, always become indignant when their no-strings-attached bailouts are followed by a bit of friendly advice.  And the Western world is learning, painfully, that it’s trapped in the ruins of a failed system, not just the consequences of bad decisions from the failed leaders who are currently reduced to using each other as distracting props in re-election campaigns.

While Europe finally learns the painful truth that Socialism doesn’t work, our president is leading us full speed ahead toward the Socialist Utopia of his demented imaginings.

See Also:

This blast from the past (Jan. 2010) from Nile Gardiner: 10 reasons why George W. Bush was a smarter world leader than Barack Obama:

5. Bush believed in the Special Relationship

I don’t recall George W Bush ever throwing a bust of Churchill out of the Oval Office or giving the British Prime Minister an insulting pack of DVDs. President Bush recognized Great Britain as America’s closest friend and ally, and placed the Special Relationship at the very heart of US foreign policy. Under Obama, the Anglo-American alliance has reached its lowest point since the Suez Crisis of 1956, a damning indictment of his world leadership. Bush possessed a genuine affection for the British people, their great heritage and their role in the world. Barack Obama cannot even bring himself to mention Britain in a major policy address or acknowledge the sacrifice of British forces in Afghanistan.

6. Bush cultivated key allies

Granted, Bush was hardly the most popular leader the US has ever had in Europe. But he did invest a great deal of time and effort in cultivating a strong personal relationship with several key European leaders, including Tony Blair, Jose Maria Aznar and Silvio Berlusconi. President Obama has largely ignored building alliances with European heads of state, and seems indifferent towards the transatlantic alliance. His administration has placed far greater emphasis upon backing the rise of a European superstate, than it has on strengthening ties wit close allies. The Obama administration has also succeeded in damaging the partnership between Israel and the United States, something no president has achieved since Jimmy Carter.

Allen West: Yes Marxist Obama Is Intentionally Destroying the Economy (Video)

Allen West was interviewed on The Michael Berry Show on KTRH 740 out of Houston, TX, and as always didn’t hedge his words. He calls it as he sees it.

Berry started off by playing a highly entertaining word association game with West. You’ll enjoy his visceral response to “Debbie Wasserman Schultz”.

Later on, Berry asked,  “Do you think that the negative result of his (Obama’s) policies – the destruction in his wake, is inadvertent, because he’s inept, or do you think as some people increasingly believe (and as Rush Limbaugh has suggested) that this is intentional?”

West answered without hesitation:

“It’s intentional because this is who the president is. The president is a Marxist because he believes in the separation of classes. We have never heard a president of the United States of America speak as he has. When you have national leader (you look throughout history!) when you have a national leader that demonizes a certain segment of society, and attacks them, it has never ended up well, and yet that’s what we have. He is a Socialist.”

Love that man.

More Republican pols should be calling Obama out for his shockingly divisive rhetoric.

Video via Breitbart TV.

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Obama Self-Promotes In Today’s Back To School Speech: “Hey Kiddies, I’m Working For You!”

President Barack Obama. (CNN)

WHD’s Keith Koffler got his hands on the transcript for the speech the President is going to give to DC school kids.

Political adviser David Plouffe must have gotten ahold of a draft before it went to the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office for a final look-see.

Just couldn’t resist a little self promotion. From the remarks as prepared for delivery.

You’ve also got people all across this country – including me – working on your behalf. We’re taking every step we can to ensure that you’re getting an educational system that’s worthy of your potential. We’re working to make sure that you have the most up-to-date schools with the latest tools for learning. We’re making sure that our country’s colleges and universities are affordable and accessible. And we’re working to get the best teachers into your classrooms, so they can prepare you for college and a future career.

“Hey mom, dad – Obama’s doing all he can for education! He wants us to have good teachers. He told us!”

It’s true that Obama is fighting the good fight against  “school trailers” aka “modular classrooms,” and he appointed a super awesome “Safe School Czar” to keep children safe. And today, looking almost timed to show how much Obama is fighting for our kids, the NEA launched an ad campaign supporting his jobs bill!

The 30-second television ad urges lawmakers to vote for the legislation, with several children saying school programs are being cut and teachers are being laid off. The president’s proposal includes $30 billion to pay for teachers and another $30 billion to modernize schools.

NEA is the nation’s largest union, with 3.2 million members made up of teachers and other education staff.

How very special.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

Video: Ed Schultz Lies About Ohio Union Reform Bill, Calls Proponents “Sons Of Bitches”

The first half of this edifying video shows you the union fueled demagoguery that Schultz is regurgitating, (without actually reading Ohio’s SB 5, himself.) In the second half, the journalist interviews the “son of a bitch” who authored the legislation”, Sen. Shannon Jones. She tells him her bill actually provides stronger safety protections for fighters and policemen than the existing law:

Will Schultz take  Sen. Jones’ advice and actually read the bill? He would if he were interested in the truth, but obviously, the MSNBC host is much more interested in towing the Obamacentric pro-union line, so the drones will have to continue in  their ignorance.

Via Breitbart TV.

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As Obama Sinks In The Polls, Dems Try To Find An End Run Around Voters

The totalitarian left is coming up with creative ways to handle that pesky tendency voters have of disagreeing with them.

We heard from the Governor of North Carolina,  yesterday, calling for the suspension of elections until we can get our fiscal house in order.

“You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

The Republicans sure are taking it seriously as they look to score political points. Here’s a statement from GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood:

“Now is a time when politicians need to be held accountable more than ever. To suspend an election would be removing the surest mechanism that people have to hold politicians accountable: the right to vote. Does the Governor not believe that people of North Carolina have the ability to think for themselves about whether or not the actions of elected officials are working?”

Now Obama’s former Economics adviser, Perter Orzag is calling for “a little less democracy” in an article in TNR: Too Much of a Good Thing:

To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.

Reason has at it:

What’s the big problem with democracy? Well, for starters, not enough deficit spending. Yes, really. Orszag complains that it’s hard to just run up the federal credit card tab as high as he wants to, even though “virtually all responsible economists agree” that America, despite running record-setting deficits in recent years, needs bigger deficits in the short term.

Virtually all responsible economists agree that we should be aiming to reduce the deficit in the long-term but not in the short-term. We need an even larger deficit in 2011 and 2012, to support a weak economy—but a much smaller deficit in 2020 and 2050, to put the nation back on a sustainable fiscal course. Yet our polarized political system has proved incapable of reaching a consensus on this common-sense approach.

What we need, then, are ways around our politicians. The first would be to expand automatic stabilizers—those tax and spending provisions that automatically expand when the economy weakens, thereby cushioning the blow, and automatically contract as the economy recovers, thereby helping to reduce the deficit.

That “virtually all responsible economists” label is quite convenient. Who isn’t broadly in favor of following the guidance of responsible economists? But is there any doubt that Orszag, with his unflappable faith in the Bigger Deficits Now strategy, would label just about any economist who didn’t favor higher short-term deficit spending as “irresponsible”? Peel away the cute anti-democracy framework, then, and Orszag has done little more than argue that America should be governed more by empowered technocrats who agree with…Peter Orszag.

By “virtually all responsible economists”, I think he means the Keynesians, who – if I’m not mistaken have been fully discredited by Obama’s gross economic failures.

Whatevs. We should just handover complete control of the economy  to those guys, anyway.

Time will tell if more Dems jump on the anti-Democratic bandwagon.

In which case, the drones will have to come up with a new chant for their protests- “This is what Democracy looks like” may no longer be operative.

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