What is the president thinking?
That seems to be the question of the day. Russian clients are shooting passenger planes out of the air with Russian weaponry, Al Qaeda on Steroids is taking over Iraq, Iran is running circles around gormless western negotiators while it builds nukes for “peaceful purposes” (because once all non-Muslims are dead, there will be peace!), the Jews are at war with barbarous terrorists so of course the world is cheering for — guess who! — the barbarians, our country is being overrun by illegal aliens we can’t afford to accommodate — and the president of the United States is doing what? Yeah, fund-raising, baby! Doing his charming give-me-some-money speech thing:
I just flew in from Washington and boy are my arms tired! But seriously, it’s great to be back in Akron! Are those Republicans stinkers or what? It’s a war on women, I tell ya. They’ll probably impeach me next cause I’m black. Don’t boo — vote! Thanks, and that’ll be $30,000 a plate!
The preferred explanation for the president’s detachment is psychological. He’s checked out. Let down and disappointed by the world, he is in withdrawal.
Perhaps. But I’d propose an alternate theory that gives him more credit: Obama’s passivity stems from an idea. When Obama says Putin has placed himself on the wrong side of history, he actually believes it. He disdains realpolitik because he believes, in the end, such primitive 19th-century notions as conquest are self-defeating. History sees to their defeat…
But history is lived in the here and now.