Sunday, September 07, 2014

Piling On!

A cottage industry is defined as a small and often informally organized activity.  Criticizing Obama has become a cottage industry on steroids.  It may still be informally organized but it’s certainly not small.  Maureen Dowd is obsessed with it.  Fox News is on it 24/7.  The think tankers have jumped in.  Politicians on all sides have added their infinite wisdom.

Tom Friedman is the only voice in the crowd who consistently stands apart from the sound and fury and takes a reasoned, sensible approach when analyzing what’s going on in the world.  He points out how complicated it all is and argues for calm, long-term thinking.  He is not an Obama apologist, but he is sympathetic to the argument that there are no easy solutions and precipitate action in the name of ‘do something’ is dangerous foolishness, not leadership.

I can find plenty of reasons to criticize Obama as President, both at home and abroad.  Certainly he has not communicated with the American people in a way that they can resonate with his thinking.  But much of the anti-Obama rhetoric is driven by spoken and unspoken political expediency, American exceptionalism, ideology and racism.  No way can he win with that crowd, so I make a distinction between justified and unjustified criticism.

Like it or not, and too many Americans don’t like it, America can’t control the world.  Too bad for us, but that’s the way it is.  This will be more obvious as the 21st century continues to unfold.  The anti-Obama mantra is that he wants to win by ‘leading from behind,’ and that isn’t the American way.  Our job has always been to lead from in front.  What too many people fail to recognize is that it is fruitless to yearn for a return to past glories, to want it to be the way it has always been.  This is, indeed, a new day.  Our wisest course is to see the world the way it is before it is too late.

Piling on Obama isn’t going to make this happen.

I'll be traveling for the next four weeks and may not be posting regularly.


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