Impotence as Foreign Policy

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Foreign Policy as Bad Joke

Since 2008 I have often suspected that the Obama administration is one huge, unfunny, practical joke.  That is certainly the only rational explanation for the reaction of the Obama administration to the ongoing slicing and dicing of Ukraine by Mother Russia under the leadership of Vladimir “Fearless Leader” Putin.  James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal gives us the details:


Here’s a case in point. On March 13, a week or so after that interview was published, Samantha Power, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted about Moscow’s intervention in Crimea: “I missed the day at law school where self-determination was defined as #Russia-determination. Russia must halt its military action.” Two days later, she added: “Russia can veto a Security Council resolution, but it can’t veto the truth.”

It would appear the State Department is seeking to maintain the balance of power through a strategy of mutually assured derision.

One problem with using sarcasm as a weapon is that its proliferation is uncontrollable and widespread. Even the Canadians have it. In a column for the Toronto Sun, Ezra Levant mocked “the ironically named Ambassador Power.”

Another problem, as Levant suggested, is that the Russians appear to be better at mockery than their American counterparts. After a phone conversation between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, Levant wrote, “the Kremlin release[d] this note: ‘Mr. Obama congratulated Mr. Putin on the success of the Paralympic Games and asked Mr. Putin to pass on his greetings to the athletes.’ . . . At least Samantha Power stomped her feet and wrote a mean Twitter tweet. But Obama personally congratulated Putin, during a phone call about a war?”

Wait, it gets worse. Some of Foggy Bottom’s tweeters are deadly earnest, making them totally defenseless against post-Soviet sarcasm. On March 26 Jen Psaki, State’s top spokesman, tweeted this: “To echo @BarackObama today-proud to stand #UnitedForUkraine World should stand together with one voice.” In an accompanying photo, a smiling Psaki gave a left-handed thumbs-up while holding up in her right hand a sign with the #UnitedForUkraine hashtag and her Twitter handle, @statedeptspox.

Yesterday, National Review Online’s Patrick Brennan reports, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official Twitter account started including the hashtag in its tweets on the subject. Example: “[Foreign Minister Sergey] #Lavrov: Our US counterparts must compel the acting officials in Kiev to bear responsibility for the current situation #UnitedForUkraine.”

Barack Obama’s political operation frequently sees its Twitter hashtags “hijacked” by conservative antagonists. Remember #WHYouth? But in domestic politics, mutually assured derision is just good clean fun. Partisan politics thrives on antagonism. If the purpose of the domestic hashtags is to motivate Democratic base voters, conservative mockery is a help rather than a hindrance.

At Foggy Bottom, however, they seem utterly clueless as to what the Russians are up to. Brennan notes that Macon Phillips, who runs the department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, tweeted in response: “Welcome to the #UnitedForUkraine hashtag @mfa_russia! 2 steps to join in: First watch an intro video [titled ‘Sanctions: How Did We Get Here?’], then RT!”

Go here to read the rest.  When Obama was first elected there was a lot of empty-headed gushing about how Obama would use his popularity and American “soft power” to win his foreign policy goals.  In regard to the Ukraine we see that in practice this amounts to America being seen on the world stage as an impotent clown.  The Marines have a description of themselves:  “No better friend, no worse enemy.”  In regard to America under Obama we are “no worse friend, no better enemy”.

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  1. Is this diplomacy today? Who put these mouthy immature no- knowledge or respect-for-history-or- civilization people in charge!?

  2. I can see the power of social media for organizing grass roots, regular folks who don’t have a state department and the largest most powerful military on the planet at their immediate command. However one would hope that this administration would have a foreign policy based on more than aggressive tweeting.

  3. Yes I know what you are saying – that the president gets to appoint and does so out of his own framework
    I know we didn’t vote for John Foster Dulles or Dag Hammarskjold. Maybe Presidents then had a better pool to draw from. There seemed to be a higher and deeper level of education then.
    Are these the best and brightest in the liberal camp. Surely there could be statesmen.

  4. “Are these the best and brightest in the liberal camp.”

    The port side of our politics long ago lost liberals with even a passing familiarity as to how real world, as opposed to cloud kookoo land, foreign policy should be conducted. The idiot male gold digger John F. Kerry as Secretary of State symbolizes what fools, and worse, currently are charting our course with the rest of the world.

  5. I watched TV with a terrible contortion on my face when Powers and Hegel were being approved in the Senate. By the time of Kerry the muscles in my grimace had gone slack
    Shod be a hue and cry over some of the business as usual..
    Yes I wish there was more depth than tweeting. Apparently shallow president and correspondingly shallow administration.

  6. No foreign leader with a modicum of competency respects the narcissist President more interested in golfing and Beyonce than in the safety of the Republic. He is a baby murdering, sexual filth promoting godless man of sin and depravity intent on vacationing with Moochelle Jezebel while Rome burns. I despise, loathe, detest and abhor liberal progressivism.

  7. One difficulty you have with these situations is that the President’s mouth is invariably running ahead of whatever tools he has on hand to enforce compliance or impose costs. His subordinates take their cues from him.

    You notice he has twice put working politicians with next to no experience as line administrators in charge of the diplomatic corps and has put the military and its auxilliaries under the command of a man with some military and business background but no history of superintending organizations with more than a two digit census of personnel; he also appears to suffer from intellectual deficits. Before entering politics full time, John Kerry was a perfectly common-and-garden rank and file attorney working in Boston; Hillary Clinton was a skeezy small-city corporate and commercial lawyer who had been sanctioned by superiors for unethical conduct before the ink was dry on the notice of her bar exam results. That’s who these guys are, yet in the minds of many journalists and partisan Democrats, the dimensions of these two expand (like a gas) to fill the space of whatever office they have occupied.

    Say what you want about Ronald Reagan, the man built the finest apparat of any occupant of the office in the last fifty-odd years, one which accomplished (within the limits set by Congress) what he wanted accomplished with only light intervention from him. The current incumbent hires people who share his defects.

  8. I am pleased that an adult such as Mr. McClarey wrote this piece and I agree with his viewpoints. Obumbler never had any foreign policy interests, other than appeasing Muslims. Obumbler could not care less if Putin gobbles up all of Ukraine – what’s it to Obumbler? Nothing. The small Ukrainian diaspora and descendants of Ukranian immigrants from long ago aren’t nearly numerous enough to make Obumbler notice.

    Putin knows weakness and will prey on it. I think that Russian Eastern Ukraine is next on his hit list, followed by some sort of union with Belarus. Putin won’t likely go farther West because Poland will fight to the last man – and Poland has started fracking to get their own natural gas supplies.

  9. I will add to the title, Impotence as Foreign Policy, the following:

    Impotence as Energy Policy – San Onofre 2 and 3 shut down, Vermont Yankee shut down, Crystal River shut down, Kewanee shut down.

    Impotence as Health Care Policy: Obamacare, infanticide of the unborn, state sponsored euthanasia of the useless

    Impotence as Education Policy: common core, liberal Academia.

    Impotence as Military Policy: homosexuality among the troops, a green Navy instead of a Nuclear Navy.

    The list of impotencies is endless.

  10. Perhaps, the President should look for someone from the divinity schools.

    Talleyrand had been notable as a student of divinity, both at Sâint-Sulpice and the Sorbonne and he was fond of saying that it was to theology that he owed “that instinctive sagacity, that measure in thought and expression [cette sagacité instinctive, cette mesure d’esprit et d’expression] that had been remarked on in his handling of great affairs. Richelieu, Mazarin and the Abbé Sieyès (whom Lord Acton called the only statesman of the Revolution) are other names that spring to mind.
    In modern times, we have Père Louis de la Trinité (Georges Thierry d’Argenlieu), who rose to the rank of Admiral in the Free French Forces and became one of General de Gaulle’s most trusted diplomats

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