Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Naive Obama?

Niles Gardiner has written a piece in the Telegraph called, "10 reasons why Barack Obama is the most naïve president in US history." I thought I'd consider each of his reasons.

1. Obama believes unilateral disarmament will achieve a nuclear-free world.  I agree with this one. Obama's attitude toward nuclear weapons is based on utopian thinking that bears little relation to real-world conditions, particularly the idea that cuts in U.S. weapons will some how inspire rogue regimes to abandon their nuclear aspirations.

2. Obama thinks evil regimes can be negotiated with. It's not so much that evil regimes can't be negotiated with, as it is Obama's approach, which projects weakness and pretends that talking is somehow going to resolve irreconcilable differences in national interests.

3. Obama doesn’t believe America is fighting a global war. I don't think this is true. Gardiner is going by some of the administration rhetoric, rather than its actions. The U.S. has continued to fight against Islamic terrorists worldwide under the Obama administration.

4. Obama believes increasing spending and raising taxes leads to prosperity. No question about that. He's a typical big government liberal.

5. Obama thinks government-run health care is good for America. See #4. I don't consider this naive per se, just a typical left-wing policy position.

6. Obama doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. As with #3, the rhetoric doesn't necessarily match the actions. But I do think at heart Obama is a utopian internationalist. He's not exactly a vigorous advocate of U.S. national interests.

7. Obama believes alliances don’t matter.  I'm not sure what he believes, but he certainly acts as if they don't matter.

8. Obama trusts Russia. That seems a little strong. But he does seem to give Russia the benefit of the doubt without good reason. He's more interested in appeasing Russian interests than in strongly advocating for the U.S.

9. Obama believes the UN is indispensable. Utopian liberal internationlists love the UN.

10. Obama believes a federal Europe is good for America. I wouldn't call that naive. I don't agree that a federal Europe is good for America, but I think a reasonable case could be made.

The whole article is an interesting read.

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