A Tip of the Toque to Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard.
Not to be known as merely a domestic policy whiz, Obama has set out to be a master of global politics as well. And what a success that's been! The latest? At the G8 summit in Italy, he gave Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi the brushoff. One of America's staunchest allies over the past 60 years has been Italy, and this is how he treats her leader? Amazing.
So he snubs an ally, but is buddy buddy with anti-American tinpots, and toadies up to dictators.
Meanwhile, his reaction to the violent supression of Iranian students protesting their stolen election was timid and cautious out of a desire not to appear "meddling", but as soon as the Supreme Court and military of Honduras, with popular support, moves to prevent their president from circumventing their constitution, Obama and his SoS jump RIGHT into the fray in support of the would-be usurper. What happened to not wanting to appear meddling, Prez?
So this is what Obama meant when he said in his campaign that he wanted to restore America's image. And he HAS -- right back to the way it was in the Carter years, when our image was of a has-been superpower who abandoned its friends and caved in to totalitarian bullies.
And the world has taken notice of this "Restoration". Iran has stepped up its rhetoric and forged ahead with its nuclear program, N. Korea has defiantly tested new missiles -- some on the Fourth of July, the significance of which is, I'm sure, intentional on their part. And our European allies have accepted that if they're going to get out of the hole they've dug for themselves, they're going to have to do it themselves, without relying on America as they have been -- witness the leadership displayed by people like the German Chancellor in response to the Iranian protests.
How (not) to win friends and influence people.
It gets... better?