Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kathleen Parker Called President Obama a... What?

Kathleen Parker's not a stupid woman, and she knows the meaning (and double-meaning) of words, so let's not make any mistakes about what she means when she writes,
One may view these episodes as diminishing America's status or as a tolerable annoyance - sort of the way Dobermans view toy poodles. At some point, the big dog reminds the little yapper of his place. Unfortunately, the American commander in chief is a cat in a dog-eat-dog world.
No, she's not referring to Obama in the sense of "cool cat" - it's more of a Tom Jones thing. She's careful enough not to mix her metaphors:
In the midst of such charades, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emerging Dirty Harry persona is oddly reassuring. Often speaking through nearly clenched teeth, she has become Obama's bad cop.
Is Parker acknowledging Hillary Clinton as one of the "dogs"? No allusion to her "claws coming out"? Clenched teeth, not "bared fangs"? She's not "hissing" at people?

Parker suggests that the world would be better served by the macho bravado of a George W. Bush - one of the worst Presidents in our nation's history, already being relegated to the memory hole by his own party, and whose disastrous policies seem likely to haunt us for at least a generation. Let's review some highlights of how Bush's bravado carried the day:
  • In 2001, Bush declares that he wanted to capture Osama Bin Laden, "dead or alive" - and for eight years we've been rewarded with periodic recordings of Bin Laden taunting Bush and our country.

  • In 2002, Bush declared Iran, North Korea and iraq to be part of an "Axis of Evil" - and both Iran and North Korea responded by continuing their nuclear weapons programs, to the point that North Korea may have successfully tested a nuclear weapon, with Bush ultimately folding on his diplomatic stonewall of both nations.

  • In 2002, Bush backed (and perhaps supported) a coup in Venezuela to topple Hugo Chavez - Chavez remains in power, and thumbed his nose at Bush for the remainder of Bush's presidency.

  • In 2003, Bush launched a war of choice in Iraq, reportedly declaring in relation to Saddam Hussein, "that motherf---er tried to take out my dad" - and, just as he was warned by cooler heads, we're still stuck in Iraq.

  • In 2007, Bush was out of patience with Burma, imposing sanctions - that accomplished nothing.

Oh, but Bush did have his great, glorious moment - when he declared how he had cowed Muammar Gaddafi:
Before September 11th, Libya was spending millions to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Today, because America and our allies sent a clear and easy-to-understand message, the leader of Libya has abandoned his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and America and the world are safer.
He and Tony Blair rewarded Gaddafi with big, wet sloppy kisses (the figurative kind, not that a bit of kissing or hand-holding between a couple of guys can't be macho).

So Obama gives a speech at the UN, and Parker wants to make it Obama's fault that the next speaker up, Muammar Gaddafi, "looks like a renegade from Ringling Bros.", made a ridiculous speech, and has done some outrageous things since Bush decided he was reformed? Did Obama select the speaker line-up, or something? No, wait, "Obama shook hands [with Gaddafi] at a dinner in July". It must have been some sort of weak, cat-like handshake, not the strong "shake, boy" handshake you get from a dog. Shaking hands with a guy Bush claims as a reformed ally in the making? In Parker's eyes, does that make Tony Blair a cat or a poodle?

Meanwhile, Parker tells us that Obama "plans to turn his charms on Burma's military junta" while quoting Obama's head diplomat as stating that the Administration plans to "remain tough and continue sanctions pending credible democratic reforms"... so how is this a "change of policy"? Parker complains of the fact that the Obama Administration recognizes that sanctions have failed, but... you know, that's reality, even if she liked Bush's bravado in imposing sanctions that proved impotent.

The barking of a neutered, toothless dog, straining at the end of its leash? Much more impressive to Parker than anyone who considers facts or tries find rational solutions to problems. Thinking... how cat-like. So what would be a better approach to somebody like Hugo Chavez? What's the big-dawg, manly approach you should adopt toward a pissant who keeps insulting you? According to Parker, it's ignoring him - after all, what better represents the unbridled manliness of passive aggression better than the silent treatment?

And Obama's also to blame for the belligerence of Ahmadinejad (following Bush's aforementioned "successes" in dealing with Iran). It's awful that Ahmadinejad gives nutty, anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying speeches - something he would never have done were big-dawg Bush still in office. And, oh my, he's testing long-range missiles - something he surely would have been afraid to do (well, if we accept Parker's ignorance or prevarication, and pretend that he and not the Supreme Leader controls the military) if Bush were in office.

But we don't need to imagine how Bush would react. Iran did test missiles, so can simply turn to the headlines to find out how a big-dawg deals with such insolence: Bush Turns to Diplomacy to Deter Iran.

Down boy! Down!

Update: Had this occurred when GW was President, would Parker be praising it as the success of his "big-dawg" tactics or calling him a "cat"?
Iran agreed in principle Thursday to ship most of its enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be refined for exclusively peaceful uses, in what Western diplomats called a significant, but interim, measure to ease concerns over its nuclear program.

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