I wish someone would explain to me why there seem to be so few of his supporters who will criticize President Obama when he’s wrong and so many of his opponents who are eager to attack him when he’s right. Further, nearly all I see are mindless, reflexive, over-heated attacks and similarly mindless, reflexive, and over-heated defenses. Is it the Internet?
Here’s an example. I very much appreciate President Obama’s restraint and moderate tone in foreign policy. I hope it’s matched by equally prudent actions although, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, at this point I think it’s too early to tell. I’m concerned about what he’ll do in Afghanistan but I don’t think any decision will be the end of the world. I’m also concerned that he’s taking so long to do it since while I think that interoception is a fine quality I also think that first reactions are frequently the right ones.
However, I also think he’s a tyro in foreign policy and seems to have surrounded himself with tyros as well. So, for example, the infamous bowing photograph (linked below). I agree with Jake Tapper’s Japan hand:
1) The ‘right’ is wrong about Obama’s bow.
2) The ‘left’ is wrong about Obama’s bow.
His bow is neither (1) unprecedented nor (2) a sign of cultural understanding.
I think that President Obama made himself look foolish but I don’t blame him, I blame his protocol advisors. Either they don’t know enough or they are too timid about telling him what to do to be advisors.
That’s not an attack, it’s just criticism. Criticism is good. Why must there only be attacks and defenses?