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How The Washington Post contributed to mythology of Obama greatness

How The Washington Post contributed to mythology of Obama greatness

There was no there, there.

At a time when tensions in the Middle East are rising, it is perhaps a time to once again review President Barack Obama’s qualifications for office. To be sure his qualifications were fabricated, or at least oversold.

This wasn’t just the doing of the Obama campaign. Campaigns are supposed to do present their candidates in the best possible light. The problem  was that America’s supposedly independent media boosted the first terms senator’s prospects with little or no skepticism.

This was certainly the case in reporting where most reporters bought into the historical aspect of Obama’s candidacy as well was the rebuke to Republicans for the failings of the Bush presidency. (If not the failings, then the aspects that the liberal media disagreed with.)

For the purpose of this exercise let’s look at parts of The Washington Post‘s 2008 endorsement of Obama. I am using the Post as an example of what we saw so frequetly because even though the Post is a liberal paper, its editorial position regarding foreign policy is generally responsible. However in the Post’s enthusiasm for Obama, all caution was disregarded and they promoted a man who did not really exist.

In its 2008 endorsement of Obama the Post described him as “a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building.” In fact we have seen over the course of the past seven years a man, who may be brilliant, but stubbornly insists on doing things his way regardless of the results. There has been little or no conciliation or consensus building during Obama’s term in office. Obamacare, which is collapsing under the weight of its internal contradictions, was passed with only Democratic support. And the president’s biggest foreign policy “achievement,” the nuclear deal with Iran, was passed despite bipartisan opposition because Obama chose the path of an executive agreement to bypass BOTH parties in Congress.

And in describing the paper’s expectations of Obama’s foreign policy, the editors wrote:

But Mr. Obama, as anyone who reads his books can tell, also has a sophisticated understanding of the world and America’s place in it. He, too, is committed to maintaining U.S. leadership and sticking up for democratic values, as his recent defense of tiny Georgia makes clear. We hope he would navigate between the amoral realism of some in his party and the counterproductive cocksureness of the current administration, especially in its first term. On most policies, such as the need to go after al-Qaeda, check Iran’s nuclear ambitions and fight HIV/AIDS abroad, he differs little from Mr. Bush or Mr. McCain. But he promises defter diplomacy and greater commitment to allies. His team overstates the likelihood that either of those can produce dramatically better results, but both are certainly worth trying.

I do not see a single thing here that has been proven correct. (The Post later expressed concern over Obama’s intent to withdraw troops from Iraq. He did that in defiance of their concerns, but they still endorsed him for a second term.) In particular it is hard to see that Obama’s diplomacy has been defter or that his commitment to allies has been better that demonstrated by President Bush.

For a comprehensive look at what the president has done wrong in foreign policy read Abe Greenwald’s On His Watch in the January issue of Commentary. This is a devastating critique of the multiple mistakes the president has made contributing to even wider spread instability over the past seven year. Greenwald correctly identifies how Obama viewed and views himself.

Obama’s inconsistencies have helped him evade traditional ideological labels. So perhaps it suffices to say he is foremost an anti-Bushist. His conception of America’s role in the world is most easily discerned in its opposition to that of his predecessor. He ran for president on a promise to end the war in Iraq—and when, as president, he told a Saudi Arabian news station, “all too often the United States starts by dictating,” he was talking about George W. Bush’s perceived “cowboy diplomacy.” When he told an audience in France that “America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive,” he was referring to Bush’s willingness to wage war without the support of the United Nations. And when in London he said, “With my election and the early decisions that we’ve made…you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world,” he was touting his departure from Bush-era policy.

And this has led to many of the problems with Obama’s foreign policy.

What Bush wrought he would undo. And he has undone much.

As conditions in the Middle East have deteriorated, the United States has progressively lost opportunities to act. The rush of events has now mooted many of the ideas Obama rejected. The actions that could have been taken to ensure that a functioning Iraq didn’t fall back into the hands of terrorists no longer apply now that ISIS controls massive sections of the country. The actions that could have contained the damage from a secular Syrian rebellion no longer have bearing on what has become an international war zone. And the actions that could have stopped a few hundred jihadists who crossed Iraq’s western border into Syria no longer matter, now that their number has grown to a few hundred thousand who have founded a state. Our viable options for defeating ISIS today are far more hazardous than the options we had only a few years ago, when we could have preempted its ascendance. But Obama has held fast—and in his effort to keep America out of the Middle East muck, he may well be ensuring an American reentry into a Middle East inferno.

At the time Greenwald wrote, relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran hadn’t yet reached a boiling point. However  that growing hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran gives lie to the Post’s idea that Obama is a “deft” diplomat or that he shows commitment to long-term allies.

In her post on Tuesday on this topic, Prof. Elman wrote, “Put simply, the disastrous Iran Deal has deepened the rift between Sunnis and Shi’ites in the region.”

This is similar to a point made Monday by Walter Russell Mead at The American Interest. Mead pointed out that we could expect to see “a world stumbling down a slippery slope to become less secure, less stable, and less free” during the coming year due to President Obamna’s foreign policy. Mead observed that reports in The New York Times “not the place to look for bad news for the Obama administration” showed how bad things were getting:

The lead story, on Saudi Arabia’s decision to break diplomatic relations with Iran over the destruction of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, read like an epitaph for the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. In 2015, the central conviction of President Obama’s policy in the Middle East, the only element of his original, ambitious agenda (reconciliation with the Sunni world, promotion of moderate Islamist democracy, solving the Israel-Palestine issue) still standing, was that he could stabilize the Middle East by pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran. The President has his nuclear deal, but so far it isn’t making him, or anybody else, happy. The perceived U.S. tilt toward Iran has inflamed Sunni jihadis, contributed to the meltdown in Syria, and has made regional sectarian conflict hotter and more dangerous than ever. What’s more, the U.S. has lost leverage over Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and Israel—without gaining leverage over Iran. As a result, the U.S. is both less able to persuade the Sunni powers to refrain from steps that could inflame regional conflict and is completely unable to persuade the Iranians to moderate their behavior in the interest of regional peace.

Everything in this paragraph contradicts the expectations laid out in the Post’s endorsement. In essence Mead is writing that Obama bet the house on the nuclear deal with Iran and lost. Along the way he alienated at least four major allies and got nothing in return from Iran.

Whether you look at Greenwald’s comprehensive or Mead’s abbreviated critique of Obama’s foreign policy, the conclusion is the same. Obama has failed in foreign policy, spectacularly.

This failure wouldn’t have been possible without a complicit media, creating a myth instead of a candidate. Will the editors of The Washington Post take a critical look at their 2008 endorsement and learn from their mistake before 2016? I wouldn’t count on it.

[Photo: CBS News / YouTube ]

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Comments

Wait… I can’t handle this… next you are going to tell me that Tom Cruz was not really abducted by aliens like the Enquirer front page stated in 2009.

A poll of how many Americans believe MSM is a direct count of how many Americans are in fact functionally retarded and can be easily controlled.

The Mushroom Media can…and will…try to weave a web of mythology around Pres. ScamWOW.

But the wreckage of the Deemocrat party nationwide tells an indelible and unassailable story of the Obamic Decline and its terrible effects on Americans, America, and the world.

G. de La Hoya | January 7, 2016 at 3:29 pm

MSM deserves Obama.

“daft” diplomat is more like it.

Obama is the quintessential liberal on the world stage.

He has no drive, no vision, and no motivation to do anything. He systematically alienates ACTUAL allies like Israel while he makes nice with Iran, a country that even after the nuclear ‘deal’ (where he basically agreed to believe all future lies they told him), has declared their intent to kill all Americans.

He thinks if he gives a few pretty speeches that people will love him because he isn’t TEH EVIL BUSH.

Instead they laugh at his weakness and ignore him.

It all points to how pathetic the journalists are when it comes to seeing true intellect. They also can’t distinguish between good and bad character or recognize liars. They are nothing more than political groupies.

With all deference to the WaPo ..

But he promises defter diplomacy and greater commitment to allies. His team overstates the likelihood that either of those can produce dramatically better results, but both are certainly worth trying.

There is nothing wrong with these two sentences. Neither have any connection to this Administration, but they still sound nice.

Henry Hawkins | January 7, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Obama is carrying on the legacy of the wondrous Carter administration’s great successes in the Middle East.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 7, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Can you believe Carter wasn’t given the Nobel Peace Prize for losing his reelection, thereby freeing the Iranian hostages? I mean, c’mon…

Obama is the biggest Destroyer of the USA. He is the Great Divider. He is the Unvetted Pres. , that is not being questioned for his always helping the Islamist damage this country. Actions speak to a persons true intentions. Then you have Hillary, saying ” I will run my Presidency just like Obama Has.” That should scare the H— out of everyone.

The Washington Post continues to contribute to its mythology that it is a news reporting organization.

Don’t forget Neda and the attempt and internal change by Iranians. If Obama had embraced the people of Iran, instead of its autocrats, things might be very different today. Instead, he completely ignored the people’s voice and continued to woo the dictators.

I noticed a comment that summed up Obama very nicely years back. From a PJ Media thread, the commenter’s name was Zhombre:

“There is no and never was a man behind the curtain. Barack Obama is a shallow, conceited, poorly educated man; his oratory is empty, his sincerity is absent; and his character is mimetic. He plays at various roles (community organizer, intellectual, law lecturer, state legislator, Senator, President) but fulfills none. He is not capable of fulfilling any. To traduce Gertrude Stein’s phrase, he is our Oakland President; there is no there there.”

I thought it worth keeping.

    Well said. Given the reality of this fraud president , Zhombre was’ comment was flattering.

    We need to continue to speak the truth of Obama, his fake wife, his fake background, his malignant enablers and the corrupt news organizations that continue to wipe his ass when he craps on himself, now and forever.

I have seen no evidence and no one has put forward any to support that Obama is “brilliant”. Quite the contrary.

I had been a subscriber to, and daily reader of, the Washington Post for years by the time of Obama’s first election.

I read online the original story that said that Obama, by virtue of his father’s faith, was a Muslim according to Muslim tradition, and that his subsequent embrace of Christianity would make him an apostate. I read the Washington Post’s derisive misrepresentation of the thrust of the article. They chose to rely on the outermost fringe of commentary on the article rather than the original.

I waited for the articles about the way Obama was making promises while his campaign was instructing its workers to admit that they knew they could not keep those promises. Those articles never appeared.

I waited for the articles about the problem with the Obama campaign finance violations. They never did appear.

I also read the lavish endorsement referenced in this article, along with a number of endorsements by others, again lavish. Later, it turned out that many of these endorsements were by people who did not know him. Apparently the Post had published these articles without ever once inquiring as to the knowledge base of any of those endorsers.

I read two Ombudsman articles by two different Ombudsmen, after Obama was elected for President for each term, admitting that the Washington Post had spiked real, unfavorable stories that might have influenced both elections, and failed to make adequate inquiry into some vaguely-defined others.

When one of the first things the moron did when he got into office was to return the bust of Winston Churchill we knew he was not a student of history. Stop and consider that. Churchill led his nation in a time of mortal peril. He was steadfast and understood his people. Contrast that with obama. He is a liar, and a golfing flake. He has no idea what “His” people think nor does he care. He has insulted all of our longtime allies and befriended terrorist nations like Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. He tried to buddy up to Putin but Vlad slapped him into place. The fool has accomplished nothing but trouble and failure since he took office and the nation is now so divided that it may never heal.

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