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WaPo’s Richard Cohen Rips Obama’s Failure of Leadership: ‘Waved a Droopy Flag’

WaPo’s Richard Cohen Rips Obama’s Failure of Leadership: ‘Waved a Droopy Flag’

Cohen: Obama ‘did not want to make America great again. It was great enough for him already.’

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is no conservative, and certainly no fan of Donald Trump. The headline of a column he wrote during the campaign, after all, was “Trump’s Hitlerian disregard for the truth.”

Which makes his column of today, “Thanks to no-drama Obama, American leadership is gone,” which absolutely rips the bark off Barack Obama, all the more remarkable. Observing that Obama “has been all too happy to preside over the loss of American influence,” he describes the current president as having “waved a droopy flag. He did not want to make America great again. It was great enough for him already.” On Syria, Obama “threw in the towel. The banner he flew was one of American diminishment.”

Concluded Cohen grimly: “Whether we liked it or not, we were the world’s policeman. There was no other cop on the beat. Now that leadership is gone. So, increasingly, will be peace.”

Today’s Morning Joe panel discussed the Cohen column, with fellow WaPo columnist Eugene Robinson mounting a wan defense of Obama, arguing that the world is more complicated and “multi-layered” than it used to be. Whatever.

Robinson claimed that American leadership was “simple” and “easy” during the Cold War period. Baloney! Until Ronald Reagan’s “we win, they lose” came along, Jimmy Carter’s droopy flag made it seem that the Soviet Union could survive indefinitely.

One cavil with Cohen’s conclusion: Barack Obama will soon be gone, but the same is not necessarily true for American leadership. There’s a new guy coming to the White House. Let’s see what he can do to restore American leadership in the world. There have already been some promising signs.

WILLIE GEIST: Let’s turn now to the must-read op-eds. Richard Cohen writing in the Washington Post:

Thanks to no-drama Obama, American leadership is gone.” Richard writes: “The Russians managed to do what they wanted to do in Syria. Why not the United States? The answer has always been clear to me. Obama did not care enough. Not from him ever came a thundering demand that Russia and Iran get out and stay out. Behind the arguably persuasive reasons to do little in Syria was an emotional coldness. This was not Obama’s fight. Kellyanne Conway keeps pointing out that Hillary Clinton had no message. True. Neither for that matter did Obama. He waved a droopy flag. He did not want to make America great again. It was great enough for him already. The banner he flew was one of American diminishment. One could agree, one could not be proud . . . Since the end of world War II, American leadership has been essential to maintain world peace. Whether we liked it or not, we were the world’s policeman. There was no other cop on the beat. Now that leadership is gone. So, increasingly, will be peace.”

Tough piece there from your colleague, Richard Cohen, Gene.

EUGENE ROBINSON: Yeah, I mean, I would, I would take a slightly different view. The world has changed substantially from, you know, the sort of post-war security architecture, which was clearly led by the United States, in the Cold War, against the Soviet bloc. That was simple and that was easy and that was a defined and necessary role for the United States to play. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc and the emergence of a multi-polar world, it became not so simple, in the age of terrorism, of Islamic fundamentalism, and, you know, a complicated, multi-layered situation like Syria, it is not entirely clear that that old-style of American leadership, where we just kind of, you know, come in and say, everybody out of the way and you do this and you do that, you know, be nice to try that, but, in fact, it wouldn’t work. There’s no — this is not the world that we lived in in the 50s and the 60s and the 70s. It’s just not.

WILLIE: Except, Chris [Jansing], that he did try with rhetoric some of that swagger. He said, Assad must go. He said we’re going to draw a line in the sand if you cross it, X will happen.

CHRIS JANSING: And it didn’t.

WILLE: Well, they crossed the line and it didn’t happen. So the argument is there was there was no follow-up on the rhetoric.


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What? The left is NOW attacking Obama?
Why, they must be RACIST!

In a sane rational world we would be making comparisons between Barry’s utter lack of accomplishments prior to becoming President and Trumps track record of delivery.

However this isn’t a sane rational world and instead we are force fed stories from the MfM about Trump starting WWIII while the Democrats actually edge us closer to armed conflict with Russia by blaming them for everything!!!

    Valerie in reply to mailman. | December 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Heh. When I visited home for Christmas, my daddy said that Trump just might have the right background to be a truly great President.

    His sources of input are limited to MSM-whatever of the New York Times and Washington Post are printed in the local paper, and TV.

To be fair, this was one of the very few things Obama didn’t lie about.

He was never much concerned with foreign affairs. He believed the US was too influential already, and should, if anything, be cut down a few notches. His only foreign interest was in boosting Islam.

His “fundamental transformation of the country” was always intended to be an internal scrambling of American politics, law, and society.

    It always amazed me that a guy with a history of growing up on the knees of America-hating socialist radicals, who promised to “fundamentally transform” the greatest country on earth wasn’t ever really asked to explain what he meant by that. Now we know.

Obama liked being president.

Obama didn’t like doing president.

My question is WHY did Obama wave a droopy flag? He made Carter look like Attila the Hun. What was the abstention in the U.N all about? He just made ithe ME a lot more volatile than it already is. This shows how diabolical, mean and vicious he is.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Hawk. | December 27, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    He’s making Trump’s job more difficult (in foreign policy and in domestic recovery – let’s not forget his ongoing avalanche of regulations) with the purpose of causing Trump’s presidency to “fail” (or at least to not match expectations), greasing the skids for the next Democrat nominee for the job. It’s all about the party – screw the country.

Jeepers, people. That America is evil is obvious. A bunch of white guys came from England to America, killed all the Indians, stole an entire continent, and filled half of it with slaves. Obama hates colonialism, capitalism, and white guys doing stuff. His conscience demanded America be brought down to size. Sheesh.

    If white guys were actually good people, one of them would have knocked up my mother and not left the job to that lousy Kenyan who went off and left him. White people are bad people. They even invented this dreadful game I can’t master or even stop playing. Then I comes home to that angry black women and see RGIII with his hot white wife and I wonder why the heck I couldn’t get one like that. Damned white people will be sorry when my plan is complete.

    This was in my Christmas card. I must have gotten the one intended for someone else.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Henry Hawkins. | December 27, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Remember the title of one of his books – Dreams From My Father. Not Dreams Of My Father or My Father’s Dreams. The title meant that Obama had inherited or adopted his father’s anti-white, anti-colonial dreams, for him to fulfill in his father’s memory.

Sadly, I think that Mr.Hawkins above neatly encapsulates Obama’s world view-right down to its level of sophistication.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to rabidfox. | December 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Better to slay the dragon than to name it.*

    *(Dear IRS contract employee tasked with monitoring conservative blog message boards. The above is not meant to be taken literally, but as an analogy showing how explaining one’s enemy does nothing to stop one’s enemy. Please note that dragons do not actually exist, a detail I hope precludes any ‘conspiracy to’ type charges. Happy New Year, m-f-er).

Barack Obama, or perhaps Barry Soetoro, was steeped throughout his life in anti-American philosophy. His closest associates, in America, were anti-American activists. He worked for years as a “community organizer” for groups and causes which were in opposition to the American culture. He spent his formative years actively involved in Islam in a foreign country. He was an active member of a “Christian” church which was actively anti-American. Then, when elected to the office of the Presidency, he supported, both actively and passively, radical, mostly Islamic, groups and organizations which had a marked anti-American bent. He also was at the forefront of attempts to further Balkanize the United States and undermine its authority figures.

Barack Obama did everything that he could to continue to marginalize and destabilize this country. So, no one should be surprised at how his tenure in office turned out. In fact he told the country that this was coming when he spoke of “Hope and Change”.

Wht is the real reason for the criticisms of Obama, as President, that are now coming from the same people who supported and praised him for the last eight years? And why now? Could it be that they are scared of the uprising those policies and actions have generated among a sizable portion of the American people? Watch as Barack Obama slowly, or maybe not so slowly, becomes the scape goat for all the failed policies of his Presidency. The argument that he was not aggressive enough in the foreign policy arena is being run up the flagpole, now. Look for the liberal criticism of him to increase over the next couple of years. Though the liberal media will never admit that the liberal/progressive aims and objectives were flawed, or outright wrong, the increasing inference will be that Barack Obama failed to aggressively champion those aims and allowed the situation to get out of hand. He will then be ignored, by the libs, and simply become another Jimmy Carter.

    Ken Abbott in reply to Mac45. | December 27, 2016 at 11:26 am

    One can only hope he will be ignored. Alas, it appears that fading into the background is not his plan. From what I’ve heard, he intends to be the voice of the disloyal opposition.

      tom swift in reply to Ken Abbott. | December 27, 2016 at 11:44 am

      That’s what he says, but I doubt that he’ll do any such thing. He’s going to spend the rest of his life golfing.

      We might get another ghostwritten autobiography inflicted on us … but probably not. Late autobiographies tend to be explanations and excuses for why a formerly Eminent Person isn’t properly appreciated for his perspicacity and sagacity while in office. But Obama doesn’t think he has to justify anything, because he’s so totally full of awesomeness. The guy is so conceited that he may actually shut up.

      Carter never had the decency to just go away because he knows he didn’t deliver anything much worth having, but is still trying to spin the story so that it looks like he did. Obama, despite his serial failures, still has no such insecurities.

        Can’t agree with that. Obama (aka Norma Desmond) being the rabid and pathetic narcissist that he is, will insert himself into every issue so as to see his face on television and to hear his voice on the radio.

        Whether he’ll be taken seriously by anyone sane and/or post-adolescent, is another story.

      He will end up being largely ignored by the Libs, just like all the other lib/progressive Presidents who failed to adequately deliver their objectives. In recent history, this happened to Jimmy Carter and then to Bill Clinton. The only way that Clinton was able to remain relevant was to provide access to government officials for monied interests, and he needed Hillary for that. Other than that he was largely ignored, especially by the libs.

Obama is a teaching moment for the future. He is the definition of a political “follower” of himself and NOT a “leader”. He is quite simply an “Obama”! with a capital Loser! 🙂

Will there be a Legal Insurrection Obama High Horse Dismount Party come late January?

As time goes on, there will be one word that epitomizes Barack Obama. That word will be “schumck.”

Anyone who thinks BO was just lollygagging around and not paying attention during his time in that childhood madrassa: got a nice bridge that could use a new owner.