People expect too much of the office of the Presidency these days. Part of that has to do with the way Presidential campaigns are run – candidates have to basically promise that they have an idea or a solution for every problem under the sun. Think about it – when was the last time you heard a candidate for President – for either party – say, “You know, that’s definitely a problem, but I don’t really think that it is one the President of the United States necessarily needs to be involved in addressing.”
As a result, the President tends to take far too much blame/credit for things that he has little or nothing to do with. Mostly, a President’s effect on the economy tends to be pretty marginal compared to ordinary market forces, but of late literally everything about the economy tends to be a political football that lands entirely at the doorstep of the President. I’m not suggesting that the President has no effect at all on economic matters; I am saying that the effect has been drastically overblown to the point that the President is treated more like an all powerful wizard than like a constitutional officer in a republican democracy.
One thing, though, that the President absolutely deserves almost total blame/credit for is the manner in which he conducts the nation’s foreign policy. Congress often likes to kvetch about foreign policy matters and in certain areas (e.g., treaties) they have an important role to play but at the end of the day the President’s control over United States foreign policy is nearly total, if at times indirect. And one of the things the Democrats have shown, time and time again, is that they are simply not worthy of the voters’ trust when it comes to foreign policy.
The Republicans have a lot of disagreement over various matters of foreign policy, in terms of how it should be conducted, what level of force should be used, and what our posture should be in various portions of the globe. However, one of the striking differences between Republicans and Democrats is how universally unable the Democrats are to correctly separate America’s friends from her enemies.
That, really, is the ultimate acid test of United States foreign policy. The details of the “how” and “when” and “where” of foreign policy are completely irrelevant if you get the “who” and the “why” wrong. And no one has been more fantastically incompetent at sorting out the “who” and the “why” than the modern Democratic party.
Saturday, for instance, several dozen Americans were treated to the spectacle of the three Democratic contenders for the Presidency holding a debate less than 48 hours after horrific attacks on the city of Paris by militant Islamic terrorists. And yet, the candidates on stage were so cowed by their own political correctness that they could not even call Islamic terror by its name (note, in the debates they have had so far, the Democrats have shown no such reticence naming their true enemy, the NRA, over and over).
I think it goes without saying that Democrats who are too scared to speak America’s enemy’s name aloud will likewise be too scared to actually use force against ISIS.
Of course, as we likewise deal with the fact that Russia is actually shooting at the horse we have decided to back in the Middle East, we are reminded that the last Democrat to run for President was likewise clueless about whether Russia was a threat or not:
Let us not also forget that before ISIS took over half the Middle East, Obama called them the Al Qaeda “Jayvee team”:
And furthermore claimed almost immediately before the Paris attacks that ISIS was “contained”:
Of course, the one of the primary reasons we are in such a mess throughout the Middle East is that Hillary Clinton fundamentally misunderstood the Arab Spring, which has led to extremist groups seizing control in a territory that is much wider than even what ISIS now controls.
Obama and the rest of the Democrats have habitually and repeatedly for decades misunderstood the difference between friend and foe (observe the way Bibi has been treated by the current administration) and been willfully ignorant about threats that have confronted the United States.
Whatever you think about the various particulars of the Republican candidates’ foreign policies, one thing is clear: Democrats simply cannot be trusted to set American foreign policy because they simply do not know the difference between a friend and an enemy, or between a threat and an ally.