Many years ago, I was in a business that required a lot of creative problem solving. And, as is common in many such endeavors, there were certain old sayings that could be safely relied upon in establishing boundaries for solutions. One that was often relevant was this one…
“If you ask a cobbler to solve a problem, you can bet the solution will involve shoes.”
Funny how the same old saying works just as well when you substitute “community organizer” for “cobbler.”
Obama apparently sees the world through the eyes of his chosen profession. All Americans’ broken souls can be repaired if we can only come together as a group with a common agenda. The world’s divisions can be healed by identifying what each country needs and appealing to that interest. Wars can be prevented by injecting real leadership and organizational skills where chaos now reigns. By bringing the parties together in a common cause, Obama can solve all of humanities ills.
Well, at least that is the theory of Obama…and his hero, Saul Alinsky.
This is the reason why Obama sounds a lot like Chauncey Gardiner (of Jerzy Kosiński’s Being There). Like Gardiner, Obama is taking an incredibly complex world and trying to shoehorn it into a simple paradigm. It sounds good, but it just won’t work.
Rich Lowry has an article in today’s RealClearPolitics that touches on some of the reasons why the world cannot be “talked” into harmony. Here’s an excerpt…
In their litany of American presidents who met with hostile dictators, supporters of Barack Obama cite John F. Kennedy and his meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna in 1961. They leave out how it went.
The earnest, young American president wanted to forestall any possibility of misunderstanding and to win Khrushchev’s commitment to the international status quo. The blustery, risk-taking Soviet premier wanted to bludgeon Kennedy into making concessions that would further the Soviet goal of global revolution. With such clashing objectives, the two leaders didn’t exactly hit it off.
When Kennedy thought he was being accommodating, Khrushchev thought he was being weak. He pocketed rhetorical concessions by Kennedy and demanded more. Afterward, Kennedy called it “the roughest thing in my life.” Kennedy adviser George Ball later said that Khrushchev had perceived Kennedy as “young and weak,” and Kennedy confidant Gen. Maxwell Taylor thought Khrushchev concluded he could “shove this young man around.” Vienna was the backdrop for Soviet assertion in the Cold War flash points to come.
Not all talking is created equal. Which is why it’s folly for a presidential candidate to make a blanket promise to negotiate personally with adversaries. Asked last year at the YouTube debate if he’d be willing to meet “without precondition, during the first year of your administration … with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea,” Obama said “yes.” Since then, he’s tried to elevate his ill-considered improvisation into foreign-policy gospel.
So when, in a speech in Israel, President Bush characterized trying to talk adversaries out of their hatreds as appeasement, Obama and his supporters reacted as if he had been skewered to the core. The Obama Doctrine had been attacked! On foreign soil! They countered that the act of talking is, in itself, not appeasement. True enough. But neither is talking a substitute for strategy.
Read the rest this excellent article here…The Limits of ‘Talk’