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April 06, 2009

Obama's Laid Back "What Me Worry?" Diplomacy on North Korea

The missile did not go as far as planned, but it went far.

But the Obama Administration says almost nothing about it, and the press follows his lead.

The president has an awesome power not expressly mentioned in the constitution: the power to declare a crisis, and by so doing, focus the country's attention on an issue.

Or, in the negative, to not talk about a crisis at all, and by so doing, allow the citizens to easily ignore it.

When Bush was confronted with North Korea's nuclear experimentation, the Administration stepped up and made a great issue of it. The country paid attention. Ultimately Bush's attempt to thwart the North Koreans diplomatically failed -- again -- and he paid the political price for that. Liberals neener-neenered him for his failure. Conservatives were demoralized by his inability to resolve the issue.

Obama is taking a different tact. Apparently he's going to avoid losing political stature by pretending that crises he can't solve aren't in fact real crises at all, so that he isn't expected to do anything at all about them, and won't be blamed for failure. After all, there was apparently no problem that needed fixing in the first place.

But the fact that he can easily avoid the political fallout from noting a foreign policy crisis doesn't mean that the crisis doesn't exist, nor that the country's security is diminished as he dithers and distracts.

A lot of issues can be won, or at least not lost -- at least politically -- by simply disregarding them and pretending they don't exist. The press corps is lazy, and, especially with their Magic Boyfriend in office, eager to play along and stay quiet.

And this will be a pattern throughout his Administration. He won't avoid the "weak on security" label by actually being strong when America's security is threatened. He'll seek to avoid that label by simply pretending America's security is not threatened, and so no action needs to be taken at all. So we can't fault him for not taking that action.

A large number of threats are either going to be withheld from the public entirely, as the national security apparatus clamps down on embarrassing leaks about unaddressed and worsening problems, or will trickle out to the public, at which point they'll be promptly ignored by the press, and therefore by 80% of the public.

Just Because Obama's Such an Awesomely Awesome Swell Feller Doesn't Mean the Norks or Iranians Give a Fig: The liberal media should remember that not everyone shares their undying love.

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posted by Ace at 11:58 AM

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