I have not blogged a lot lately. Two reasons: First, the rapidity of change that has been occurring in the last few months has left me with a feeling that my writing has been behind the curve of events. By the time I process my thoughts into opinion the world is off onto something else. Second, I’ve had a hard time quantifying our President. It’s something hard to put into words. He’d do something utterly ridiculous, and seemingly in the next breath he mirrors the past administration on some mighty important matters. It’s a hate love hate love pendulum that is hard to grasp. I want so bad to write it off as naiveté… that he himself really doesn’t know what he’s doing, so he’s just shooting stuff out into the wind and some of it sticks and some doesn’t… or is he perhaps actually learning what it is to be “the” President.
Politics and reality are two entirely different things, we know that, so when one actually has to do things instead of just talk about them, naturally we can expect changes in perspective and policy … at least to some extent. There are consequences to what one says and does when he becomes President and Commander In Chief. Consequences that didn’t amount to much for a candidate. Now we find the elected Obama a bit of a different animal than candidate Obama… you can tell by the grumbling from his own.
Candidate Obama was rewarded for the expectations he brought with a Nobel Peace Prize. A Prize he collected today. But it was Elected President Barack Obama that picked up that prize.
“I liked what he said,” – Sarah Palin.
What!? Palin said what? She said, “Of course, war is the last thing I believe any American wants to engage in, but it’s necessary. We have to stop these terrorists.”
“I thought in some ways it’s a very historic speech.” – Newt Gingrich.
What!? Newt!?! “He clearly understood that he had been given the prize prematurely, but he used it as an occasion to remind people, first of all, as he said: that there is evil in the world.”
In a interview with WNYC and Public Radio International today Gingrch went on to say, “I think having a liberal president who goes to Oslo on behalf of a peace prize and reminds the committee that they would not be free, they wouldn’t be able to have a peace prize, without having [to use] force,”
Maybe Obama gets it now. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said, “…based on this speech, I think we are witnessing a substantial shift, back in the direction of a more muscular moralism, ala, Truman, Reagan.”
Said Bradley Blakeman, a Republican strategist who worked in the Bush White House, “The irony is that George W. Bush could have delivered the very same speech. It was a truly an American president’s message to the world.”
Also, Christine Pelosi, an attorney, author and Democratic activist wrote in POLITICO’S Arena, “The President laid out the ‘right makes might’ Obama Doctrine: securing a just peace takes both the nonviolent teachings and military traditions of quiet heroes who fight for human rights as civilians and service members.”
“There will be times,” Obama said in his speech today, “when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”
“Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.”
“The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans.”
“For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world.”
“A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.”
Following Obama’s speech Democratic strategist Lanny Davis said, “Simply: all Americans should be proud.” “We and our president are once again viewed positively by most peoples of the world.” He went on to say it is, “A sea change from recent years.”
Yes. Yes it is a sea change from recent years… and it was a speech that could have been easily given by George W. Bush. What does that tell you?
Today… maybe I’m inspired.
Thanks too and Via Yahoo News, POLITICO article written by Eamon Javers 12/10.09