The King of Indecision: Obama Takes Heavy Criticism Over the Weekend
In the wake of the horrific Malaysia Airlines tragedy on Thursday, the president has taken some well-deserved heat over his administration’s role in the Ukrainian conflict. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina struck first on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“It scares me that he believes the world is in such good shape,” Graham said, speaking directly to John Kerry’s insistence that America is taking a strong lead in more places around the world than ever before. “America is the glue that holds the free world together. Leading from behind is not working. The world is adrift. And President Obama has become the king of indecision. His policies are failing across the globe.”
While Graham centered his remarks on the U.S. response to Russian aggression, his accusation of indecision could carry over to any number of dire situations here and abroad. It’s been a while since an administration had to deal with so many crises at once, but many of them are a direct result of terrible leadership to begin with. The Israel/Palestine situation is mired in controversy, with many Americans wincing at the death toll numbers even as they support Israel’s right to defend itself. The border is a true mess, letting disease and crime into America even as thousands of child immigrants die on a quest for freedom. Iraq is threatened by militant extremists, Afghanistan is just as unstable as ever, and it is now clear that something is terribly amiss at the IRS.
Tough criticism isn’t just coming from the Republicans, though; even those within the president’s own party can see that Obama lacks the proper leadership in America’s foreign affairs. Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, told Fox News Sunday that he was in full support of tougher sanctions against Putin. “I think that the West, including the United States, has to have a far more significant response than we’ve seen to date. It’s what I thought before the shoot-down, and certainly this is a despicable act that needs to be resolved by the West.”
Even though the administration is making its best case against Russia in the wake of the downed plane, it seems clear that military action is not in the cards. While I don’t advocate air strikes against Moscow – at least not yet – why not put some arms in the hands of Ukrainian fighters that might give them a chance to succeed against Putin’s ruthless aspirations. Instead of those kinds of strategies, though, Kerry continues to talk about sanctions. The same sanctions, in fact, that were already in place before the tragedy.
This is the problem with Obama’s approach to nearly every problem that comes across his desk. He doesn’t see the big picture. He tries to maintain a kind of flat status quo even when it is apparent that escalation is in order. How much longer do we have to deal with this lack of leadership in the White House? How much more will go wrong before we get a reprieve?