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Friday, November 12, 2010

Obama, Asia and "Animal House" Diplomacy

Those of you who read this blog know that I am addicted to movies. Often I will revisit an old movie that I enjoyed when I was younger to determine whether it still has the capacity to move me, evoke a tear, or elicit a chuckle. Although dated, "Animal House" is still relevant.

Toward the end of this venerable comedy, the brothers of Delta House are informed that owing to their deplorable conduct and low grade point averages, the fraternity, following a probation hearing, is being shut down. Their response to this crisis:

"Christ, Otter, this is ridiculous. What are we going to do?"

"Road trip!"

What does "Animal House" have to do with the Obama administration? Everything. I was present in the West Wing when it was announced that the Democrats had lost the House of Representatives in a landslide rout, and I was fortunate enough to overhear the following conversation:

"Christ, Obama, this is ridiculous. What are we going to do?"

"Road trip!"

And so Obama and Co., at a cost of tens of millions of dollars to long-suffering American taxpayers, set off on a ten-day, four-nation tour of the Far East, bringing the U.S. no tangible results. I should acknowledge, however, that Obama's introduction for the first time of a teleprompter into the Indian parliament while addressing this august body did cause amusement.

Indonesia was deemed a public relations success, but there was nothing concrete to show for the stopover, and needless to say, Obama failed to discuss human rights abuses perpetrated by this country.

In South Korea, Obama failed to sign a free trade agreement which had been considered a slam-dunk before he reached Seoul, and the G20 summit was characterized by discord and animosity.

Nothing good is expected in Japan.

But what the heck! Obama was in need of another vacation after being slapped in the face by voters around the nation. What could this inflated ego possibly do to escape their wrath?

Road trip!

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