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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "Is Barry Whiffing?": Mighty Casey Has Struck Out

"But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out."

- "Casey at the Bat," Ernest Thayer, 1888

Obama's foreign policy is a strikeout, and Americans are getting wise to it. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll (, only "34 percent approve of his handling of the situation involving Ukraine and Russia."

But the Ukraine is just the least of it. As Max Boot tells us in a Commentary opinion piece entitled "A Bad Metaphor, But an Even Worse Excuse" (

"There hasn’t been a substantial foreign-policy victory since Osama bin Laden and Moammar Gaddafi were killed in 2011. As I note in the Wall Street Journal today, 'Hopes for a peace accord between the Israelis and Palestinians have been dashed, the civil war continues to rage in Syria, chaos engulfs Libya, Russia has invaded Ukraine and China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea has leaders in Japan and the Philippines drawing analogies to the 1930s.'

That’s actually only a partial listing of the setbacks we have suffered. I had no room to list other bad news: the emergence of a new military dictatorship in Egypt, a crackdown on civil liberties in Turkey, growing instability in Lebanon, new reports of chemical-weapons use in Syria, advances of Islamic insurgents in Pakistan, crumbling economic sanctions on Iran in return for empty promises to slow down their nuclear program, new North Korean belligerence, and declining American credibility from allowing red lines to be crossed from Syria to Crimea and (an overlooked issue) from allowing our defense budget to be slashed precipitously.

Perhaps worst of all is the resurgence of al-Qaeda."

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Is Barry Whiffing?" (, Maureen Dowd also takes a swing at Obama's feeble defense of his foreign policy from the Philippines (where the president traveled after failing to reach a trade agreement with Japan): "You hit singles; you hit doubles; every once in a while, we may be able to hit a home run." Dowd's rejoinder:

"Stop whining, Mr. President.

And stop whiffing.

Don’t whinge off the record with columnists and definitely don’t do it at a press conference with another world leader. It is disorienting to everybody, here at home and around the world.

. . . .

It doesn’t feel like leadership. It doesn’t feel like you’re in command of your world.

How can we accept these reduced expectations and truculent passivity from the man who offered himself up as the moral beacon of the world, even before he was elected?"

Is only Obama to blame for this mess? I'm afraid so. He was the one who brought a moronic Chuck Hagel, who can't find his way to first base, and a vain John Kerry, who is unable to come to terms with his balks, onto the team.

"Wait ’til next year!" was once the unofficial slogan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Well, it's not going to get any better next year. Putin, who was promised "flexibility" by Obama, and all of the world's other tyrants know that Obama talks a mean game, but only lobs softballs.

Can Team America regroup following this fiasco? Let's see who is selected as the new manager in 2016, and if the US is able to climb out of the cellar.

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