Maureen Dowd and foreign affairs? They don't mix. I will never forget her sympathetic depictions of Saudi Arabia over the course of a 10-day visit to the Desert Kingdom, notwithstanding its abominations against women.
Telling us in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Obama’s Last Tango" that she accompanied Obama on his trip to Havana, Dowd says of his subsequent tango in Buenos Aires:
"Republicans are frothing and comics are tweaking about the baseball diplomacy in Cuba and the tango diplomacy in Argentina, juxtaposed with the terrorist attack and manhunt in Brussels.
Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore mocked Obama’s 'spring break world tour.' He chided the president for doing the wave with Raúl Castro and remarked on Obama’s sinuous, take-charge tango partner. 'O.K., Republicans, now he’s leading from behind,' Wilmore said. Rush Limbaugh accused the president of flamenco dancing and 'doing the tango with women not even his wife.'
Yes, that outrageous sin of being polite to your foreign hosts at a state dinner."
Now compare Dowd's complacence with Piers Morgan's take on the trip from the other side of the Atlantic in a Daily Mail opinion piece entitled "Twinkle-toes Obama might be a demon at the tango but when it comes to reading the public mood he’s tone-deaf":
"Just imagine what Americans would have thought if within hours of 9/11, the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair had gone to a football match and been seen giggling and clowning around with some dodgy communist despot.
All hell would have broken loose, and rightly so.
It’s also vital in this situation for a U.S. president to let the perpetrators of such evil know America means business when it, or one of its allies, is attacked.
. . . .
Last night, to compound his ineptitude, Obama was seen awkwardly strutting the Tango in Buenos Aires with some hot female Argentinian dancer. He even looked like he’d been having lessons, so laboured and precise were his deliberate moves.
Once again, the optics were appalling.
. . . .
[H]istory will now forever remember that when Belgium was knocked to its knees, Barack Obama went to a ball game and danced the Tango.
Shame on you, Mr President."
Shame on you, too, Maureen Dowd.