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A popular debate tactic for Team Chicago in the election of 2012 was to paint Mitt Romney as an Etch a Sketch candidate eager to return the world to a Cold War stalemate even as he warned of the serious consequences of an administration more interested in counting spilled toothpicks. Barack Obama addressing growing threats in Moscow, Iran, Afghanistan, the West Bank, and Central America took a back seat to hilarious one-liners referencing Gordon Gekko and Ivan Drago.
Except Mitt Romney was right and everyone now knows he was right.
As the world emulates the Blue Monday music video more and more every day, Barack Obama seems to disengage from it even further. He’s content to raid the liquor cabinet, grab a candle stick, and dance across the living room to Bob Seger. Obama’s merry band of pop culture Tumblr warriors have been great at keeping him ahead on Twitter trends and throwing out catchy phrases. Foreign policy? Not so much.
As made evident by every media all-star with a Twitter account, Obama declared “No, this is not a new cold war” in brief and late remarks yesterday. Of course it isn’t — because that would mean either Obama lied to everyone in 2012 about Vladimir Putin’s growing influence or he was unaware of it.
Late Tuesday afternoon the top trends on Twitter were Cold War, Russia, Share a Coke, Jesse Ventura, Libya & Gaza. Last week it was an evil mastermind named Gruber.
The 80’s have not only called, The Noid is banging on The White House front door.
The last election was not about who was best qualified to handle a world begging for leadership as much as it was about painting the other guy as the town reverend who wanted to take away everyone’s birth control and ban dancing.
It worked. But two years later the majority of the country feels we’re on a road to nowhere.
Time after time this administration has ignored distinct warnings from around the world in favor of keeping the man in charge of it relevant and cool. Thanks to the media who wants to take us back to the future of 2008, he remains largely untouchable.
There is, however, a burden that accompanies being the brightest beacon of freedom on the hill. It’s that we can never detach ourselves from events of the world, even if our leaders want to. Regimes with malicious intent for their own people and the world at large are comfortable to play war games if left unchecked, as was demonstrated when Flight MH17 was shot out of the air. It’s not a popular declaration but it is the truth. We as a country cannot just simply throw in the damn towel.
The Obama-friendly media is content to write all this off as inconsequential in an attempt to make Obama bigger than the threats themselves, almost as though they are double-daring the world to really test his competence with a crisis. But Putin, ISIS, the Taliban and Hamas are content to wait in their box until the perfect time comes, when they can unplug the alarm clock and have an after-midnight snack.
Putting Vladimir Putin in detention and asking him to write an essay about who he thinks he is isn’t going to work. The only people who haven’t figured this out yet happen to be in charge of our country — or in the media, where they’re clinging to what’s left of causing sea levels to recede and healing the world. He’s their buddy and Barack Obama’s got that going for him, which is nice.
The rest of us however aren’t so lucky.
We took a chance in 2008 on an inexperienced junior senator and hoped we — along with him — would not experience too many growing pains. 3 AM phone calls have come and gone without being answered. Strategic gains in Afghanistan and Iraq have been all but terminated and a Russian bear is loose with little to no consequences. Obama now faces problems at home and abroad that can’t be fixed by simply blowing into a cartridge.
The question has to be asked of our President in all of this: Where is his mind?