From Powerline this week:
In condemning the removal of Honduran President Mel Zelayaya by the Honduran military, Pesident Obama stands shoulder to shoulder with the Fidel Castro and his thug epigones Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega.
That's telling it like it is -- "it" being the new kind of American history we're living through in the run-up to the nation's birthday party this weekend -- the history of how the US found common cause with the hemisphere's most virulently anti-American thugs. Powerline asks: "Why is Obama standing with Castro, Chavez and Ortega to support [power-grabbing Honduran prez] Zelaya? The company he's keeping should give Obama a clue, but one begins to wonder if he likes it."
If he likes it? The very polite suggestion that Obama may cluelessly be blundering into such anti-American alliances due to naivete is becoming more perplexing -- certainly in light of what we know about Obama's radical Left mentors, one after the other, from Frank Marshall Davis to Bill Ayers to Jeremiah Wright to Rashid Khalidi. And remember this from Dreams of My Father?
To avoid being mistaken for such a sellout, I chose my friends carefully: the more politically active black students, the foreign students, the Chicanos, the Marxist professors and structural feminists, and punk rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz Fanon, Euro-centrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet, or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting Bourgeois society’s stifling constraints. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.
The fact is, Obama still is "alienated," maybe more so than ever, and not just from "Bourgeois society" but from the traditional, homespun, historical, can-do, liberty-loving, pioneering, city-on-a-hill, essence of America itself. His plans for America's future are so foreign to America's past that they represent something else altogether -- a new nation, conceived in social engineering and dedicated to the propositon that all men are created wards of the state. There is no treason to this because there is no act of betrayal. His loyalty seems always to have been with the anti-American Left.
So why do so many of us continue to marvel over his actions as thoughtless blunders? For example, many Americans continue to wonder why Obama is following an economic program for simultaneously shrinking and crashing the economy. The thought that he may want to shrink and crash the US economy in order to turn it into something else -- something smaller, something more like, say, Bolivia -- doesn't occur to them. They also continue to wonder why Obama courts adversaries of the US. How about this for an answer: He likes them.
It's quite a thought to wrap our heads around: that we are led by an alienated (read: anti-American) president. This realization may be one of those abysses the human psyche labors to avoid even contemplating. Perhaps this otherwise fine IBD editorial on Honduras offers an example of such denial.
Picking up on Obama's Leftist interpretation of events in Honduras as a "military coup," IBD writes:
There was a coup all right, but it wasn't committed by the U.S. or the Honduran court. It was committed by Zelaya himself. He brazenly defied the law, and Hondurans overwhelmingly supported his removal (a pro-Zelaya rally Monday drew a mere 200 acolytes).
Yet the U.S. administration stood with Chavez and Castro, calling Zelaya's lawful removal "a coup." Obama called the action a "terrible precedent," and said Zelaya remains president.
In doing this, the U.S. condemned democrats who stood up to save their democracy, a move that should have been hailed as a historic turning of the tide against the false democracies of the region.
Why didn't the US support the democrats here? The editorial doesn't go there. Instead, it assesses the Obama administration's reaction according to US tradition:
The U.S. response has been disgraceful. "We recognize Zelaya as the duly elected and constitutional president of Honduras. We see no other," a State Department official told reporters.
Worse, the U.S. now contemplates sanctions on the tiny drug-plagued, dirt-poor country of 7 million, threatening to halt its $200 million in U.S. aid, immigration accords and a free-trade treaty if it doesn't put the criminal Zelaya back into office.
Not even Nicaragua, a country the State Department said committed a truly fraudulent election, got that. Nor has murderous Iran gotten such punishment, even as it slaughters Iranian democrats in the streets. But tiny Honduras must be made to pay.
We understand why the White House is so quick to call this a "coup" and to jump to the side of Hugo Chavez.
We do? Let's see:
The Venezuelan despot has made political hay against the U.S. over its premature recognition of the Venezuelan coup leaders who tried to overthrow Chavez in 2002.
Note the editorial has switched to the Obama-Chavez point of view to explain Obama's behavior, but without mentioning the reason for the switch -- namely, that our president shares Chavez's point of view.
Obama wants to avoid that this time.
Why? What normal US president would alter policy to mollify Chavez?
The White House also wants to mollify the morally corrupted Organization of American States, which, by admitting Cuba, is no longer an organization of democracies and now, through its radical membership, tries to dictate how other countries run themselves.
What inspires the Obama White House to mollify the "morally corrupted" OAS? A siilarly "morally corrupted" outlook? No mention.
Such a response says that democracy effectively ends with elections. It says rule of law is irrelevant and that rulers have rights, not responsibilities.
I think there is something else such a response says--and it's about the motivations and sympathies of the Obama White House.
But if leaders can't be held accountable, they should be removed, as happened in Honduras.
If the U.S. does hit Honduras with sanctions, it will earn ill will in the country lasting for years. It will further erode U.S. moral authority and cost us influence in the region — becoming an embarrassing footnote in the history of U.S.-Latin American relations.
Cost us influence with the good guys, yes -- but looks like Obama doesn't want influence with the good guys. IBD concludes:
Is that what the U.S. wants? It's time for a more sophisticated definition of democracy — one that includes the rule of law and the will of the people.
Sophistication is not what's missing here.