“Exhuming Nixon” and Reliving Carter
Reading it I am reminded that 40 years from now others who weren’t even born when President Obama began his term will be picking over his record, with the standard emphasis on “How did he start off?” I don’t think the first two weeks are going to impress between the “I won” signaling of the collapse of bipartisanship after 48 hours, the speech on Arab television that did nothing to encourage the democratic activists in the region, and the failure to garner even a single GOP vote in the House.
HH: [A] lot of people have missed the Obama appeal to Arabiya, and the fact that he didn’t bring up its gender apartheid, Christopher Hitchens calls it. It’s where gays are executed. And he made no rebuke to these societies. I found it astonishing, Mark Steyn. What did you think?
MS: Well, you don’t have to be gay, an oppressed homosexual about to be executed. You don’t have to be a woman who’s being sold to an arranged child marriage. You just have to be a moderate, centrist Arab intellectual in, say, Cairo or Amman, and you listen to Obama sucking up to these creeps, and there’s nothing for you in it. What he’s doing is he says, he’s saying to hell with the Bush freedom agenda. We just want to get back to schmoozing the feted Arab dictatorships and the mullahs in Tehran all over again. And so if you’re a gay or a woman, you’re out of there. And as I said, if you’re a moderate Arab who just would like to have a free society in Cairo or Amman or wherever, you’re out of it, too. You’re on the Obama horizon. It was a pathetic, disgraceful Jimmy Carter speech.
HH: I agree with this, and he did it on the day that the Iranians arrested those horrible criminals in Tehran who allowed the women soccer players to play with the men soccer players.
HH: And this is, I guess it’s beyond his understanding yet that everything he does has many audiences. You know, George Bush once told a bunch of us in the Oval Office that everything he did had many audiences. The number most important to him was the American military abroad.
HH: …but that these audiences, you’ve got to think through that. I don’t think he actually gets that yet.
MS: No, I don’t. I think in fact, on that al-Arabiya interview, he just sounded basically way out of his league. And I hope someone brings him up to speed soon, because going around giving those interviews, as I said, he was talking about getting us back to thirty years ago. Well, thirty years ago, they were taking Americans hostage in Tehran. Thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter was communicating weakness to the world, and the Ayatollah rightly concluded these Americans are pushovers. And Obama shouldn’t be doing that message all over again.