Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Complicated!

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants stream across our southern borders.
The Hispanic Caucus begs the president to come to the border and view the situation firsthand.
The president declines; explaining that he is interested in solving problems not engaging in photo-ops.
Instead, a mere 200 miles north of the border, he attends three fund raisers where allows himself to be filmed drinking beer and shooting pool.

A Malaysian passenger jet is shot down in the Ukraine by Russian backed separatist rebels using Russian supplied anti-aircraft weaponry.
The separatists refuse to allow international access to the crash site.
The bodies of the victims remain unattended for days, decomposing in the heat.
The president attends another series of fund raisers.

The Middle East is falling apart.
Hamas fires over 1600 missiles into Israel.
The missiles are launched from within residential neighborhoods, schools and hospitals.
Israel responds with a massive air and ground offensive that slaughters hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians.
The president attends more fund raisers and is filmed eating burgers and fries with a supporter.

Those who roam the halls of government are outraged.
They call the president “weak” and his foreign policy “embarrassing.”

The American people have a different view.
A war weary nation has made it clear that it has no interest in any further American intervention in foreign affairs.
They want their president to attend to matters here at home and let the rest of the world solve its own problems.
Recent polls show that 89% of Americans will base their vote on the handling of foreign policy matters.

The president is channeling the American people.
And in doing so he is looking weak.

By and large we agree with the president’s strategy of diplomacy first.
But we would like to see him be more forceful in his articulation of that strategy.

The president wants comprehensive immigration reform.
Go to the border.
Show the plight of the terrified children seeking safety within our borders.
Make it clear that this wouldn’t be happening if not for Republicans blocking his every effort to implement immigration reforms.

Call out Putin for the thug he is.
Initiate economic sanctions that hit him personally.
Target Gazprom and the banking industry where Putin makes his billions.

Yes, the president needs Putin.
He needs Putin in dealing with Iran…and Syria…and North Korea.
But the president cannot let Putin’s complicity in the murder of 290 civilians go unchallenged.
Putin has proven that given an inch he WILL take a mile.
The president told the world that Assad’s use of chemical weapons would be crossing a red line.
Assad crossed the line.
The US did nothing.
An emboldened Putin took Crimea.
Again, the US did nothing.
Now Ukraine is in the crosshairs.
Surely we are not the only one to see the connection!

And where is Europe in all of this?
Aside from the Brits, Europe has been reluctant to respond to the downing of Malaysian Flight 17; virtually silent on Putin’s advances in Crimea and Ukraine.
They are more concerned with the economic repercussions of offending Putin than seeing that justice is served.
Better to let the US do the heavy lifting. Typical!
Call them out.
Tell the world that Europe is more interested in cheap oil and selling ships than they are in the deaths of 290 of their countrymen.

The president said that the biggest thing he learned from his first term was that there is more to governing that just getting the policy right.
Messaging, haggling, arm twisting, implementation, optics and theater all play an important role.
It seems to us that the president has yet to learn that lesson.

Yes, it’s complicated.
A truly great leader figures it out.

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