What an odd offering from Frida Ghitis.
I wasn’t previously familiar with Ms. Ghitis, but her bio indicates a liberal—all those years at CNN—as does her article’s excuses (“There is no question that Obama was dealt a difficult hand”) for what she sees as Obama’s foreign policy failures even as she describes that foreign policy as going into a “tailspin.”
Ghitis seems unaware—or unwilling to admit—that Obama may have different goals for his foreign policy than we usually assume for presidents. A strong America in a stable world may not really be what he has in mind.
All these are things we’ve discussed here many times before. But what caught my eye in Ghitis’ article and caused me to write about it was this [emphasis mine]:
America’s foreign policy has gone into a tailspin. Almost every major initiative from the Obama administration has run into sharp, sometimes embarrassing, reverses. The U.S. looks weak and confused on the global stage.
This might come as happy news to some opponents of the administration who enjoy seeing Barack Obama fail, but it shouldn’t.
So not only does Ghitis not recognize that the U.S. looking “weak and confused on the global stage” may in fact be Obama’s goal, and that it would be Obama who’d be enjoying this spectacle, not his opponents, but she also doesn’t seem to realize what actually does motivate his opponents.
I don’t know whether Ghitis actually believes what she wrote there (the old “fool or knave?” question), but it hardly matters. Whether she believes it herself or not, it’s what she would like her readers to believe. And what she’s saying is that Obama’s opponents are driven by an animus that has nothing to do with principle but is just opposition for opposition’s sake. Whether that opposition arises because of Obama’s race (the accusation so many of his supporters make) or because of his liberalism or is merely reflexive political opposition for the sake of gaining power themselves Ghitis does not say. But she displays no realization or acknowledgement that the reason Obama’s opponents are so opposed is what Obama has actually been doing, and that this most definitely includes his foreign policy which was clearly on track to be a disaster to the U.S. from the start.
In other words, a great many of these “opponents” are patriots with the good of the country in mind. They see what the damage has been and what the further damage could be, and many of them saw the potential for this foreign policy disaster from the start of Obama’s administration and probably even before.
I certainly did. Most commenters here certainly did. Thing is, it wasn’t hard to see.
But demonizing his “opposition” allows Ghitis to observe (correctly) how bad things have gotten under Obama’s watch, simultaneously blaming him and exonerating him by accusing his opponents of ill will. She closes the article by encouraging Obama to do better, and by chiding those opponents:
It is time for Obama to spend some time thinking about what America stands for, what its goals are and then explain it in a clear and credible way. Even if we disagree with his conclusions, at least there will be a North Star guiding his policies.
Obama’s supporters and his critics should hope he can pull America forward.
Poor dear beleaguered Obama’s just a bit confused. He just needs to think and explain more clearly. And then those nefarious opponents should start hoping the results are good for America even though it’s Obama doing it. They should finally put their country’s welfare above their animus against Obama.
This would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that writing like this is everywhere in the MSM, and it influences people. Most people just swallow what they read and don’t think too much or too critically about it. They’re busy with their lives; they’re doing well to even take the time to skim it in the first place.
And besides, people like Ghitis have been declared experts. They write about this stuff, and they’ve been doing it for most of their adult lives. Some are actually experts at writing propaganda. Some are experts at divining what they’re supposed to write and doing so. And some are experts at following and echoing what others write. But to step outside the box and say “wow, it seems Obama’s critics were correct” would be just too difficult and just too threatening—both to psyche and to career and to the liberal cause.