I feel like I awoke from a nap in an alternative universe, where everything is backwards or reversed from the norm. I’ve already seen the ‘right is wrong – wrong is right’ kind of thing before, so that doesn’t shock me but everything else does.
Here is Obama the non-interventionist, anti-war candidate now being lectured by Putin on his third intervention. MaObama is now being upstaged by the pacifist Putin. Could it be more surreal than that?
“Indeed, I’d ask every member of Congress, and those of you watching at home tonight, to view those videos of the attack, and then ask: What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas, and we choose to look the other way?”
“If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.”
“America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional.”
“And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy.
Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”
Here we are with Obama trying to apply, and define, American exceptionalism — after campaigning against it — to make his case. And Putin is lecturing the anti-American exceptionalism candidate about equality and the declaration of independence.
Neither is being true to themselves. But it does make for a great exhibition. Maybe Obama can instruct Putin on how to put the Soviet Union back together? That is sort of the equivalent. Only Putin’s message can find resonance with Obama’s supporters, who he is aiming it at.
It’s almost as laughable as Abbott and Costello’s performance of “who’s on first?”. It couldn’t be more absurdly surreal. They could almost take this act on the road.