Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 7, 2009
WAR/POLITICS: Harder Than It Looks

McQ looks at the latest sample of the scathing UK press coverage of Obama's unreadiness for the business of meeting a foreign head of state. Details of how Obama managed to botch nearly every aspect of what ought to have been a routine goodwill visit with Gordon Brown, resulting in Brown's humiliation and a surge of bad British press, here, here, and here. Plus, his State Department can't read Russian.

On the upside, maybe I didn't read the news enough today, but it's almost midnight and I haven't seen an Obama appointee withdraw today.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:16 PM | Politics 2009 • | War 2007-12 | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

The most disastrous visit from a head state that I've ever read about had to be the visit from Chinese President Hu Jianto in April, 2006. The White House gave press credentials to a known Falun Gong activist who promptly interrupted Hu's speech with threatening shrieks and was halted only by a much delayed Secret Service response. Earlier in the day, the White House incorrectly referred to China as the Republic of China, the official name of Tawain. And of course, Dick Cheney wore dark sunglasses the whole day.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/20/AR2006042001946.html

There's really no comparing that debacle with this feeble attempt to mock the British Prime Minister's visit. But I'll try.

First, the worst part of Bush's screw up, was that you had to wonder whether they dropped the ball on purpose - Cheney's sunglasses provide the best clue. And that's vintage Bush arrogance -- they probably had a good chuckle about it later over a plate of freedom fries. But on the other hand, their incompetence also knew no bounds. So you can't be certain they didn't try to go all out for President Hu.

Second, Prime Minister Brown has been a frequent visitor to this country for decades, vacationing each summer on Cape Cod. Combine this fact with the expected continuation of our 'special relationship' with the UK, and its understandable Obama didn't shut down the city to greet Brown. Not too mention that we all know the President has been in an all out sprint since January 21st.

But hang in ther Crank. Rush may have some better material for you next week.

Posted by: Patrick at March 8, 2009 10:47 AM

Patty,
Grow up. Enough Bush, he is retired. You agree with how the Obama admin handled this head of state visit? Answer nicely and I will have Michelle send you a Marine One copter.

Posted by: dave at March 8, 2009 12:56 PM

So the Obama-meister's poor showing is OK because someone points out a poor showing by Bush? Yea, that is a compelling argument.

The Obama is showing why he never had a real job before this one. His inexperience is showing as he stuggles to make meetings on time and even handle critical comments well. This guys is a joke.

Only 47 more months to go!

Posted by: Lee at March 8, 2009 12:59 PM

Isn't funny, that in light of the fact that we now know, with 100% certainity, that the White House is leading and manufacturing the whole Rush straw man issue, that we have people like Patrick now accusing us of attacking Obama because of Rush.

What is the proper term-hypocrite, sheep, drone, brain dead? You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: dch at March 8, 2009 4:25 PM

dch - A straw man argument is when you defend yourself against a charge that nobody made, like when GWB said on numerous occasions, 'a lot of people think Muslims aren't capable of democracy.'

Rush Limbaugh does exist.

Let me explain it another way. If you placed two large pizza's and a bottle of oxycotin in front of a straw man - and came back an hour later, they would still be there. But if you placed those same items in front of Rush - they would vanish faster than the surplus GWB enjoyed when he took office.

Posted by: Patrick at March 8, 2009 4:51 PM

The straw man issue is that we take our marching orders from Rush, while in reality you are making that charge based on you taking marching orders from the White House/lefty media. Get it? My guess is no

I remember that surplus-based on the fictional "peace dividend" where we cut 30% of the intelligence budget and underfunded the miltary by about 400-500 billion dollars over 8 years-how did that work out? When you don't spend money on things you need to, its pretty easy to show short term surpluses. I also remember the dot com bubble bursting in 1999-2000 and the economy entering a recession as Bush took over which resulted in less revenue and greater expenditures. Do you deny that we were entering a recession when Bush took over and that coupled with 9/11 wiped out your 'surplus''/

Posted by: dch at March 8, 2009 7:38 PM

Excellent work Crank, it calls to mind all the posts you had between 2001 and 2009 of the European press really giving it to the president because they have a special objectivity and insight into the importance of appearances.

Posted by: Magrooder at March 8, 2009 10:18 PM

Patrick - (1) You seem not to understand the difference between our allies and our enemies, or in the case of China, rivals, who sometimes need to be kept off balance. That said, Bush had tremendous one-on-one relationships with numerous foreign heads of state; when Obama has a record like that to point to, we can talk. (2) Nice job parroting the DNC's "blame everything on Limbaugh" theme.

Magrooder - You fail to comprehend the difference between man bites dog and dog bites man. Obama is hugely popular in Europe, while Bush was always reflexively unpopular with the press there.

Posted by: Crank at March 8, 2009 10:38 PM

Crank -- So you adopt the "they dropped the ball on purpose" theory regarding that abysmal performance by the Bush Administration in welcoming the Chinese President. Its a close call. But if you're correct, its no wonder they left the world in shambles. Dark sunglasses and Freedom Fries. What a pathetic approach to foreign policy.

Posted by: Patrick at March 9, 2009 9:41 AM

Patrick:
A. Pluralizing something doesn't necessitate an apostrophe. Denoting more than one pizza needs only an "s" added to the end. Sorry, pet peeve.
B. Of course, laying a line of cocaine in front of Barack Obama would be the obvious retort, wouldn't it? What with his being an admitted coke-head and all....
C. One need only watch an old Bill Maher show to see people discussing how Muslims weren't ready for democracy. Really, there is a world outside of left-wing blogs (where your regurgitated talking points derived, I have no doubt). There's a reason that so many on the left were without a cogent response when the "purple finger" photos began to be aired; you thought it was going to be a debacle and you had to get the talking points from above before you could make an argument.

Don't worry, we don't really expect independent thought from many of your cohorts.

Posted by: RW at March 9, 2009 10:36 AM

Republicans don't get their marching orders from Rush.
They get them from their corporate masters, who dictate the rules of the land (i.e. see who wrote the 2005 Bankruptcy Bill).
However, Republicans ABSOLUTELY MUST grovel and scrape as they approach Rush.
EVERY Republican politician should be asked if they agree with Rush. Why not? Russert (the late hack and water carrier) asked Obama if he agreed with Harry Belafonte (probably because they are both male--ha ha).

RW, my finger is also purple, because I've been holding it up to the (deserved) US for many years.

Posted by: Karma's a bitch at March 11, 2009 3:01 PM

Of course, the major difference is that the UK is a valuable ally, and China is a communist dictatorship.

Posted by: Snag at March 12, 2009 7:39 PM
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