Who ya gonna call? (We ain't afraid 'o no terrorists)
Despite the authentic thrill of electing the first African American president, I was never a big believer in President Obama's liberalism. He always struck me as a slightly left of center, middle of the road guy whose paeans to "hope" and "change" in 2008 were meaningless slogans that did not add up to the progressive utopia so many assumed. I was hostile from the beginning to his persistence in believing he could transcend partisanship and his willingness to strike "grand bargains." I thought his unwillingness to pursue justice in the torture cases and his zeal to prosecute a covert war were indefensible.
But I always thought he was at least sensible in his rhetoric when it came to geo-politics and America's place in the world. He certainly didn't seem eager to throw his big, swinging, American hegemony all over the place. Unfortunately, that's changed. This administration is now employing the worst Hollywood dialog we've seen since Bush was babbling about "smokin' 'em outta their caves" and Cheney was droning on about torture being a "no-brainer."
This is from the 60 Minutes interview where Steve Kroft pointed out that, once again, the US seems to be bearing the majority of the burden in the latest war:
“Steve, that’s always the case. That’s always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation; we have capacity no one else has; our military is the best in the history of the world. When trouble comes up anywhere in the world,they don’t call Beijing, they don’t call Moscow — they call us.”
Groan. As Elias Isquith quipped:
Having reduced geopolitics to the level of “Ghostbusters” (because when there’s sectarian killing born from a centuries-long ethnic and cultural conflict in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call?) Obama continued, “When there’s a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who’s helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there’s an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who’s leading the charge, making sure Haiti can rebuild.”
And then, (oh.my.dear.God) the president concluded with a flourish:
“That’s how we roll. That’s what makes us America."
Huh. I used to think that what made us America was our belief in the inalienable rights of every human being, our welcome of immigrants from around the world and the dream of a decent life for yourself and a chance for your children to do better than you did, democracy ...
But really, we're just a big old global first responder. With guns. A lot of guns.