President Barack Obama has been taking a lot of heat for partaking in leisure activities while major world events unfold — whether it’s playing golf, throwing parties or filling out his NCAA tournament bracket.
So what gives? Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, who was once a practicing psychiatrist, says Obama’s stance on two issues – the federal budget process and the turmoil in Libya – is strategic and doesn’t come from a desire to be “naturally passive.”
In the webcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report Online” Wednesday night, Krauthammer said the president’s moves (or lack thereof) on the budget process were strategic and not a result of his personality.
“I don’t believe that it is a matter of personality and that he’s naturally passive,” Krauthammer explained. “I mean, you can argue that he voted present dozens of times when he was younger in Illinois. When it comes to domestic policy, I think he’s got the passivity as a logic. The reason I think he’s passive on the budget is his strategy is to win reelection by having the Republicans walk the plank and make the proposal for cuts which he will now demagogue all the way to Election Day. It’s an active strategy, but it starts by being rope-a-dope and letting the Republicans act first. It isn’t that he’s being passive out of some sort of laziness or a personality flaw.”
Based on past speeches, it is apparent Obama wants to deviate from the “colonial way” of the West’s past, Krauthammer said.
“But on Libya and the rest of the Middle East, I think it’s ideological,” he said. “This is a guy, from all the speeches he made early on — when he made them in Turkey, when he made the speeches in Cairo — this is a guy with the mentality that the West has acted in a colonial way. He said this incidentally in his speech at the U.N., and thus it has to be extra careful in not intruding itself. Remember, the most egregious example of how passive he was — was during the Iranian revolt of 2009. And that was an example where the values of the United States and the strategic interests were entirely parallel and coincidentally he did nothing. In fact he actually acted in actuality as somebody who was helping to give legitimacy to this horrible regime.”
Krauthammer alluded specifically to remarks Obama made about the 1953 Iranian coup and how that gave rise to a more radical theocratic regime 25 years later.
“Why is that? He actually said so at one point,” Krauthammer said. “Because of our intervention 58 years ago with the coup in Iran. In other words – always reacting to a sense that as a member, a leader of the West, they should be extremely circumspect and passive in dealing with the third world because of guilt and all the bad stuff the West had done. And that’s where it comes from.”