In one of the most famous episodes of “I Love Lucy”, the popular entertainment icon decides to work in a chocolate factory wrapping chocolate candy off an assembly line.
At first, all goes well until the conveyor belt starts moving chocolates faster than Lucy can wrap them. She then proceeds to eat some of the chocolates, or hide them in her bosom. No one could resist a hearty laugh after watching this timeless episode.
That chocolate factory scene reminds me of the Obama Administration’s handling of foreign policy.
Out of wanton neglect by our president, the troubling events around the globe are moving so fast on his foreign policy assembly line that it seems to us Mr. Obama is trying to eat them or hide them deep in his pockets in the hope they all go away on their own. Our president is unable to handle the deluge of the troubles facing America mostly the result of his apathy, isolationist mindset, and his belief that America cannot lead, solve, or even manage conflicts caused outside our borders.
In the latest NBC News / Wall Street Journal polls, only 36% of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of foreign policy. That is the lowest percentage since Obama’s election in 2008. In the same poll, 60% disapprove of his handling of foreign policy, also the highest percentage of Americans.
The same statistics, polled on June 14, 2014, were 37% Approve and 57% Disapprove. Not only his support amongst his base is eroding on foreign policy matters, but also, “independents” and those who answer “Not sure” are moving in larger numbers to the “Disapprove” column.
In May of 2011, Obama’s approval rating on foreign policy was 57% as opposed to 36% who disapproved. In three years, our president has managed to burn a political capital worth 21%. If one considers that over 131 million Americans voted in 2008, the 21% drop represents a whopping 27,595,470 Americans who changed their minds about Obama on foreign policy over a three-year period. That number is huge considering that, usually, less than one million votes decide presidential elections.
To say that the more President Obama sits idly by while the world burns the less support he secures at home is an understatement. It has yet to dawn on Valerie Jarrett, Denis McDonough, and Ben Rhodes the harm they are causing our president by advising him to ignore the world. It all started with Syria and the slippage has yet to stop.
Whether it is Assad of Syria, Putin of Russia, al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State, Hamas of Gaza, or Khamenei of Iran, each of these actors of terror, in their own ways, are taunting Barack Obama and by association America.
Putin annexes the Crimea region in the Ukraine in spite of Obama’s threats that there will be consequences. Assad gasses women and children in spite of the red line Obama draws. Al-Baghdadi establishes an Islamic Caliphate in response to Obama’s lack of response on Syria and the Ukraine. Khamenei, by proxy, attacks Israel from Gaza just because he is holding Obama hostage with the negotiations.
Will these latest poll numbers cause the Obama team to huddle in Camp David or in Chicago to hit the reset button? I truly doubt it. There is an ideological stubborn side to all the people surrounding the president that trumps any pragmatic desire to adjust. That ideological hint starts at the top and gravitate downwards. My estimation is that Obama will ignore these numbers in the hope they go away the same way he is ignoring the troubles around the world in the hope they go away on their own.
Meanwhile, as Obama stuffs chocolate candy in his pockets, our enemy tastes in Obama’s weakness the sweetest revenge.