Liz Cheney’s “Keep America Safe” group, a new-fangled PR initiative against executive branch “weakness” on foreign policy, is obviously preposterous. But then what should one expect from the Angler’s spawn? Have a gander at their spooky-spook ad:
Deborah Burlingame, sister of the pilot whose plan crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, has been on Fox cheerleading Cheney Jr’s campaign. She says that America under Obama is returning to the dreaded — you guessed it – “pre 9/11 mindset.” Burlingame no doubt means well, but for readers of realist persuasion, the Obama policies she objects to are surely the most (only?) attractive aspects of his presidency. With America still ruining herself abroad thanks to the Bush Doctrine, the idea that it is of tantamount importance for Obama to preserve precisely the same foreign policy as his predecessor is laughable.
But the worrying aspect of this beware-Obama-the-appeaser rhetoric is the effect that it might have on Obama’s supporters. Rather than laugh it off, the Obama faithful, more concerned about their man’s image than the complex realities of international relations, appear to feel he must act tough to silence his hawkish critics on the Right. Even Gideon Rachman, the Financial Times’s estimable and fair-mindedly pro-Obama foreign-affairs commentator, is urging Obama to show that he can “punch harder”. One fears what that could mean. It would be a sad irony if Obama, accused of being a weak-kneed PR man, responded by sending men to their death for some good PR.