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American Declinism

By Michael Auslin (original source National Review)

“It is hard to tell whether the front-page Sunday Washington Post story by Karen DeYoung and Dan Balz on Obama’s response to a world in crisis is an exercise in damning with faint praise or putting lipstick on a pig. Titled “Obama Sets His Own Pace in a World Whirling with Crises,” the piece unsurprisingly leans toward absolution of Obama’s “deliberative” style, but it is unable to ignore the fact that the president appears disengaged and his White House seems almost entirely overtaken by events. Even in instances where Obama is praised for being proactive, such as in the Iranian nuclear negotiations, nagging questions remain about both the ultimate success of his gambits and his sophistication in dealing with untrustworthy, opportunistic actors. The resulting picture is of a sixth-year president still seemingly in thrall to a pseudo-academic approach of strenuously parsing options and undertaking ostensibly measured responses.”

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