Barack Quixote

The President spoke today from the shadows of the Brandenburg Gate.  Berlin has been the site of previous Obama speeches and welcomed him warmly again.  He spoke of spirit, of how great nations respect the rights of individuals, and the triumph of freedom over tyranny.  (All great messages for places like Russia, Syria, Turkey, and the Middle East in general.)  He stood tall like a Statesman and gave a serious speech.    One wonders why?

It could be that White House aides are seeking to put the President back in leading position.  The IRS and Benghazi kerfuffles have pretty much been shown to be non-events and the political opportunists who ranted about them now appear exposed for who they are.  But why Berlin?

Barack Obama is at his best with a prepared speech and a teleprompter to lead him through it.  The Brandenburg gate, a sunny day, and flags galore, all make up an inspiring picture.  But why Berlin now?

Just a few days ago, the G-8 met in Northern Ireland.  These leaders discussed economic issues in public and the Syrian conflict in private.  From public statements, not much was accomplished, most probably because progress on any of these issues would involve more risk and sacrifices than any G-8 member wants to take.  So, once again why Berlin?

While enroute to the G-8, the House of Representatives decided to vote on previously Supreme Court established abortion limits.  The Republican majority decided that restricting the right to an abortion to the 20th week was more important than the budget or debt extension, or any legislation on job creation.  The GOP decision is more befuddling when one realizes the bill die in the Senate and that women opposed this type of thinking in the last Presidential election.  Of course, less surprising, it is the same legislative body that has voted to repeal Obamacare 37 times, each time without a proposal to deliver the same benefits.  Is this why Berlin?

As George W Bush said, history will judge where my 8 years rate.  Time has a way of moderating the emotions of the present and putting in perspective the hills and valleys of a Presidency.  Certainly no speech in Berlin is going to amount to much in any evaluation by history.

The “why” about Berlin, I think, lies in the nature of Barack Obama.  He may be a modern day Don Quixote.  President Obama has concluded that governing in Washington is like being a cafeteria monitor during a food fight.  Congress is totally self absorbed, dysfunctional, and uninterested in steps to advance the US economy or our quality of life.  The President has become frustrated and is seeking other platforms where he can speak out on “how the world should be”.  The German Reichstag and Bundestag are not going to speak against anything he says.

With two unattractive choice, deal with Congressional Republicans the way they are dealing with the President (that is getting into the gutter), or making speeches in historic settings, I think Berlin is surprisingly perfect.


Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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