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August 25, 2013

"A Whitewash of Failure:" Chastened Obama-voter Walter Russell Mead surveys the Middle East in today’s Wall Street Journal [Bumped]

How did someone as intelligent and capable as Walter Russell Mead get fooled into thinking that Obama could conduct foreign policy successfully? After all, Mead holds a chair in foreign affairs at Bard College. Or better, once you have so thoroughly misjudged a presidential candidate how do you save some face? Mead does so by saying that the Obama administration based its policies on reasonable assumptions and good intentions. He says that administration strategy was: “well intentioned, carefully crafted and consistently pursued.”

It is not quite a whitewash of failure, but it removes the charge that the administration was incompetent and inept. If Obama was not up to the job, those who voted for him could and should have known it. Had Enough Therapy?: What Went Wrong in the Middle East? Walter Russell Mead Explains.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 25, 2013 12:32 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Maybe we need to stop pretending, despite all evidence for decades, that liberals do destructive things from ignorance. The liberals will allow this conclusion because it lessens the blame on liberals. Better to allow people to think "I just didn't know" than "destruction is our plan." The Mayberry types desperately cling to the "they just didn't know" theory because it allows them to engage in the political masturbation of explaining things. Both Liberals and Mayberry types are doing what they are doing and the outcome isn't ever considered.

If liberals made mistakes because they didn't know they would change their behavior once they saw the results. Does anyone see that happening? If you don't see them changing their mind due to new information why are you trying to explain things to them? Because it makes YOU feel better.

If we keep pretending that explaining facts to liberals will make things better we will never move to actually making things better. Do you want to make improvements or explain things to people that would never be liberals?

How do you make changes in this society? Ask the Racial Grievance Industry and the union thugs, and The New Black Panthers, and the other thugs. Unfortunately it involves violating The Mayberry Code of Conduct. The faithful observance of the MCC is our biggest obstacle. Being nice is for chumps.

Posted by: Scott M at August 24, 2013 1:03 PM

The answer for me is remembering all the "tribal" articles you wrote and posted as well as Bill Whittle's on "Tribes" from many years ago.

Education is often a veneer.

Posted by: Grace at August 24, 2013 2:16 PM

"How do you make changes in this society?"

Openly laugh in their faces at the utter absurdity of the crap they fall for...And have a working plan to preemptively kill them back if they try to kill you.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 24, 2013 2:51 PM

Even the smartest folks end up pulling the lever for the party line too often :/

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 24, 2013 3:25 PM

Classic case of GIGO. Someone want to open a pot as to when Meade groks the truth about AGW?

An academic position is a terrible handicap for anyone inclined to think.

Posted by: chuck at August 24, 2013 4:57 PM

Mead is a pretentious asshole. Tenure does that to people. Do any libertarians or conservatives ever wish to be professors?

Posted by: dr kill at August 24, 2013 5:27 PM

Mead is a pretentious asshole. Tenure does that to people. Do any libertarians or conservatives ever wish to be professors?

Posted by: dr kill at August 24, 2013 5:27 PM

Hey kids, if you hurry, you can be one of his unpaid interns!11!11!!!!!!!

Posted by: dr kill at August 24, 2013 5:31 PM

With the advantages of hindsight, my ass. I've been reading WRM for a while, but if he voted for Obama, his stock just went down in my book. Given a slightly different set of circumstances, Obama would be throwing Three Card Monte on some street corner rather than speechifying behind a podium.

Some magician guy once explained it was easier to trick smart people because they think they cant be fooled. It explains the failure of BHO's simple, elegant plan. Simple, elegant and totally divorced from reality. I don't think the man can conceive of being wrong. Or that Chicago-style politics might fail against real thugs and dictators.

Posted by: SteveS at August 24, 2013 5:44 PM

Walter, it is all fucking going according to plan

Posted by: Cletus Socrates at August 24, 2013 7:41 PM

Sorry Walter - you'll have to get in the back of the line of all the other academic gits who voted for him.

Posted by: Pappy at August 24, 2013 7:54 PM

I'm with Cletus.

O is the most successful president we've ever had.

Measured by his own objectives, of course.

Posted by: TmjUtah at August 24, 2013 11:00 PM

I have no patience or sympathy for all the leftists I'm seeing lately complain that Obama is nothing like they thought. You voted for him twice, and all the information you needed was right there in front of you to know better.

We knew he was lousy at foreign policy before he was even elected when Russia invaded Georgia. We knew he was lousy at his job within weeks. We knew he was even worse than Bush when it came to privacy and wiretapping before the election. We knew all of it; you just didn't care and wanted the non-Republican in office.

This was your choice, your preference. You wanted him so bad you voted twice, even knowing better. Eat it.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 25, 2013 7:30 AM

How did someone as intelligent and capable as Walter Russell Mead get fooled into thinking that Obama could conduct foreign policy successfully?

Another self-answering question. Deny the consequent, deny the antecedent. Simple modus tolens.

If someone is intelligent, then he believes the Lightworker can conduct foreign policy. The Lightworker cannot conduct foreign policy, therefore that someone is not intelligent.

Posted by: ErisGuy at August 25, 2013 8:24 AM

From Meade's article:

"Just as Nikita Khrushchev concluded that President Kennedy was weak and incompetent after the Bay of Pigs ... so ... Putin and ... Khamenei now believe they are dealing with a dithering and indecisive American leader .... Khrushchev was wrong about Kennedy, and President Obama's enemies are also underestimating him"

Sadly, Putin and Khamenei are not wrong. Hussein is dithering and indecisive and he is neither smart nor knowledgeable.

We are SOoL

Posted by: Fat Man at August 25, 2013 9:22 AM

The truth is hard to admit. Obama did not ruin the country, he revealed it. We could have slowed the ruin, as we periodically have since the catastrophe of 1933, but is that wise? I cannot imagine the country without him. Like a bleeding rectum, he offers the gift of clarity to conservatives. Only ruin will do that for others.

Posted by: james wilson at August 25, 2013 9:35 AM

And I agree with james wilson, here.

But never doubt for one second that Obama and Friends saw opportunity on a grand scale where the rest of Americans saw decline.

They brought a plan, and an objective, that would be everything any Founder ever warned against.

It's not going to be 1917 again. Ever. They shall not pass.

Posted by: TmjUtah at August 25, 2013 1:02 PM

All this gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, sooner rather than later, we hope, it must come to boots on the ground and steel in hand.

Another "shot heard 'round the world" perhaps? Grassy knolls are good for this.

Nothing less will effect cessation and change.

Posted by: chasmatic at August 25, 2013 4:57 PM

"How did someone as intelligent and capable as Walter Russell Mead get fooled into thinking that Obama could conduct foreign policy successfully?"

You answered your own question.

Posted by: glenn at August 25, 2013 6:30 PM

"I will take vengeance on my adversaries, and will requite those who hate me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh---with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy." sayeth The Lord. (Deuteronomy 32:41-42) Trouble is coming. Keep your loved ones close, your sword sharp, and be not afraid. Pray for America.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at August 25, 2013 8:50 PM

Before the missiles start flying, I'd just like to make it perfectly clear to those of you who are not Americans that:

1) there is no popular support in America for this war;

2) I, Bruce Lewis, do not support this war;


3) I did not vote for and do not support the people who are responsible for this war.

There. It's on the record. Later, when we're all sitting around with our faces in our hands sobbing "Why? Why?", nobody is going to be able to point to me and say "Why didn't you say anything when you had the chance?"

Posted by: B Lewis at August 25, 2013 9:57 PM

Why is it that so many of us "unwashed ones" could see the truth from the beginning?

How many more "brilliant" people do we have to endure who are turning on the man they voted for twice?

And you know one of the prime motivators for their voting for him? They didn't want Sarah Palin or Donnie and Marie anywhere near the White House. These "intelligent and capable" folks voted out of sheer spite and bile towards anyone they considered beneath them.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at August 26, 2013 10:02 AM

Apparently Mead failed to take Hillary Clinton to task for her role in all this. We all know why this is:

Mead intends to vote for Hillary in 2016. In 2017 or 18 he will write scathing anti-Hillary essays to express his dismay and disappointment.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at August 26, 2013 10:31 AM

Meade is loyal to his class.

Posted by: james wilson at August 26, 2013 10:44 AM

"Mead intends to vote for Hillary in 2016. In 2017 or 18 he will write scathing anti-Hillary essays to express his dismay and disappointment."

Indeed. While Mead is quite intelligent, learned, and a liberal I can read comfortably and appreciate, deep down, he's a team player. And he's the worst kind that won't learn from his lessons.

I am endlessly fascinated by leftists who now cry about how despicable Obama is but wouldn't vote for Romney. The differences between the two were few and tolerable to a leftist, but to this day they'd still vote for O over Romney.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 26, 2013 11:44 AM

0bama: An idea so stupid only an intellectual could come up with it...Twice.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 27, 2013 8:47 AM

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