Back to the Drawing BoardI think an American president bowing to foreign leaders will have that effect. They see him as being a chump. And ignore him. And rightly so.
By Matt Welch, Reason
In just about every speech at their 2008 convention, Democrats promised voters that a change in the White House would, in Barack Obama’s formulation, restore “our moral standing” in the world. Replace the unilateralist cowboy at the top with a humbler multilateralist, and the path would finally be cleared to fix vexing international issues such as curbing carbon emissions and dealing with the mullahs in Iran. Like many of the party faithful’s long-nurtured beliefs, this hope has disintegrated on contact with reality.
“America is losing the free world,” said a January headline in the Financial Times. While that statement is exaggerated, the sentiment behind it has been gaining traction around the globe, especially in the wake of the climate conference debacle in Copenhagen. It’s not just that the less confrontational American president has been unable to deliver results. He can’t even get his phone calls returned. [link]
This has to be a letdown to those who saw in Obama the future emperor of the world. To find out that he can't even get two-bit dictators to sit at his lunch table has to be disappointing.
Maybe they'll learn from this experience.
Maybe they won't.