In every cartoon I’ve seen with an ostrich, there comes a scene where it gets scared and buries its head in the sand. Ostriches don’t do this in real life, but it came to symbolize, in cartoons at least, the concept of thinking something bad will go away if you simply ignore it. It’s foolish – some would say stupid – but it appears to be the crux of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.
There are times when a president has to be president, even on vacation. This is the part of the job President Obama seems to hold in contempt – the doing of it. The trappings – the motorcade, Air Force One, hanging out with celebrities, being a celebrity himself, having nearly every whim catered to – are the most appealing part of the job. But it is a job, and he sought it twice. He just doesn’t seem to like doing it.
This isn’t a new development. This president has been checked out to one degree or another since he checked in, but he at least paid lip service to the concept of domestic policy. He didn’t involve himself with the details of many of the laws Democrats in Congress passed; he just gave speeches in support of their concepts and signed them. But when policy issues crossed salt water, he lost all interest.
After a series of groveling speeches trying to make up for his predecessor, who just happens to be more popular than he is now, the president retreated to the comforts of his office and buried his head to the realities of the rest of the world.
Aside from occasional speeches and selfie-filled funerals or summits, Obama turned his gaze domestically and green-ward, to the golf course.
But the funny thing about the rest of the world is it doesn’t go away simply because you wish it would. The troubles of the world have a way of existing regardless whether you pay attention to them.
Afghanistan is on the verge of collapse. Libya is in anarchy. Israel is being attacked hourly by the terrorists in Hamas. Russia is putting its band back together. China is making aggressive moves toward us and Japan. And ISIS is executing people like it’s an Olympic event. Meanwhile, the president has given a few speeches and shaved two strokes off his handicap.
Minutes after dispassionately reading a prepared statement on the beheading of American journalist James Foley, the president ripped off his tie-less suit like it was held together with Velcro, and rushed to the first tee. When questioned about the smiling and laughing pictures that hit the press the next day, his staff warned not to read too much into that – he really was upset, just hiding it well…in a sand trap, giggling with friends.