WASHINGTON -- Another Democratic president has shattered precedent. Democratic politicians take great pride in shattering American precedents, and they do so with such regularity that it is surprising there are any precedents left to shatter, except, I guess, for the precedents Democrats establish on the ruins of earlier precedents. I hope that when the next Republican president comes along, he or she will shatter a few Democratic precedents. Given the serial bungling of the Obama administration, I shall not be surprised to see that precedent-shattering Republican come along in 2013.
During his recent European peregrination, our haughty president became the first American president to speak ill of America while on foreign soil. Actually, it is rare for an American president to speak ill of America anywhere. President Barack H. Obama does it practically everywhere. Now that Fidel Castro has quieted down and the French left is in abeyance, President Obama has become America's leading critic.
Until the ex-presidency of Jimmy Carter, it was unheard of for a former president to speak ill of his country or of the sitting president while traveling abroad. Jimmy broke that precedent early in the presidency of the man who beat him, Ronald Reagan. Since then, Jimmy frequently has piped up against America and whoever might be president. He did it as recently as 2005, when he said, "I think what's going on at Guantanamo Bay and in Abu Ghraib and other places is a disgrace to the United States of America."
Now along comes the precedent-shattering President Obama, traveling through Europe on his virginal passport -- a passport that was used precisely once before he became a national political figure. His tour of Europe was the burlesque of a preening popinjay. He gave the queen an iPod. His wife gave her a friendly squeeze. Oh, yes, and the president declared that the official language of German-speaking Austria is "Austrian." All that was amusing, but the criticism of his homeland while in Europe was not. Actually, I am tired of hearing his criticism of his homeland when he is at home. We know he believes America was a failed state before he became president. Now let him return the country to the bipartisanship that he promised.