Emmett Tyrrell

While in Europe, our sententious president blamed America for genocide and torture. He brought up Hiroshima and Guantanamo. He accused us of arrogance. What can President Obama possibly have against arrogance? Since his emergence on the national stage a year or so ago, he has given me the impression that he considers arrogance among the virtues.

It was in Strasbourg, France, among what he might call the Strasbourgundians, that he was most critical of his country. Said our president: "Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Yes, he said "derisive," and he continued: "On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common." Then he concluded: "They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated." After reading that preachy drivel, I have to say that not even Jimmy Carter is capable of such empty moralizing. Perhaps this is how one talks as a community organizer or a motivational speaker, both of which Obama seems to have been, but now he is the president of the United States!

There was a time, a couple of decades ago, when this sort of carping about America was cited as the product of "liberal guilt." Doubtless, had President Obama been sounding like this in 1984, say, at the Democratic National Convention, critics such as Jeane Kirkpatrick would be chiding him for "liberal guilt." Mind you, at the time, I took issue with this diagnosis of our liberal friends. Then and now, they do not believe they have been guilty of any moral or intellectual failing. If you listen to the precedent-shattering President Obama, you will note that he is accusing other Americans of failures and vice, not himself. This is not liberal guilt; it is liberal arrogance. It was liberal arrogance in the past, and so it is today. It is going to wear thin with my fellow Americans very shortly.

Consider this one last slap at two great men after one of America's greatest triumphs for peace and justice. While gloating over America's financial decline, our president noted to his European audience that a new financial order is being created by the world's top 20 financial powers, not by "just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy. … But that's not the world we live in, and it shouldn't be the world that we live in." Whoever told our president that the post-World War II world came from these two great men "sitting in a room with a brandy" misinformed him. His knowledge of history is as defective as his knowledge of Roosevelt's and Churchill's tastes.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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