Krauthammer on Obama and “leading from behind”

Posted by: Phineas on April 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

**Posted by Phineas

I wrote about this amazing statement of an Obama Doctrine a few days ago. Well, it’s more accurate to say I sputtered in disbelief at it. In today’s Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer actually analyzes it in a penetrating article I could emulate only in my dreams. The whole piece is a must-read, but here is his discussion of the administration’s perceived need to lead from behind because the world hates us:

It is the fate of any assertive superpower to be envied, denounced and blamed for everything under the sun. Nothing has changed. Moreover, for a country so deeply reviled, why during the massive unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Syria have anti-American demonstrations been such a rarity?

Who truly reviles America the hegemon? The world that Obama lived in and shaped him intellectually: the elite universities; his Hyde Park milieu (including his not-to-be-mentioned friends, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn); the church he attended for two decades, ringing with sermons more virulently anti-American than anything heard in today’s full-throated uprising of the Arab Street.

It is the liberal elites who revile the American colossus and devoutly wish to see it cut down to size. Leading from behind — diminishing America’s global standing and assertiveness — is a reaction to their view of America, not the world’s.

Other presidents have taken anti-Americanism as a given, rather than evidence of American malignancy, believing — as do most Americans — in the rightness of our cause and the nobility of our intentions. Obama thinks anti-Americanism is a verdict on America’s fitness for leadership. I would suggest that “leading from behind” is a verdict on Obama’s fitness for leadership.

Leading from behind is not leading. It is abdicating. It is also an oxymoron. Yet a sympathetic journalist, channeling an Obama adviser, elevates it to a doctrine. The president is no doubt flattered. The rest of us are merely stunned.

Three points, nothing but net.

RELATED: More Krauthammer — “Decline is a choice.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “Krauthammer on Obama and “leading from behind””


  1. Carlos says:

    He abdicated his presidency the day he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States with the same intent he promised transparency in his administration.

    Unfortunately, the empty suit that he is still occupies the office.

  2. Drew says:

    The Obama Doctrine: The Obama administration is for everything and against everything except, of course, when it is not.

  3. Give away our money, give away our drilling rights, give away our freedoms, give away our American pride–will there be anything left of this country but scraps when Obama’s term is over?

  4. Michael Teuber says:

    Perhaps I would have bothered to appreciate more of CK’s brilliance if he himself was not a tool of the liberal Republican ‘elite’, who as a substitute for reviling America, expends its sons and daughters ineffectually in perpetual war, as an end-in-itself.

  5. Zippy says:

    LOL Drew! Excellent!

    So true Carlos!

  6. captaingrumpy says:

    Terrific read,thankyou