Friday, October 04, 2013

Looking Weak

Watched an argument over Syria between Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly. I'm surprised to admit it, but Bill was right. O'Reilly's point was that Obama's red line and his shilly-shallying after it was breached made him look weak. Stewart said he didn't care how it looked, as long as we avoided conflict. He couldn't seem to grasp the point that looking weak has costs. The Republicans tried their shutdown stunt because Obama looked weak in past confrontations at home and abroad. Syria probably dared to use chemical weapons because the US - and Obama - looked weak.

Stewart said something like "is this high school?"

Well duh, Jon. Political and international conflict are like high-school, or better, like The Godfather, because there aren't any teacherss to enforce discipline. Study some history. See how the world works.

It's a bit odd that Obama has this weak streak. One of the most memorable things in his book, Dreams from My Father, was the story of how his stepfather told him that the worst thing a man could be was weak. I'm pretty sure he is extremely mentally tough internally, but sometimes it can be even more important how you appear.