Our President Channels Jimmy Carter

What in the name of God am I looking at here?

I think we’re finally getting an idea of what the “broader dialogue” entails.

In what universe is this a good development?

Will we soon hear that “we’ve finally found peace in our time”?

N.B.:  You have to go to Fox News to get the hands.  The mainstreamers cut the picture off at the faces.  Anybody still believe in an unbiased press?

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7 Responses to “Our President Channels Jimmy Carter”

  1. Steve Grannis Says:

    To that last question: Nope.

    Obama says we can disagree without being disagreeable. That may work swell here but guys like Hugo don’t play that way. The score is Hugo 1, Obama 0.

  2. Mark Esswein Says:

    When I pulled the Times out of the bag on Saturday morning, I got a chuckle out of the “Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves” item that was below the fold. When I flipped the paper over, I saw the Times version of the handshake shown here. My first reaction was the same as Tim’s, but when I showed it to my wife who (and she tends more to the right than I) said, “Notice that he is shaking Chavez’s hand and appears to be patting him on the shoulder, but he is grimacing while he does it.” She’s right.

    When I heard who the players at this meeting were, I said to myself “Oh crap, watch out for Chavez. He’ll put you in a no win position” Sure enough, that’s what happened. I don’t really blame our President; Chavez said “Obama initiated the contact, but can you believe him? Chavez is a media hog pure and simple. That’s what keeps him in power. That and oil money, which these days, is somewhat in question.

  3. Mark Grannis Says:

    Eugene Robinson’s take is in the Washington Post today.

  4. Steve Grannis Says:

    Robinson’s take that Obama should have used presidential theatrics (posture, gestures, etc.) to slap the juvenile Chavez is fine, except that it couldn’t have happened because Obama was taken completely by surprise. That is the worrisome thing here. Obama’s naivete shows up more often than I’d like.

    What’s more worrisome is his failure to provide even a hint of indignation at his closing press conference on Sunday. He laughed off the Chavez prank (“I’m a reader.”) and, as Robinson said, he responded curtly when asked about Ortega’s diatribe (“It was 50 minutes long.”). The surpise-factor excuse is valid for about the first hour or so. After that, is it too much to expect a little righteous indignation from our guy? Here he is, holding out an olive branch to Latin leaders and all he gets from two of the world’s most corrupt governments is a propaganda prank and a lectures. There could have been a statement about our willingness to hear grievances from the past as long as some of the grievances were allowed to be brought forward by the citizens of Nicaragua or Venezuela, on whose throats the boots of Chavez and Ortega have been planted for years. (Sorry, Eugene, Chavez was “elected” before the first ballot was cast.)

    (sorry, Eugene, but Hugo was “elected” and re-elected before any ballots were cast)

  5. Timothy Peach Says:

    For me, it’s just more evidence that he’s learning on the job. But coddling dictators sends an atrocious message to the rest of the world, and emboldens our enemies to take liberties with our patience, and with their own people.

    Chavez is not someone the US can afford to appear OK with.

    What I want to know is where is the libertarian outrage? How do you gun/gold/Rand nuts spout on about the demerits of government intervention and then not take the opportunity to villify Obama when he validates an aggressive socialist?

    What is it that you voted for? Are you simply confused?

    • [Name Withheld by Request] Says:

      While not agreeing with the all-too-typical name-calling, there’s no surprise here for Libertarians. Nothing particularly significant to be any more outraged about. This is simply meeting–“socialist mano a socialist mano”. Only degrees vary and even that might be merely on the surface…

  6. Mark Grannis Says:

    I won’t speak for others, but for me I’m just not that willing to infer much about U.S. foreign policy from a handshake. If Obama had told the press that he looked into Chavez’s eyes, got a sense of his soul, and found him to be trustworthy, I’d be a bit more worried. But neither the handshake nor the book stunt (nor President Bush’s much-ridiculed comment about Putin) is at all significant by itself, notwithstanding the presence of a photographer. As with Russia, it’s the substance that matters, and so far I don’t see anything of substance on which to comment.


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