Alex Massie

How much does Barack Obama hate America?

Text settings

It's actually quite hard to know where to begin when it comes to criticising Pete Wehner's stunningly bone-headed, paranoid critique of President Obama's alleged disdain for the United States of America. This part was especially illuminating, however:

What leaves me with a queasy feeling, though, is the growing sense that Obama is willing to denigrate America in order to boost his own personal popularity in other countries. As President, Obama has a responsibility to explain and interpret America to the rest of the world — in a way that is truthful and corresponds to reality for sure, but in a way that explains his country and its history and actions. So it would have been nice for him to point out just once that (as Charles Krauthammer has reminded us) during the last two decades Americans have shed their blood and spent their treasure in order to defend innocent Muslims in Kuwait, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

This is nonsense and anyone with any knowledge of these things must know that this is self-serving, delusional bullshit.

Wehner then writes:

In thinking about Obama’s trip, I was reminded of the words of another Democrat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who said this:

"Am I embarrassed to speak for a less than perfect democracy? Not one bit. Find me a better one. Do I suppose there are societies which are free of sin? No, I don’t. Do I think ours is, on balance, incomparably the most hopeful set of human relations the world has? Yes, I do."

This is, of course,supposed to reflect poorly upon Obama. But I'd be prepared to wager any sum anyone cares to offer that Obama would enthusiastically endorse Moynihan's sentiments. Indeed, that was pretty much the essence of his message on his european trip.

If the criticism of Obama is that he has an ego then, sure, he's guilty. But so are most, if not all American presidents. That's one of the unfortunate criteria that applicants for the job must meet. If the criticism is that he doesn't love America sufficiently and that it's a sign of weakness and hatred to acknowledge that even the United States has made mistakes then it's Obama's critics, not the President, who are living in a comfortable but deluded wee bubble of their own.

Not that Wehner is alone at Commentary. No sir! Determined not to be out-loonied Jennefer Rubin chimes in:

Pete, you highlight in vivid terms the very startling phenomenon of a president who seems not very much concerned with defending the reputation and honor of the country he was elected to lead. This is of course not exactly new. During the campaign, he went to Berlin and proclaimed his citizenship within the “world” — an odd formulation for someone then seeking the presidency not of the “world” but of a particular country. How much odder now that he is president to see him speak of America as a distant observer, critiquing it as would a Harvard professor, and tut-tutting our desire to “dictate” to the world. It is all of a piece — the perfect embodiment of the academic Left which eschews nationality and even more so pro-Americanism.

Well! Is the United States not of this strange "world" entity? And how does this segue into eschewing nationality and, consequently or "even more so" disdaining any concept of "pro-Americanism"? And if Obama Hates America why did so many people vote for him?

There are plenty of Obama's policies that might cause some concern and he is, as he has never tried to deny, a new kind of old-fashioned liberal, but the notion that he is ashamed of the United States is a stretch too far and the sooner conservatives divest themselves of this delusion the sooner they may have a chance to regain some measure of respect and be listened to as though they were a serious political movement and not just a bunch of paranoid fools.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleInternational