From Victor Davis Hanson at NRO
During the Bush administration we were advised about the failure of “hard” power…Obama was to be an antidote to Bush’s Texanism — an Ivy League sophisticate who…would leverage American interests.
…the GSA buffoonery, the Secret Service debauchery, the food-stamp scandal in the capital, Fast and Furious — project the image abroad of Third Worldism. The addition of $5 trillion in new debt…the annual $1 trillion deficits…lecturing others while we borrow for our consumption and redistribution…vast growth in borrowing to fund vast new U.S. entitlements, while we advise the EU to tighten its belt, is comic and seen so in Europe… encouragement to others to pump more oil…while putting our own resources off limits, comes off as cynical and hypocritical. A commander-in-chief, who cannot get political correctness right (Maldives for Malvinas), or thinks Austrians speak an Austrian language, does not radiate international cosmopolitanism, and seems unaware of soft-power niceties, from visiting Germany on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall to avoiding trash talking into open mics with foreign dignitaries to mastering the arts of diplomatic gift-exchange…
We’ve lost financial leverage and respect, our allies do not assume predictability and reliability in U.S. foreign policy, and we do not have a president who projects international experience and culture or a familiarity with diplomatic protocols.
Read it here: Where is the Soft Power?