Posted by: John Linkous | April 5, 2009

The Demise of Shitkicker Politics

Watching President Obama this week in Europe, I was struck by two things: first, the degree to which the loathing of America is rapidly disappating under the Obama administration; and second, by the continued irrationality of G-20 protesters, for most of whom complaint appears to be a lifelong career choice.

To be clear, President Obama did not get everything he wanted from the conference.  Although $1.1 trillion was committed by the G-20 nations, much of that money had been already committed in the previous weeks and months.  Major impasses still exist, and will continue into the foreseeable future (such as Russia’s insistance that the U.S. back down from it’s proposed Eastern European missile defense system).  If the President does his job, we’ll not placate the Russians or anyone else by reducing our defensive capability or subjugating our financial system to “international standards” that will hamstring growth.

However, it’s also clear that Europe is breathing a collective sigh of relief that the United States now appears ready to approach other nations as peers, rather than approaching them with the my-way-or-the-highway shitkicker politics that only a president from East Texas could imbue.  The fact is, Bush Doctrine politics likely would have walked away from the G-20 with about the same level of committment as President Obama received — the difference is that, by taking a more Wilsonian approach, President Obama laid the groundwork for future cooperation with not only Europe, but every other nation that saw that picture of Obama, Berlusconi, and Medvedev looking like a trio of frat boys at a Friday night kegger, and realized that our nation might not be the complete and utter pricks that we’ve appeared to be over the past six years after all.  This is the difference between Bush’s doctrine of politics, and Obama’s doctrine of diplomacy.

Now, if only President Obama could stop spending borrowed money like a drunken sailor on shore leave… but that’s a post for another day.


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