RUSH: Victor Davis Hanson has an interesting post at National Review Online. ‘The Corner’ is the name of their blog. ‘Why the Liberal Anger Over the Asian Tour?’ We talked about this yesterday. You can’t find one positive review of Obama’s trip over there. Oh! And Drudge has unearthed another picture of Obama bowing, this time to the Chinese premier. So he bowed to the Japanese emperor, and he bowed to the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. (interruption) No, it’s never understandable. American presidents don’t bow to anybody — except this one. It’s never happened, except this one. This one’s running around bowing to everybody. But Victor Davis Hanson’s point here is kind of interesting. He says: ‘There is a surprising amount of liberal discomfort, here and abroad, with the underwhelming nature of President Obama’s Asian tour. Apparently this results from displeasure over the lack of any substantive dialogue with the Chinese about climate change (and China’s inordinate coal burning), censorship, the lack of human rights, Tibet, unfair trade practices, etc. (In the president’s defense, if we are going to borrow at an annual rate of $1.6 trillion for further entitlement spending, some of it floated at low interest from the Chinese, we are not going to have a lot of leverage with our creditors.)
‘The liberal discontent (even in the New York Times, of all places) is strange, inasmuch as Obama campaigned on exactly this sort of multilateralism and deference to the UN. In this new approach, America doesn’t try to ‘get’ anything from anyone, but simply listens, and as a guest abroad defers to its hosts. After all, Obama has rejected in explicit language the notion of American exceptionalism. The Nobel Peace Prize committee correctly sensed Obama’s departure from the past and preemptively awarded him the prize, both as praise for his utopian rhetoric and as a reminder than the first multilateral president should govern as if the United States is merely one among many nations in the world. French president Nicolas Sarkozy sensed this as well at the UN, in reference to Iran.
‘So again, why the unease with Obama’s trip? From the trivial expressions like bowing to the more fundamental one of deferring to the Chinese Communist leadership, Obama is merely establishing the outlines of the promised new foreign policy. France will be as prominent as we are in the Mideast negotiations; Russia will adjudicate regional disputes with former Soviet republics and interests in eastern Europe; progressive nations like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru and others will establish a Latin American consensus that favors a statist, anti-capitalist, and less democratic paradigm of indigenous governance. China, naturally, will insidiously begin to shape the regional futures of the Koreas, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. Turkey can sort out its problems with Greece. The UN Human Rights Council will be the proper forum in which to express unhappiness with human-rights transgressions abroad. This new consensus is what Obama promised, and it is what Obama is doing his best to deliver.
‘The Asian tour should have delighted Obamaites as the proper expression of Obama’s philosophy: two equal nations, neither one more exceptional than the other (or any other), their systems merely ‘different,’ not better or worse, simply chatting about mutual concerns,’ and he pretty much, I think, nails that. Obama is doing what he said he was going to do. It’s all, folks, about cutting this country down to size because he has a huge problem with this country — and has for his entire life.