Obama’s Leftist Conundrum

by Daniel Pipes

Barack Obama suffeers from an inherent policy contradiction, especially in foreign affairs.

On the one hand, as a leftist he despises the United States and sees it as a force for ill in the world. On the other, as president, is judged by how well the country fares during his tenure.

Logically, he cannot reconcile the contradiction of these two imperatives: If he wants to be reelected and celebrated as a great leader, he has to forward American interests; but if he wants to implement his preferred policies, he subverts the country and fouls his nest.

Ideology vs. interests — this leftist conundrum goes far to explain why Obama’s leftist comrades despise his time in office, for he has on occasion ditched his worldview to try to make things work (the base at Guantanamo) or has adopted a muddled middle ground that pleases neither side (the war in Iraq, Arab-Israeli diplomacy).

The same consideration applies to domestic policy as well (higher taxes or lower employment?) but not so starkly as in foreign policy.

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