Monday, October 20, 2008

Biden Debuts Obama's 'Speak Loudly and Speak Loudly' Foreign Policy Style

It happened right here in my hometown of Seattle, WA. (Please-Keep-Him-Just-a-)Senator Joe Biden dropped what could become his most serious gaffe of them all.

"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking," Biden said.

"Remember I said it standing here. if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's gonna have to make some really tough -- I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's gonna happen," Biden continued.

Does the Obama-Biden ticket view international terrorism and geopolitics as a kind of Survivor challenge? Machismo has no place in foreign relations because it winds up costing jobs, lives or both.

The hubris of the Obama-Biden ticket has now reached critical mass, Biden's recent remarks outshining even the "take 'em out" bravado displayed by Obama in comments about how to deal with Osama bin Laden in his ilk.

Biden's prediction should entirely erase the perception that he is a skilled diplomat. Loud talk is usually a replacement for a will to act, as most career statesmen will note. I suppose we can expect Joe to next begin conspicuously professing his bedroom prowess for all to hear?

I am now getting a clear vision of what the Obama Doctrine will look like in action and if you have a billowy white shirt, a cutlass and a rope to swing down on your enemies from, you can play along yourself. So much for that Obama rhetoric about the need to repair America's damaged reputation in the world.

It is ironic that Biden and Obama sound hungry to practice the kind of "cowboy diplomacy" that the Bush administration has been accused of, and this may be the beginning of the end. Perhaps this is all designed to generate backwind behind a slogan reaching as-of-yet untapped Obama voters, the Cowboy Left?

We can take our lessons, however, from the great Greek tragedies, in which the mighty are quickly felled by their own pride and arrogance when even their followers can no longer recognize the righteousness in their crusade. Unfortunately, in those stories it takes years for destiny to correct the balance and we only have two weeks.

Cross-posted at Sound Politics Public Blog.

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