Liz Cheney is sending fervent Obama fans into a tizzy. First, Maureen Dowd, the most overrated op-ed columnist writing today, penned the most mean spirited column she has ever written and perhaps the most inaccurate. She accuses Ms. Cheney of “regarding bipartisanship with the same contempt as multilateralism and multiculturalism,” and along with her father and sister, of leading “the charge against Obama, painting him as a wishy-washy loser who turned America to mush.”
There is nothing as crude as exaggerating a serious critique of Obama’s foreign policy, one that Liz Cheney regularly makes with aplomb and dignity, by dumbing it down to make Cheney sound absurd. Dowd is obviously furious that Cheney along with Bill Kristol and others have formed a new group, Keep America Safe, that seeks to heighten public awareness of the need to come together as a nation and demand a policy that protects our national security.
Dowd is scornful that Cheney charges Obama will “make America weaker.” After all, didn’t the Nobel Prize Committee respond to its critics by saying that Obama won the prize for contributing to a “world with less tension.” But as Sean Curvyn writes on his website, “It’s a less tense world. Tell that to the Chinese dissidents…By conceding to the Russians on missile defense, he is reducing “tension” with Putin. By granting the Iranians further stages of delay before there are any real consequences for their pursuit of nuclear weapons, he is reducing “tension” with the Persians.” As he quips aptly, “if only he could reduce tension with Fox News.”
Another commentator who agrees is Marty Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic as his recent “Spine” blogs at TNR’s website makes clear. As he writes today , “Obama hasn’t reset the American relationship with Russia. He was taken for a ride. Maybe his vanity won’t let him admit it. But, believe me, the Russians know they have taken him (and us) for a big ride, indeed.” Obama, he adds, gave the Russians what they asked for, in the hope that Putin would then agree to tough sanctions against Iran. Secretary Clinton then goes to Russia, only to be informed by Putin that his government does not believe sanctions are appropriate. As Peretz concludes: “Of course, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. In fact, with the Russians, if you don’t demand and threaten a little, you get zero.”