The Two Conditions Are Not Incompatible
'The WaPo says my foreign policy is a fantasy. I'll show them just how serious I am.' pic.twitter.com/LyJaLYJ8n6
— Brian Faughnan (@BrianFaughnan) March 4, 2014
"Obama’s Journey from Arrogance to Incompetence," as charted by Peter Wehner of Commentary, before arriving at our current place in time. (See also, horrible optics of above photo):
Having been president for more than five years, we can now render some reasonable and informed judgments about Mr. Obama, including this one: he is an amateur on par with Jimmy Carter. And to see the crude and brutish Putin run circles around Obama—on negotiations over nuclear weapons, on granting asylum to Edward Snowden, on convincing Obama to undercut our allies in Poland and the Czech Republic, on establishing ties with Egypt, on strengthening the murderous Syrian regime, and now invading Crimea and threatening the rest of Ukraine—is painful for any American to witness. As House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers put it, “Putin is playing chess and I think we are playing marbles, and I don’t think it’s even close.”
Governing is harder than Barack Obama ever imagined. But it isn’t that much harder.
It is when you've spent your entire life believing that the world is as you pictured in the Harvard faculty lounge break room. Or as Paul Bonicelli writes at Foreign Policy, "Putin Brings Real-World Experience to the Graduate School Seminar Crowd:"
Obama and his advisors, from grad school until now, have apparently seen the entire world as a single collection of nation-states just waiting to cooperate if the right people came into power in the United States to midwife it through dialogue and nice-making. Surely that belief has evaporated. It is time for the Obama administration to embrace reality and do what Putin did long ago and the rest of Russia's reluctant neighbors are doing: Make two lists, one of your friends and the other of your enemies; support the first and torment the second. It might be distasteful to some, but it is the real world.
At the risk of being churlish, it's worth noting that half of the country happened to recognize Mr. Obama's arrogance, incompetence and hallucinatory worldview long before anyone at Foreign Policy did.
Related: Victor Davis Hanson on "Obama’s Pseudo-Scientism."