Obama Snubs World Leaders, Plays Trivial Pursuits

Obama Snubs World Leaders, Plays Trivial Pursuits

REUTERS/Jason Reed

President Obama is talking more and more about less and less. Appearing on “The View” this week, he described himself as “eye candy” and brought viewers up to speed on daughter Mahlia’s new-found enthusiasm for tennis.  Perhaps Mr. Obama could have spent his time more profitably meeting with other world leaders gathered for the UN General Assembly, as every single one of his predecessors has.

According to a Pew survey conducted last June, our standing in every foreign country but Russia and Japan has dropped since President Obama took office. Moreover, confidence in Obama has tanked in the past three years in all countries surveyed, including Russia and Japan. Meanwhile, the Middle East is in flames and Iran creeps ever closer to possessing nuclear weapons. China is emboldened, Syria descends into horror and Afghanistan teeters on catastrophe. Imagine deciding that “The View” was more important than diplomacy.

On the other hand, the choice is not shocking. Trivial tops meaningful in the White House, and certainly in the Obama campaign. The nomination of Paul Ryan was supposed to force the contest to a new level, by focusing the candidates on how to reform Medicare and Social Security. Good luck with that.

While Republicans have braved liberal wrath by proposing concrete fixes for our doomed entitlements programs, President Obama has shirked the conversation. Just this week, advisor David Axelrod confirmed that “this is not the time” to discuss Social Security reform. Some might ask, if not now, when? Instead, Harry Reid, Mr. Obama’s most loyal avatar, is again attempting to distract voters by whining about Mitt Romney’s tax rate. Question for Mr. Reid: Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes last year; President Obama paid $162,000. Which is better for the U.S.?

While President Obama celebrates gays serving in the military, our troops are slaughtered by our presumed allies in Afghanistan. While a reckless EPA throws coal miners out of work, Obama’s Energy Department spends $10 million on a water turbine to power 30 homes in Maine, driving electricity costs up two-fold. While President Obama touts his rescue of our auto industry, his administration hobbles its future success with demands for unpopular electric cars. While the White House pressures Catholics to provide free contraception, Medicare speeds towards insolvency. Where is President Obama on our important issues? He’s on “The View.”

For our country, creating jobs remains the number one challenge. Right now, the U.S. has an opportunity. Thanks to a major breakthrough in the ability to release natural gas from extensive ‘tight” formations, we have an almost unlimited supply of nature’s cleanest-burning hydrocarbon. Since energy is one of the most critical ingredients for production, this new fracking capability gives the U.S. a serious global competitive advantage.

At the same time, high unemployment has forced workers here at home to make necessary concessions to reduce labor costs. In China, wages have increased and labor unrest, most visible recently at Foxconn, stirs concerns about stability. For the first time in years the U.S. can begin to bring home some of the jobs lost to outsourcing. Grasping that opportunity should be the number one focus of President Obama, as it now is in Spain, France, Italy and other countries hard up for growth.

Instead of rolling out the red carpet for business, the Obama White House continues to roll out the red tape.

Leaders in those countries see what Germany’s pro-business policies have delivered in terms of above-average growth, and they are racing to sign up. Imagine: in France a Socialist President is pushing to make labor more flexible and in Spain severance payments are being reduced.

What is President Obama doing to inspire companies to build and invest in the U.S.? Threatening new taxes and mandates. Polls consistently reveal the business sector’s concerns about stifling regulation. Nonetheless, instead of rolling out the red carpet for business, the Obama White House continues to roll out the red tape. Consider: the IRS has estimated that complying with Obamacare alone will cost businesses 80 million manhours per year. According to the World Bank, the U.S. is only the 13th best country in which to start up a new business, the 17th fastest to grant construction permits and the 72nd most convenient in which to pay taxes. Can’t we do better?

Bill Clinton turned out to be an irresponsible human being, but a responsive president.

Other than jobs, what do Americans worry about? Our deficits and our debt. When asked about four years of trillion-dollar deficits on 60 Minutes recently, the president launched into a lengthy explanation of why he bears little responsibility for the 60 percent jump in debt under his watch. That may be why he didn’t feel the need to address our deficits or debts at the Democrat convention. Even so, the convention was considered a home run. Why? Because Americans really like Bill Clinton. Here’s a tiny problem: Bill Clinton is not running for president. Barack Obama is – and therein lies an ocean of difference.

Bill Clinton turned out to be an irresponsible human being, but a responsive president. While Monica Lewinsky serviced the president in the Oval Office, the president served the people. When they objected to his leftward lean, he tilted center. When Obama similarly got his knuckles rapped, he lurched even more energetically left, defying the voice of the country but clarifying his own. He believes in Big Government; Americans do not. He believes small business owners “didn’t make that”; he thinks the government is the lynchpin to everyone’s success. 

Voters understand the difference. Gallup reports that nearly half of all Republicans are following the election “very closely,” compared to only one third of Democrats. Who can blame Dems? Trivial Pursuits has been around a long time.