Whenever I see an article by James Poulos, I have to admit that I approach it with a certain amount of disgust. That’s because, back in 2012 he wrote what I consider to be the most misogynist column I’ve read in a long time. You’ll get some idea of just how obnoxious it was from the title: What Are Women For? But his content and conclusions were equally horrible. Rather than rehash all of that here, you can go read what I wrote about it at the time.
I say all of that by way of introduction to the reason I was intrigued when I saw that Poulos had written something titled: The contemptuous certainty of Barack Obama. You might recall that recently I used President Obama as the prime example in suggesting that uncertainty is a liberal value. So of course I was intrigued to find out how someone would accuse him of “contemptuous certainty.”
It seems that for Poulos, it is the President’s rejection of the “Washington Playbook” that is the problem. And he finds proof of that in the much-disputed profile of National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes by David Samuels.
It appears that President Obama decided very early on that the Beltway’s foreign policy establishment was not to be trusted to do the right thing — or even to think independently about what the right thing might be…
This crew, of which Rhodes is just one member, simply does not care that it has torched its reputation with a broad swath of D.C.’s most reasonable and experienced foreign policy makers and analysts…
To a key set of mainliners, Democrats included, whom Clinton will need to rally, Rhodes’ words came off as a bizarre and unseemly end zone dance on behalf of an inner circle whose deep disrespect for the foreign policy establishment is an open secret in Washington.
It is not often that one actually finds comfort in the analysis of right wing conservatives. But that was exactly my reaction to reading this. During the Cold War, even Democratic Presidents didn’t do much to distinguish themselves from perpetuating the mistakes of the Washington Playbook. To see a conservative accurately depict the current occupant of the White House as someone who has been willing to earn their contempt is a great relief…finally!