Pete Hoekstra, candidate to unseat Debbie Stabenow as Michigan Senator, has an idea: President Obama should return his Nobel Peace Prize. (It’s at Newsmax so I’m not linking it.) Why is Twitter Pete suggesting this? I don’t know. You read it and see if you can figure it out. Because, if I’m reading this right, it’s to free him from the shackles the Peace Prize has put him in and, get this:
To show that he’s BIPARTISAN!!!
I’m totally not kidding.
My point here is not so much to criticize President Obama as it is to make the point that there are no silver bullets in foreign policy and national security — nor are there quick fixes like he offered when he first took office.
- There were good reasons why U.S. policy toward Iran was confrontational rather than conciliatory and we did not have an ambassador to Syria.
- There were good reasons relations with Russia were strained and we treated Venezuela like the pariah state that it is.
- And yes, there were good reasons for Guantanamo Bay and CIA interrogation.
As all current signs point to, those reasons did not go away just because the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. changed.
The other point to make is that foreign policy is quite simply hard. Attempts to find new order sometimes result in chaos.
What we need now is a move toward a bipartisan foreign policy and recognition that the U.S. standing in the international order knows no political divide — we are all Americans. The partisan sniping that began during the Bush administration and continued into the early days of the Obama administration represents a dangerous trend that needs to be stopped. America now faces its most difficult and dangerous international environment in decades and our traditional allies, such as Israel, find themselves perched on the edge in a Middle East grown more dangerous. We must find a consensus approach.
One way President Obama can provide a strong demonstration of this new approach is by giving back the Nobel Prize. The Nobel Prize should be awarded for achievement, not on vague notions of “change.” President Obama’s strongest foreign policy successes have come as a result of his continuation of programs started by President Bush — a true indication of those programs bipartisan nature and certainly not what the Nobel Committee had in mind with its premature award. The reality is, however, that every American president, on a bipartisan basis, has to do what is in the best interest of our nation. President Obama cannot and should not be bound by the unrealistic hope that his Nobel represents.
The president needs to be FREED! Freed from the shackles that the Peace Prize has put him in. He needs to be [drumroll] Obama Unbound!
He also needs to be [drumroll] Bipartisan Obama! Because, you know, he simply hasn’t reached out to Republicans enough over the past two and half years.
Apparently, Pete Hoekstra has fallen into the same line of thinking as those for whom Barack Obama = George W. Bush. While nothing could be further from the truth, it doesn’t stop them from saying it.