Around Republican circles, it has become a truism that President Barack Obama, when not ruthlessly forcing people to have abortions in the aisles of Hobby Lobby and putting job creators in FEMA camps, is weak, oh, so very weak when it comes to dealing with the badass motherfuckers of the world, like Vladimir Putin or Bashar al-Assad. Every time Obama doesn't either blow shit up or give people a ton of weapons, Republicans go on the air or scribble editorials about how Obama is essentially the designated punk in the cell block, just hoping that he doesn't get ass-fucked too hard by the neo-Nazi and Musim prisoners who trade him back and forth for cigarettes and heroin.
Regarding Obama's reaction to Russia's taking of the Crimean region of the Ukraine, John McCain said on MSNBC last Monday, "I don’t know how it could have been weaker besides doing nothing." In a statement released the same day, he said, "How we respond to Putin's flagrant aggression in Ukraine is being watched far beyond Europe. From Asia and the Middle East to here in our own hemisphere, America's friends and adversaries are paying close attention to this crisis. They are watching to see whether President Obama's actions match his rhetoric, and they will respond accordingly." McCain wants to arm the Ukrainians with a larger arsenal because there's no chance ever that those weapons would be used against us at some point. When has that ever happened, except nearly every time?
It's easy to rag on McCain because fuck that guy. But you can pretty much find any Republican taking up the "Weak Obama" talking point and getting creative with it. McCain's favorite lady senator, Lindsey Graham, said it all goes back to the scandal that dare not ever be investigated (except for being totally investigated): "[Putin] has basically come to the conclusion after Benghazi, after Syria, after Egypt, after everything, that Obama has been engaged in, he is a weak, indecisive leader." And what makes Obama weak? Talking too long on the phone: "You don't talk to Putin for an hour and a half on the phone. You have about a five minute conversation. You say, Mr. President, what you are doing is wrong. It's illegal. You are breaking the 1994 agreement between Russia and the Ukraine. You are outside of the International Law. And we will take decisive action unless you withdraw immediately. You don't stay on the phone with the guy an hour and a half." And then you slam down that receiver without even a polite "Goodbye" to show him that you are serious and tough, right, sister?
Representative Mike Rogers said that Obama's foreign policy is "disjointed" and that makes us look weak. Senator Marco Rubio released his slam poem, "8 Steps Obama Must Take to Punish Russia." Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said some stupid fucking thing that still won't get people to take him and his engorged Adam's apple seriously as a presidential candidate. Even Mitt "That Guy That Lost" Romney chimed in this past weekend on Face Bob Schieffer's Reanimated Corpse. While Mitt Romney should demur on all foreign policy questions with "Hey, I lost, so I don't think about this shit," he instead said, "[T]here's no question but that the president's naiveté with regards to Russia, and his faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives, has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face." And then he blathered something about Syria.
Perhaps when speaking about Obama's muscle or fat on dealing with crises overseas, every so-called expert should put in a big, neon-glowing caveat: Anyone who can send a drone plane to missile murder the fuck out of someone any time he wants while most foreign leaders just roll their eyes over it is never truly weak on the world stage.
However, that said, what Republicans ought to be doing is crowing about how they weakened the president. For what was their goal in the last five years except to use obstruction, attack, and lying to degrade Obama and his presidency? Rather than get all pissy that Obama appears weak, do a fuckin' victory lap. Slap each other on the back. Have a celebratory Scotch and a circle jerk. You did it, GOP. You so weakened President Obama at home that it may well have weakened him when it comes to foreign policy.
See, Republicans love to say that Obama ultimately relenting on bombing Syria or refusing to admit that Benghazi is the worst thing that ever happened, worse than a dozen 9/11s covered in a Pearl Harbor sauce, demonstrates to Vladimir Putin that he's just a pushover, a pussy, a child when it comes to dealing with world powers. But they don't mention that the Senate GOP has prevented confirmation of dozens of officials in the State Department, that place that handles this part of the job. This follows years of filibustering of nominees. When she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton once told a Senate panel regarding the blocking of nominees to diplomatic positions, "It became harder and harder to explain to countries, particularly countries of significance, why we had nobody in position for them to interact with...their view does color whether the United States … is in a position going forward to demonstrate the kind of unity and strength and effectiveness that I think we have to in this very complex and dangerous world."
You know what emboldens foreign leaders to do shit without giving a damn what the United States might do? You know what weakens this country in the eyes of the world? When they see that the president can't get anything passed in the Congress. When they see that he can't even get a fucking ambassador confirmed by lawmakers. So take a fuckin' bow, Republicans, especially the ones who are bitching about Obama's "weakness." You did it. Own that shit.
Of course, Republicans never own what they've done. Because ultimately, if their talking point, their fiction, of a weak Obama is true, it's also because of the wreckage left behind by the last president, who was enabled by the very people who still, for some reason, are allowed to talk about what is good for the country.