Monday, September 30, 2013

Not Bad, For An America-Hater

Well, I suppose you can posit all sorts of theories about screw-ups, stumbling and bumbling his way through foreign policy; or you can be convinced our president has had nothing to do with it at all. But the fact is, things might be looking up. It appears there's world-wide agreement about handling Syria's chemical weapons, and willingness on their part to cooperate. Meanwhile, the sort-of leader of Iran is making noises like a guy interested in meaningful negotiations over nuclear weapons. Even, sorta kinda maybe admitting, contra his predecessor, that something called the Holocaust actually happened.

Some will claim it's dumb luck, as do I regarding Saint Ronnie and the Cold War: he had the good fortune to preside (to the extent that he was aware of where he was) at the exact time when Michael Gorbachev appeared on the scene, and during the inevitable collapse of the Soviet system, which had been running on the fairy dust of propagandizing its people (a model for Fox "news") for decades. Some will say there've been back-room machinations and behind-the-scenes overtures since Obama first took office and they're finally paying off. We may never know. But it seems pretty unlikely this stuff is happening without the US being involved, somehow, to some extent, somewhere under the radar. Maybe it's even possible the current president is more interested in results than in who gets the credit; content to work off-screen, rather than flyboy his codpiece to an aircraft carrier and hang a self-aggrandizing (if entirely false) banner.

For whatever reason, we're in a moment where a certain level of optimism appears warranted; and where, despite desperate attempts to prevent it by Republicans, a few things seem to be coming together for President Obama. Which means, also, that they're coming together for all of us. Peace-ish posturing in the Middle East? Improved health care coverage at home? No wonder teabaggRs in Congress are so desperately trying to screw things up, by whatever means, no matter the consequences; or, more accurately, no matter the extent to which it perverts the fundamental political system of that country for which they claim such unique love.

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