Skip to comments.A Dictator's Handbook for the President
Posted on 09/15/2011 6:59:36 AM PDT by Palter
To win in 2012, Obama's going to have to act a bit more like the tyrants he's so proud of toppling.
Barack Obama can't get away from talking about dictators. Four years ago, candidate Obama controversially asserted that his administration would be open to negotiations with autocratic governments like Syria, Iran, and North Korea. Today, responding to Republican criticisms that he has been weak or hesitant on foreign policy, the U.S. president's supporters are more likely to trot out the fact that three longtime dictatorships have fallen under his watch.
How much credit the president deserves for this is certainly open to debate. And in any case, the 2012 election is more likely to hinge on the high U.S. unemployment rate and the United States' sluggish economic growth than the state of Arab democracy or whether such democracy is advantageous for Americans. But it might still benefit the president to take a closer look at the factors that brought down Middle Eastern autocrats this year. And because "leading from behind" is no way to win an election, Obama might want to learn from their mistakes to help him in his own bid to retain power.
The logic of politics -- in both democracies and dictatorships -- is not nearly as complex as many think. Forget the intricacies of individual states, grand strategy, and the national interest. And for now, let's forget about right and wrong. Indeed, the real, universal lessons of political life can be gleaned from how leaders survive and thrive when in power.
At this point, you may be saying, "Hold on! If the U.S. president tried to act like a dictator he'd be out of a job in no time flat." You're right -- almost.
(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...
Sorry, I had to post the CFR pushing Obama to channel his inner tyrant. Too funny.
Snicker. Thanks for the coffee spill.
I think you meant...