ET TU, HARVARD? – AT 9:40 A.M. ET: This is going viral on the internet. We don't expect a major professor at Harvard, a school that invites Christiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria to deliver commencement addresses, to launch an all-out attack on Barack Obama.
But renowned historian Niall Ferguson has done just that. Already, Paul Krugman of The New York Times has expressed indignance and anguish, so we know Ferguson's piece, published in the Daily Beast, must be good. It's called "Obama’s Gotta Go," which warms our hearts.
In fairness, we should point out that Ferguson is a bit of a maverick at Harvard and did do some advising of John McCain in 2008. That doesn't make his broadside any less worthy:
In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.
I love it, I love it.
Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.
This guy should be writing Romney's speeches.
Meanwhile, the fiscal train wreck has already initiated a process of steep cuts in the defense budget, at a time when it is very far from clear that the world has become a safer place—least of all in the Middle East.
For me the president’s greatest failure has been not to think through the implications of these challenges to American power. Far from developing a coherent strategy, he believed—perhaps encouraged by the premature award of the Nobel Peace Prize—that all he needed to do was to make touchy-feely speeches around the world explaining to foreigners that he was not George W. Bush.
In Tokyo in November 2009, the president gave his boilerplate hug-a-foreigner speech: “In an interconnected world, power does not need to be a zero-sum game, and nations need not fear the success of another ... The United States does not seek to contain China ... On the contrary, the rise of a strong, prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations.” Yet by fall 2011, this approach had been jettisoned in favor of a “pivot” back to the Pacific, including risible deployments of troops to Australia and Singapore. From the vantage point of Beijing, neither approach had credibility.
Are you loving it, too?
Look, read the whole thing. It will make your day. It may even make your decade. And just think of the coronary events occurring in the faculty lounges at Harvard today.
I hope Ferguson has bodyguards.
August 20, 2012