Monday, March 21, 2011

Idiots Abroad

Steve Benen notes that there used to be the polite practice that when “prominent Americans travel to foreign soil, they should show restraint about criticizing America’s elected leaders. This standard about ‘politics stopping at the water’s edge’ was especially pronounced during the Bush/Cheney era — it was considered outrageous if someone undermined confidence in the administration while abroad.”

This was noted when Al Gore ventured to Saudi Arabia in 2006 and criticized the Bush administration’s policies towards the Middle East and the right-wing press did everything but call the former vice president a traitor.

So of course that would never happen when the shoe is on the other foot, would it?

Moments after saying she wouldn’t criticize Barack Obama abroad, Sarah Palin in India on Saturday said that if she were president there would have been “less dithering, more decisiveness” on Libya.

Pressed in a much tougher question-and-answer session than Palin has recently allowed herself to be subjected to during appearances in the U.S, the former Alaska governor told conference attendees at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi that Obama had not shown enough conviction in executing a strategy in Libya.

But then, that assumes that the former half-term governor of Alaska turned TV reality star and Facebook denizen is a “prominent American.” By that definition, so is Snooki.

As long as we’re on the subject of dimwits on TV, there was criticism from the middle-school clique at Fox about President Obama going to South America to “party” in Rio while Japan melts down and we’re shooting missiles at Libya.

While the Republicans may think that South America is where you go to hike the Appalachian Trail with your mistress, it is actually a very important place with a lot of people and a lot of countries that could be important to the United States. For some reason the right wingers seem to have this vision of a place that is either all Carmen Miranda or Evita, but while the rest of the world was in economic free-fall, the countries of Latin America did comparatively well and could be the backbone of a strong recovery in the West. If you live in Miami, you know that already.