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  • COMMENTARY: Is Obama Causing The Decline Of The American Presidency?

    Many political writers, politicians, and candidates for the office of President of both parties have openly criticized the nature, and style, of the presidential primaries. One of the common themes about all the complaints about the campaign is that it is diminishing the office of the President of The United States. I think a great deal of the blame for the diminishment of the office of President must lie at the feet of President Obama.

    When a President of the United States makes a historic visit to the country of Cuba and is snubbed by Cuban leaders who are not at the airport to welcome him to their country, how can the office of the President not be insulted? I agree with those commentators who said the President should have just got back on the plane and returned to Washington. When the Cuban government is willing to give the President an honorable welcome, then the President could return.

    If the snub at the airport wasn’t enough of an insult, Fidel had some harsh words for the President.  Fidel who did not meet Obama during the Presidents three-day visit, chastised the American President in a 1,600 word letter that appeared in the communist newspaper Granma shortly after the President left.The lengthy letter in which Fidel recounted the history of United States’ aggression against his country, including the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and the decades-long economic embargo of the island, which he noted is still in effect. He chastised Mr. Obama, 54, for his youth and for failing to recognize what Mr. Castro said were the major accomplishments of Cuba’s Communist revolution, such as state pensions and salaries, the steps to eradicate racial discrimination and the role of Cuba’s indigenous people in society.

    Our President went to a baseball game rather than returning to Washington after the devastating attack where Americans were killed by terrorists and hundreds were seriously injured in Brussels. He could have returned after the visit to Cuba and offered his assistance and support but instead headed for Argentina to dance the night away. He also did not meet with Cuban dissidents that were scheduled to meet with him to discuss their life in Cuba and ask for his help to make Cuba better for its people.

    If we looked back at the 7 ½ years the President of the United States traveled around the world so many times apologizing for America, it is no wonder that the prestige of the Presidency of United States is at an all-time low. The people who are criticizing the candidates about the tone of the Republican campaign don’t seem to be willing to criticize President Obama in his diminishment of the office of the Presidency on a worldwide basis. Former President Bill Clinton said of Obama in a recent speech. “Awful legacy of the last 8 years.”  To the best of my knowledge this is the first time that a former President has been so openly critical of a sitting President.

    Perhaps the goal of President Obama is for the role of the President to be the same role that he has for America as a nation, and that is, he wants the President to lead from behind. If its current holder has diminished the office then the rhetoric by the Presidential candidates reflects that diminishment. The President sets the tone and therefore he is responsible for the decline in the civility in the campaign.  The nationally syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said recently, “Obama’s trip to Cuba was a farce and an embarrassment” for America. With all due respect to Mr. Krauthammer, we have moved past an embarrassment a long time ago and moved into a constitutional crises of leadership. It wouldn’t surprise me that one day soon President Obama will answer a question with, “Let them eat cake.”


    Dan Perkins

    Dan Perkins is a novelist who has written a trilogy on a terrorist attack against the United States. The Brotherhood of the Red Nile series is available at Amazon.com. Mr. Perkins book web site is www.danperkins.guru.

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