When trouble flares up around the world, U.S. presidents get blamed. The latest polls show that only about 36 percent of Americans approve of Barack Obama's handling of foreign affairs—down from 51 percent in May, 2011, after the death of Osama bin Laden.
Republicans have not been reluctant to place responsibility on him. "Obama has presided over a recent string of disasters that make even (Jimmy) Carter look competent," wrote Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. "The world is on fire—and Obama's foreign policy legacy is in tatters." Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina charged that "his policies are failing across the globe."
The indictment implies that had the administration been tougher or smarter, Ukraine would be intact, Syria's dictator would be gone, Iraq would be stable, Hamas would surrender, China would be a gentle lamb, and Iran would give up its nukes.
Conservatives say Obama thinks he's king. But they seem to confuse him with God, writes Steve Chapman.
When was this era of harmony that Obama has somehow forfeited? It never happened. And it's not likely to emerge under his successor. Even at the height of our post-Cold War power and influence, nasty events happened all the time, and we couldn't stop them, according to Chapman.