16 February 2009

Barack Obama: No Fan Of Winston Churchill

The Brits said he could keep the Churchill bust for another 4 years (or 16, once he amended the Constitution), but President Obama said, "thanks, but no thanks."

Churchill was the subject of my masters thesis--specifically, his early wartime speeches and their reception. I've admired the man since I first became aware of WWII. He is one of the greatest wartime leaders in the history of the world. Historians who know better than me, say that without Churchill at the helm during a few key moments of the war, Hitler wins.

So, yeah, I think it's dumb that Obama is getting rid of the Churchill bust. Apparently British diplomats are worried it's about more than just a piece of art. According to the article, they are concerned about the state of the "special relationship."
The rejection of the bust has left some British officials nervously reading the runes to see how much influence the UK can wield with the new regime in Washington.
Historically, the Anglo-American relationship is without peer. To my knowledge, there has been no more successful alliance in the history of the world.

Before the election, I would have said that I thought Obama was smart enough to recognize the importance of this relationship. Of course, that's what I thought about economic issues and especially free trade. Given his willingness to bow to protectionist forces despite surrounding himself with free trade economists, I'm less willing to give him the "he's too smart to do something dumb like that" benefit of the doubt.

And speaking of those economists. Who would have thought they would so quickly abandon their principles and kowtow to the President's protectionist advisors? I guess that's a reminder for all of you who thought selection of an advisor with a given set of policy preferences/academic background does not = preferred policy for the administration.

Exhibit A? The Spendulous.

(h/t Uncle Jimbo @ Ace)

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