President Obama's speech from Cairo Thursday has been getting hammered by conservative pundits and Republican presidential candidates alike. Newt Gingrich called it one of the most dangerous speeches given by a sitting American president. Mitt Romey said the president threw Israel under the bus. Even timid Jon Huntsman, who served under Obama and might be the biggest RINO to ever run for president since, well, John McCain, had choice words for the president's failure to stand by Israel.
Obama's Cairo speech was so one-sided in its criticism of Israel for failing to deliver peace in the Middle East, Jimmy Carter immediately wished he had given it.
I have not heard the speech in full, and frankly I'm not going to waste my time. What I have heard sounds like the same old cliches and strawmen that always show up on The One's Teleprompter. However, it does seem a tad transparent (if not politically astute) for those Republican candidates with the weakest conservative credentials, many of whom are struggling in the polls and have failed to make headway against the president's domestic agenda, to suddenly rabidly attack him for not cuddling up close enough to Israel. In other words, a few folks might be trying too hard.
I know I may be the only conservative blogger to make this observation, and I don't mean to downplay this administration's hostility to Israel - it has been close to disastrous. But was this really any worse than Obama's first Cairo speech? Or his Fourth of July invite to Iranian ambassadors for hot dogs while demonstrators in Tehran were being beaten and tortured? Or his support of an impeached Honduran president trying to become dictator for life? No. Today's speech, even with the articulation of a return to Israel's 1967 borders, hardly veered from the status quo. The president rehashed and recited political grievances without ever taking a serious stance. No sharp turn was made in U.S. foreign policy.
What continues to be dangerous is this president's belief that his placid prose is some type of panacea, that his soaring rhetoric can actually solve the problem. Arabs killing each other, protests turning violent, churches burnt, autocratic regimes suppressing dissent, bloodshed along the border with Israel, hey, no problem. Obama's got a speech for that.
President Bush was criticized by the Left for allowing his Christian faith to guide him in his decisions, as if following Jesus' teachings could somehow be a bad thing. But President Obama's overblown confidence in his own messianic abilities seems to be far worse and the consequences of such delusions of grandeur are undoubtedly more destructive.
All of this leaves the casual observer asking: What's the point? The president's speech won't change Cairo (which may already be changing for the worse). It won't change Syria. It certainly won't change Hamas or Hezbollah. And the president already won his Nobel Appeasement Prize, so it's not like he needs to campaign for another one. Unless you think of yourself as a god with the ability to make oceans recede and a planet heal, seriously, what's the point of delivering a speech for every would-be crisis?
Talk is cheap, but Obama seems to think he has the golden tongue.