Investors Business Daily recalls the election of Ronald Reagan in analyzing Joe Biden’s warning about electing an untested, inexperienced politician to the White House.  When Reagan took office, one of America’s enemies took his measure — and retreated quickly:

An early sign of the coming greatness of the Reagan presidency was that within an hour of the former actor’s taking the oath of office, the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamofascist regime in Iran released the 52 U.S. hostages it had been holding for 444 days.

Somehow, Ronald Reagan’s lack of foreign policy experience didn’t give Tehran the impression it would be a good idea to find out what he was made of; the mullahs already knew.

So why does Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Biden think it’s such a good idea to advertise that within months of taking office a President Obama would be faced with “a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy”?

What Biden is saying is that either Iran or al-Qaida or Russia or perhaps North Korea will launch some kind of attack on America or American interests abroad to feel out the new president.  And that this, presumably, would be practice for a more ambitious move against us later.

Obama, IBD points out, likes to use John F Kennedy in his speeches by quoting his inaugural address: “We should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate.”  Kennedy put that idea into play by demanding a summit with Nikita Khrushchev five months later, less than 60 days after Kennedy botched the Bay of Pigs.  Kennedy utterly failed in the Vienna Summit and brough the US closer to nuclear war than anytime before or since.

And Kennedy dealt with a rational enemy in 1961.  What kind of signals would Barack Obama send the apocalyptic Iranian mullahcracy in his drive to hold a summit with no preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?  Would they also see him as a weakling and start a war with Israel as a result?  Or would they just be content to only multiply their efforts in supporting terrorism in the region and conclude they could get Obama to withdraw American assets from the Middle East by pushing us out?

Michael Ramirez, IBD’s two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, sums this up perfectly:

Why take the chance at all?  Why not just elect the man that sends a message of strength and tenacity to both enemies and allies abroad?  The last thing America needs at the moment is to send a signal of potential weakness to either.

Addendum: Don’t forget to buy Michael Ramirez’ excellent new book, Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion. You can read my review of it here. As of this morning, it was #392 on Amazon — let’s get that up to the top 10, where it belongs.