Obamateurism of the Day

I already have an entire week’s worth of Obamateurisms lined up from Barack Obama’s trip to Trinidad this weekend, but let’s start with the one that might have set the stage for all the fumbles that followed. My friend Monica Showalter at IBD notes that Obama kicked off the Summit of the Americas by failing to understand the importance of the Monroe Doctrine, its highly relevant application in today’s Latin America, and missing one important piece of historical fact about the Bush administration:

Perhaps this lack of leadership is based on ignorance of history. Obama told CNN En Espanol: “There has always been a tradition of concern that the United States has been heavy-handed when it comes to foreign policy in Latin America. And that’s not something that just arose during the Bush administration. That’s something that dates back to the Monroe Doctrine and a long history of U.S. involvement in Latin America.”

Some history: President Bush was the first U.S. leader in decades to launch no military action on a Latin country. Not very “heavy handed.” In fact, his immigration plan showed he was a softie.

Meanwhile, the Monroe Doctrine was declared by President Monroe to protect Latin America’s infant democracies from European takeover, a real prospect in 1823. Obama’s double apology for that as Iran and Russia erect bases in the region is a bad signal to the region’s real democracies — and comfort for our foes.

The Monroe Doctrine chased off European monarchies from expanding colonization in the New World and set a policy of self-determination almost a century before Woodrow Wilson would make that American policy. While we obviously haven’t had a spotless record in Central and South America, the region was far better off under the Monroe Doctrine than they otherwise would have been — and so were we. Maybe Obama should have studied its history a little more closely before becoming the latest successor to Monroe.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

Allahpundit Dec 03, 2021 3:21 PM ET