Barack Obama and many others on the left love America; however, they don’t love the America that is, but the America they believe they can create. If only America could become the country the left envisions — egalitarian among our own citizens and deferential to the rest of the world — everyone would love us, or so they believe.
Obama took the left’s view a step further. He seemed to think his own personal charisma could overcome America’s benighted reputation with friends and foes alike. Remember, this is the man who thought he could sit down with Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and they would change their ways.
But instead of embracing Obama and the new America he was creating, friends and foes alike came to view America as increasingly weak.
Certainly Putin seems to. How else could he grant Snowden asylum while patronizingly asserting that he did so on the condition that the leaker stops “harming our American partners”?