Ukraine is illustrative of a flaw in Obama’s worldview that consistently undermines his agenda, both foreign and domestic. He thinks being right is good enough. From fights with Congress over the federal budget and his nominations, to gun control, immigration reform, health care, and Syria, the president displays tunnel-vision conviction, an almost blinding righteousness. I’m right. They’re wrong. Why isn’t that enough?
With such certitude, Obama finds it hard to see why anybody would oppose him, which makes it almost impossible to earn new allies. He’s also slow to realize when some fault lies with him. The result is Obama’s legacy of “Right, but …” moments.
Americans don’t favor military action in Syria and can’t stomach genocide. That may be right, but wavering on a “red line” and dithering on a decision projected weakness. Months later, Syria is flouting chemical-weapons deadlines imposed in the deal that Obama cut via Russia.