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Thread: The economy, healthcare, terrorism? None may be as big a challenge as China

  1. #1
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    The economy, healthcare, terrorism? None may be as big a challenge as China

    The Rise of China.

    It sounds like this trip didn't go so well and may have been a wake-up call for Obama and the country. Good piece by David Gergen, one of the few guys I like on CNN. Even though he's a (former) Democrat consultant I think he's fairly pragmatic about things.

    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/1...-wake-up-call/

    Obama in China: A wake-up call!
    Posted: 05:04 PM ET

    Barack Obama has recently been reading up on the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Coming home from China, he might well focus on Kennedy’s first summit overseas with the leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev. Indeed, we all could learn from that episode.

    Like Obama, Kennedy came into office as an inspiring figure, an idealist who stirred hopes for the future and yet was inexperienced in the exercise of power. At the time, the Soviet Union was a rising nation that was threatening the global leadership of the United States.

    In the fall of his first year in office, Kennedy went to Europe where he was welcomed grandly until he arrived in Vienna to sit down with Khrushchev. Kennedy, the idealist, thought that his charm and his appeals to reason would win over the Soviet leader. Instead, Khrushchev bullied him unmercifully and the men were unable to agree on anything of substance. Polite reasoning went nowhere.

    According to Kennedy biographer Richard Reeves, Khruschev left the meeting telling associates, “He’s very young… not strong enough. Too intelligent and too weak.” Khrushchev concluded that he could push Kennedy around and started causing mischief from Berlin to Cuba.


    Kennedy was shaken but, fortunately, he didn’t go into denial. He went into action, treating the meeting as a wake-up call. In the months that followed, he became a much tougher, more assertive president, and a year later when a showdown came over Khrushchev sneaking missiles into Cuba, Kennedy was an outstanding leader – and he turned the tables on Khrushchev.

    Why bring up that story now, as President Obama comes home from Asia? Because it has considerable relevance to his meetings in China with President Hu.

    Obama went into those sessions like Kennedy: with great hope that his charm and appeal to reason – qualities so admired in the United States – would work well with Hu. By numerous accounts, that is not at all what happened: reports from correspondents on the scene are replete with statements that Hu stiffed the President, that he rejected arguments about Chinese human rights and currency behavior while scolding the U.S. for its trade policies, and that he stage-managed the visit so that Obama – unlike Clinton and Bush before him – was unable to reach a large Chinese audience through television.

    To be fair, President Obama seemed to handle the situation better than Kennedy did: he wasn’t humiliated, he did secure some generalized agreements, and – so the White House believes – he laid the groundwork for a productive, long-term relationship. We shall see.

    But it is equally clear that this was not at all the kind of summit that an American administration would want – and it does bear some ominous similarities to the Kennedy-Khrushchev talks in Vienna.

    It would seem wise not only for President Obama but for all Americans to treat this as a wake-up call.

    For the President, the challenge is whether he will start approaching international affairs with a greater measure of toughness, standing up more firmly and assertively for American interests. Yes, he must still be the man of reason and peace, but that can easily be read as a sign of weakness by others unless he balances it with the inner steel that is essential in international affairs. The most recent issue of Forbes identifies Obama and Hu as the two most powerful people on the planet – but it is Obama who is Number One, not Hu.

    For the United States, this trip should also send a clear message that the balance of power is changing in the world.

    Even though China is still a relatively weak country compared to the U.S., it is rising rapidly, and people around the globe are wondering if China represents the future – and the U.S. the past. We need to wake up, too, recognizing that we have to pull ourselves together to solve the challenges before us – living beyond our means for too long, building up too much debt, allowing China to become our biggest creditor, refusing to overcome our polarization, allowing our political discourse to degenerate so that it is hard to find sensible answers, and on and on.

    Unless we do pull together as a great people, we will find that our whole country – not just our President – will be in for a very rough ride. Downhill.

  2. #2
    Rational article and it will be either attacked or ignored by the so-called conservatives on this board.

  3. #3
    It's a fantastic article that rings pretty true with the state of our country right now. I think a lot of starry-eyed dreamers expected Obama to ride into the Oval Office on a white horse, spreading messages of hope and change all throughout the world. Well, it turns out the world is a pretty scary place, and his lofty goals may not be as easy to attain as they initially seemed.

    I agree that the country is fractured along partisan lines, but the President has done nothing to reverse that; in fact, some might argue that senior members of his administration have only widened the gap between Democrats and Republicans with their brashness and arrogance. If we are all going to help fix the country together, the President must start leading by example. Forget the stump speeches for lameduck candidates (cough, Corzine) and forget banning Fox News from the press room.

    So far, there have been two embarrassing international incidents in which the President overestimated his worldly influence: the Olympics debacle and his meeting with Hu. At home, Obama championed for a public option only to be shut out by Congress. His most remarkable summit meeting so far was between a cop and a college professor.

    He's got to toughen up, and this is actually where I agree with Bill Maher. Maher said that Bush was able to push his policies through because he was so steadfast in his beliefs. He was confident in his abilities and was able to influence people around him because of that. Obama needs to harness the natural confidence that surrounds him and start standing up for the big, important issues that matter most. Otherwise, it'll be 3 more years of a lameduck administration.

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    In the background of this summit is American debt being gobbled up by China. It seems both sides can’t get enough: America produces debt and China’s buying. Chinese have surpassed Japan as the largest owner of Treasury securities. So, it’s like trying to play hardball with your banker. China can’t use it as leverage since any hint that they’d want to sell any portion of what they have would make the market price plummet. But still, it‘s there and has to be taken into account when trying to ‘toughen up’ the relationship.

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    The rise of easy credit. My generation bought rich before they got rich.
    recognizing that we have to pull ourselves together to solve the challenges before us – living beyond our means for too long, building up too much debt, allowing

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    The Greatest Generation @ 21 = Fighting Nazis & "seeding" distant lands

    Baby Boomers @ 21 = Weed, poppers and Hustler magazine

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec View Post
    I think a lot of starry-eyed dreamers expected Obama to ride into the Oval Office on a white horse...
    Nobody expected that. The only people that ever say anything like that are the ODS folks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec View Post
    It's a fantastic article that rings pretty true with the state of our country right now. I think a lot of starry-eyed dreamers expected Obama to ride into the Oval Office on a white horse, spreading messages of hope and change all throughout the world. Well, it turns out the world is a pretty scary place, and his lofty goals may not be as easy to attain as they initially seemed.

    I agree that the country is fractured along partisan lines, but the President has done nothing to reverse that; in fact, some might argue that senior members of his administration have only widened the gap between Democrats and Republicans with their brashness and arrogance. If we are all going to help fix the country together, the President must start leading by example. Forget the stump speeches for lameduck candidates (cough, Corzine) and forget banning Fox News from the press room.

    So far, there have been two embarrassing international incidents in which the President overestimated his worldly influence: the Olympics debacle and his meeting with Hu. At home, Obama championed for a public option only to be shut out by Congress. His most remarkable summit meeting so far was between a cop and a college professor.

    He's got to toughen up, and this is actually where I agree with Bill Maher. Maher said that Bush was able to push his policies through because he was so steadfast in his beliefs. He was confident in his abilities and was able to influence people around him because of that. Obama needs to harness the natural confidence that surrounds him and start standing up for the big, important issues that matter most. Otherwise, it'll be 3 more years of a lameduck administration.
    when people like Gergen starting writing articles like this you know there's trouble....the problem about the maher quote when applied to obama is you're seeing what obama is; far to the left of center- nothing like the majority of America....

    its' understandable liberals would immediately respond to this thread by changing the topic and attacking conservatives (wah-wah) but they've got nothing else these days...three years and counting....
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 11-19-2009 at 11:23 AM.

  9. #9
    This president is the least prepared for the office in memory. Certainly the least prepared in the last 100+ years.
    He has no toughness about him. He is incapable of making decisions. He has accomplished nothing in his time. He waffles on his own ideas.
    Every leader in the world sees this. Who would take him seriously? Certainly not the Chinese.

  10. #10
    WHAT HAPPENED TO NO POLITICS?????

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    The article is dead-on, but the real question is: does BO realize this, or does he think he's doing great and winning over friends that that meanie GWB alienated?

    Probably the former.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    This president is the least prepared for the office in memory. Certainly the least prepared in the last 100+ years.
    He has no toughness about him. He is incapable of making decisions. He has accomplished nothing in his time. He waffles on his own ideas.
    Every leader in the world sees this. Who would take him seriously? Certainly not the Chinese.
    +1

    AND he beat a decorated war veteran DURING a time of war. Shows you how utterly bad the Republican Party is right now.

    Palin/Beck 2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    Rational article and it will be either attacked or ignored by the so-called conservatives on this board.
    Listen, if you dislike everyone here so much go somewhere else.

    I'm tired of reading your complaints every day.

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    Actually this is a good article, the fact that Obama is an intelligent man makes me hopeful that he realizes that what he feels may be a noble effort is in fact not doing the country the most good. I'd love to see him toughen up.
    Last edited by jetswin; 11-19-2009 at 09:54 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by WestCoastOffensive View Post

    Baby Boomers @ 21 = Weed, poppers and Hustler magazine


    .... nahhhhhhhhh ... huster @ 18 ... screw, gent, big'uns, & back passage betty @ 21 ...










    l_j_r

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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY View Post

    its' understandable liberals would immediately respond to this thread by trying to change the topic and politicize it- but they've got nothing else these days...three years and counting....
    No.... he will be re elected. When you rob Peter to pay Paul, and Paul is greater than 50 percent of the voting publc..... well the results are simple.

    The majority of members of unions, government employees and the poor will all vote for OBAMA in large numbers.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    +1

    AND he beat a decorated war veteran DURING a time of war. Shows you how utterly bad the Republican Party is right now.

    Palin/Beck 2012


    The Republican Party is leaderless. It has no dynamic, intelligent leader.
    McCain was a good man, but too old and I think he went through the motions as a "tribute" to his father, grandfather.
    Palin? She can speak but she is really not that bright. I would hope she does not get the nod. Romney is better but he is a Mormon - kiss of death. Beck and Limbaugh have baggage. So does Gingrich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    The Republican Party is leaderless. It has no dynamic, intelligent leader.
    McCain was a good man, but too old and I think he went through the motions as a "tribute" to his father, grandfather.
    Palin? She can speak but she is really not that bright. I would hope she does not get the nod. Romney is better but he is a Mormon - kiss of death. Beck and Limbaugh have baggage. So does Gingrich.
    What about Huckabee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    The article is dead-on, but the real question is: does BO realize this, or does he think he's doing great and winning over friends that that meanie GWB alienated?

    Probably the former.
    I think your latter part is dead-on and the answer is no, Bush bash for four years...

    my feeling is this article is just the evolution of the media realizing what a bunch of effs ups they are-

    we heard these comparisions between JFK and obama the ten months prior to the election as the media tried to make him out as the next JFK- of course there was no basis for this except they were both senators...

    now the media is exhorting obama to be what they made him out to be- JFK; sort of like, "okay- you effed up in china, but no big deal- JFK did it at first as well....you stil have a chance if you do A/B/C/D/E"....the article never takes into account recent policy failures w/Iran, Russia, Israel, England, Germany...

    the obvious comparison that should be made for obama is not JFK but jimmy carter- the media realizes this- whether they admit it is another thing altogether...
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 11-19-2009 at 11:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    No.... he will be re elected. When you rob Peter to pay Paul, and Paul is greater than 50 percent of the voting publc..... well the results are simple.

    The majority of members of unions, government employees and the poor will all vote for OBAMA in large numbers.
    disagree...it was the independents that threw him over the top a year ago and they are already regretting their choice...
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 11-19-2009 at 11:37 AM.

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