Obama and Constitutionalism

Today I had a fascinating twitter conversation with Curtis Gale Weeks, concerning his canceling of visas belonging to members of the Constitutional Government of Honduras. An appropriate headline might be “US begins to demand that Hondurans with US visas swear loyalty to Zelaya”

Obama’s action to overturn the Constitution of Honduras and install a Chavez client in that country are inexplicable. Not only is Chavez an enemy to the United States, the benefits of Constitutionalism (as opposed to the pink tide) are well known.

Obama’s hostility to the government of Honduras is especially regrettable considering Bush’s wiser foreign policy. For instance, while Bush was disappointed when Spain withdrew from the Multinational Forces in Iraq, he did not denounce King Carlos II as an illegitimate head of state. In contrast, Obama has denounced the current President of Honduras as illegitimate.

While Secretary of State Clinton appears to be trying to salvage our position, the simplest answer is that Obama is paying attention to Honduras few a few minutes each day, and uses that time to decide stupidly.

Of course, the United States should not blindly constrain its foreign policy to the Constitutions of foreign lands. But at the same time, attempting to overturn the Constitutions of friendly governments in an effort to install clients of our enemies is extremely reckless.

Obama’s behavior in this episode once again makes me pine for a President McCain, or a President Clinton.

3 thoughts on “Obama and Constitutionalism”

  1. President Obama’s is reacting instinctively from his leftist core beliefs. We will be seeing this alot. There should be no doubt of this anymore.

  2. Most passionate arguments against Obama’s move are ideology-based, with a tinge of idolatry either for Democracy or Constitutionalism.

    I would like to know precisely what damage his decision may cause. In general, the idea of getting our ideologically-aligned friends into foreign offices or opposing our ideologically-hostile non-friends often smacks of a sort of 4GWish tribalism.

    And so I keep trying to figure out if Obama’s using a little 5GWish jujitsu or co-option, with baby-steps so such moves aren’t entirely obvious to those he would “change”. (Recalling the idea that we win against 4GW forces by changing them rather than destroying them.) But I have my doubts in this regard and wonder if he’s just trying to appear to be the “Good Guy” on the world stage — which would itself be fairly 4GWish.

    Hope none of the above seems too hermetic. I may expand on this idea of 4GWishness (ick) later.

  3. Purpleslog,

    The four interpretations I hear are

    1. This is a clever move to circumvent Chavez, appear to go along with the OAS, while in fact improving our correlation of forces
    2. This is a clueless attempt to go along with what’s popular, at the cost of sacrificing long-term friendships in exchange for a short-term lack of criticism
    3. This is a manifestation of Obama’s leftist beliefs
    4. Some mix of the above. For instance, Obama’s behind #2 and #3, while Clinton’s behind #1.

    Most passionate arguments against Obama’s move are ideology-based, with a tinge of idolatry either for Democracy or Constitutionalism.

    Unless by ‘idolatry’ you mean ‘support,’ not sure what this means.

    I would like to know precisely what damage his decision may cause.

    You mean the specific harm of rolling back market friendly rulesets and replacing them with arbitrary market-unfriendly rule, or something besides this?

    In general, the idea of getting our ideologically-aligned friends into foreign offices or opposing our ideologically-hostile non-friends often smacks of a sort of 4GWish tribalism.

    If by ‘4GWish tribalism’ you mean ‘correlation of forces,’ sure.

    If you don’t mean that, then I don’t understand your comment.

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