Barnett Endorses ‘Weak-Ass Jimmy Carter’

Given that Thomas Barnett is an avid internationalist who abhors the National Greatness strain of foreign policy that McCain champions, I was not at all shocked to see via the Security folder in my RSS reader that he has endorsed Barack Obama.

Obama’s task is the great unwinding of the Bush debacle, which Bush himself started these past two years, but which is likely to go four more. If Obama spends his first term unwinding both the financial crisis and the two wars well, then he wins a second term and there stands his real chance to imprint a different world moving forward.

McCain is just not the guy to do the unwinds. I honestly think he’d be a complete disaster, so my expectations for Obama are suitably set: unwind and reset in first term, come out charging like the America the world needs in term two.

Done well, this is one of the great rule-set resets of American and world history.

I was however a bit bemused when, in the very next post in the folder — timestamped a mere four minutes earlier — Barnett chided Obama:

Honestly, my first thought when I saw those pics of Obama reading Zakaria’s book, with that title, was, “that’s a great way to lose an election.”

We are a slightly center-right nation right now, and if Obama loses track of that, he’ll be a weak-ass Jimmy Carter in office, especially with all those Clinton-clones hanging around (Bacevich’s point in the LAT recently).

Not exactly a ringing endorsement!

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Jimmy Carter, US Politics, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    Barnett Endorses “Weak-Ass Jimmy” Carter

    Not quite fair, James. He wrote, “We are a slightly center-right nation right now, and if Obama loses track of that, he’ll be a weak-ass Jimmy Carter in office…” The “if” is the iffy part.

  2. Triumph says:

    Honestly, my first thought when I saw those pics of Obama reading Zakaria’s book, with that title, was, “that’s a great way to lose an election.”

    We are a slightly center-right nation right now,

    I’ve never heard of this Barnett guy, but I am wondering what he’s smoking.

    I am not sure what he means by claiming “we are a center-right nation.”

    But even if you accept that notion, Zakaria IS center-right, so I’m not sure how reading his book somehow is antithetical to that notion.

  3. Floyd says:

    Tommy,Tommy,Tommy, Please…. at least wait until Obama is “placed” in office to start apologizing for his first term!

  4. Anderson says:

    JJ, would you care to indicate whether you agree with Barnett’s assessment of Zakaria?

    Because, passing over it in silence, you certainly don’t seem to DISagree … and I don’t think that Zakaria merits any “weak-ass Jimmy Carter” reaction.

  5. James Joyner says:

    would you care to indicate whether you agree with Barnett’s assessment of Zakaria?

    I like Zakaria and think his analysis tends to be reasonable. “Post-America World,” though, is designed to be provocative and sell books and isn’t descriptive of the contents. Post-hegemony is not the same as post-America.

  6. Anderson says:

    Thanks for the response, JJ.

    However, n.b. that the book is not The Post-America World — a world without America.

    It’s The Post-American World — a world that is not American.

    That seems like a fairly uncontroversial, and by no means provocative, title — at least, to realists.

  7. James Joyner says:

    It’s The Post-American World — a world that is not American.

    That seems like a fairly uncontroversial, and by no means provocative, title — at least, to realists.

    The problem is that it’s a term of art that’s likely to be misinterpreted by 99 percent of Americans at first blush.

  8. Our Paul says:

    I have only two thoughts on this thread: (1) Does anybody think we will someday see McCain carry a book, any book, around? And (2) Given the rampant anti-intellectualism that infects our culture, the title is meaningless, it is carrying a book that is so damning.

    Pssssstt to the Obama campaign: Collect dust jackets from different seized Bibles, use them to cover the books that Obama may be reading. This will instantly convert him from a girlyman into a Christian warrior…