Columnist Barbara Kay writes on the historical dilemma of Obama's Carter-esque politics.
In November, 1979, Richard V. Allen, Ronald Reagan's foreign policy advisor, commended a just-published magazine article to his boss's attention. “What you gave me to read was extraordinary!” Reagan told Allen. “Who is this guy Jeane Kirkpatrick?”
The “guy,” a political science professor at Georgetown University and a Democrat of the muscularly anti-Communist school, went on to become President Reagan's ambassador to the UN.
Jeane Kirkpatrick's influential Commentary magazine article, “Dictatorships and Double Standards,” assessed Jimmy Carter's hypocrisy in foreign affairs, a hypocrisy that led to a betrayal of America's real interests. She viewed Carter as the quintessence of a romantically cosmopolitan mentality that wrongly perceives all change as progress toward a happy ending. Re-reading the article last week, I found that if I substituted the word “Islamism” for “Communism” and “Obama” for “Carter,” much of Kirkpatrick's insightful essay is helpful to understanding the current situation in Egypt.