Undeterred by the lack of success so far of the Obama Doctrine (apologize for America to foreign leaders, and if that doesn’t work, bow), President Obama today took the unprecedented step of publicly siding with Mexico against the state of Arizona. President Obama did this while standing next to the visiting President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, and while addressing Mexican journalists in the Rose Garden of the White House.
President Obama repudiated Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law in this public act, and by doing so he waved away not just centuries of tradition that domestic disputes end at the water’s edge—that we’re all American, whatever our differences may be—but also common sense and, well, national decorum. Whatever the merits and demerits of the Arizona Law, President Obama had no business agreeing with a foreign leader against the elected government of Arizona and 70% of the people in that state who support the law.
Specifically, the President said:
“We also discussed the new law in Arizona, which is a misdirected effort — a misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system, and which has raised concerns in both our countries….
“And I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. We’re examining any implications, especially for civil rights. Because in the United States of America, no law-abiding person — be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico — should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.”
We don’t know whether President Obama has read the law in question. We do know that two of his cabinet secretaries who have been very critical of the law, and who are directly concerned in this matter—Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano—have publicly admitted not having read the 17-page law. State Department Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley has also admitted to not having read the law. Has anyone in the Obama Administration read this law?
It was not, alas, the first time an Administration official apologized to foreign leaders about Arizona’s law. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner proudly said this week that in meetings with Chinese leaders, “We brought it up early and often, as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination.”
The President is very much mistaken if he thinks the approach he has taken with foreign leaders will gain him any benefits. Does he honestly think it will ever be reciprocated? That we will ever see, for example, the President of France ever take at a public forum the side of the U.S. in a dispute with Haute Garonne or Normandy—let alone the leaders of Iran, Venezuela or Russia?
This level of naiveté in foreign policy has begun to take a heavy toll. It was very much in evidence this week when Brazil and Turkey did an end run around Secretary of State Clinton and signed a deal allowing Iran to continue building a nuclear weapons program, a very dangerous turn of events.
In the case of Mexico, today’s gratuitous hit at one of the States of the Union may not be on par with what happened with Iran, perhaps, but it does count as a further national humiliation.
Mike Gonzalez is Vice President of Communications at Heritage. Follow him on Twitter at @Gundisalvus