Right-wing media figures, led by Sarah Palin, have continued to distort President Obama's comments that "whether we like it or not," the United States "remain[s] a dominant military superpower," in order to suggest that Obama is opposed to the U.S. holding this position.
Right-wing media suggest Obama thinks "a strong America" is "a problem"
Palin: "Mr. President, is a strong America a problem?" In an April 16 Facebook post, Palin, who is a Fox News contributor, responded to Obama's comments that "whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower," by saying, "Whether we like it or not? Most Americans do like it. America's military may be one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever seen, liberating countless millions from tyranny, slavery, and oppression over the last 234 years." She concluded: "The truth is this: by his actions we see a president who seems to be much more comfortable with an American military that isn't quite so dominant and who feels the need to apologize for America when he travels overseas. Could it be a lack of faith in American exceptionalism? The fact is that America and our allies are safer when we are a dominant military superpower - whether President Obama likes it or not."
Hoft: Obama "really believes America is the problem not the solution." In an April 18 post on his Gateway Pundit blog, Jim Hoft linked to Palin's Facebook post and wrote: "And, he's supposed to be the leader?... He really believes America is the problem not the solution... Whether he liked it or not, this provoked Sarah Palin to pen her latest blog post on his radicalism. The former Alaskan governor nailed President Obama on his open regret for American exceptionalism."
Fox Nation: "Palin Asks: Mr. President, Is a Strong America a Problem?" On April 16, The Fox Nation also linked to Palin's Facebook post, under the headline, "Palin Asks: Mr. President, Is a Strong America a Problem?" From The Fox Nation:
In fact, Obama's remarks show he was referring to cost of getting "pulled into" violent international conflicts
Obama discussed "cost" of getting "pulled into" violent conflicts abroad. Obama's remarks came in response to the question: "Given the progress you have cited in recent days on your foreign policy agenda, to what extent do you feel like you have gained political capital with which to take further to the international stage for the rest of this year, to perhaps rejuvenate some initiatives in trouble spots such as the Middle East and elsewhere?" In his answer, Obama stated that "[i]t is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure."
Allahpundit: "Obama's getting a bad rap on the 'superpower' comment." In an April 16 HotAir.com post, titled, "Obama's getting a bad rap on the 'superpower' comment," conservative blogger Allahpundit wrote: "This has been bugging me all week...I don't respect attempts to bowdlerize" Obama's "superpower" remarks. From his HotAir.com blog post:
"When conflicts break out, one way or another, we get pulled into them." True enough, and I don't always "like" that we're pulled into them. For example, I don't "like" the fact that we have 30,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea as cannon fodder in case the lunatic to the north ever attacks Seoul. But I accept it because I understand it's an effective deterrent that saves millions of lives. I don't "like" the fact that we're forced to take the lead on Iran even though their military capabilities are more of an immediate threat to Europe and the Sunnis, but I accept it because the stick we wield is so much bigger than everyone else's that we're most likely to bring them to heel. I don't "like" the fact that American troops have spent the past seven years dodging - and, sometimes, not dodging - IEDs in Iraq, but I accept it because I think having a democracy in the region will eventually put pressure on local autocrats to liberalize and held deflate jihadism. Disagree with my position on any or all of those if you like, but I don't see how it's controversial or demeaning to suggest that the world's policeman, like any policeman, doesn't always enjoy his job. In fact, less than six months ago, Pew found for the first time in 45 years that those who believe the U.S. should mind its own business abroad outnumber those who don't. I think that isolationist impulse is nutty and a de facto invitation to malign powers to expand their influence, but then so does The One - which, I take it, is why he ordered the surge in Afghanistan, is going slow on withdrawal from Iraq, is stepping up drone attacks in Pakistan, and is keeping the troops in Korea and elsewhere in place. If we insist on playing "gotcha" with short soundbites that supposedly provide some insight into his thinking but aren't even reflected in half of his policies, can we at least provide the full soundbite for context? Geez.