By Greg Campbell
Former Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank was not even out the door before he hinted at the possibility of re-entering politics. Out of Congress for only a matter of days, Frank has stated that he is considering taking the seat likely vacated by Senator John Kerry, who is expected to be appointed as the next Secretary of State.
Frank recently appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews to outline his agenda. Immediately, Frank began expressing doom and gloom at the possibility that conservatives might actually procure much-needed budget cuts. He stated,
“Conservatives are going to try and use [debt elimination] to cut Social Security, cut Medicare; they’re going to try and shift the cuts we have said we’re going to make out of the military… and make cuts in the environment, in housing, in transportation… and I do believe that it’s very important for us to go after them, for example, on this phony, irresponsible issue on the debt limit and to defend Social Security and Medicare.”
While Frank and other liberals have bemoaned the efforts by conservatives to push for the needed budget cuts, none have offered any meaningful solutions to reducing the deficit or reducing the national debt. While President Obama and other leading Democrats have crusaded for higher taxes, such tax hikes do not adequately address the $1 trillion deficit we create each year from government overspending. We have heard considerably more from the left about what programs they want to keep intact, but have heard virtually nothing about what can be cut.
However, while Frank’s assertion that the conservative stance on the debt ceiling was “phony” was shocking, the real shocker came when he began discussing foreign policy and claimed that he does not want America to be an “indispensable nation.” He noted, (emphasis added)
“But my basic point is, that in any case we haven’t got a lot to say about it. And, you have this notion — look, here’s my disagreement with President Obama on this one issue, because I think he does an extraordinarily good job and I’m very supportive. He says, America is the ‘indispensable nation.’ By which they mean we got to be everywhere there’s trouble. We can’t do it, we can’t afford it anymore. It’s not our obligation to do while wealthier nations are sitting back and given the resentment of America and a whole range of other things, we often wind up — despite good intentions that I think we often have — doing more harm than good. I don’t want to be the indispensable nation.”
Many on both the right and left can find common ground in not wanting to be the “police men” of the world. However, there is a troubling, subtle disdain for American exceptionalism and might amongst liberal leaders. Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel agreed with an assertion by Al Jazeera that America is the “bull of the world.” Even President Obama has even stated,
“In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”
With politicians rooting for a more level world stage, can we presume that the days of American leaders rooting for the unabashed success of America are over?