The Reagan Doctrine vs. the Obama Doctrine

By Tom Quiner

Barack Obama is the dumbest president of my lifetime.untitled_lightbox
I really don’t mean to be unkind. But how else can you explain such a poorly run administration? How else can you explain the relentless failure of his domestic and foreign policy?
I know you probably don’t agree with me. After all, Obama’s speeches are so pretty.
I know the Nobel Peace Prize committee doesn’t agree with me. They thought he was so brilliant based on campaign rhetoric that they gave him a peace prize before he did anything.
As president, he articulated what will be known as the Obama Doctrine, which means the U.S. will “lead from behind.” The doctrine is always accompanied with, as syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer calls it, “rhetorical extravagance.”
That doctrine doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, it seems kind of dumb. The media loved it, though. So how has this doctrine played itself out? Under the Obama Doctrine:
√ Russia invaded the Ukraine.
√ Syria crossed the red line and never looked back.
√ Iran contentedly works away at developing the nuclear bomb.
√ China disrupts its neighbors.
√ North Korea threatens South Korea and Japan.
√ Venezuela cracks down on democracy protestors.
√ al Qaeda spreads its reach from Asia to Africa (oh, but at least bin Lauden is dead).
√ We swapped five hardened terrorists for one deserter.
√ Islamic fundamentalism, characterized by ‘death to infidels’, spreads throughout the Mid East.
Maybe I’m missing something, but this lead from behind thing doesn’t have a very good track record.
Let’s contrast the Obama Doctrine with the Reagan Doctrine, which provided military and material support for people fighting to overthrow totalitarianism.
How did it work?  From 1974 to 1980, totalitarianism was on the rise. South Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, South Yemen,  Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Grenada, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan fell into the orbit of the Soviet Union.
Then Reagan entered office.
Under the Reagan Doctrine, the momentum of totalitarianism was more than slowed, it was reversed. Dictatorships collapsed in Chili, Haiti, and Panama during Reagan’s watch. Democracy advanced in nine more nations, including Bolivia, Honduras, Argentina, Grenada, El Salvador, Uruguay, Brazil, Guatemala, and the Phillippines.
And of course, the Soviet Union famously collapsed shortly after Reagan left office, due in part to the Reagan Doctrine. What the world didn’t know at the time is that the Reagan administration was working under the radar with the Vatican to provide material support for the Solidarity labor union in Poland. The Obama Doctrine, by contrast, has denied support to the Ukraine.
President Reagan’s campaign slogan was it’s “springtime in America.” Well, it wasn’t just spring busting’ out all over, so was democracy.
Here’s what’s fascinating. The world slobbers over Obama as being so utterly brilliant. Just listen to how he is described by his key advisor, Valerie Jarrett:

“I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

Mr. Obama has surrounded himself with sycophants like this.
The same type of people who proclaim Obama’s brilliance look at Reagan as dumb. In fairness, even some of Reagan’s supporters didn’t think he was too bright.
A couple of conservative stalwarts, George Will and Michael Novak, looked at each other and rolled their eyes when they heard Reagan say,

“I only wish that I could get in a helicopter with Gorbachev and fly over the United States. I would ask him to point to people’s homes and we could stop at some of them. Then he would see how Americans live, in clean and lovely homes with a second car or a boat in the driveway. If I can just get through to him about the difference between our two systems, I really think we  could see big changes in the Soviet Union.”

Mr. Novak, a brilliant Catholic philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat, said:

“Our view was that it was foolish bordering on suicidal to think that the Soviet leaders would respond to personal initiatives. We thought in terms of a totalitarian system. The particular leader of the Soviet Union didn’t matter, because it was the system that dictated policy. It was a bit of a shock.”

The Reagan approach worked out pretty well, didn’t it? Mr. Bennett was mystified:

“It really makes you wonder, doesn’t it? What did he know that we didn’t?”

Rather than surround himself with sycophants as Obama does, Reagan surrounded himself with people like this, people  with competing agendas, and he valued varied channels of information.
To liberal elites, Barack Obama is decidedly brilliant while Ronald Reagan is denounced as dumb.
Contrast their two records. Give me the wise dummy any day of the week.


  1. Jeane on June 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

    10 years later….still miss him.
    Praying for his soul today.
    Thanks for paying tribute, Tom.
    God bless you.

    • quinersdiner on June 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Yes, I miss him too. I was fortunate to hear his last public speech in West Branch, Iowa. Weeks later, he announced he had Alzheimer’s Disease. ‘God bless Ronald Reagan’ were the final words Karen’s Dad uttered before he died. God bless the Bishops, too! Great to hear from you.

  2. Tom Maly on June 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Reagan the wise older American…
    Obama the entitled and know it all teen…..
    Nuff said!!!!

  3. Shawn Pavlik on June 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    If Obama is so brilliant, why has he never released his education records? Things that make you go “Hmmmm…”

    • quinersdiner on June 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      You know why, Shawn. They will either reveal he was no genius, or he was a fraud … or perhaps both. Their release won’t affect you or me, but it might unsettle the MSM.

  4. doctorjohn on June 5, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    If you look at the family connections that Jarrett, Axelrod and Obama have to guys like Frank Marshall Davis and each of their grand fathers having in common the Communist Party of the 1940’s in Chicago; IT GETS SCARY.
    We all need to get to the Republican Primaries and vote Conservative if you have one running.
    Then vote all the Democrats we can “out of office” this fall in the General Election.
    Only Democrats voted for Obama Care.
    And RINO Republican Leadership would not de fund it.
    Getting our government back into it’s “CONSTITUTIONAL CAGE” begins with each of us doing our part.
    I personally believe it will take us Christians standing up and getting involved like Christians were at the time of our founding.

    • quinersdiner on June 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Doctor John, thank-you! I agree with your sentiments from top to bottom.