In Defense of Brandy

President Obama showcased his ignorance of world political history at the G-20 summit in London recently when he made a crack at his political predecessors’ penchant for back-room brandy sessions:

Well, if there’s just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy, that’s an easier negotiation. But that’s not the world we live in, and it shouldn’t be the world that we live in.

I realize that every generation likes to think of itself as unique and facing problems their ancestors did not. It’s the easiest way to excuse failure. No one will blame a world leader for poorly handling a challenge that the world has never seen.

They were probably waiting on the brandy to be served...

They were probably waiting on the brandy to be served…

But there’s just one problem: “There is nothing new under the sun,” as the Good Book told us long ago (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Instead of reading Rules for Radicals, President Obama should have paid more attention to his Western Civ professor. If he had, he would have realized that he has it comparatively easy. Before the 19th century, Europe was a tangle of literally hundreds of sovereignties. Large and small kingdoms, duchies, city-states, cantons, fiefs, and even an occasional nation made up the continent of Europe– and that was just Europe!

To make matters worse, most of the leaders were related.

But even the recent past wasn’t as simple as Obama evidently believes. Winston Churchill was Prime Minister as bombs daily dropped on his country by one of the most violent dictators the world has every seen– with the possible exception of  Joseph Stalin of Russia, whom Churchill had to juggle as an ally!

To make matters worse, Churchill had to play welcoming committee to hundreds of thousands of American GIs camping in his country—which is the size of North Carolina. Talk about an invasion!

The German government flooded the world market with counterfeit British pounds to destroy the English economy, while Churchill’s government borrowed $ billions more from the U.S. (which it’s still paying back today!).

The British people not only endured constant threat from German bombs, devalued currency, and food rationing; but thousands of parents had to send their children away to the countryside or even overseas to stay with strangers while the war raged on their doorsteps.

So, one would think President Obama would forgive Churchill for ordering brandy with his cigar when President Roosevelt came to call.

But I can understand why President Obama feels his circumstances are more difficult. After all, Obama believes that more government is the answer to practically all our current problems. More government means someone has to govern. There was practically nothing that the federal government didn’t already regulate or control when Obama took office. So, adding still more responsibility would naturally make someone feel sorry for himself.

Perhaps Obama should order that brandy. It might help a little.

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