Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama doesn't have many options in Crimea, and is following a pattern set by former President Ronald Reagan, who talked tough but then left Lebanon.
"In 1987, Yale University historian Paul Kennedy wrote about the 'rise and fall of the great powers' and argued that both the U.S. and the Soviet Union were on a crash course that was fiscally, economically, and militarily unsustainable. The Soviet Empire imploded first but we have seen in the past two decades that the U.S. has severe limits.
“We are a superpower, but now there are competing regional powers. Plus, we have a military stretched too thin and a public wary and cautious of military engagement. We talked and acted tough in Iraq and Afghanistan and look what we got.
“So President Putin acts on his own border and annexes Crimea. We impose sanctions, together with our European allies who are dependent on Russian energy. Ronald Reagan talked tough in Lebanon after 241 Marines died, but he cut and ran -- and then invaded tiny Granada.
“No, Obama is not weak. The nation's options in Ukraine are about as good as Reagan's in Lebanon. And Obama is not helped by the showboating members of Congress who have no real alternative to offer.
“Meanwhile, the numbers of new enrollees for Obamacare reaches 5 million and continues to grow. And, by comparison, everyone looks better than CNN and its disgraceful, endless speculation about the Malaysian airplane, with just speculation as opposed to news."
Grade -- C-
Zogby is the senior analyst for Zogby Analytics and author (with Joan Snyder Kuhl) of "The First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing our Millennial Generation."Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.