News / USA

Political Crisis Could Hurt US Image Abroad

Political Crisis Could Hurt US Image Abroadi
X
October 09, 2013 6:44 AM
As the U.S. political crisis and government shutdown move into a second week, there is growing concern about how the stalemate could damage the U.S. image around the world.
Political Crisis Could Hurt US Image Abroad
As the U.S. political crisis and government shutdown move into a second week, there is growing concern about how the stalemate could damage the U.S. image around the world. 
 
House Speaker John Boehner declares, “it’s time for us to just sit down and resolve our differences,” while Obama replies, "we can't make extortion routine in our democracy." The bickering over the government shutdown shows no signs of letting up.
 
Now, another dangerous deadline looms: October 17th, when Congress must raise the U.S. borrowing limit or put the country on a path to financial default.
 
Concern about the global economic impact is spreading, including in London’s financial center.  
 
“I think it’s a massive fear that we go into recession again, especially since we are starting to recover from the previous one,” said Oliver Elliot, a student, sounding a common sentiment.
 
Other observers, such as Beverly Thomas, a financial analyst, feel the entire episode is little more than partisanship gone amok. “I think it is really about two-party politics and they are not thinking about the wider implications.”
 
Although the city has always had a certain amount of disagreement, the level of dysfunction in Washington today is so bad it is undermining the U.S. abroad, claims James Lindsay of the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
“I think it raises real questions in the mind of many foreign publics, many foreign leaders about whether the United States is a country that can be counted on,” said Lindsay.
 
President Barack Obama cancelled his trip to the Asia-Pacific summit in Indonesia because of the U.S. government shutdown, and sent Secretary of State John Kerry in his place.
 
“I want you all to know that in 2004, obviously, I worked very, very hard to replace a president.  This is not what I had in mind,” joked Kerry during his remarks, referencing his failed bid for the White House against George W. Bush.
 
The president’s decision to stay at home disappointed Asian leaders, noted Lindsay.
 
“I think it sends troubling signals in the region because Asian leaders look up and wonder is the United States going to be a stalwart ally.  Is it really going to be here in Asia for the long term or is America going to be too withdrawn, too insular, too focused on its own particular problems to really play a major role in the region?” wondered Lindsay.
 
John Fortier at the Bipartisan Policy Center says the dysfunction on display in Washington shows no signs of easing anytime soon.
 
“It’s now part of our polarized world to the extent that we have divided government and our parties differ a lot.  Some of this is likely to be the new normal,” claimed Fortier.
 
If that’s true, the rest of the world will simply make adjustments, according to Lindsay.
 
“We really run the risk of lurching from one fiscal crisis to another fiscal crisis.  That ends up producing a country that can’t invest in its future but it also produces a country that hardly serves as a model that will inspire others,” pointed out Lindsay, making clear the potential implication to American soft power.
 
The political fight may be taking place in Washington, but unless it’s resolved soon, the impact could be felt worldwide.

You May Like

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
October 09, 2013 8:14 AM
This so called "crisis" could not do much more damage to our credibility than our current president already has.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs