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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid