The various talking point heads this morning are discussing Obama's "meekness", his criticism of American arrogance. Predictably the point heads are starting from their usual scrimmage positions: (R) America is God, and nobody may criticize God. (D) America is Satan, and we're happy to hear Obama criticizing Satan.
Neither side is asking the plain practical question:
Does superpower status help or hurt the American people
It sure as hell didn't help us in 2001. Sheikh Osama didn't want to attack some average ordinary country; he wanted to take down Godzilla. And our saurian complacence and walnut-sized bureaucratic brain kept us from doing anything to forestall the attack, even though front-line FBI agents saw it coming.
It sure as hell doesn't help us in the current economic mess. Because we insist on keeping the dollar as the central currency for foreign exchange, we are vulnerable to all sorts of manipulation by assholes like Soros and nations like China; we are not free to let our own interest rates and currency adjust to changing events; we refuse to decouple ourselves from enemy agencies like WTO and UN because we falsely imagine that we are in charge of those agencies.
Rhetorically, Obama has it right. Unfortunately he isn't taking any practical steps to undo our monopolistic complacency.