More broadly, a default would leave America a global laughingstock. Our “soft power,” our promotion of democracy around the world, and our influence would all take a hit. The spectacle of paralysis in the world’s largest economy is already bewildering to many countries. If there is awe for our military prowess and delight in our movies and music, there is scorn for our political/economic management.
The Russian political class cringed last Wednesday morning on learning that U.S. President Barack Obama had suffered a humiliating political defeat in the mid-term elections, losing Democrat control in the House and barely hanging onto a razor-thin Democrat majority in the Senate.
While foreign policy issues played almost no role in Tuesday's election results, the historic Republican landslide will almost certainly make Barack Obama's vision of a more positive U.S. role in international affairs more difficult to pursue.