Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dubya's third term

During the campaign, the Democrats painted the McCain candidacy as George W Bush's third term, which I suspect did as much as McCain's bumbling and his unfortunately pink scalp to doom his hope for the presidency. It has been startling therefore to see Obama step into the role he derided in October: the Second Coming of Dubya! Troops out of Iraq? All in good time. Close Gitmo? All in good time. Try the detainees in civilian courts? Not so fast! And now: release those photos showing detainee abuse? No, I don't think so.

The NYT reports that Congressional Democrats are getting restive about Obama's appetite for prosecuting our War on Ter--um, our Overseas Contingency Operation, which of course is another way of saying that the NYT is getting restive. (Devious headline on that story: 'Unease Grows for Democrats Over Security'. Quite the contrary! They worry that Obama is providing us with too much in the way of security.)

It all reminds me of the Nixon administration. Nixon turned domestic policy over to the Congress in order to get a free hand with his foreign policy adventures, most notably the opening with China. Obama in much the same way has turned his foreign policy over to--well, I don't know whom, exactly. Not to the evil neo-cons, exactly, but to what Antiwar.com calls the COIN clique. Perhaps he understands that someone out there is trying to bring us down. Or perhaps, like Nixon, he only wants a free hand to run his more favored activities, like General Chrysler-Fiat UAW-Congressional Green Motors. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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