For those of us who didn’t want to see the executive branch actively promoting abortion, or “taking over” healthcare, or working to spread homosexual marriage, we can say that Bush was superior to Obama. Of course, Bush pushed through some incredibly stupid new entitlements with Medicaid that have made our situation worse, and he didn’t seem to have much energy to fight against abortion or homosexual politics. Perhaps, if he had really believed that “don’t ask don’t tell” should be repealed in favor of a heterosexual military code, the Obama Administration might not have been able to push us into a full homosexually “open” armed forces.
But what about foreign policy, national security, and war? The New York Times finds itself forced to admit, even though it seems reluctant to do so, that the candidate who ran against Bush did so in order to be Bush, and worse.
“If President Obama tuned in to the past week’s bracing debate on Capitol Hill about terrorism, executive power, secrecy and due process, he might have recognized the arguments his critics were making: He once made some of them himself. Four years into his tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security. The debate is not an exact parallel to those of the Bush era, and Mr. Obama can point to ways he has tried to exorcise what he sees as the excesses of the last administration. But in broad terms, the conversation generated by the confirmation hearing of John O. Brennan, his nominee for C.I.A. director, underscored the degree to which Mr. Obama has embraced some of Mr. Bush’s approach to counterterrorism, right down to a secret legal memo authorizing presidential action unfettered by outside forces.”
First of all, the “ways he has tried to exorcise” Bush’s excesses have all been PR, not substance. Secondly, Obama has gone far beyond Bush. Comparing Bush’s use of drones to Obama’s is like comparing a few hawks hunting for food to the scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”
In fact, the NYT turns Obama’s far more deadly use of drones into a humanitarian tool, giving us essentially a pro-euthanasia argument:
“The confluence of these debates suggests the ways Mr. Obama is willing to emulate Mr. Bush and the ways he is not. In effect, Mr. Obama relies on his predecessor’s aggressive approach in one area to avoid Mr. Bush’s even more aggressive approach in others. By emphasizing drone strikes, Mr. Obama need not bother with the tricky issues of detention and interrogation because terrorists tracked down on his watch are generally incinerated from the sky, not captured and questioned.”
Get that? Because Obama is willing to kill more people without due process (as well as any bystanders in range) the New York Times proclaims that Obama is less aggressive than Bush was. Bush actually took more terrorists alive. By NY Times reasoning, Bush would have been morally superior if he ordered all detainees killed on the spot.
The article is filled with this sort of nonsense trying to explain Obama’s support for a man as head of CIA who was formerly a cog in the Bush Administration’s war machine. The writer wants to find some way to still think of Obama and Bush as substantially different on foreign policy and give “Liberals” some way of justifying continued support for him.
War is power. War is the health of the state. Emergencies are opportunities. The naked truth is that Obama saw the mood of the country—that people were fed up with Bush’s wars of choice and the economic disaster that was coming. So he spoke what they wanted to hear. He did this so that he could inherit all that power and then expand on it. That is all. All the nuance from the NY Times is an attempt to evade this simple truth.