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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:55 AM

Chuck Hagel nomination: Obama rebukes Bushism

Obama has reversed Bush's foreign policy in style and substance -- but it may not be enough


Barack Obama was elected in 2008 to be the anti-Bush — the anti-George W. Bush, that is. In economic policy, Obama’s success in raising taxes slightly on the richest Americans is of symbolic importance, far beyond its substantive effects, as a repudiation of Bushonomics. By nominating former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense, Obama is continuing his ongoing repudiation of Bushism in foreign policy, as well.

Obama has been called an “Eisenhower Democrat.” Nowhere has this been more true than in the president’s foreign policy, which is close to that of moderate Republican realists like the first President Bush, Colin Powell (who endorsed Obama), and Obama’s first secretary of defense, Robert Gates. When Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld, during Bush’s second term, it marked a major shift even before the 2008 election.

By winding down the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, by “leading from behind” in NATO’s air war in Libya, and by avoiding intervention, to date, in Syria’s civil war, Obama has reversed his predecessor’s neoconservative foreign policy in both substance and style. Even Obama’s morally and constitutionally questionable reliance on drones puts him in the tradition of cautious Eisenhower Republicans. President Eisenhower himself preferred using the CIA to orchestrate coups, in places like Iran and Latin America, to doing nothing or sending troops. What spooks were to Ike, drones are to Obama.

At the same time, there are important elements of continuity between W.-style neoconservatism and Obama-style pragmatism. Both schools share a commitment to perpetuating U.S. military hegemony in every region of the world as long as possible. Both agree that a world in which the U.S. is not the major European and Middle Eastern power and in which the U.S. Navy is not the strongest force in the western Pacific would be unthinkable.



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Reply Chuck Hagel nomination: Obama rebukes Bushism (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:11 PM

1. But Hagel voted for both Bush Wars...just like the other Republicans.


How that makes him a repudiation of that which he supported is a strained bit of logic. By voting for Iraq, Hagel opposed Bush? Seriously?
It is just amusing to see how his Iraq War Yes vote is played down by the same folks who wailed and gnashed teeth that Hillary Clinton cast the same vote, she was a war monger and a racist, Hagel is a peace maker and a hero, although they both share that Iraq War Resolution support while Hagel adds anti choice positions, anti gay history, and a life long leadership position in the Republican Party, which is still his Party, he is a Republican.
I don't support any Republicans, and I also do not support anyone who voted Yes on that war. What's ironic is that so many on DU who claimed to care about that war vote now don't care about it at all.

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