Chuck Hagel nomination: Obama rebukes Bushism

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.Continue Reading…

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Chuck Hagel nomination: Obama rebukes Bushism

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