Obama as Bush III: The Reasonablenss of Hope in the Establishment

A surprisingly hopeful article on Barack Obama by Jim Hoagland (hat-tip to The Corner). Here’s my best part:

As usual, Castro’s point is overdrawn. But it does underline the widening gap between Obama’s repeated attacks on “Washington’s conventional thinking” as the root of all evil and his reliance on established consensus when he is questioned in detail on Middle East peace, Iran, the U.S. position in its own hemisphere and other key issues.

My point here is not to accuse Obama of more-than-standard political tailoring of positions or to urge him to commit hara-kiri by needlessly taking unpopular stands. The point is that he is largely right in arguing that new thinking is desperately needed in U.S. foreign policy — but he is failing to show how an Obama presidency would produce and apply such thinking to the policy disasters he decries.

Obama as Bush III – a guy of slightly more than average intelligence whose first term will be a triumph of cabinet politics over whatever Obama actually believed coming in — would be a good thing. If Obama is as incompetent as he appears, his incompetence ceases to be an issue, because he would not be able to implement his ideas.

(Obviously Obama wouldn’t quite be Bush III… it’s reasonable to expect an increase in systemic discrimination against uneducated whites, latinos, asians, and Jews. But I mean aside from the race-based support structure, and of course leftist nominations and appointments, he wouldn’t be too bad.)

I especially liked the article on Obama as it spoke to an idea close to my heart: a North American Union:

Here’s one example of new thinking he should pursue: The United States should apply to relations with hemispheric neighbors many of the lessons of the European Union and its half-century of economic and political integration. A functioning American Union that pools sovereignty is a goal worth introducing now. But that quest cannot start by tearing down the North American Free Trade Agreement and other hemispheric trade accords. A President Obama has to be willing to sit down with the prime minister of Canada and the president of Mexico without preconditions, such as demands for treaty renegotiations.

Sadly, I don’t think this is too likely. But just as “Obama the Leftist” is more likely than “Obama the Centrist,” “Obama the Incompetent” is more likely than “Obama the Wise.” Obama as Bush III: I’ll take it.