Victor Davis Hanson on Obama as Bush III

The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard and now Victor Davis Hanson have joined me in noting that Obama recalls no one so much as George W. Bush: An Obama Administration would probably be Bush’s third term:

RealClearPolitics – Articles – Barack W. Bush?
Almost everyone is talking about Barack Obama’s flip-flops, as the Senate’s most liberal member steadily moves to the political center and disowns firebrands like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger.

But less noticed is that Obama is not just deflating John McCain’s efforts to hold him to his long liberal record, but also embracing much of the present agenda of an unpopular President Bush on a wide variety of fronts.

To be fair, there is some difference in how I use the term “Bush III” and how some others use it. I recognize Obama as politically quick, politically inexperienced, and below the baseline competence of the Bush administration. As I once put it, both have huge political advantages in their politically correct births: Bush II is a legacy and Bush III (Barack) is an affirmative action hire. This helps them both avoid a lot of vetting.

However, I also support the Bush Administration. Having a below-average President has its advantages, such as increasing the power of the establishment. Obama is less likely to change things on important matters, such as China, because he does not know enough about the political process to do much. That is a good thing.

Of course, Obama is unlikely to have some traits that also endeared me to Bush. Bush opposes abortion and pre-birth infanticide: Obama does not (I think — he’s flip-flopped on that issue too). And Bush has some traits that at first got him into trouble and them helped him. His stubbornness helped make the “post-war” in Iraq as violent as it is: his stubbornness led to the Surge, which reversed his mistakes.

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