This is one way that Obama isn’t the third coming of Bush: Bush didn’t complain about the race card being used on him (or the legacy card, or…).
But Obama isn’t above that sort of thing. The Race-Based campaign Rolls On.
Obama had been quiet about it recently, since his awful speech on race so backfired so bad that he had to denounce his minister and leave his church.
If there is hope here, it’s that Obama seems slow to learn lessons from his mistake.
And that is a trait Bush IIII does share with Bush II.
Coming Anarchy, Phatic Communion, Soob, Tom Barnett, Weekly Standard, and zenpundit have thematically similar posts that boil down to a a discussion of America’s relatively talentless political class.
This is a good thing.
The most ambitious should be in the business of creating wealth, not redistributing it. I trust the emergent qualities of a free market a lot more than I trust the best plans in the world as far as it comes to global growth and global betterment. On a large scale, the role of government is exception handling, and I want those exceptions handled as smoothly (which means with as little divergence from the global system) as possible.
We’ve had about nine years of this style of leadership now (from the Seattle Riots to the Bush Administration). An Obama administration promises to continue this. Obam as Bush III is my kind of Obama: a long way down from the politician I once thought he was, but much better than I think many critics give him credit for.
An Obama Presidency offers a reasonable hope in the Establishment: a vote for Obama is a vote for the status-quo. As the status-quo is one of the best in world history, that’s a solid argument.
As it relates to Obama, many commentators are now raising the hope that Obama will be bureaucratically captured in the same way that Petreaues and Gates were. Even better for us, Obama will have little operational control over what actually happens.
John McCain, on the other hand, pushes well thought out ideas, eve if they are politically unpopular. This is dangerous. We had a good original thinker with Bill Clinton. But before Clinton, the last major American figures who were smart and energetic when it comes to economics were also disasterous and downright anti-Constitutional.
Great men make great mistakes. Weak men go with the flow. Sometimes it’s better to go with the flow.
My theory of Obama as Bush III keeps getting more support. The latest was Obama’s criticism of McCain because a controversial comedian supports him. Apparently Obama forgot that Al Franken is running for Senate.
It’s not that Obama voted for rape jokes before voting against them. Rather, Obama didn’t think about the issue at all. He found a potential opening against McCain, didn’t consider what constitutes comedy, didn’t consider who his own prominent supporters were, and so attacked. Obama lept before he looked, in other words.
This sort of stuff makes me more comfortable with Obama. We as a country seem to do well when our politicians are relatively incompetent — when the difference in skill between corporate leadres and political leaders is most apparent, in other words. Hence we had a pretty good run under the legacy hire, George W. Bush. If Obama’s elected President for braving telling people not to celebrate too much for graduating the eight grade, there’s every sign Bush II will naturally transition to Bush III.
Obama’s “Bush III” habits also promise to protect us from his own bad ideas. If he really thinks that the Nazis convicted at Nuremberg had recourse to the federal district courts, then it’s not too likely he will look twice when his aides and advisers assure him whatever they suggest is in line with best practices.
A friend of this blog (can I say who?) emailed me this story, with the comment I don’t know if this will make you happier with Obama, but I don’t think it’ll make you angrier.
Obama Calls for More Responsibility From Black Fathers – NYTimes.com
Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, who sat in the front pew, Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, laid out his case in stark terms that would be difficult for a white candidate to make, telling the mostly black audience not to â€œjust sit in the house watching â€˜SportsCenter,â€™ â€ and to stop praising themselves for mediocre accomplishments.
â€œDonâ€™t get carried away with that eighth-grade graduation,â€ he said, bringing many members of the congregation to their feet, applauding. â€œYouâ€™re supposed to graduate from eighth grade.â€
My reply back follows:
I’m glad Obama believes an 8th grade education is an expected
accomplishment, not an achievement.
A statement by McCain that not littering, say, is an expected
accomplishment, not an achievement. would show equal “bravery.”
If Obama wanted to actually speak “truth to power,” he could have said
the same thing about a 12th grade education. But he didn’t.
Still, signs are pointing to incompetence and incuriosity (similar to
Bush), rather than a coherent a realistic leftism. I’d take Bush III
over Carter II any day.
Though I guess I exaggerated in one bit: Bush has been vocally dismissive of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Obama embraces it, by apparently setting his “expectation” as low as possible.
I’ve been writing on how Barack Obama is running for George Bush’s third term for a while now. The Weekly Standard has a slightly different take, but reaches the same conclusion: both Obama and Bush demonstrate a lack of imagination when it comes to Iraq.
The Weekly Standard
Yes, I mean it: McCain should outright accuse Obama of being more like Bush on the war. They may have diametrically opposed positions, but their outlooks are identical in how single minded, inflexible, and (dare I say) dialectical they are. In the midst of a catastrophe back in 2005, Bush went on prime time to say, “My fellow citizens: Not only can we win the war in Iraq — we are winning the war in Iraq.” No matter how violent Iraq got, Bush would not face the facts on the ground. It took him until December 2006 to acknowledge for the first time that we weren’t winning and to adapt.
Bush believed victory was our certain destiny; Obama believed it was defeat. He opposed the surge, saying it could not and would not work–that there was simply no way to curb the violence we had unleashed in going to war. Even after it did work, Obama denied that Iraq was any safer until it was undeniable. Bush and Obama have tunnel vision–only McCain has demonstrated an ability to adapt, to win a war we were losing.
While there is a lot to look forward to in a Third Bush Term, I’d rather have John McCain.
Is Obama running for the office of Chief Shaman? Â« Fabius Maximus
Let us hope that Senator Obama is pandering to us, as the alternative might be megalomania.
I’m rooting for incompetence.
Unlike pandering (which does not explain any variance in speech by Obama, because Obama’s pandering appears to be constant) and megalomania (a psychological explanation I’m skeptical of), “incompetence” fits the Bush : Obama :: legacy hire : affirmative action hire analogy that both explains past actions by Obama and predicts future ones.
I’d rather have a wise leader than a foolish one. But if you think we’re getting a bad one anyway, just as well go for Bush III: Barack Obama.
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.
Ignoring well wishes who urge him to name Hillary as his Vice President, Barack Obama faces a fight that keeps going…
Clinton launches new Fla., Mich. offensives – Kenneth P. Vogel – Politico.com
The new Florida and Michigan offensive will kick off in earnest today with three campaign events in South Florida â€“ though sheâ€™ll have to share the state with Obama, who begins a three-day campaign swing there â€“ and will likely also include campaigning in Michigan. Thatâ€™s in addition to an already circulating online petition and escalating campaign rhetoric casting Clinton as best-positioned to carry the two important big states in the fall against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain â€“ partly because of her fight against disenfranchising Democrats there.
In an intentional bit of symbolism, Clintonâ€™s three campaign stops will be in Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade counties â€“ the three jurisdictions where Democrats allege voters were disenfranchised during the 2000 presidential election.
Clinton campaign officials acknowledge the target audience for the offensive is not only voters but the superdelegates who will ultimately decide the nomination as voters and the party officials who will meet May 31 to effectively rule on the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegations.
Rumors of Hillary R. Clinton taking her fight to the convention are reasonable, considering that she is ahead in the popular vote. Obama proponents argue that this is true only if you include all 50 states, because Obama instructed Michigan to remove his name from the ballot. He did this because (a) he knew he would lose and (b) he trusted Howard Dean of the Democratic National Committee as a better fixer than Mark Brewer of the Michigan Democratic Party. This is true, but irrelevant: Obama’s reasons speak to his wisdom as a political strategist, but don’t negative the fact that Obama lost Michigan, as he knew he would.
Of course, as a supporter of George W. Bush, I see nothing wrong with the loser of the popular vote winning the contest.
In many ways, an Obama presidency is as close to Bush’s third term as we are likely to get.