Tag Archives: Bush’s Third Term

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.

The People and the Powerful

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 – though she’ll have to share the state with Obama, who begins a three-day campaign swing there – and will likely also include campaigning in Michigan. That’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 – partly because of her fight against disenfranchising Democrats there.

In an intentional bit of symbolism, Clinton’s three campaign stops will be in Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade counties – 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.