Friday, May 22, 2009

Obama Bows To Bush

In today's Washington Post Charles Krauthammer lists by way of quoting a conservative (Victor Davis Hanson) and a liberal (Jack Goldsmith) how President Obama has adopted his predecessor's antiterror policy.

Victor Davis Hanson (National Review) offers a partial list: "The Patriot Act, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals, Predator drone attacks, Iraq (i.e., slowing the withdrawal), Afghanistan (i.e., the surge) -- and now Guantanamo."
Jack Goldsmith (The New Republic) adds: rendition -- turning over terrorists seized abroad to foreign countries; state secrets -- claiming them in court to quash legal proceedings on rendition and other erstwhile barbarisms; and the denial of habeas corpus -- to detainees in Afghanistan's Bagram prison, indistinguishable logically and morally from Guantanamo.

The WSJ concurs, focusing on Obama's failure to explain his plan to close Gitmo.

Leonard Bernstein, when asked which was the best of Mozart's piano concertos, answered that it was the one you were listening to at the time. I feel that way about today's top conservative spokesmen, Rove, Cheney, Gingrich. Take your pick. Yes, I know. They're all very "unpopular" and worse, they're "uncool". Putting aside the significance of "popularity" and "coolness" (Obama's claim to fame), I'd wager that if people would actually listen to what they say, or read what they write, their "approval" ratings would double.

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