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May 16, 2008


Bush never mentioned Obama by name nor identified him in any way. The reason to conclude that Bush meant to criticize Obama can only be that Bush's description matched Obama's positions.

Brendan and Obama seem to be making two contradictory complaints:

1. They believe that Bush was criticizing Obama because the policies he described were Obama's.

2. They believe Bush was incorrect or lying because the policies he described weren't Obama's.

There already is a corollary to Godwin's Law. The first one to use a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis loses the argument.

Bang on Bush for re-using the appeasement theme once too often. Sure.

Bang on Bush for leaning too hard on the 'some who' and 'those who' formulas for vagueness. Why not?

Assume that: appeasement = Omama. Well, maybe Obama's complaining because Bush hit the nail on the head.

Whether he intended to or not, though, Obama's over-reaction does paint him as the Democratic Candidate, neatly excising Hillary from the picture. A nice move, politically. But at the cost of attaching the 'appeasement'
label to his name.

"Although the president didn't name names, administration officials are privately acknowledging this was a shot at Barack Obama"

IMHO appeasement is almost he right focus, but really the proper concern is whether the candidate would use force when appropriate or necessary. E.g., the allies were wrong to appease Hitler during the 1930's, but their fundamental mistake was their failure to take up arms against him sooner than they did.

Clearly Bush and McCain are willing to use force -- too willing, some would say.

Obama has left it unclear whether he would use force when it was needed. His commitment to withdraw American troops from Iraq regardless of the situation on the ground doesn't inspire confidence.

Another key question is whether Obama would know how to lead a military effort. Bush provided poor leadership during the occupation of Iraq (until the selection of Petraeus and the surge.) Bremer was the wrong person to be in charge. The plan Bremer followed was a poor plan.

As far as I can see, there's nothing in Obama's background that suggests that his military leadership would be better than Bush's.

While I do believe Mr. Nyhan's corollary is an accurate one, what about the tendency of some in the left to invoke Vietnam in discussions about American foreign policy? Certainly,it comes up a lot in discussions about Iraq.

I've enjoyed Brendan's blog for quite some time now. He has shown in the past a strong willingness to criticize the left and right, even on left-leaning websites (and caught ire for it, as well). However, I'm somewhat exasperated to see that his critiques of liberal excess are becoming fewer and far between. I hope I'm just imagining this.

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