Thursday, May 29, 2008

Obama on Foreign Policy? Same Old McGovernesque Agenda

Captain Ed cuts to the shallowness of Barack Obama's foreign policy experience, with reference to a Washington Post article up today:

The Washington Post runs a front-page analysis of Barack Obama’s policy positions today, and they find … nothing much. In fact, what little work Obama had done on policy since entering the Senate in 2005 he abandoned in 2006 as he prepared for his presidential campaign. To the extent that he has any policy credentials, Perry Bacon reports that it doesn’t differ at all from the standard platform of the Democratic Party....

Bacon notes that Obama largely goes along with the flow on policy — the Democratic Party flow. He doesn’t have any new ideas but instead aspires to put his face on the same old progressive agenda of big-government solutions that the party appeared to reject during the Clinton era. The DLC faction has all but disappeared, and what remains is a McGovernesque, Mondalesque Democratic Party that wants to expand federal power through massive redistribution of wealth. Instead of leading the party on this agenda, though, Obama cheerfully acquiesces to it, in a certain sense selling his brand as a label.

Quite frankly, this is a portrait of a dilettante. Obama doesn’t really have ideas of his own, not even an overarching governing philosophy as a prism through which policy could get made. He just wants to be President, and figures that he can charm his way to the White House.
I love that "portrait of a dilettante" line!

But to be fair, Obama actually does have some ideas of his own, as noted on
the campaign website:

* "Obama has been a consistent, principled and vocal opponent of the war in Iraq."
* "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq."

* "Obama is the only major candidate who supports ... diplomacy with Iran without preconditions."

* "Obama will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and pursue it."
So, while I can dig Captain Ed's descriptive phraseology, Obama's seems a little more specific than one would expect for a "dilettante."

I might even add "
Carteresque" to Obama's foreign policy ideological orientation.