War: At Least It's Something We Can All Agree On


Glenn Greenwald, that favorite prog-left commentator of tout le Hit and Run (and Greenwald ain't too thrilled with Reason either), talks about Obama, the great unifier when it comes to foreign policy. (As a bumper sticker I saw the other day spells it out, the definition of that recondite term, foreign policy, is best conceptualized today as "murder").

Greenwald is riffing off a Fred Hiatt Washington Post piece noting the absence of foreign policy as a big issue so far in the 2010 races:

During the Bush presidency, war debates raged because those wars—especially the Iraq war—were a GOP liability and a Democratic Party asset.  Anger over the Iraq War drove the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006 and Obama's election in 2008 (though it did not drive the end of the war).  But now, America's wars are no longer Republican wars; they're Democratic wars as well.  Both parties are thus vested in their defense, which guts any real debate or opposition. 

Very few Republicans are going to speak ill of wars which their party started and continued for years, and very few Democrats are going to malign wars which their President is now prosecuting. Here we find, once again, one of the most consequential aspects of the Obama presidency thus far:  the conversion of numerous Bush/Cheney policies from what they once were (controversial, divisive, right-wing extremism) into what they have become (uncontroversial bipartisan consensus).  One sees this dynamic most clearly in the Terrorism/civil-liberties realm, but it is quite glaring in the realm of war as well.

I wrote on Reason Online back in December 2006 on why I didn't expect much from the Democratic Party when it came to foreign policy change.