The ‘I Am Not George Bush’ Policy

What exactly are we doing with all the borrowing at home and the fighting abroad?

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

The first year of the Obama administration has been a vertiginous pile of confusions and contradictions. In hunting for a theme to its decision making, we might start with Obama’s relation to his predecessor.

George Bush, a purported conservative, ran up deficits reaching in aggregate $2.5 trillion; therefore I, Barack Obama, a liberal, can legitimately exceed that figure by a factor of three or four. That seems to be the thinking of the present administration. And its common defense of the massive new deficit is the historical analogy that it will snap us out of the recession in the same way that deficit spending during World War II lifted us out of the Great Depression.

Even many supporters of the new stimuli confess that the Depression was not cured by the New Deal, but rather by the strong demand in goods and services brought on by the war that followed. So the new mega-Keynesians describe their current remedies in terms not of 1933–39, but of 1941–45…

The Obama administration may be right in the abstract that we can try in criminal courts individual terrorists who are apprehended here in the United States, on the assumption that they are not uniformed combatants of a declared enemy. But so far, in our post–9/11 world, the administration has offered no comprehensive exegesis concerning who the terrorist enemy is and how he is to be fought and defeated. Instead, Obama came into office with a generic mantra that “Bush did it” and therefore “it” was wrong — and apparently figured that a knee-jerk antithesis of any sort must therefore be right.

I used to think radical Islamic fundamentalists were the problem, but now I’m not quite sure whether our military is prepared for domestic guys mad at the IRS, natural disasters, anti-Muslim backlash, or poverty and hunger.

So we are not in a “war,” we’re in an “overseas contingency operation” (against whom?). Non-uniformed combatants are criminal suspects — sort of…

The complete article may be read at National Review Online.

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