Commenting on the Anwar al-Awlaki killing produced by the Obama administration on Friday, former State Dept. Official Aaron Miller noted that “the president has essentially morphed into a much less reckless and ideological version of Bush 43. His policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, Gitmo, Iran; even Patriot Act issues, resemble much more the pragmatic George W. Bush of 2007/2008 than the earlier lone ranger version.”
In this case, Miller hit the nail on the head. Of course, President Obama was elected by selling “a bill of goods,” to quote Bill O’Reilly, and the promise to follow the foreign policy agenda of the late “pragmatic” President Bush wasn’t in this bill.
In fact, Obama campaigned on just the opposite: that Bush and his advisers were advancing radically statist legislation like the PATRIOT Act under false premises. And presumably, Obama plans on doing the same thing in ’12.
Surely when Rick Perry and Mitt Romney move to criticize Obama for his positions, foreign policy won’t be a target area. To quote Miller’s strikingly accurate commentary, “their policies wouldn’t have been much different.”
This illustrates how incredibly small the US spectrum of political opinion has become in mainstream discourse. Obama’s capitulation to the policies that he campaigned against less than 3 years ago is now described as “moving to the center” and “non-ideological.” The center, of course, is a bad place for the President of the United States to be if you’re interested in due process and meaningless things like that.