Obama Equals Bush? - Sort of

President Obama tries to be all things to all people. That’s not a surprise. He’s a politician. The latest example of this is his speech yesterday at the National Archives where he once again belittled the office of the Presidency by leveling criticism at the Bush Administration for its conduct of the War on Terror. While the President went out of his way to explain the horrors committed by his predecessor, he continues to implement a large number of George W. Bush’s polices to fight terrorism.

Just this past week, Mr. Obama reversed himself and restored the use of military tribunals for some terrorists. During the presidential campaign, then candidate Obama referred to these proceedings as “enormous failures”. And, as we all know, suspended them as one of his first actions as Commander-in-Chief. The President needs to explain to the American people how these tribunals went from enormous failures to proper administration of justice in just four months.

President Obama also continues to vindicate Mr. Bush by continue some of prior administration’s major terrorists interdiction programs. Among them are wiretaps, a “surge” in Afghanistan, and Predator drone attacks along the Pakistan – Afghanistan border.

There are two other examples of President Obama following the lead of President Bush that are, in my view, of particular importance. First, as Victor Davis Hanson points out in the National Review, the President has made no attempt to repeal any significant portion of the Patriot Act. If, as the left has been claiming for the past seven years, that the Patriot Act is an assault on the constitutional rights of every American citizen, why didn’t Mr. Obama immediately move to repeal it? Maybe because it’s an extremely effective tool in the fight against Islamist terror.

Next, the Obama Justice Department argued that the US Constitution and American laws do not apply to the unlawful enemy combatants that are being held in the prison at Bagram airbase. How are the goings on at Bagram any different than those at Guantanamo Bay? They, of course, are not. The President has decided to close Guantanamo Bay solely for political reasons, in spite of any national security concerns. And now, members of his own party are demanding that President Obama specify a plan for the release of the Guantanamo prisoners that doesn’t include transferring any of them to the United States. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said not a single Guantanamo prisoner should be allowed to set foot in the United States, including at an American jail. If detention without trail for an indefinite period of time is okay in Afghanistan, why is it not okay at a US Naval base in Cuba?

It is unfortunate that a man who said that he was going to change the way that business was done in Washington continues to criticize his political opponents, while at the same time co-opting their policies. If Mr. Obama was not always in perpetual campaign mode, he might take the time to thank his predecessor for developing effective policies that have kept us safe for the past eight years. It is often said that when you get to sit in the “big chair”, as President Obama now does, things look much different than they do as a candidate. Evidently, the daily intelligence reports have shown that things look a lot more like what President Bush believed than what a junior Senator from Illinois believed. We can only hope the President continues down this path, even if he won’t recognize those who paved the way, because our security depends on it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obama isn't a leftist. Keeping Gates, appointing Geithner, picking Biden are all things that a moderate or conservative would do. Also, backtracking on single payer health care.

Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh calling someone a leftist does not make it so. Do democrat candidates say things to appeal to the left side of the party that they don't believe, just to get the support of the party? Of course. Then the leftist true believers call them DINO's. (Hmmm. Maybe I got that wrong.)

Don't believe your own propaganda. Obama is not a leftist. Taking his acceptance of a Bush policy as some kind of validation, 'because even a leftist like Obama approves,' is faulty reasoning.