Posts Tagged ‘greenman

29
Mar
11

count your blessings

Joshua Greenman (New York Daily News): …Barack Obama isn’t an all-or-nothing kind of commander in chief or an all-or-nothing kind of man. He gambled in pushing health care reform, but in his bones he’s a cautious leader who overcomplicates where others oversimplify. He turns bumper stickers into dissertations, not the other way around.

Those who are grousing about that fact now should count their blessings – and remember the alternative. This is what we said we wanted just two years ago, after eight years of Bush foreign policy impulsiveness, when offered a McCain-Palin ticket that promised more gut-driven decision-making. We wanted more candid discussion of risks and benefits. More sharing of responsibilities with allies. We wanted a President to think twice before playing Braveheart. Didn’t we?

But now, in the first major test of a crisis rearing its head on his watch, many have derided Obama’s approach as the professor’s way of war. So the pundits were craving clarity Monday night when he took the stage at the National Defense University in Washington, clamoring for something like an Obama Doctrine, a few snappy sentences that encapsulate his foreign policy, a formula where you plug in the variables and get your answer each and every time.

It didn’t happen. It was never going to happen. Nor should it have happened.

In typically Obamastic fashion, he rejected the arguments of those who suggested we should have allowed a humanitarian disaster to unfold while the world watched (that would have “been a betrayal of who we are”), and similarly dismantled the arguments of those who want a more aggressive, expansive, expensive campaign.

….To a skeptic like me, Obama made an effective and principled case … …This isn’t necessarily a brilliant war. But don’t criticize the President because he’s failed some facile and arbitrary standard of perfect clarity. That would be, to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, the hobgoblin of a nation that hasn’t learned its lesson.

Read full article here




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