The Politics of Hope!

December 27, 2007

Most of the presidential candidates have been shamelessly capitalizing on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, but Barack Obama moves beyond the realm of shameless self-promotion and into the category of despicable. This, from Time (H/T: TalkLeft):

Bhutto’s death will “call into issue the judgment: who’s made the right judgments,” [Obama advisor] Axelrod said. “Obviously, one of the reasons that Pakistan is in the distress that it’s in is because al-Qaeda is resurgent, has become more powerful within that country and that’s a consequence of us taking the eye off the ball and making the wrong judgment in going into Iraq. That’s a serious difference between these candidates and I’m sure that people will take that into consideration.”

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President for a Year

November 28, 2007

If you were president for a year, what would you do? Apparently believing that he is faced with the same question, President Bush plans to negotiate a treaty with Iraq that would lead to the withdrawal of approximately 2/3 of U.S. forces by the end of 2008 (H/T: Captain’s Quarters). He also expects the Israelis and Palestinians to sign a peace treaty by the end of 2008. One does wonder why Bush has decided to wait until the last year of his presidency to actually govern.

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The Coalition Just Got Smaller

November 26, 2007

If you haven’t heard, Australia’s Labor Party has unseated the ruling Liberal Party, and Kevin Rudd will take John Howard’s place as Australian prime minister (H/T: The Washington Note). What does this mean for us? It means that a former Bush ally has been replaced by a Bush skeptic, and that Australia’s commitment in Iraq has become tenuous. John Howard’s unrelenting support of the Bush administration’s policies probably won’t be matched by Kevin Rudd.

It may also mean that the much heralded conservative wildfire said to be sweeping the globe has just been extinguished by a nice bucket of ice water. After the victories of Angela Merkel in Germany and Nicolas Sarkozy in France, many conservatives boasted that global opinion was turning back toward conservatism in general and the Bush administration in particular.

But with Gordon Brown replacing Tony Blair in the United Kingdom, with Donald Tusk replacing Bush ally Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland and promising the withdrawal of Polish troops from Iraq by the end of 2008 (H/T: Think Progress), and now with Kevin Rudd’s victory in Australia – it seems that the right was wrong. In the two latter cases, nations that were once thoroughly conservative have lurched to the left. I’d imagine a lot of conservative columnists and bloggers are eating some serious crow right now, as it becomes clear that the world is never going to be either a conservative or a liberal “utopia” in which everyone thinks the same way.