Can anyone produce evidence that Obama is willing (or capable) of extricating American forces from Iraq in a way that does as little damage as possible to American interests? No, not really. Does anyone believe his claim that he “wants to change the thinking that lead to the Iraq War”? We’ve seen that his first objection to it was that it would discredit his preferred form of interventionism. On domestic policy, Obama’s election will very likely usher in a resurgent Great Society-style liberalism, including the establishment of a large national health care system. On immigration reform, Obama will have less use for restrictionists than John McCain. Am I not supposed to notice this?
Andrew Bacevich argued that Obama’s election would not only give us the best shot of concluding the Iraq War, but would also wake conservatives up from their torpor. I don’t think we can count on that bank-shot working. Similarly, I also disagree with the Leninst-case for John McCain. Either of these might work to create a more favorable political climate for our ideas. But probably not.
Maybe I’ll write in Reihan Salam’s name on my ballot, or maybe I’ll read Bill Kauffman’s new book on election day. Whatever the result, I will still agitate for my preferred policy outcomes.
If you are presented with the choice of being roasted over a spit or boiled in oil, the dignified thing to do is say, “Do as you wish.”