January 08, 2013


Obama's "In Your Face" Second Term

Frank Wilkinson says the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as defense secretary "represents both an affront to Republicans, who have never honestly reckoned with the disasters of George W. Bush's foreign policy, and to Democrats, who have spent decades crafting foreign policy designed in part to avoid inciting aggression not from abroad, but from Republicans."

"Obama may or may not believe Hagel is the best person for the job. But he certainly is mindful of the challenge he has just laid down. Unless opponents can restrict the debate on Hagel to his views -- real or imagined -- on Israel, they risk litigating the disastrous policies that Hagel rejected and his most vociferous critics embraced."

"An oddly similar battle awaits on the debt ceiling. Obama says that, unlike 2011, he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. To hold that line, he will have to explain -- repeatedly -- that spending is initiated in the House and passed by Congress. In other words, the battle presents an opportunity to stick Republicans with their share of blame for the deficit, a reckoning they have evaded as assiduously as the one on Iraq and Afghanistan."










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