Understatement of the Year

From the Washington Post’s Obama endorsement:

Not even his fiercest critics would blame President Bush for all of these problems, and we are far from being his fiercest critic.

You don’t say?

On the substance of the Post’s endorsement, the most worrying thing is the writers’ absolute confidence that an Obama Administration will signal no real shift in American foreign policy (emphasis mine):

But Mr. Obama, as anyone who reads his books can tell, also has a sophisticated understanding of the world and America’s place in it. He, too, is committed to maintaining U.S. leadership and sticking up for democratic values, as his recent defense of tiny Georgia makes clear. We hope he would navigate between the amoral realism of some in his party and the counterproductive cocksureness of the current administration, especially in its first term. On most policies, such as the need to go after al-Qaeda, check Iran’s nuclear ambitions and fight HIV/AIDS abroad, he differs little from Mr. Bush or Mr. McCain. But he promises defter diplomacy and greater commitment to allies. His team overstates the likelihood that either of those can produce dramatically better results, but both are certainly worth trying.

In short, Obama’s approach to foreign affairs offers little more than a few cosmetic changes. More allies, less outright stupidity, and a prettier face at the helm of our great ship of state. If you’re interested solely in aesthetics, this is undoubtedly an attractive package, but if you were impressed by Obama’s prescient opposition to the Iraq War and hoped his election might represent a real change in the way we do business overseas, I’m afraid that our next president will disappoint you.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Presidential Politics

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