This is Obama’s question. David Brook’s op-ed piece in the New York Times questions Obama’s fundamental commitment to the Afghanistan war. He poses at one point that Obama accepted the premise of the Afghan war in order to sound hawkish, thus gaining the reputation of a tough president. Whether this is true or not, Bill Maher was right when he said that Obama needs a little more of George W. Bush.
My own perspective is that Obama was hawkish from day one of his presidency. He may not have the tenacity of the former president, but he has neo-conservatism running through his blood. As Brooks writes:
So I guess the president’s most important meeting is not the one with the Joint Chiefs and the cabinet secretaries. It’s the one with the mirror, in which he looks for some firm conviction about whether Afghanistan is worthy of his full and unshakable commitment.
Luke Russert from MSNBC said on Morning Joe that progressives have no interest in the Afghan war. They are tired of the similarities to the Iraq war. They fear blood on their hands, as the Republicans had in Iraq. While 2010 seems ripe for a Republican take-over, the Democrats are scrambling to find a suitable message to the American people. They know they need bi-partisan support, but their sophisticated constitutional scholar commander-in-chief is losing his charm. As David Gregory said: “The yes we can is becoming maybe.”