Almost two years and one disastrous election later, we’re still waiting for the other Barack Obama to make an appearance, and from the gab coming out of Washington right now, it looks like we’ll be twiddling our thumbs a bit longer (if not forever). Once again, the sweet talk of compromise and bipartisanship is on the lips of the president, but not, of course, on the lips of top Republicans. Talk about consistency!
Right now, all the news chatter is about domestic policy (health care, tax cuts, etc.), but count on the Republicans — Rand Paul aside — to light out after the president sooner or later at least as hawkishly on foreign policy as they have domestically. Already, Senator John McCain and others are preparing the ground to launch what’s likely to become a jihad against Obama’s civilization-busting “mistake” in announcing a vaguely “conditions-based” drawdown of vague numbers of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for July 2011. And that’s just a start. On a whole host of issues from the Iraq and Afghan wars to Israel, Iran, and North Korea, buckle your seatbelts and hold onto your hats. The critical weather in Congress, especially in the House, is going to get fiercer, and a president with a most un-Harry-Truman-ish tendency to placate is unlikely to stake his fighting future on foreign policy.