On the Differences Between the Bush and Obama Anti-Terrorism Policies

I received a query from a reporter today about whether the Bush and Obama anti-terrorism policies are the same. Here was my response:

It should be clear by now that President Obama and his terrorism advises are hypocrites. When they campaigned for office, they claimed that the Bush Administration had violated the Constitution and trampled individual rights in its quest to stop terrorist attacks. Now we have an administration that keeps Guantanamo Bay open, keeps military commissions running, continues terrorist surveillance, and regularly drops drone missiles. But I’m glad they are hypocrites, because they chose to keep the policies that have kept us safe these 11 years instead of sticking to their misguided principles. If the Obama folks ever had the good graces to thank President Bush, I am sure he would say “your welcome.”

  1. Ario IronStar

    Whose welcome? My welcome? What difference, at this point, does it make?!

  2. Chris Campion

    I am quite sure that Bush will never get the chance to grace them with that polite response.  I am willing to be a lot of tacos that that will never happen.

    Although I’d like to entertain the idea that he’d add something like “World looks a little different from behind the boss’s desk, doesn’t it?”, and wink at ‘em.

  3. The King Prawn

    You’re, not your. Yes, I’m like that.

  4. HVTs
    Fake John Galt: The Republicans and the Democrats all fight for control but in the end they are more alike than not.

    That is the historical norm . . . two sides of the same coin especially with respect to foreign policy. Obama is truly different, however, in displaying utter disinterest in building consensus  and in his thorough dedication to radically transforming America—a goal he explicitly and publicly embraced.

    At the level of political parties, the difference is Democrats know how to exploit Republican inconsistencies.  Republicans, by contrast, get handed the proverbial club with which to metaphorically beat Democrats and they are incapable of putting it to good use.

    Now, it’s certainly true the main stream media make it 1000 times easier for Democrats to get away with jaw-dropping hypocrisy (Gitmo, Al-Awlaki, deficit spending, which Obama said was “un-American” and “unpatriotic”).

    But is it really too much to expect Republicans to display a modicum of tradecraft and exploit the most transparent hypocrite in US Presidential history, despite media bias?  Republicans at the Federal level are simply and literally incompetent at politics.  Sadly, one can’t say this about their Democrat counterparts.

  5. Chris Campion

    This jumped out at me, too.  Because I’m apparently clownesque.

    The King Prawn: You’re, not your. Yes, I’m like that. · 37 minutes ago

  6. Spin

    John,I’ve been feeling lately like the conservatives are treating the Obama policies concerning the use of drones exactly the way liberals treated Bush’s “torture” policies. Obama is certainly a hypocrite on this issue, bit in the right direction, I think. Am I wrong on that?

  7. Fake John Galt
    Meet the new boss Same as the old boss The Republicans and the Democrats all fight for control but in the end they are more alike than not.
  8. Neolibertarian
    John Yoo: But I’m glad they are hypocrites, because they chose to keep the policies that have kept us safe these 11 years instead of sticking to their misguided principles. If the Obama folks ever had the good graces to thank President Bush, I am sure he would say “your welcome.”

    Hypocrites, of course. Though, admittedly, the Obama hardly hides the fact of his hypocrisy. Is it still a lie when you don’t expect anyone hearing the lie to believe it?

    On the flip side of the coin, we must understand the Dubya’s administration made serious errors of its own, especially when it didn’t explain everything it should have. And I’m not referring to waterboarding.

  9. Dave Roy

    It would be nice (as Ace pointed out) if conservatives who appear on these Sunday talk shows and other media shows would turn the tables on the host and ask point blank why they are being hypocrites.

    Whether it’s talking about Dorner and his killing spree or about Obama’s counter-terrorism policies being the same as Bush’s (which the media won’t highlight) or whatever.

    Turn it on them. On their own shows, so that the low-information public who actually watches them get to see it as well.

    It would be a good start toward turning the tide.

  10. HVTs
    Dave Roy: It would be nice (as Ace pointed out) if conservatives who appear on these Sunday talk shows and other media shows would turn the tables on the host and ask point blank why they are being hypocrites.

    I almost never see a conservative on those shows.  I see a lot of Republicans, but rarely a conservative.  McCain probably has his own dressing room at ABC, NBC and CBS.  It’s laughable how often he’s trotted out on Sundays. But conservative guests?  Very rare, indeed. And if one did get on and did turn the tables and question the host’s objectivity, 9 out of 10 would never get invited back.  Since most politicians love themselves / reelection more than they love principles, Sunday blab show hosts don’t lay awake at night worrying about having their assumptions challenged on air.