What repeatedly goes unrecognized by all of Mr. Obama’s opponents is that his political Kryptonite is the patriotism he offers in lieu of theirs. ~Frank Rich
So Obama’s patriotism fatally weakens him? That’s certainly a new interpretation. I’m going to guess that Rich doesn’t know what Kryptonite is.
Rich’s column is yet another in a series of columns defending Obama against criticism of his Pakistan position. The defense of this position seems to be: the Bush administration is already doing this, and McCain is also a crazy sabre-rattler, so what’s the problem? There seems to be no effort to consider whether U.S. strikes inside Pakistan without Islamabad’s knowledge is actually sound policy, especially in the current context when Musharraf appears to be on the way out and the PML-Q was routed in parliamentary elections. Even though the administration’s recklessness in every other part of the world is cited as the rationale for breaking with current policies, the same recklessness directed against one of the most volatile and strategically significant allies in Asia now counts as wisdom because Obama has agreed. David Freddoso remarked on this opportunism of Obama supporters a few days ago:
…I don’t like what we did in Pakistan, and I really don’t like the fact that we’re bragging about it, or that a presidential candidate would openly discuss it as an option. And if Obama hadn’t recommended it in August in a bid to gain political credibility, then you wouldn’t be defending it, either.
In fact, you can be sure that if Obama had not specifically recommended doing this many who are now cheering the position would have cited this (correctly) as evidence of the administration’s aimless and counterproductive Pakistan policy. Obama’s foreign policy judgement may prove to be his actual “political Kryptonite,” since almost every other judgement besides Iraq that he has made has been biased towards an aggressive and interventionist stance. When a candidate can make the bellicose McCain appear to be more sane on a major foreign policy question, he has definitely made the wrong political move and has likely endorsed a terrible policy.