Alfred W. McCoy, Barack Obama, Conservatism, Foreign Policy, Pat Buchanan, Paul Rahe, The American Conservative
The erudite Paul Rahe’s mind boggled when he read, in the September issue of American Conservative, a piece by Alfred W. McCoy, titled “The Quiet Grand Strategy of Barack Obama.” According to Mr. McCoy, the current president is a patriot and a far-seeing statesman:
In ways that have eluded Washington pundits and policymakers, President Barack Obama is deploying a subtle geopolitical strategy that, if successful, might give Washington a fighting chance to extend its global hegemony deep into the 21st century. After six years of silent, sometimes secret preparations, the Obama White House has recently unveiled some bold diplomatic initiatives whose sum is nothing less than a tri-continental strategy to check Beijingâ€™s rise. As these moves unfold, Obama is revealing himself as one of those rare grandmasters who appear every generation or two with an ability to go beyond mere foreign policy and play that ruthless global game called geopolitics. …
But letâ€™s give credit where itâ€™s due. Without proclaiming a presumptuously labeled policy such as â€œtriangulation,â€ â€œthe Nixon Doctrine,â€ or even a â€œfreedom agenda,â€ Obama has moved step-by-step to repair the damage caused by a plethora of Washington foreign policy debacles, old and new, and then maneuvered deftly to rebuild Americaâ€™s fading global influence.
So what is this ridiculous hallucinatory liberal tripe doing in a journal of supposedly conservative opinion? Commenter Douglas (sixth comment down) nails it, and nails “The (So-Called) American Conservative” good and proper.
First off, thereâ€™s often little conservative about The American Conservative. No branch or tradition of conservatism is extolled there. Itâ€™s not conservative by old Tory standards, itâ€™s not conservative by the standards of the old American Right, and itâ€™s not conservative by the standards of the modern American Right. Itâ€™s â€œconservativeâ€ by the standards of people that argue progressivism is really a form of conservatism, and that Barack Obama is the most conservative president in generations. Mainly because he dislikes Israel as much as writers at AmCon do. The only virtues of the place anymore are admonishments to mind our own business and to be distrustful of the GOP.
While Iâ€™m sympathetic to much that Pat Buchanan argues, when he created that magazine, he surrounded himself with a bunch of nonsense-peddlers. They occasionally have the excellent article, but mostly are swamped by the nonsense these days.
So, the assertion in the articleâ€¦ that Obama is some kind of uber-wise, next level grandmaster at 3D chess really isnâ€™t surprising. Itâ€™s right in keeping with the kind of stuff AmCon prints lately. The key to understanding most positions AmCon writers will take is â€œif it screws Israel, praise it, if it helps Israel, damn itâ€.