What If Bush Had Been President These Past Eight Days?

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Ross Douthat:

Imagine, for a moment, that these were George W. Bush's policies at work. A quest for regime change in Libya, conducted without even a pro forma request for Congressional approval. A campaign of remote-controlled airstrikes, in which collateral damage is inevitable, carried out inside a country where we are not officially at war. A policy of targeted assassination against an American citizen who has been neither charged nor convicted in any U.S. court.

Imagine the outrage, the protests, the furious op-eds about right-wing tyranny and neoconservative overreach. Imagine all that, and then look at the reality. For most Democrats, what was considered creeping fascism under Bush is just good old-fashioned common sense when the president has a "D" beside his name.

These last eight days, as well as the last 10 years, suggest to me that there is only one American foreign policy; this default foreign policy is interventionist, moralistic, and militarily robust. Everything else is commentary.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/what-if-bush-had-been-president-these-past-eight-days/238563/