I have an article at Quadrant Online which looks at the third debate in which the core of the argument is how Obama has structured his claim to foreign policy expertise around continuing the policies of his predecessor. The central point:
But to the extent we have not been driven farther back than we have, to the extent that there has actually been some advance made on four years ago, it is only because of the continuation of policies introduced by President Bush following 9/11. Guantanamo remains open, attacks on al Qaeda have continued, Osama bin Laden has been killed, Iraq has been stabilised and Afghanistan is on its way to being able to maintain an army in the field to defend itself against further attacks by jihadists. All of the policies to achieve these ends were in place on the day of Obama’s inauguration. The only step he needed to take was to do nothing at all but allow the past to roll into the future.
So when I see the usual crowd on the left say that Obama won the debate, you have to wonder what they mean, since everything Obama said represented exactly the kinds of things that would have been said by George Bush eight years before and by John McCain in 2008. Obama, who became president on the back of his promise to unwind all of the war efforts commenced by President Bush, now argues for re-election because he has been able to complete each of his predecessor’s initiatives. Had Obama run on promising to continue the war in Iraq, extend the war in Afghanistan and prosecute a war in Libya, those who support Obama now as they did then cannot explain their support other than because Obama is a man of the left. It’s certainly not because he did what he promised to do.
Does the left like liars and being lied to? It’s a mystery.