Ideology Of National Security
Daniel Larison at The American Conservative.
This Daily Show item pointing out a few lines from the Inaugural that seem similar to Bush’s rhetoric is making the rounds (via John Schwenkler). In fact, there aren’t that many similar phrases in this particular speech, and those that Stewart was able to identify seem like so much standard boilerplate. However, the statements seem to be nothing more than this, because they reflect the bipartisan ideological and policy consensus. Obviously, I think there are much better examples that show clear affinities between the ambitious hegemonist views of the two, but the examples taken from the Inaugural are useful to illustrate a more important point. That point is not merely that “Obama is more like Bush than you want to believe,” or that his election represents no fundamental change in the way the government will make policy. While true, these are no longer in any way remarkable, and they have all been covered many times before. If the transition didn’t made these things clear already, I’m not sure what will.
What is interesting is what these statements show about the minimal differences between the parties and the political class’ embrace of shared assumptions about U.S. power and their acceptance of myths relating to American history. When Obama says that “we” will not apologize for our way of life and Bush said that “the American way of life is non-negotiable,” they are expressing in a simple form the key convictions of what Prof. Bacevich has identified as the ideology of national security. Let’s review those convictions. …