Hard to argue with Andrew Sullivan here. "From extending and deepening the war in Afghanistan, to suppressing evidence of rampant and widespread abuse and torture of prisoners under Bush, to thuggishly threatening the British with intelligence cut-off if they reveal the brutal torture inflicted on Binyam Mohamed, Obama now has new cheer-leaders: Bill Kristol, Michael Goldfarb and Max Boot."
Importantly, the neocons never really offered a full-throated criticism of Obama. They always viewed him as someone they could deal with. Sure, Dick Cheney is out there on the margins, but his criticism must be understood in the context of his own culpability. And now he's spinning off into true tinfoil hat territory. Apparently there's a conspiracy against him on Iran. But really, the economic and religious right conservatives have led the way on opposing Obama - see the move by the RNC to rebrand the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Socialist Party". On the key issue of empire and hegemony, Obama hasn't really disappointed them, as Sullivan notes above.
By adopting the cover-up of Bush Administration Constitutional abuses, Obama has implicated himself within them, and has therefore taken on Bush-era excuses (e.g. "This will hurt our troops") to justify the cover-up. And by continuing the war pose in Afghanistan, without so much as a plan, Obama has pleased the neocons who view the world as a battle to be fought rather than a collection of people to be engaged. And so we're seeing a good deal of unease among Hill Democrats over this right-wing mindset:
House leaders have yanked from an emergency military spending bill the $80 million that President Obama requested to close the detention center, saying he had not provided a plan for the more than 200 detainees there. The White House has said the center will close by Jan. 22, 2010.
It is virtually certain that the Democratic majorities, with solid Republican support, will approve $96.7 billion in spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for other military operations.
But with votes in the House on Thursday and in the Senate next week, the discomfort among Democrats points to a harder road ahead for Mr. Obama and the prospect of far more serious rancor if conditions worsen overseas.
The unease, particularly over the war in Afghanistan, is greatest right now in the more liberal ranks of the Democratic caucus and is more evident in the House than in the Senate.
But American troop levels and war costs in Afghanistan will soar in the coming year, and party leaders, including Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, have warned that Democrats will most likely give the administration just one more year to get a handle on the military situation there before they start losing patience.
Losing patience - I know the feeling.