The very structure of American politics imposes its own constraints. For all the clout that presidents have accrued since World War II, their prerogatives remain limited. A President McCain will almost certainly face a Congress controlled by a Democratic and therefore obstreperous majority. A President Obama, even if his own party runs the Senate and House, won't enjoy all that much more latitude, especially when it comes to three areas in which the dead hand of the past weighs most heavily: defense policy, energy policy and the Arab-Israeli peace process. The military-industrial complex will inhibit efforts to curb the Pentagon's penchant for waste. Detroit and Big Oil will conspire to prolong the age of gas guzzling. And the Israel lobby will oppose attempts to chart a new course in the Middle East. If the past provides any indication, advocates of the status quo will mount a tenacious defense.Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich, last seen in these parts talking with Bill Moyers about the relationship between consumerism and American imperialism, had some tough words in a Los Angeles Times op-ed two weeks ago: "The next president will disappoint you."
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Posted by Gerry Canavan at 10:07 PM
Labels: America, American exceptionalism, Barack Obama, Bill Moyers, consumer culture, debt, empire, empire of consumption, energy, general election 2008, imperialism, John McCain, late capitalism, military-industrial complex, oil, politics, Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich, sustainability