From former Defense Department senior analyst Franklin (Chuck) Spinney, writing in Time:
American politics continues to repeat the practice of buying domestic power by inflicting misery and destruction on third world nations. In my view, Obama’s own contribution to statecraft in this regard has been his ability to lobotomize almost the entire Democratic base. The same people who were screaming about Bush’s illegal wars, unconstitutional surveillance, lack of due process, etc., are now silent or singing Obama’s greatness.
Even when Democrats can see how Mr. Obama has disappointed them, the insanity of Republican politicians provides the Democrats a ready rationale to excuse Obama. (By the way, does anyone notice that if Hagel is confirmed it means two of Obama’s three SecDefs will have been Republicans?)
The Republican party, with a few exceptions, is so visibly crazy that they have become an indispensable foil that permits Obama to govern as he does. The conventional wisdom of liberals is that Obama’s heart is in the right place, but he is conflict averse and therefore must govern as a centrist (really a center-rightist), because the GOP is crazy and intransigent. But in reality, Obama actually is a center-rightist who uses his image as a diffident compromiser as a cloak to hide his pro-corporatocracy given aways. And because most people prefer center-right governance to out-and-out fascism, the GOP plays an essential role as a “bad cop” to the center-right “good cop,” which is why Democrats went along with Obama’s plan to enshrine the Bush tax cuts for the bottom 99.3%, and a huge giveaway on the estate tax, in perpetuity. My fear is that, in the same way, Democrats will go along with Obama’s inflated defense budgets and his permanent conflict foreign policy.