Ross Douthat and Andrew Sullivan, two wise conservatives, have some interesting things to say about the Obama speech. Less interesting conservatives of the knee-jerk variety, like Pete Wehner and Bill Kristol, are complaining that the President didn’t have enough to say about foreign policy last night. Uh-huh. It was a budget speech. There will be an Iraq speech on Friday. There will be a NATO speech and a speech to the Muslim nations in the next six weeks. There will, no doubt, be a big speech about Afghanistan and Pakistan as soon as that review–an exercise that the Bush Administration utterly neglected– is completed as well. There will also be Presidential statements on the Middle East, especially the situation in Gaza, where the Bush policy of forcing elections in areas not ready for democracy–elections that both the Israelis and Palestinian Authority thought were premature–has given us Hamas.
I can hardly wait to see what Wehner and Kristol have to say about the President’s foreign policy as it unfurls. Actually, no: I’m sure they’re going to love it.
My assessment of the President’s budget speech is the subject of my print column this week, and will appear here soon.