An author, Boston University international relations professor and self-described "Catholic conservative," Bacevich (pictured) writes that the "Republican Party does not represent conservative principles" and states that "certain faux conservatives -- especially those in the service of Big Business and Big Empire -- have prospered," while "conservatism as such has not." He cites a Bush-era national debt that's ballooned from $5.7 to $9.4 trillion and post-9/11 foreign policy leadership that "validated conspicuous consumption as the core function of 21st-century citizenship" and foreign policy decisions in which "ideology supplanted statecraft."
But his main argument for an Obama presidency? Obama would end the United States' combat role in Iraq.
Bacevich, it should be noted, lost a son, a 27-year-old also named Andrew, in Iraq, but his opposition to the war preceded that May 2007 event by several years. Also, he's long been critical of the Bush administration and its neoconservative allies on several counts, a trend he continues in this piece:
Above all, conservatives who think that a McCain presidency would restore a sense of realism and prudence to U.S. foreign policy are setting themselves up for disappointment. On this score, we should take the senator at his word: his commitment to continuing the most disastrous of President Bush's misadventures is irrevocable. McCain is determined to remain in Iraq as long as it takes. He is the candidate of the War Party. The election of John McCain would provide a new lease on life to American militarism, while perpetuating the U.S. penchant for global interventionism marketed under the guise of liberation.In Obama Bacevich sees "a sliver of hope" for a conservative revival, brought on not by any deep conservative values the Illinois senator carries, but in the meaning behind a nationwide embrace of a candidate pledged to end U.S. involvement in Iraq.
"Acknowledging failure [in Iraq] just might open the door to self-reflection," he writes, and such soul-searching, while officially presided over by a Democrat, just might end up benefitting conservatives whose values are not, as Bacevich writes, in growing Empire, using expansive military budgets to shape the world to our wishes and undermining the Constitution.