Yglesias

Kagan on Obama Continued

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CREDIT:

One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers catches Bob Kagan playing a bit fast and loose with Obama’s speech. The best part is this. Obama concludes his thoughts on nuclear proliferation thusly:

Finally, if we want the world to deemphasize the role of nuclear weapons, the United States and Russia must lead by example. President Bush once said, β€œThe United States should remove as many weapons as possible from high-alert, hair-trigger status – another unnecessary vestige of Cold War confrontation.” Six years later, President Bush has not acted on this promise. I will. We cannot and should not accept the threat of accidental or unauthorized nuclear launch. We can maintain a strong nuclear deterrent to protect our security without rushing to produce a new generation of warheads.

From this, Kagan gleans merely that Obama “talks about . . . maintaining ‘a strong nuclear deterrent.'” Which, of course, he does talk about — in the context of cutting the nuclear weapons budget and restoring reciprocity to the global nonproliferation bargain. The proliferation stuff was the best part of the speech — an area where rhetorical rubber hit the road and he came down on the right side. I genuinely wonder why Kagan thinks it’s a good idea to portray Obama as being on his side on nuclear issues when he isn’t — I don’t really buy the notion that it’s all part of some conspiracy to discredit him with Democratic voters.