Monday, April 19, 2010

Be wary of labels

D. Drezner draws attention to a recent NYT article that describes Obama's foreign policy as "more realpolitik" than G.W. Bush's. I don't think this description illuminates much, but could any minimally sane foreign policy be less "realpolitik" than G.W. Bush's? With a few exceptions that I've discussed before, Bush's foreign policy was pretty much a disaster, and the action that historians will mention first, the Iraq invasion, was the antithesis of realpolitik. So in this context "more realpolitik" means "less crazy."

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