Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama wrong on ag policy, Cuba, and drugs

Stephen Walt and those theoretical IR and government types generally annoy the hell out of me, but he nails it on the head in an article for Foreign Policy called "Dumb and Dumber" about three American foreign policy moves. On all three issues – farm subsidies, the Cuba embargo, and the war on drugs – he takes the libertarian viewpoint.

Unfortunately, Obama doesn't seem to have taken a sensible approach to any of them. On farm subsidies he's mouthed platitudes all the while supporting the bulk of the subsidies, and his campaign-era stance on corn ethanol was downright cynical. On Cuba, he's allowed more remittences and visits home, but hasn't fully liberalized either trade or travel. And on the war on drugs, he's budged about two inches in the right direction: appointing a vaguely progressive drug czar, and halting the federal raids on medical marijuana in states where it's legal under state law.

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