First, he objects to my observation that Republicans need not fear crediting Obama when it is due because his foreign policy successes have mostly come from following Republican (specifically his predecessor's) policies. Tom's rebuttal appears to be that Bush invaded Iraq and Obama did not. I'm sure Tom knows that the issue is more complex than that, but if we are going to keep it at that level of first-cut analysis, what about this table?
I am sure there are items that could go into the emptier cells, just as I am sure we could easily find more examples to reinforce the pattern displayed above. My point, which others besides Tom missed, is that it is possible to acknowledge instances where Obama has succeeded without simultaneously undermining the case for a Republican alternative.
Next, he objects to my observation that containing Iran would be a daunting challenge and that sometimes opponents of the military option are cavalier about the difficulties. His rebuttal appears to be that containing Iran would not be harder than containing Stalin's Russia.
The pedant in me -- and every professor has a little pedant inside yearning to seize the microphone -- is tempted to point out that this is a textbook example of sloppy analogizing.
But setting pedantry aside, let me make three quick points.
Shadow Government is a blog about U.S. foreign policy under the Obama administration, written by experienced policy makers from the loyal opposition and curated by Peter D. Feaver and William Inboden.