Cory Leonard

On Republican Foreign Policy

In politics on March 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

What does a Tea Party foreign policy look like?  We’re still unsure, and not clear that it will matter.  (If its isolationism, that doesn’t seem to be getting any traction except for Haley Barbour’s lone voice in the wilderness.)  But the more important battle is between neo-cons, the ones who brought us Iraq 2 and Afghanistan, versus a diminishing species called “realists,” whose Iraq War 1 was successful in military objectives and economic viability.

“Once upon a time, there was a debate within the party between realists of the Brent Scowcroft variety and the neo-cons,” said Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bush. “It seems like realists have lost that debate.”

via GOP 2012: Return of the neo-cons – Ben Smith and Byron Tau – POLITICO.com.

An effective Republican candidate in 2012 will strategically need to edge toward the Tea Party sentiment and incorporate greater skepticism and the ability to be the “adult in the room” without moving back 100 years in thinking.  This is a useful trend that the Tea Partiers gave us in the past electoral cycle. An effective Republican candidate will look more like the Republicans of the past–only starting wars they can finish and afford, the true manifestation of real American leadership.

As far as effective Democrats go, President Obama is playing the game right now, rewriting the rules as he goes.  We’ll see how his approach fares.

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