The View From 1776

Liberal-Progressive Foreign Policy Fallacy

Liberal-progressives are so involved in self-admiration and congratulating themselves on their moral superiority that they fail to note that much of the rest of the world does not share their views about acceptable international conduct.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 07:54 PM
  1. Your suggestion that the President needs to resurrect a "bipartisan foreign policy" is not credible. Former Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, a Republican, recently urged the GOP senators to “tone down” their criticism and “try to be supportive of the president rather than natter at the president.”

    It is clear that many Republicans in Congress and in the blogisphere are seeking to humble, embarrass and, if they can, destroy the President and the prestige of his position as the Commander-in-Chief who is responsible for the safety of our military forces and the nation’s defenses. By doing so, they are adding to the dangers that face our nation.

    When Bush was in office, prominent conservatives would casually throw around words like “treason,” “traitor,” and “fifth columnists,” arguing that patriotism required presidential support during a crisis. Public criticism of the President from Democrats was declared to be outrageous – to characterize the president as weak or inept was to invite foreign foes to act aggressively and test the United States.

    That was the right’s line, right up until Election Day 2008, at which point dissent became the principal responsibility of all decent American patriots."

    To hold up the most recent Republican administration as model for a good bipartisan foreign policy is mind boggling, considering that Bush managed to start two wars and alienate most of the planet.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/07  at  11:48 AM
  2. Mr. Jay, you assert that my suggestion to restore bipartisanship in foreign policy is not credible. If you mean that it's unlikely, I would agree. But if you are saying that it's impossible, I don't agree. It is, however, highly desirable.

    Sorry I didn't make it clear. I referred to the bipartisanship prevailing "from the 1940s until the Vietnam era." Nowhere have I suggested that the George W. Bush tenure was a model of bipartisanship.

    As for "to humble, embarrass and, if they can, destroy the President and the prestige of his position as the Commander-in-Chief," Republicans don't need to do that. Mr. Obama is doing it all by himself.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/07  at  01:40 PM
  3. Thomas,

    I think most Democrats and most of the country would gladly join your effort to make support of our government's foreign policy bipartisan, as it was in the 1940s. Now if we could only get the radicals in Congress to see the light we would all be on the same page.

    Since you go back some distance, you may remember Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan. In 1947, at the start of the Cold War, Vandenberg became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He famously coined the expressing that we must stop “partisan politics at the water's edge." He set the example for this by cooperating with the Truman administration in forging bipartisan support for the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO.

    Republican Vandenberg's Senate career stands as a monument to bipartisanship in American foreign policy. The current crop of Republicans would do well to take Vandenberg's example as a model, instead of trying to score personal petty political brownie points our the nation's detriment.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/08  at  07:22 PM
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