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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Neocons still leading stubbornly incompetent, thick-headed GOP establishment around by the nose

Wanted: 'Reality-based' GOP candidates

(Washington Examiner) -- by Gene Healy --

..."The GOP foreign policy debate has changed profoundly since the last campaign," Lake writes, with the neoconservatives losing ground. If, like me, you'd like to see less empire and more republic in contemporary Republicanism, you'll consider that good news.

True, where Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was "a cantankerous exception" to the 2008 field's embrace of military crusades for liberty abroad, this time around he's been joined by former Govs. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and John Huntsman of Utah.

I'm not convinced that neoconservatism has lost its enduring hold on the Republican mind, however.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R.-Minn., may be less enthusiastic than the neocons about the Arab Spring and more worried about what she calls "a stealth jihad" within the United States. But that doesn't translate into huge differences on military policy.

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's inner circle includes prominent neoconservatives like Dan Senor, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty invokes the "isolationist" canard whenever anyone wonders what we're doing in Libya.

As Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin puts it, we're left with three leading candidates "who are all advocating increased military spending, an enduring presence in Afghanistan, and a more assertive U.S. role in the world."

Lake sees potential contender Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, as a guy with "a business-first approach to foreign affairs" that "could in its own way represent a new challenge to the neocon establishment."

That's highly doubtful: National Review recently revealed that Perry had turned to former undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith for national security advice. In the Bush administration, Feith helped push the Iraq War with bogus intelligence on a supposed Saddam Hussein-Osama bin Laden alliance.

It was a bit unfair for Gen. Tommy Franks to call Feith "the dumbest [expletive deleted] guy on the planet," given Earth's 6 billion-plus people, but Feith's hardly the first person you'd want to turn to if you wanted to avoid the costly foreign policy blunders of the past decade...MORE...LINK

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