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Anti-Trump Republicans Need to Re-Examine Their Own Reckless Foreign Policy

Yes, the president is erratic and incompetent. But prominent GOPers like John McCain have been saying crazy things about North Korea and elsewhere for a quarter century

Bob Corker ||| CSPANThere will come a day, hard as it is to visualize right now, when Donald Trump will no longer be president. When we make it to that finish line, hopefully without any intervening mushroom clouds or global cataclysms, will we have decisively avoided what Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) recently warned might be "World War III"?

Not so fast, I argue in today's L.A. Times. Corker, while more of a self-styled "realist" in comparison to uberhawkish fellow Trump apostate Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), nonetheless has wanted to arm the Ukranians, "get Assad," and make the usual terrible Republican sports metaphors about life-and-death foreign policy decisions. "More often than not," Corker complained about Barack Obama in 2014, "the president doesn't hit singles and doubles; he just balks."

There is a default interventionism in both Washington and the media, and it seems to be concentrated extra hard among Trump's most strident GOP critics, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And if you don't think Republicans have been saying crazy things about using "the threat of extinction" against North Korea for a good quarter century, you haven't been paying attention. From the column:

Conservative NeverTrumpers — or should we call them the Unfitters since the man's in office?— may be broadly correct about the president's erratic temperament, shoddy management and aggressive incoherence on the world stage. But too many lack any sense of self-awareness, let alone regret, about how their foreign policy preferences have contributed to the global instability Trump is exacerbating. […]

The anti-Trump interventionists may be right about the unique dangers this president poses, not just through his chaotic foreign policy but also his retrograde 19th century ideas about trade and immigration. But for decades there has been a default Washington posture of aggressive meddling into the whole world's affairs, and downright belligerence toward many rogue states. Trump won't be around forever, but until that foreign policy tradition is confronted and questioned anew, the dangers he poses will live on.

Photo Credit: CSPAN

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  • WhatAboutBob||

    Yes, the president is erratic and incompetent.

    Do you tell yourself this everyday in the mirror when you wake up hoping that one day it will come true?

  • GILMORE™||

    get over it already.

  • John||

    He has been in office over six months. What has he done in foreign policy that can be described as incompetent? Pull out of the Paris Accord? Finally, make it clear to the North Koreans that we are not going to tolerate them getting ICBMs?

    People like Welch make these statements and never seem to be able to explain them. The criticisms forever come down to Trump's violations of the sacred code of courtly behavior. The entire Trump administration seems to be a running comedy of manners between him and his critics. His critics never seem to have anything to say beyond "how dare he"!! They seem not to understand how tiresome and meaningless it all is.

  • GILMORE™||

    I said "get over it". I wasn't repeating the claim*.

    If you never want to hear any "Ugh!Yuck!Trump" cultural-signaling, find a different source for your commentary.

    *tho anyone could certainly cherrypick any handful of foreign-relations PR gaffes and provide them as examples of 'incompetence', or any selection of bizarre blustery tweets, and call that 'erratic'; i think the observation is sort of pointless in any case because the issue would always be, 'well, compared to *what*?'; because on more-serious policy matters/relations, the charge of incompetence equally fit the previous administration, and probably the one before that, and the one before that.... in effect, 'so what?'.

    My point is just that you're never going to change the editorial spin of the magazine via gratuitous moaning.

  • John||

    It is not that I don't want to hear it. On the contrary, hearing it and mocking it is one of the reasons to come here. Just because it isn't going to stop Welch from doing it, doesn't mean he shouldn't be called out for it.

  • GILMORE™||

    Just because it isn't going to stop Welch from doing it, doesn't mean he shouldn't be called out for it.

    "calling out", last i checked, is the knee-jerk habit of the easily-triggered SJW-left. being as thin-skinned as them is gay.

    That said, this is kind of funny, and apropos

  • GILMORE™||

  • John||

    And that is not a sane take. It is a perfect example of the idiotic comedy of manners that I am talking about. I really don't give a shit about the delicate sensibilities of the court hangers on over at National Review.

  • John||

    Last I checked "calling out" means calling bullshit where it is appropriate. If calling bullshit on people is "gay", then call me a queer, because I sure as hell am not going to stop and certainly enjoy doing it. And whatever it is, it is not being thin-skinned. Liking to poke and kick around other people on their bullshit in no way requires or is reflective of a thin skin.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Another awesome Trump move just breaking now: we're pulling out of UNESCO!

    My personal preference would be to pull out of the U.N. entirely, but this is just about the next best thing.

  • Drake||

    Oh, I don't know, breaking his promises to get the fuck out of Afghanistan and sending more troops [because we never tried that before, apparently] just because Mr. Clean/McMaster showed him pictures of girls in miniskirts from the fuckiing 1970's comes to mind. Talk about a war boner.

    That's right, just a few more troops and Jeffersonian Democracy is on its way! We'll force that Freedom Cock right down their muzzie throats we will!!!

  • Robert||

    What exactly is getting done in foreign affairs that represents a disimprovement? Not what's being said, what's being done?

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