America’s Foreign Policy Consenus

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 25 2012 @ 5:40pm

Aaron David Miller recently suggested that "if you can get past the campaign rhetoric, there's not much difference between the candidates" on foreign policy. Michael Cohen thinks this is a problem:

Wouldn't America have been better off with a more robust public debate about the decision to invade Iraq? The answer today seems tragically self-evident. But because there was so much unanimity about the war, those who were opposed were seen as outliers, radicals, or extremists. It's a perfect example of the dangers and even folly of fetishizing bipartisan consensus.

Larison explains the differences between Romney and Obama, even though they're both inside the consensus Cohen worries about:

If Miller wants to make the case that leading members of both parties share many of the same assumptions about the U.S. role in the world, its overseas military presence, the importance of U.S. "leadership," and the nature of foreign threats to the U.S. and its allies, he will get no argument from me. That bipartisan foreign policy consensus exists and it unfortunately remains as strong as ever. That isn’t what Miller is arguing. He is claiming that there is now more bipartisan consensus on foreign policy now than at any time in the last 25 years, which is not true, and he is insisting that there are no real differences between the major party candidates on foreign policy, which is demonstrably false.