A Return To Cheneyism, Ctd

Aug 30 2012 @ 12:33pm

Contra me, Frum suspects that "Romney's foreign policy will be even more cautious than Barack Obama's":

If we've learned anything from this campaign, it is the supreme overarching importance to Republicans of tax reduction. The current proposal is to make Cheneypermanent the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, and then go further with an additional cut to a maximum top rate of 28%.

Of course, George W. Bush cut taxes while mounting a very aggressive foreign policy. But here's the difference: over the past five years, the Republicans voting base of older voters has suddenly become acutely conscious that today's deficit implies tomorrow's tax increase. (Robert Barro, collect your Nobel Prize.) Mitt Romney seems to have internalized that argument too. And if your top priority is reducing debt so as to obviate the tax threat – well, the sheer daunting cost of foreign policy entanglements will temper your adventurism.

Not. Buying. It. Sheldon Adelson paid for a war against Iran and a war he will surely get. These people don't care about a deficit caused by wars, or by tax cuts; they care about a deficit caused by the sick and seniors and the poor. But some reporter should surely ask Romney how he intends to pay for the next war the neocons are planning. Or the 4 percent of GDP defense spending pledge. Since when does someone who has a foreign policy strategy simply put a percentage number on defense spending?

I guess, unlike David, I don't trust Romney's ability to resist the neocon war machine, even if he wanted to (and there is no sign he does). And the modern GOP is very pro-war (check out how McCain bigfooted Rand Paul yesterday). The argument that Romney "seems to have internalized that argument" does not exactly convince me. Let's see what rhetoric he deploys tonight. But if it is anything but Cheneyism, I'll be surprised.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)