“Bushism Without The Money”

Sep 13 2012 @ 2:44pm

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I'd prefer "Cheneyism on the cheap" myself. But here's Beinart:

Bush’s foreign policy, especially in his first term, consisted of a hyper-aggressive, hyper-expensive effort to use the 9/11 attacks to extend American dominance of the greater Middle East without much serious thinking about whether such an effort could succeed. Romney can’t continue that effort because Americans are sick of it and the federal coffers are empty. What’s left is bluster and apple pie. Romney rarely discusses how long he wants to continue the war in Afghanistan, for instance, but he constantly attacks Obama for apologizing too much and not believing in America.

Which is why it would be the worst combination ever – diplomacy designed for the Fox News audience and a military follow-through that would permanently cripple the US's already-precarious fiscal standing. John Judis rejects the Frum idea that Romney is all talk:

Some cynics argue that you should ignore what a presidential candidate says about foreign policy. But this analysis makes a rule out of exceptions. Over the last four decades, presidents have generally attempted to do what they said they would. It is only when they have encountered impediments that they have changed course. Bill Clinton promised to emphasize geoeconomics over geo-politics and did so until he was brought up short by Japan’s resistance to trade pressures and by the outbreak of genocide in the Balkans. George W. Bush vowed to conduct his foreign policy with “humility” and to oppose “nation-building,” but he was confounded by the September 11 attacks.

Joyner's view:

The Romney campaign’s foreign policy approach ultimately suffers the same basic flaw as its domestic policy approach: in trying to be all things to all people, it ultimately satisfies no one. Those of us in the increasingly marginalized Realist foreign policy camp are left clinging to the hope that the appointment of seasoned hands like Bob Zoellich to the team signals that Romney will be the serious pragmatist that he was as governor of Massachusetts. But the empty saber rattling and cozing up to Netanyahu and John Bolton are attempts to satisfy the neoconservative wing that Mitt’s one of them. The net result is that no one really knows what a Romney foreign policy would look like. Increasingly, I’m not sure that even Romney knows.

To read all Dish coverage of the diplomatic crisis in one convenient place, go to the "Embassy Attacks In Libya and Egypt" thread page. (To jump to today's coverage, click here.)

(Photo: Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton speaks to Tagg Romney during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.)