Rubio's Big Foreign Policy Speech Shows the GOP Is in Deep Trouble
Time for some tough love, Republicans: the GOP is a hot mess on foreign policy, and you can thank Barack Obama.
President Obama's approach has been pretty good at fending off disaster and pretty awful at setting us up for a decade of success to come. But its hodgepodge quality (on drones! on diplomacy! on arrogance! on caution!) has put the Republican party in an awful bind.
With Obama, the GOP has become like Woody Allen’s neurotic diner: the food is horrible, and such small portions! [...] Obama’s foreign policy has paralyzed the GOP by laying bare just how much Republicans collectively refuse to fully commit to one grand, unifying possibility in international affairs — including the possibility of stepping away from sweeping principles and playing it by ear for a while. Republicans’ spasmodic flurry of attacks, complaints, and self-pitying diatribes is so intense that they have succeeded in shuddering themselves into a state of frozen paralysis. Call it the political equivalent of encephalitis lethargica.
Over on Facebook, Ken Masugi suggests that Republicans are struggling so badly because they've failed, on foreign policy, to understand their Lincolnian roots.
That's a whole new can of worms -- but perhaps conservatives had better get into a can-opening kind of mood, before it's too late. Obama may have dealt a deathblow to progressive dreams of a more enlightened foreign policy. But the upshot of his efforts has been to lift the Democratic party out of its generation-long credibility gap on international security -- and to plunge squabbling, exhausted Republicans into political quicksand.
You can find the balance of my thoughts on this over at Forbes.