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December 11, 2007

The Huckster's Foreign Policy: Live By The Golden Rule

Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Foreign Policy I Learned In Sunday School:

Huckabee did give a long speech on foreign policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in September. It combined a superficial rendering of conventional foreign-policy wisdom — which of course included many unfair criticisms of President Bush — with Huckabee’s inimitable folksy delivery. The former governor’s bottom line was that we should be nicer to other countries.

...

On Iran, Huckabee is at his most troubling. He accuses the administration of “proceeding down only one track with Iran: armed confrontation.” This is false, and the kind of rhetoric you’d expect from DailyKos bloggers, not a Republican presidential candidate. Huckabee thinks it has been a lack of diplomatic engagement that has soured our relations with Iran: “We haven’t had diplomatic relations with Iran in almost 30 years, my whole adult life and a lot of good it’s done. Putting this in human terms, all of us know that when we stop talking to a parent or a sibling or a friend, it’s impossible to accomplish anything, impossible to resolve differences and move the relationship forward. The same is true for countries.”

This is the kernel of Huckabee’s foreign policy. He wants to anthropomorphize international relations and bring a Christian commitment to the Golden Rule to our affairs with other nations. As he told the Des Moines Register the other day, “You treat others the way you’d like to be treated. That’s to me the fundamental issue that has to be re-established in our dealings with other countries.”

This is deeply naïve. Countries aren’t people, and the world is more dangerous than a Sunday church social. Threats, deception, and — as a last resort — violence must play a role in international relations. Differences cannot always be worked out through sweet persuasion. A U.S. president who doesn’t realize this will repeat the experience of President Jimmy Carter at his most ineffectual.

Not that what one blogger thinks matters that much, but if Huckabee gets the nomination, I'm voting Democratic. It's not just an idle threat; I just won't vote for him and in fact won't even vote third party or stay home. I'll vote for the Democratic candidate, even Hillary. I won't be a party to selling out everything the party is supposed to stand for to a liberal ideology. If we're going to have eight years of liberal rule, I'd rather the Democratic Party be governing, so at least they can take the blame.

And, quite frankly, Hillary is to the right of Huckabee on most issues, if only because she's politically afraid to do the kind of crap Huckabee does and dream of doing at night. She couldn't afford to be as soft as Iran as Huckabee would.

And I don't think I'm alone on this.

And... I do not want Huckabee setting the agenda for the GOP as de facto head of the party. I'd rather there be a (different) liberal in the White House, with the GOP Congress and Senate free to pursue genuine conservative policies, rather than having to support Huckabee's liberal impulses.

Not That It Matters Much... because Huckabee will lose in an electoral drubbing not seen since the last Carteresque liberal to run for president, Walter Mondale. The down-ticket damage will be enormous, and we may just lose our 40 Senate seats and thus open up the floodgates for whatever archliberal policies -- and judges -- Hillary or Obama decide upon.

I guess that will be my only rooting interest this coming cycle -- trying to reduce the brutal damage we're going to suffer in the Congress should the liberal Huckabee be our nominee and hopelessly split the party.

Dan Riehl came to the same conclusion last night.

I came to the conclusion earlier, but didn't think I needed to say it. Now with the Stupid Party about to commit its most Stupid Party Decision since, I don't know, Herbert Hoover's money-tightening during a serious depression, I think it's panic time.

Not only can't the GOP win with Huckabee, but it shouldn't. I can't even console myself by saying "Well, we've nominated an unelectable candidate, but at least we're staying true to conservative principles and perhaps, in time, this tactically-disastrous choice will yield strategic benefits."

Nope. The party seems determined now to nominate a candidate further to the left on most issues than Hillary (who at least triangulates to the right) and Obama (who doesn't say a frickin' thing, so who knows where he is).

But yaaaayyyy. We'll have a nominee supporting the Human Life Amendment and Federal Marriage Amendment which will never pass.


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posted by Ace at 03:15 PM

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