WaPo “reporter” Sean Sullivan thinks Republicans have a problem where it concerns foreign policy. In an article titled, “On foreign policy, GOP candidates are ‘all over the map'”, Sullivan writes:
Donald Trump is “100 percent” in favor of Vladimir Putin demolishing the Islamic State terror group. Jeb Bush thinks he’s “absolutely wrong.” Marco Rubio has written off Rand Paul as a “committed isolationist,” while Ted Cruz positions himself in the ideal “middle ground” between them.
Welcome to the Republican Party’s foreign policy muddle. While the GOP is relishing a chance to vigorously prosecute what it has disparagingly dubbed the “Obama-Clinton foreign policy legacy” in the general election, it first must resolve its own identity crisis, as evident in the fourth Republican debate Tuesday night.
What Sullivan calls a muddle and an identity crisis, I call a debate. Perhaps Sullivan can be forgiven for not recognizing an actual debate given that Democrats sing note for note when it comes to foreign policy. But if Democrats were to have differences on foreign policy, I am sure Sullivan would characterize them as, say, “intellectual diversity” or “a spirited discussion” rather than a muddle or an identity crisis.
This isn’t to say there aren’t significant disagreements among the Republican candidates on foreign policy. There absolutely are and I find myself generally aligned with the Rubio/Fiorina worldview of things rather than the Trump/Paul worldview. That Donald Trump would let Vladimir Putin run roughshod over Syria is simply dangerous while Paul’s characterization of increases in military spending as “liberal” fails to recognize that our military is the most important organization in the entire world.
With that being said, I think it speaks well of the Republican Party that such a diversity (for lack of a better word) exists where it concerns foreign policy. It is possible to be a Republican and oppose U.S. military intervention while it is impossible to be a Democrat and support U.S. military intervention. Just ask Jim Webb.
Debate and discussion are good things. So let the Republican candidates disagree about foreign policy. Republican caucus and primary voters are more than capable of sorting it all out.
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