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Ron Radosh

Why Conservatives Should Rally for the President’s Resolution

September 4th, 2013 - 8:59 am
Henry A. Wallace

Henry A. Wallace

It was not surprising that the pro-communist fellow traveler Henry A. Wallace, who was running for president as the nominee of the communist-created “Progressive Party” in 1948, praised Taft as the leader “most liable to keep the peace in the next few years.” Norman Thomas, the perennial Socialist Party candidate for president and leader of his movement, supported Taft as well and praised the Republican understanding that the United States could not “afford to go crusading around the world.”

Today, as Bret Stephens pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, isolationism seems to be rearing its ugly head, although he writes, “Most Republicans don’t want to become, again, the party of isolationists.” But, he cautions, “the Syria debate is also exposing the isolationist worm eating its way through the GOP apple.” His fears were justified at yesterday’s Foreign Relations Committee hearing, especially when Sen. Rand Paul got engaged in a testy exchange with Secretary of State John Kerry.

As Stephens writes, Sen. Paul would be right at home with the views of Robert A. Taft, since Taft in his day and Paul today are oblivious to how failing to use American power to create a safe world endangers our vital national security goals. Writing at his “Postmodern Conservative” site at First Things, political scientist James Ceaser, like Stephens, urges his fellow conservatives to support an authorization of force resolution in Congress.  “Nor is there any way,” he cautions, “to get around the fact that this vote begins to set the future direction of the Republican Party — whether it will be an internationalist or an isolationist party.” He worries that “many in the Republican Party are itching to use Obama’s mishandling of this situation to establish a new isolationist center of gravity for the Republican Party in international affairs. That’s not the place the Republican Party should be.”

I agree with Professor Ceaser. If the Rand Paul followers in the conservative movement and the libertarians and paleo-conservatives like Pat Buchanan gain the upper hand, and if they succeed in forming a working alliance with Democrats on the far Left who also use much the same arguments against American use of power, it will only lead to a complete collapse of America’s ability to influence the outcome of world affairs, as well as strengthen the hand of our enemies. Any president in our future, including any Republican commander-in-chief, would find it difficult if not impossible to take any kind of military action should it become necessary.

Our country cannot afford the luxury of the weakening of presidential power and authority, which could stifle the ability to act when it is most needed in the future. Supporting the authority of the chief executive to act does not mean conservatives and Republicans should stop being critical of the policy of the Obama administration, its half-way measures, its contradictions, and its overall embarrassing incompetence. But to weaken the authority of any chief executive to act, including President Barack Obama, will only hurt the nation and stifle our ability to respond to aggression effectively, now and later.

The Taft Republicans, we all thought, went the way of the dodo bird. We are finding, sadly, that they were not as extinct as most people believed. If we want a safe and secure future, and a future effective conservative opposition to liberalism, we must act responsibly and support the president now, whatever reservations we may have about his own worldview and policies.

Hot Topic: Should Congress Authorize Military Force Against Syria?

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Top Rated Comments   
Screw that crap.Ron....not going into Syria doesn't make us "isolationist"...we're already engaged from hell to breakfast...but this is just Barokeydoke's own @$$ covering and trying to get somebody to clean up his mess....best we stay out of Syria till this shakes out a little better
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Assads represent religious minorities in Syria who fear genocide at the hands or revolutionary Islamists. If you insist on using WWII analogies, attacking the Assads is like jumping into WWII on Hitler's side.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we're going to start World War 3, I'd rather we not jump in on the side of Islamic Jihad.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (128)
All Comments   (128)
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I think Ron's point is very good ,but he probably picked a bad case to make it. Hard cases make bad law.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Radosh, you have lost it. This is the most ill-considered idea of all the closet liberal ideas you have ever advocated. An attack on Syria would be insanity. But perhaps you'd like to rent a boat and start a new Abraham Lincoln Brigade and sail to Syria yourself. The Russian and Chinese warships, which probably have missiiles that could shoot down a Tomahawk missile could knock some sense into your head - at 500 feet per second or better.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
This will not end well if we side with the Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Quadia).
This President has chosen the wrong side in every conflict in the middle east from the beginning. Sideing with the enemy is not the way to defeat the emeny.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have never been an isolationist but to pour blood and teasure into a situation like that in Syria is crazy.We don't even know who is fighting. I hate to see any young people but especially young American people so badly wounded....especially when those "saved" don't want to be saved and believe in a religion which wants most of the American people dead. I think their religion means a lot more to them than the freedom and Democracy in which we believe.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
This situation is more like the Iran Iraq War, where Reagan showed the good sense to use each side against the other, and work towards a stalemate. In that war, it would have been bad to allow Iran victory spreading their radical islam to Iraq, and it would have been bad to allow Iraq a victory, since Iraq was a Soviet client state.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why would we want to aid in an islamist takeover of Syria? Assad is am Arab nationalist dictator and stooge of the Iranians, and no friend. But radical islamists are worse.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isolationism in not possible in the interconnected world of the 21st Century. To employ a policy term that is no longer extant is a remarkable demonstration of vacuity. One wished the author would have demonstrated how our intervention in the middle east over the last 25 years have produced a stable region with reasonably humane governance
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK, I'll bite. By stopping Saddam Hussein from taking over Kuwait, the US showed that old-fashioned conquest-as-theft was not going to work (except when Russia does it). GB I let down the Kurds, but GB II corrected that error, and now they have thier senmi-state (and Turkey knows where it can go).

On the other hhand, regarding the mediterranian area, US policy appears to consist of being nasty to Israel.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The commander who let his own men die at Benghazi and then went to bed early for a fundraiser is not a man anyone but a fool would follow into a fight of any kind. Retreat is the first option for the next three years. We have no red lines left, only yellow.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, that is there too. Obama wants to bomb Syria because his redline comments will hurt him politically. Fighting in Syria would mean following a craven politician who is only looking out for his political hide, and who will throw us under the bus as soon as he can.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
No.

Using the WWII analogy is fraught with logic faults. By your logic, we should have intervened to help the communists by taking out the Nazis in the 1930s. It was like the Crips versus the Bloods, as both gangs wanted to take over European countries. The fascists won. (National Socialists versus Communist Socialists.)

The Nazis and Imperialists were clearly aggressors. Our joining that fight was true self-defense. Syria has two groups who hate our guts killing each other.

A true conservative should ask: "Why should we spend money we don't have to help a group who hates our guts? Wouldn't it be better to let them work out their own civil war? At $15T in debt, we need to focus on America and not playing cop to a dysfunctional culture. The deadliest situation for cops is intervening in a domestic dispute. Leave them to it."

A true liberal should say: "We need to be multi-cultural and tolerant, not jingoistic. The Muslim culture doesn't value life as we do in America, where every child is special. In the Muslim culture, only the first-born son is special. Women are chattel, as are many children. If they want to kill each other, we should be compassionate and tolerant of their culture, and understand that thousands of dead people doesn't mean what it does to us. Everybody's okay. We don't need to judge them by bombing them. Leave them to work out their own problems."
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
This piece is unmitigated hogwash. The president has less respect for his office than anyone in this country. Why in the heck should we support that? Not only would we not get any credit for it, (just watch what happens to Boehner et al when this is all done) it fails to consider the conservative approach at all. This advice is nonsense.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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