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Nov 14 2011

Gingrich on Foreign Policy

Watching the Republican presidential candidates flail around for a coherent position on foreign policy can be fun. It could even be turned into a dangerous drinking game. Here’s Newt Gingrich on Fox News agreeing that we should pull our troops out of Iraq but still saying Obama is wrong to do so:

GINGRICH: If you watch in the next few weeks, the Shia are going to go after the Sunnis. I mean the second we are out of that country, the Shia, this is their first chance in hundreds of years –

KRAUTHAMMER: Are you glad that we’re out as a result of that?

GINGRICH: I think — yeah — I think there’s no short term advantage to us being there. And I really thought by the way, trying to leave 3,000 troops was an invitation for total disaster.

KRAUTHAMMER: So you approve of the agreement, or the place where the president has come to?

GINGRICH: No! No. I think we are — look if this president had been serious we’d be in a different place.

This is even faster than his last flip flop on the issue, when Gingrich demanded a no-fly zone over Libya and then called it “opportunism” when Obama did exactly that and said, “I would not have intervened.”

Michael Cohen has another great example of Republican mind-bending on Libya:

Oh no, not so fast says noted foreign policy expert Marco Rubio – the real credit belongs to the British and French not the United States, which as Rubion seems not to know took the military lead, organized an international coallition and pushed a resolution authorizing force through the Security Council. (By the way, try to imagine for a second if a leading Democrat had given credit for a US military triumph to the French? The French! Literally you’d be seeing attack ads with that clip until the universe collapses in on itself millions of years from now).

Never mentioned in the Republican criticism of the Iraq pullout is the fact that we are required to pull out by the Status of Forces Agreement signed by George W. Bush, an agreement that they almost universally cheered at the time. Republican foreign policy at this point seems to be that anything Obama does is wrong, even if it’s what we said he should do all along.

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  1. 1
    dmcclean

    Republican foreign policy at this point seems to be that anything Obama does is wrong, even if it’s what we said he should do all along.

    It’s far from just foreign policy. Health care policy is another impressive example.

  2. 2
    joewinpisinger1

    Republican foreign policy at this point seems to be that anything Obama does is wrong, even if it’s what we said he should do all along.

    That is, of course, except Ron Paul. Other than that I agree with you and, though I support the Tea Party in general, have taken the more absurd elements to task as seen here based on an article that you linked to a post on Herman Cain:

    http://www.3rdwavelands.com/2011/11/9-9-9-simple-or-shallow.html

    I have not had an opportunity to nail Gingrich and others on pure hypocrisy on Foreign Policy yet. Nonetheless, above all the contradictions I have heard from many in the debates so far, Gingrich takes the cake with:

    Stating that we can do covert actions against people we do not like in Afghanistan “and they will never know”. This absurdity he is answering this as hypothetical Commander in Chief and assuming he were to win they would most certainly know because he just tipped them off that if it happens he is responsible for it.

    This tells me:

    1) He does not think he can win in which case he should not be asking people to support him

    2) He is a first rate idiot for tipping his hand to score a minor point in a crappy debate on an issue that is not even on the radar screen this election cycle.

  3. 3
    d cwilson

    I’ll give Ron Paul credit for bucking the trend and sticking with his own views on foreign policy rather than just pander to the ODS crowd. Of course, that is just one of many, many reasons why he has no chance in hell of ever getting the nomination.

    I honestly can’t think of any election in my lifetime where one party has fielded a slate of know-nothing chuckleheads like this group. When Bachmann stood up and said that China didn’t have as restrictive a business environment as America, it was clear that we’ve gone beyond a circus. This group is completely untethered from reality. They literally don’t care if what they say has any basis in fact. They’re just saying whatever random thought pops into their head.

    Everyone should be concerned about one thing: Come next summer, one these yahoos is going to be standing on a podium inside an arena, proudly accepting the nomination of one of our two major parties. And they will then garner, at minimum, 45% of the popular vote in the general election, probably more, and maybe even a majority.

    This is how civilizations collapse.

  4. 4
    eric

    Newt’s got a point. Obama is simply pulling out our troops. A Republican – like, say, Reagan – would pull out our troops while secretly selling arms to the terrorists in order to make the withdraw go without a hitch.

  5. 5
    Didaktylos

    See if it’s a good idea, then obviously it was a Republican idea; so if Obama does it, that means he stole it from the Republicans. (Expect the Republicans to try to impeach and indict Obama for Policy Theft),

  6. 6
    ArtK

    There’s a certain beauty in the simplicity of reducing your political position to “whatever the other guy does is wrong.” There’s pure tragedy in the fact that it works.

  7. 7
    Reginald Selkirk

    until the universe collapses in on itself millions of years from now

    Current data says that’s not going to happen.

  8. 8
    feralboy12

    Current data says that’s not going to happen.

    Current data badly underestimates the density of the Republican candidates.

  9. 9
    John Hinkle

    Gingrich would not last long with the Bridgekeeper in MP and the Holy Grail.

  10. 10
    d cwilson

    A Republican – like, say, Reagan – would pull out our troops while secretly selling arms to the terrorists in order to make the withdraw go without a hitch.

    But first he would station our soldiers in a camp that wasn’t adequately guarded, making it an easy target for a terrorist attack.

  11. 11
    Pierce R. Butler

    Obama is just getting the troops out of the way so they’ll be safe when Frank Miller, Joe Arpaio, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Two-Fisted American Fightin’ Men parachute in to clean out the Bad Guys, like we shoulda done in the first place.

  12. 12
    yoav

    Any chance to get Obama to announce that medicare should be privatized, America is a christian nation and that the tax rate on the top 1% should be reduced to zero, just so we can watch bill O’reilly and Newt Gingrich demanding that millionaires pay a fair share in taxes, the separation of church and state and a single payer healthcare system.

  13. 13
    jakc

    Feralboy12 – I look forward to you publishing on density thesis. It sounds like you’re on to a real breakthrough.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    Never mentioned in the Republican criticism of the Iraq pullout is the fact that we are required to pull out by the Status of Forces Agreement signed by George W. Bush, an agreement that they almost universally cheered at the time. Republican foreign policy at this point seems to be that anything Obama does is wrong, even if it’s what we said he should do all along.

    I did see David Gregory make the former point to Michelle Bachmann in yesterday morning’s Meet the Press interview. She was of course claiming that President Obama was utterly failing in all areas of foreign policy, where she was critiquing his drawn-down of troops with Mr. Gregory responding accordingly. She of course danced around Gregory’s challenge similar to how Mr. Gingrich does here.

    Rep. Bachmann also had a new inventive lie which Gregory was actually ready for and shot down immediately. Bachmann was falsely claiming that we can’t detain suspected enemies but instead are either killing them or letting them go, even in the field of battle.

    I would have preferred Mr. Gregory instead rebutted her continual lies that torture protects American troops which is her claimed rationale for supporting torture. Especially since her claims about detainees is obviously absurd where conservatives have been very successful in promoting the idea that torture saved American lives when we in fact know the opposite is true.

    The big news out of that interview and the previous debate, especially for CIA personnel, the ACLU, and Glenn Greenwald, is that President Obama has delegated authority to administrate our intelligence operations to the ACLU. At least according to Michelle Bachmann. Hey, she won’t be winning the nomination but she’s guaranteed a job for life at Joe Farah’s World Net Daily.

  16. 16
    Craig Pennington

    slc1:

    Laugh it up folks, Gingrich is the latest anti-Romney.

    Well he does have the benefit of being a walking lampshade tree. If the dude has a fault we don’t already know, it’ll be lost in the sea of what we do know.

  17. 17
    TCC

    d cwilson:

    I’ll give Ron Paul credit for bucking the trend and sticking with his own views on foreign policy rather than just pander to the ODS crowd.

    I’m unfamiliar with that initialism, but I’ll take a stab at it based on current events: Occupy Dumb Street? (I think you’ll find that Paul mostly doesn’t have to pander to that crowd: he fits right in on a lot of issues. Foreign policy is one of the few areas where his principled stance at least errs on the side of caution.)

  18. 18
    leni

    Yoav:

    Any chance to get Obama to announce that medicare should be privatized, America is a christian nation and that the tax rate on the top 1% should be reduced to zero, just so we can watch bill O’reilly and Newt Gingrich demanding that millionaires pay a fair share in taxes, the separation of church and state and a single payer healthcare system.

    You, sir or madam, are a fucking genius! Quick, get thee to Washington! Where your talents will be quietly wasted on crafting vapid replies to online petitions.

  19. 19
    dingojack

    SLC – And a few weeks ago it would have been: ‘Cain is the anti-Romney!’
    To boil an amphibian all you’ve got to do is raise the temperature slowly.
    Dingo

  20. 20
    dingojack

    It occurs to me that Romney is pretty much a lock*, but the wingnuts occasionally trial character closer to thier own position, until the enthusiasm wanes once they actually get to speak.
    Dingo
    —–
    * A certain market-trading page has Obama at 52.6% chance of being re-elected, Romney and Gingrich at 32.5% and 6.5% (respectively) of being elected. Gingrich is gaining in leaps and bounds, just like Cain did before see-sawing down to a mere 1.4% (lower than Ron Paul at 2.8%, and the same as Rick Perry).

  21. 21
    dingojack

    Having said that:
    How long before we start getting ‘unattributed’ ‘First Wives Club‘ jibes about the hypothetical Romney Whitehouse?
    Dingo

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