Introducing ‘the Blob’

In an article by Kerry Howley that looks into Tulsi Gabbard’s background, I came across this passage.

The most obvious obstacle between any noninterventionist candidate and mainstream success is D.C.’s foreign-policy Establishment — the think-tankers and politicians and media personalities and intelligence professionals and defense-company contractors and, very often, intelligence professionals turned defense-company contractors who determine the bounds of acceptable thinking on war and peace. In parts of D.C., this Establishment is called “the Blob,” and to stray beyond its edges is to risk being deemed “unserious,” which as a woman candidate one must be very careful not to be. The Blob may in 2019 acknowledge that past American wars of regime change for which it enthusiastically advocated have been disastrous, but it somehow maintains faith in the tantalizing possibilities presented by new ones. The Blob loves to “stand for” things, especially “leadership” and “democracy.” The Blob loves to assign moral blame, loves signaling virtue while failing to follow up on civilian deaths, and definitely needs you to be clear on “who the enemy is” — a kind of obsessive deontological approach in which naming things is more important than cataloguing the effects of any particular policy.

That is a devastatingly accurate characterization of the US foreign policy establishment. I had not heard this term ‘the blob’ used to describe them before but will use it in future because it covers all that I have said in the past about what is wrong about the foreign policy establishment, and is consistent with what what Leslie Gelb said.


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