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Does the office holder really influence foreign policy?

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  • Does the office holder really influence foreign policy?

    Does the office holder really influence foreign policy? Does the who in particular matter when looking at candidates?
    I am become death...

  • #2
    Originally posted by Anastasia Dragule View Post
    Does the office holder really influence foreign policy? Does the who in particular matter when looking at candidates?
    As a pretty big Obama fan looking at the prospect of an eight-year run of Clinton heading up foreign policy, I would give a big "Yes." There's just no one on the field right now who is going to operate on anything like the "Obama doctrine" all of them are much more hawkish and more liable to start unnecessary military conflicts.
    "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sam View Post
      As a pretty big Obama fan looking at the prospect of an eight-year run of Clinton heading up foreign policy, I would give a big "Yes." There's just no one on the field right now who is going to operate on anything like the "Obama doctrine" — all of them are much more hawkish and more liable to start unnecessary military conflicts.
      But would it have been different if Romney had won?
      I am become death...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Anastasia Dragule View Post
        But would it have been different if Romney had won?
        Romney would have been a good counterweight to the influence of the State Department, which does most of the day-to-day foreign policy influencing with guvment monies and bennies. Considering the chaotic debacles in Libya, the Ukraine, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, most of Central Africa, and Pakistan, to say nothing of the conflicts that don't make the major papers, I really can't say that having oligarchical foreign policy of bureaucrats is that good of an idea if your job is to do anything like keep order or build useful things or especially deter random violence. A nation prepared for total war can go to the moon in its spare time. A nation worshiping total equality will watch serenely as its representatives are murdered by goat herders.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Anastasia Dragule View Post
          But would it have been different if Romney had won?
          If Jeb Bush wins, for example, it is nigh guaranteed that another neo-con war will start because they know no other way.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Anastasia Dragule View Post
            But would it have been different if Romney had won?
            Oh, yes. Very much so. If we're just going by their campaigns, Romney promoted a much more aggressive (they call it "muscular") approach to foreign policy. It's certain that relations with Cuba would not be undergoing the revolutionary path to normalization they are now, for instance. It's almost impossible that a diplomatic negotiation with Iran would even have taken place, let alone have a good shot at succeeding. Given his campaign rhetoric regarding Russia, it's unlikely that Romney would have met the invasion of Ukraine with nearly as much restraint as Obama and would likely have at least been pushed by other Republicans into providing heavy weaponry to Ukraine (ensuring only more Ukrainians killed before Russia overpowered them).

            Not every campaign promise comes to bear, of course, and not every swagger has weight behind it. But the Republican party itself has become much more hawkish in its rhetoric as the Iraq War debacle fades and hyped-up threats come and go, depending on the week (e.g., ISIS). The office of the president is actually still fairly week domestically (as seen in Obama's long years of being frustrated by a GOP-majority House) but is still very strong on foreign policy. That's why we see a lot of presidents turn to foreign policy priorities when they're stymied on domestic issues. Traditionally, that's been an area where the president can do big things without much interference from Congress or the courts.

            By far the worst prospect of a Clinton presidency is her history of hawkish reactions on foreign policy. She won't be nearly as aggressive as pretty much any of the GOP candidates (especially folks like Cruz and Rubio) but she's just got instincts that are going to lead us into more aggressive policies ... and that's just because the office of the presidency is so powerful on foreign policy that the president's personality makes a very big difference.
            "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
              If Jeb Bush wins, for example, it is nigh guaranteed that another neo-con war will start because they know no other way.
              Is Jeb as neocon as his brother? I haven't seen signs of that yet. I've been hoping he isn't a neocon, because I vote against neocons at every opportunity.





              (Strange, I get the feeling that Epoetker is glaring at me for some reason...)
              Middle-of-the-road swing voter. Feel free to sway my opinion.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Yttrium View Post
                Is Jeb as neocon as his brother?
                He was one of the original signatories on the Project for the New American Century, which called for an unprovoked invasion of Iraq. So definitely a neo-con himself and BFFs with all the other neo-cons. A bunch of his brother's advisers on foreign policy are now working for him too.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Yttrium View Post
                  Is Jeb as neocon as his brother? I haven't seen signs of that yet. I've been hoping he isn't a neocon, because I vote against neocons at every opportunity.
                  He hasn't rejected his father's and brother's approaches, nor has he embraced them - ie. typical pre-election moderation. But as Starlight has pointed out it would appear that this apple won't fall far from the tree.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Yttrium View Post
                    Is Jeb as neocon as his brother? I haven't seen signs of that yet. I've been hoping he isn't a neocon, because I vote against neocons at every opportunity.

                    (Strange, I get the feeling that Epoetker is glaring at me for some reason...)
                    The term you're looking for is "White Hispanic."

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