We have a problem in this country with politicians who are cowed by both the far, libertarian right, and the far left, that there are very few men and women who are honorable and honest. Now that George W. Bush is no longer in office, it is an increasingly short list:
- Lindsey Graham
- John McCain
- Tom Coburn
- Jim Inhofe
- Jeff Sessions
- Steve Pearce
- John Kyle
- Joe Lieberman
I am pressed to think of anyone else, but then The Pink Flamingo is rather cynical right now.
Let’s concentrate on Lindsey (who else). This day and age, not many Republicans have the courage to stand up for what they believe. He does, no matter what the cost to his political career. It’s called being a statesman.
“...Countering conventional wisdom that President Obama’s foreign policy successes bolster the president’s credentials ahead of the 2012 election, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the Republican presidential candidates must be more forceful in challenging his decisions.
“To the Republican Party: national security matters, step up on it. … We’ve got a jobs problem. We’ve got a national security problem that is growing by the day,” Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News Sunday….Sending a warning to Republicans, Graham added that they better not try to co-opt Obama’s foreign policy strategy.
“If I hear a Republican nominee for president embrace ‘leading from behind’ they will have a very difficult time in South Carolina,” Graham said….”
“…”I think in the last year he has made some poor, dangerous foreign policy decisions at the strategic level when it comes to Iraq,” Graham said. “When your military commander, who I trust, says you need 15,000 to 18,000 in 2012 to secure the gains we have fought for and you have zero and you celebrate that, that’s pretty disappointing.” …”
“…Q: Has the president exhibited smart leadership?
“The president has made some very poor, dangerous, strategic decisions in past year … Israel has been thrown under the bus … Iranians don’t fear us at all,” he said. “I would argue policy is being run out of Chicago.”
Graham also said that not being able to close the deal in Iraq is a “very serious mistake.”
“The president fumbled the ball inside the 10,” he said.
Q: [React to ] reports that the immunity issue scuttled the deal…
“The Iraqis were open-minded to this,” Graham said. “[It was a] failure of the administration to close the deal … It was [the White Houses’s] job to end this well; they failed.”…”
The GOP is no longer the party of a strong national defense. Why? It’s simple. Libertarians don’t give a rip about national security.
“...Furthermore, recent reports by DefenseNews and an admission by Secretary Panetta reveal that Obama has now unilaterally imposed a $465-billion budget cut on the DOD — $65 billion above what the debt ceiling deal requires. This is Obama’s own choice, driven by his own determination to gut America’s defense and use it as a billpayer for entitlement programs.
This will result in a dramatic weakening of the military. For example, the Navy will probably decommission the George Washington 25 years ahead of its planned decommissioning and delay the construction of future carriers, including the Ford and the Kennedy. Severe cuts in force structure are also being considered.
So far, few Congressional Republicans have protested against this. Some Republican stalwarts, such as Rep. Allen West and Rep. Randy Forbes, have been sounding the alarm bells about defense cuts in general, particularly about the sequester. But only a handful of them have protested against the first round of debt-ceiling-mandated defense gutting or
Obama’s diktat to cut defense budget by $465 billion over a decade.
By June 27, 2011, Rep. Allen West was so alarmed that he expressed concern about the direction the GOP is going in and judged that none of the candidates who attended the May/June 2011 GOP primary debates understood defense issues or was committed to protecting the U.S. Yet even he voted for the debt ceiling deal.
Frank Gaffney is now rewarding Buck McKeon with the “Keeper of the Flame Award” for…exactly what? Voting for the deal?
Furthermore, few Republicans have been willing to stand up to their party’s leadership and party colleagues like Coburn and Paul and tell them “no more defense cuts!”
That’s because Republicans are no longer committed to, and no longer care about, the military.
Today, the GOP — contrary to popular belief — is no longer the party of a strong defense. It’s now America’s second pro-weak-defense party, desiring to use the military as a billpayer for runaway domestic spending and to treat defense as just another line item in the federal budget. It’s indistinguishable from the Democratic Party in that respect….”