Sunday, August 26, 2007

Obama's Republican Friends

I highly recommend Taylor Marsh's blog and I agree that Obama's promise to reach out to Coburn and other Republicans on foreign policy is a mistake. I don't think it's a mistake because of Coburn's anti-abortion or other crazy rightwing policy positions, however. It's a mistake because of Coburn's awful foreign policy positions. From Coburn's January 2007 press release:

"It is vitally important to realize the dire global consequences should America abandon its mission in Iraq. Radical Islamic terrorists would control the country, aligning themselves with rogue nations like Syria and Iran while using one of the world’s largest oil supplies to fund their terrorist activities. The region would be further destabilized as Iraq becomes a safe haven for terrorists plotting attacks against America and our allies, especially Israel.”

“We must understand what motivates the terrorists we are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the globe. They believe everyone must believe as they do or be killed. They preach intolerance and bomb churches and synagogues. We must take seriously their threats to wipe Israel off the map and their desire to see America defeated. Abandoning our mission in Iraq would hand these terrorists a great victory and further embolden them to attack us at home."

Stay the course in Iraq. Beat them there so they can't follow us here. This is someone Obama wants to work with on foreign policy? The same Obama who called Hillary Clinton "Bush-Cheney Lite"? Of course, it's not just Coburn that Obama wants to work with, it's also the very serious John Warner, whose big idea on Iraq is to bring 5,000 troops home by Christmas. As Digby points out, Warner's war concerns amount to little more than kabuki. While he ponders and worries, he's unwilling to do anything to actually end the war or put pressure on Bush to end it. Lugar is largely the same, saying there are problems with staying in Iraq, but not willing to do anything about it.

You don't get more "foreign policy establishment" than Warner or Lugar. For a guy who has recently been trying to sell himself as having a new approach to foreign policy, it seems counter-productive to talk about how much you want to work with folks who are the personification of that establishment. It's especially weird after you've spent so much time criticizing Hillary Clinton whose policy positions are either the same as or to the left of these guys (all three of whom voted for the atrocity that is the Military Commissions Act).

I find Obama to be the most frustrating of the Democratic candidates, but that's a subject that deserves it's own post because it goes beyond this issue.

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