Halfway Between Total War and Isolationism

You may recall that last month Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was asked about his foreign policy philosophy and positioned himself as standing half-way between John McCain and Rand Paul. That’s interesting in view of the debate over Syria, wherein John McCain is threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue if we don’t go full–throttle into a regime-changing war against Assad, while Paul is dropping hints that maybe we’re backing the wrong side.

So where’s Cruz? He seems a little closer to the Paul position insofar as he’s just described Obama’s proposal for air strikes against Assad as asking Americans to serve as “al-Qaeda’s air force.”

But the underlying reality is this: McCain, Paul and Cruz are all presently united in opposing a bipartisan use-of-force resolution. So whatever underlying disunity exists on foreign policy in today’s GOP (and I personally think it’s the only real point of ideological disunity, with all the others being arguments about strategy and tactics on how to bring about a conservative counter-revolution), you can count on Obama-hatred to supply the glue once provided by anti-communism.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.