Skip to comments.Why Are the Bushies Attacking Ted Cruz?
Posted on 10/07/2014 2:27:02 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Republican Party has played Marley’s Ghost for the past half-dozen years, dragging behind it the sins of the foreign-policy utopians who persuaded George W. Bush to bet the farm on nation-building in the Middle East. Bush’s 2004 Second Inaugural, written with the help of the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol and the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer, was the high-water mark of foreign-policy overreach and the cusp of Republican fortunes. By the 2006 congressional elections, the electorate had had enough, and the public’s disgust with the pointless sacrifice of blood and treasure helped propel the junior senator from Illinois into the White House. The Bushies who blundered so badly–occupying Iraq, pushing for the West Bank elections won by Hamas, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against the Egyptian military–are still fighting for what is left of their reputations. And their greatest fear is that a Republican leader will come along untainted by their mistakes, and able to admit what we Republicans should have admitted years ago: the Bush administration made some big mistakes.
That leader is Sen. Ted Cruz, who said Sept. 24,
I think we stayed too long, and we got far too involved in nation-building . We should not be trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland.
Cruz is a foreign policy hard-liner, not an isolationist, but he is a tough-minded realist in a party contaminated by the ideological impulse to export America’s political system to the Middle East. His way of looking at things is close to that of the original Reagan foreign policy team, for example, Prof. Angelo Codevilla, whose new book I reviewed recently. Codevilla argued that U.S. viceroys spent most of a decade fruitlessly trying to negate the Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds democratically expressed mutual antagonism. The much-lauded surge consisted of turning over to Sunni insurgents the tribal areas into which the Shia were pushing them. Rather than defeating them, the U.S. government began arming them. And the result: After a bloody decade, Iraq ended up divided along ancient ethno-religious fault lines but more mutually bitter.
Codevilla was one of the architects of the Strategic Defense Initiative that helped win the Cold War, and his views are shared by other key members of the Reagan team, for example, my old mentor at the Reagan National Security Council, Dr. Norman A. Bailey. When Sen. Cruz calls his foreign policy “Reaganite,” he can claim agreement with key Reagan aides.
That explains why the neo-conservatives are throwing mud at him. If Cruz is right, the Republican Party doesn’t need them any more. As Eliana Johnson points out at National Review, Kristol et. al. have signed on with Marco Rubio. The neo-cons detest Cruz, Johnson reports:
Cruz has repeatedly said he embraces a Reaganite foreign policy. He made headlines in recent weeks for walking out of an event when a group of Arab Christians booed his vocal defense of Israel, and he has used his seat on the Armed Services Committee to travel abroad during his time in office. But those [neo-conservatives] I spoke with were, across the board, unimpressed. They universally characterized his worldview as shallow, opportunistic, and ever shifting to where he perceives the base of the party to be.
Hilariously, the Washington Post‘s resident neo-con, Jennifer Rubin, quotes the above neo-con appraisal as purported evidence that Cruz really is shallow and opportunistic. In a screed titled, “Ted Cruz is Morphing into Sarah Palin,” Rubin cites Eliana Johnson as an authority, when Johnson merely quoted Rubin’s neo-conservative friends. Ms. Rubin really needs an editor. Here we have the neo-cons quoting the neo-cons to demonstrate that anyone who disagrees with them must do so for stupid or wicked motives. These are people who live in a little world of their own imagining.
Otherwise Ms. Rubin swings her handbag wildly at the Texas senator:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is fast becoming the king of useless fights and empty gestures. First came his destructive government shutdown gambit. Then came his half-baked idea for fighting the Islamic State. Then he set up a showy albeit unnecessary confrontation with a Christian group, managing to be the only one on the right these days magnifying differences between Jews and Christians.
The latter claim is a nasty misrepresentation of Cruz’s principled stand on behalf of the state of Israel, as I wrote in this space recently.
All this is cheap and dirty. The neo-cons will not (and cannot) take on the conservative foreign policy sages who don’t believe in their fairy-dust approach to nation-building. Instead, they vilify Cruz as an opportunist. It is true, to be sure, that the base of the party has had enough of the neo-cons, but the fact that Sen. Cruz appeals to the base of the party is not by itself evidence of opportunism. It might be evidence of electability. The American electorate does not have oracular powers, but it is not entirely stupid, either. Americans revolted against the sacrifices demanded of it in pursuit of nation-building abroad, and were right to do so.
Does anyone remember the foreign policy debate during the 2012 presidential election? Mitt Romney sat through it like a punching bag, terrified to defend the disastrous Bush record on foreign policy. Foreign policy alone did not lose the election for Romney, to be sure (his silver-spoon arrogance reflected in the 47% gaffe probably sank him). Nonetheless, the Marley’s Ghost syndrome weighed on Republican fortunes in 2012. It’s time to remove the chain. With it, though, will perish foundation funding, donor grants, think-tank jobs, television gigs, editorial positions and other perks that the leftovers of the last Republican administration still enjoy. No doubt Sen. Cruz will take a lot more incoming fire. He has one advantage over his neo-con critics, though: He is talking sense, and they are defending the indefensible.
As a matter of record, I argued in this space that Sen. Cruz showed tactical brilliance in the 2013 budget standoff, long before the foreign policy debate erupted. Apart from observing that he had been a star student of my friend Robert P. George at Princeton, I hadn’t followed his career closely. Now Sen. Cruz has my undivided attention. Perhaps we have a Republican leader with the intelligence, background and self-confidence to lead the party out of the Bush morass.
Because he is a threat to Jeb’s chance at being President. As if the base would ever vote for another Bush.
So George P. can challenge him in 2018 as the “voice of reason”.
All they care about is the next step to acquire more power.
The original Bushies attacked Ronald Reagan.
The base voted for George P. overwhelmingly unfortunately
He’s too conservative for them.
The family that gave us the DHS and the TSA doesn’t like Cruz.
They coined the phrase "voodoo economics."
You can say that again, and again, and again..
Particularly the lazy slatterns like Laura, Jeb's Latina, the ditsy daughters, and BarBar. They can't take care of their homes and families, and won't take care of them legally. They need a little army of illegal aliens who get all the love that the Bushes never gave Republicans. The Bushes *hate* conservatives. They love abortion.
Become Democrats, for pity's sake! Leave us alone!
“Why Are the Bushies Attacking Ted Cruz?”
They are diametrically opposed.
It’s all about the dynasty.
Ted Cruz would a been banned from this forum in 2005 or at least under steady harpy fire from howlin sinkspur dane and bayourod and melas
If done properly, nation building works great.
As an example, McArthur’s Japan, which was set up with a constitution written expressly for them, and turned them into an economic powerhouse.
However, it was managed with care, and the assumption that if the Japanese did things the American way, they would succeed. And this was correct, with a few minor exceptions.
But when W. tried this in Iraq, it was problematic, right from the start. A big reason was that we tried to revitalize some of their existing institutions, instead of doing everything from scratch.
The lesson we should remember is that everything we tried to preserve was an utter failure. And everything we replaced in its entirety was more or less a success, at least for a while.
In Japan, the nation was ruled by a US military government, who made things work at peak efficiency. Only very gradually did we turn things over to the Japanese, and then only when they demonstrated mastery of doing things the right way.
But the US was just itching to turn over the reigns of power to a divided Iraqi people, who hated each others’ guts. And doing it too quickly, we used entirely corrupt Iraqis to run their new government, instead of new blood trained from scratch.
Our most success was modeling their military after the US military, for example having US Marines train some units and US Army other units; and setting up a large number of military schools to teach everything to every one of them.
But we tolerated really bad discipline, things like soldiers taking off from their unit on their own. This alone was a disaster. They should have been locked up in their barracks until granted leave.
Just another example of mistakes.
Jeb as the republican nominee guarantees a 3rd party. I know I would be voting 3rd party if Jeb is on the ticket.
A voice of reason from the Bushes..
No new taxes
Hey pass me the pretzels
Borders, Borders we DON’T NEED NO STINKING BORDERS!
Bushs 2004 Second Inaugural, written with the help of the Weekly Standards Bill Kristol and the Washington Posts Charles Krauthammer, was the high-water mark of foreign-policy overreach and the cusp of Republican fortunes,
I had no idea that speech was written by Kristol and Kraut. I remember it though. It was eerie, and almost creepy, in its messianic tone. "Overreach" is a mild word for it.
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