Another super-hawk hors d’oeuvre left over from yesterday. I’m with libertarian Jim Antle on this one:
Rubio parses nation-building and "assisting them in building their nation" — no big.Rubio gets four tickets in twenty years — NYT story
— Jim Antle (@jimantle) June 5, 2015
No worries. Rubio fans will find some way to split hairs here on what constitutes “nation-building” versus “assisting them in building their nation.” Sending a 100,000-troop invasion force is nation-building; sending weapons and economic aid to the government while it tries to defend itself is assisting the building. I could buy that if not for the fact that we’re already getting closer to sending American soldiers to take on ISIS, a project which, if it happens and if it works, will inevitably be followed by calls for a long-term American presence in Iraq and Syria to prevent an ISIS resurgence. The difference between Rubio and Lindsey Graham, I guess, is that Graham will tell you that flat out while Rubio will dance around the reality of it with absurd parsing like this. But then, that’s been his approach consistently on questions related to Iraq lately. He subscribes to Dubya’s foreign policy but can’t admit that given how toxic Bush is to the general electorate. That’s how we ended up with the “who’s on first?” routine between him and Chris Wallace on whether we should have invaded Iraq and this nation-building/assisting-the-building distinction yesterday on Fox News.
A grand irony of this race is that the party’s afraid to nominate a guy named Bush because he shares a bloodline with Dubya but they may end up happily nominating a guy who shares a policy agenda with him — nation-builder, amnesty granter, compassionate conservative on fiscal reform. Policy similarities should matter more to voters than a shared gene pool since the latter is merely (weak) evidence of the former, but it doesn’t. Then again, Rubio’s outspoken interventionism should matter more to Republican primary voters than the fact that he has the same basic position on immigration as everyone else in the field, but thanks to his prominence on the Gang of Eight, it doesn’t. Ah well. Exit question: Rubio’s certainly right here in saying that Obama’s administration foolishly “rallied around Maliki” even as he showed his sectarian cards. Refresh my memory, though — it wasn’t Obama’s White House that pushed Maliki as a potential prime minister for Iraq knowing full well his career as a Shiite partisan, right? Whose White House did that? The name is on the tip of my tongue.