I asked Perry spokesman Mark Miner what Perry meant by “military adventurism.” He e-mailed me: “The military adventurism comment in the VFW speech was a statement of the Governor’s philosophy and not intended to be a specific reference to previous or ongoing military operations.” But, you know, what does that mean in Perry’s mind? He responded, “Military adventurism amounts to an aimless foreign policy that involves America in parts of the world where we don’t have vital interests. The Governor is mindful of the sacrifice our soldiers make and that one day, he may be the one to send them into battle. He takes very seriously the decision to do so.” Um, then a “vital national interest” would be something that is not “military adventurism”? If someone has thought seriously about these issues it is not apparent.
Tossing around some catchy phrases without meaning or specificity isn’t very enlightening or comforting. To the contrary, it suggests a “whatever” attitude toward serious policy issues. We certainly have gone through a campaign when the candidate got by on pablum, but that turned out to be a disappointment to conservatives and liberals alike.