Chris Graham: If I were president
Here’s what I’d do: sound Republican.
No, I wouldn’t promise to get us engaged in more protracted, economy-killing, society-altering wars.
I’d just … put the fear of Jesus in folks about what the stakes are.
Republicans have been good at that on foreign policy for, well, forever. Most recently, we saw the GOP play the scare-the-bejeezus-out-of-us card in 2004 with pre-election nonsense about an imminent terrorist attack that wasn’t.
In 2008, it was John McCain, otherwise among the nobler politicians on either side of the aisle, clumsily altering the lyrics to a famous Beach Boys’ tune to “bomb Iran.”
It’s not actually going too far to suggest that we are facing a foreign-policy calamity if we give the keys to national affairs to Republicans in 2012. The sabre-rattling being done over Iran and tough talk about how we may also need to intervene in Syria makes it clear that this bunch of Republicans hasn’t learned the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, namely, that not only can’t America afford to be the world’s policeman, but when the world no longer respects our authority, it doesn’t do us any good in the first place to even try.
How does Barack Obama use this to his advantage in tonight’s debate on foreign policy? Easy. The other side says Democrats are stuck in neutral blaming George W. Bush for all of what ills us four years later. This bunch is promising more, deeper tax cuts for the wealthy and more troops abroad in situations in Iran and Syria that will make Iraq and Afghanistan look like a cakewalk.
The economy is finally getting out from under the weight of the trillions of dollars that were wasted fighting those two wars, but we’re not there yet. And we’re not going to get there if we double-down on strategies that didn’t work the first rime and we know for sure don’t have a chance in hell of succeeding the next time.
That’s where things are headed if we elect, bless his heart, Mitt Romney. The decline of American civilization as we know it is almost a foregone conclusion. By the end of one or, God forbid, two terms of a Romney administration, America joins Britain and Russia as post-superpower nations, and the 21st century becomes the Great Chinese Century by lack of effort by any of the rest of us from prevening that from happening.
Take 90 minutes to get that point across, and if people don’t listen, they don’t listen.