The only change anyone can believe in in Washington is that nothing ever changes. The choice between Republican and Democrat in 2012 will likely boil down to who will be making what kind of cuts in social programs to support continuous warfare overseas. Only Ron Paul stands out from the pack with his commitment to constitutionalism and nonintervention, but sustained efforts by establishment Republicans and the media to make his candidacy go away render him a long shot at best.
The most recent Republican presidential wannabe is Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Having lived in Texas, I know from personal experience that the Texas miracle of employment is based on low wages, no health benefits, and nonexistent protection for the employed, but I will let others who are better qualifiedthan I make that argument. For me the issue is America’s wars and my fading hope that the insanity of multiple overseas conflicts combined with a global war against presumed terrorists everywhere will stop. It will certainly not stop if Perry is elected.
The following, which appeared on the Foreign Policy website, speaks for itself regarding where Rick Perry would take us if he is elected. He would return to George W. Bush’s foreign policy, complete with “you are with us or against us,” “they hate our freedom,” and 1-percent doctrines, and he would likely staff his administration with many of the same people who brought us disaster the first time around.
Perry, who has no formal campaign policy team because he has not yet announced that he is running, has however held an increasing number of meetings with foreign policy experts of all stripes. These meetings, which have sometimes gone on for hours, have helped Perry brush up on a range of issues, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to proliferation, from Middle East policy to international trade, according to those familiar with the meetings. The experts that he has reached out to include former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, former NSC strategy guru William Luti, former Assistant U.S. Attorney and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy, former Pentagon official Charles “Cully” Stimson, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe Daniel Fata, former Pentagon China official Dan Blumenthal, the Heritage Foundation’s Asia expert Peter Brookes, and former U.S. Ambassador to AfghanistanZalmay Khalilzad. Politico reported that Donald Rumsfeld helped Perry set up the initial meeting with Feith, Luti, McCarthy, and Fata (Stimson was invited but couldn’t attend), but there have been several more since then and the Perry team is continuing to fly in experts to meet with the governor in Texas. Foreign policy hands with knowledge of the prospective candidate’s identity, which is still taking shape, told The Cable that Perry is planning to stake out political territory as a defense-minded but internationally engaged candidate, contrasting himself with the realism of Jon Huntsman, the ever-changing stance of Mitt Romney, or the tea party budget cutting focus of Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul. “He will distinguish himself from other Republicans as a hawk internationalist, embracing American exceptionalism and the unique role we must play in confronting the many threats we face,” one foreign policy adviser with knowledge of Perry’s thinking told The Cable. “He has no sympathy for the neo-isolationist impulses emanating from some quarters of the Republican Party.”