Call it opportunism if you like or say it’s a part of the grand GOP strategy of OEOP (Oppose Everything Obama Proposes) regardless, RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s comments about Obama’s War in Afghanistan show a far different Michael Steele than back in 2007 when he attacked Rep. Ron Paul for suggesting “blowback” was part of the reason for the 9-11 terrorist attacks. In the face of the neocons calling for Steele’s resignation, Rep. Paul stepped up and defended Steele and it paid off, Steel will survive the brouhaha still RNC Chairman unless he bumbles into another crisis (entirely possible knowing his track record) he can’t escape from.
While Larison is right that Steele’s statement is not a sign of a rising Antiwar Republicanism, (at least not yet) it does show that Paul, after being laughed at, scorned and booed in GOP debates about his views three years ago, is now recorded far more respect in the party and in the media and his views have at least have a subtle influence. The neocons’ attacks upon Steele only showed their fear of this influence. They also point to a fatal Republican weakness regarding foreign policy that is evident in Mitt Romney’s recent silly op-ed piece and John Boehner’s recent comment that the Social Security age should be raised to 70 to pay for the war. Simply saying more of and bigger when it comes to the war or missile defense is not going to impress a war weary public looking to cut deficits. Only with a non-interventionist foreign policy can the Republicans offer an enlightened opposition to the Obama foreign policy that will bring the troops home and provide the economic benefits of reduced spending and real inflation as money is no longer sucked into the vortex of the “Long War”. The end of the Cold War had a similar effect on the mid to late-1990s economy. Me-too and more of is a sign of intellectual bankruptcy and potentially a bad bet by Romney, who obviously thinks he lost the GOP nomination to John McCain in 2008 because he wasn’t militaristic enough.
Speaking of resigning, when one considers that nine years and billions of dollars after 9-11 that Osama bin Laden is still at large, Iraq doesn’t have a government and still both an insurgency and deep sectarian and ethnic divisions and that the U.S. finds itself nation building in Afghanistan, perhaps the person who should considering resigning is the person who’s magazine was the biggest cheerleader for such disastrous policies and yet didn’t turn out to be worth too much to its previous owner despite the millions he put into it. Just a thought.