Walker’s Silly Foreign Policy Remarks at CPAC
Speaking at CPAC, Scott Walker must have thought he was being very clever when he said this:
If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same across the world.
This is a very silly thing to say, but unfortunately I think Walker was saying this in earnest. There really is no comparing facing down domestic political opposition with addressing challenges and threats from overseas, but Walker’s national political identity is wrapped up with his battle with public sector unions and so every other issue that he talks about ends up being linked back to that. It doesn’t follow at all that an ability to overcome one’s own democratic political opponents in a budget dispute translates into the knowledge or ability to handle threats to the U.S. Michael Brendan Dougherty had this to say about what Walker said:
I almost can’t concoct a more self-regarding and flip answer.
— Michael B Dougherty (@michaelbd) February 26, 2015
Instead of offering reassurance that Walker would have some idea of what to do as president, these remarks remind us that he has nothing substantive to say about foreign policy and seems to know remarkably little about it. That was confirmed by Walker’s unwillingness or inability to articulate what his preferred policy towards ISIS would be:
The all-but-certain Republican presidential hopeful sharply criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy, but when asked about how he would deal with the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), dodged.
Walker does a lot of dodging, or “punting” as he likes to call it, when presented with questions he won’t or can’t answer. That is the sort of evasiveness that badly undermines his pretense to being a leader proposing “big, bold ideas.” The truth is that Walker doesn’t have any “big, bold ideas” on foreign policy and national security, and worse he doesn’t appear to want to have any. On the contrary, he assumes that he can get away with the lowest-common denominator hawkish talking points and suffer no political price for it. That may work with the audience at CPAC, but it won’t and shouldn’t fly with the public at large.