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Warren and Democratic Hawks

Dave Weigel comments on Elizabeth Warren’s utterly conventional “pro-Israel” views:

A few weeks ago, when Warren announced a post-midterms trip to Israel, it was covered as a box-checking exercise for a possible 2016 run. What if it’s not that? What if Warren has the foreign policy views you might expect from a baby boomer who was a registered Republican during much of the Clinton presidency? [bold mine-DL] In that case, she’s not well positioned at all to build a left-wing political coalition against the Clintons, as she keeps saying she won’t do.

Whenever I have written something about Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy, someone usually floats Warren’s name as a possible antiwar, dovish challenger for the Democratic primary, but there has never been any reason to think that Warren holds these views. Her foreign policy record is remarkably thin even for a new senator, and when she has taken positions she has typically chosen not to make any waves. Enthusiasm for a possible Warren run among some on the left stems mainly from her domestic policy views, and I suspect some people assume that these have to be paired with a less hawkish foreign policy. However, it is more likely that Warren will try to balance any populist positions she takes on domestic issues with conventional hawkishness. Progressive activists might want a candidate that challenges the party establishment across the board, but Warren won’t be filling that role even if she did choose to run. Warren’s case just underscores how few real doves there are among elected Democrats at the national level, and how much influence the party’s hawks still have on foreign policy.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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