Usually hawkish members of the Republican Party have aligned themselves with Democrat doves in an eye-catching makeover that only serves as a challenge to the Obama administration’s position on Syria, Earl Ofari Hutchinson writes at his Hutchinson Report News.
The stunning number of GOP law makers that are vehemently opposed to US war making against Syria has been nothing less than astounding. Lame duck Minnesota GOP congressperson Michelle Bachman’s flat out assertion that Syrian intervention would be a bad call and the US is war weary seemed to punctuate much of the GOP’s new thinking about war. The eye-catching part of their sudden remake as the party of caution, even peace, can’t be overstated. A string of GOP presidents, Reagan, Bush Sr., and George W, Bush, GOP lawmakers, and top GOP administration officials for three decades drilled into the public the party’s hard as nails stance on defense spending, military preparedness, and unlimited, with or without congressional approval, war making. Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, and of course Iraq and Afghanistan, have been testimony to the GOP’s unfettered affinity for military intervention.
During the 2008 presidential election campaign, the GOP hit plan on then Democratic presidential candidate Obama was simple. Pound him relentlessly as soft on the war on terrorism and the military. Reagan, Bush Sr., and especially George W. Bush in 2004 in his reelection fight with Democratic presidential foe Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, used this ploy masterfully against their Democratic opponents.
GOP strategists believed that the soft-on-terrorism and the military smear would work on their Democratic opponents because the party had so firmly staked out its position as the party of military toughness. They had the numbers to back them up. In the months before the 2004 election, polls showed that the overwhelming majority of Republicans unequivocally backed the Iraq War. A decade later, the well-documented fact was that Bush’s claim that Weapons of Mass Destruction were stockpiled in Iraq was a sham and a fabrication, and that he and the war hawks in his administration shamelessly deceived Congress, the UN, and the public on the war. Yet, a majority of Republicans still held fast to the notion that the Iraq war was the right war to wage.
Read Earl Ofari Hutchinson’s entire piece at the Hutchinson Report News.
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