Saturday, November 12, 2011

Huntsman exposes Republican ignorance and irresponsibility on foreign policy

Hours before the first Republican presidential debate to focus on foreign policy, Jon Huntsman released a web video to capitalize on the only issue where he has the clear advantage over his competitors.

The video starts with a montage of Huntsman's opponents making inaccurate or contradictory statements about other countries, while melancholy piano music plays in a minor key.

(You can watch it below.)

Of course, Huntsman's right. The video captures many of the greatest hits of abject ignorance and utter irresponsibility on foreign policy that characterize the GOP presidential field from top to bottom. And Huntsman is indeed a giant compared to his rivals -- and fairly impressive in his own right.

The problem is, no one cares -- and no one's listening, not with Huntsman way down in the polls.

The 2012 election won't be about foreign policy, and in today's GOP it's actually to his detriment that he's knowledgeable about the world and about America's place in it. Ignorance and irresponsibility play well in the GOP, after all, particularly with the party's right-wing base. Think back to Donald Trump's bullying talk on China -- that was hugely popular on the right. Or consider now how all the "foreign policy" talk, such as there is any, among the candidates amounts to oneupmanship on "American exceptionalism" while painting President Obama, who is also knowledgeable about the world and about America's place in it, as a traitor, a threat to the simplistic hegemonic worldview that passes for foreign policy in the GOP.

I could go on and on.

I credit Huntsman for trying. While I may not agree with him on most issues, he's an admirable man trying to speak some sense to a senseless party.

It just won't get him anywhere, at least not in 2012. Republicans have no use for such intelligence.

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