Change the Right Can Believe In

Bill Kristol commented on the new Obama national security team:

I like all these choices, you know? I mean, I’m not much of a hope and change guy, so it’s no problem. If I were a hope and change guy, I’d be a little bit distressed, perhaps. . . I mean, why her rather than some of the more conventional picks? Because she has been a little more hawkish than the mainstream of the Democratic Party, voted for the war in Iraq, gave a very fine speech I went and looked up last night, which I recommend that everyone — I think liberals especially, left-wing antiwar activists who think Bush was such a horrible president, who invented WMDs and all that — they should go read Hillary Clinton’s October 10th, 2002 Senate floor speech, a very good justification for the war in Iraq, which she’s never retracted, to my knowledge, tough on Iran. And that’s fine with me if she’s going to be secretary of state. And Jim Jones, who served on the Clinton and Bush administrations at very high levels in the military, obviously, as national security adviser – – that would be — that would be interesting.

For those expecting the dawning of a new age in (or a New Age) national security policy, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and James L. Jones likely don’t send a thrill up their legs. But if you are wary of a foreign policy excessively reliant on “soft power,” if you want the victory in Iraq secured and Afghanistan won, and if roll your eyes in disgust at the thought of an American President try to charm Ahmadinejad you are resting easier with this line-up in the wings.

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Change the Right Can Believe In

Must-Reads from Magazine

Can Turkey be Trusted with F-35s?

Are the warplane's secrets safe?

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the newest generation air platform for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Lockheed-Martin, which builds the F-35, describes it as “a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.” For both diplomatic reasons and to encourage sales, Lockheed-Martin subcontracted the production of many F-35 components to factories abroad. Many program partners—Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, for example—are consistent U.S. allies.

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The Trump Right’s Martyrdom of Kim Guadagno

Too many martyrs make a movement.

If the GOP is to be converted into a vehicle for politicians who evince Donald Trump’s brand of pragmatic center-right populism, Trump will have to demonstrate his brand of politics can deliver victories for people other than himself. Presidential pen strokes help to achieve that, as do judicial appointments. Nothing is so permanent, though, as sweeping legislative change. On that score, the newly Trumpian Republican Party is coming up short. If the passive process of transformational legislative success fails to compel anti-Trump holdouts in the GOP to give up the ghost, there is always arm-twisting. It seems the Republican National Committee is happy to play enforcer.

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The Conservative Crack-Up, 2017 Edition

Podcast: Conservatism in shackles while O.J. goes free?

On the second of this week’s podcasts, I ask Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman whether the health-care debacle this week is simply a reflection of the same pressures on the conservative coalition Donald Trump saw and conquered by running for president last year—and what it will mean for him and them that he has provided no rallying point for Republican politicians. And then we discuss OJ Simpson. Give a listen.

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Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy

Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron surprised almost everyone when he invited President Donald Trump to celebrate Bastille Day with him in Paris, especially after the two leaders’ awkward first meeting in Brussels in May. After all, between now and then, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and Macron has become perhaps the most vocal critic of Trump among European leaders.

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Trump Quietly Gives Putin What He Wants

Quid pro quo?

Until now, the notion that Donald Trump was providing Russia and Vladimir Putin with concessions at the expense of U.S. interests was poorly supported. That all changed on Wednesday afternoon when the Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump ordered his national security advisor and CIA director to scrap a program that provided covert aid to anti-Assad rebels in Syria.

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