GOP Presidential Candidates Divided Over the Merits of Dictators?
Today the Los Angeles Times has a story about a bizarre schism supposedly developing within the GOP.
Several top Republican presidential candidates have begun arguing that the United States should embrace, or at least tolerate, old-fashioned dictators — a sharp split from the professed policy of the GOP in the George W. Bush administration.
Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz have gone so far as to argue that the country would be safer if former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and former Libyan boss Moammar Gaddafi — ousted in large part by U.S. force — were still around. Both autocrats headed military governments that were infamous for human rights abuses and other repressive policies.
“I don’t believe we should be trying to transform foreign countries into democratic utopias,” Cruz, of Texas, said recently.
Their statements have set off a noisy debate within the GOP between those who advocate acceptance of dictators and those whose views are closer to the neoconservative approach of President George W. Bush — including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
I guess we can’t be TOO surprised to find decidedly mixed feelings about dictators among the people vying to lead the GOP, considering the amount of love for Vladimir Putin that has been expressed on the right recently.
Even so, this “divide”, like everything else coming out of the GOP at this point in the cycle, is nothing but cynical posturing. Those expressing the view that the Middle East would be better off with Saddam Hussein today are simply putting some serious distance between themselves and the George W. Bush administration. Invoking the name of Muammar Gaddafi wistfully is nothing but a way to attack Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State without having to use the B(enghazi) word. Rush Limbaugh is now doing so regularly during his daily Clinton tantrum. He has gone so far as to state that Gaddafi had become an important US ally in the region at the time of his demise!
Anyone with an IQ over room temperature can just as easily imagine what the GOP campaign would be like in a world in which the Obama administration had firmly backed the Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak regimes against the Arab Spring. There would be nonstop gnashing of teeth over the failure of the Obama administration to honor the desire of people chafing under the yoke of tyranny to taste the nectar of freedom!