Sunday, May 10, 2015


A couple of months ago, Scot Walker said something about foreign policy that was widely derided as a gaffe:
"I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil," Walker said. "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."
What a silly thing to say! Wow, Walker was really making it obvious that he has no foreign policy experience! That really cut into his credibility as a potential president!

In fact , Dave Weigel reminds us that Walker has since "dropped that line," doing so "after some pushback and mockery."

So how does a real presidential candidate talk about foreign policy? A serious aspirant with serious foreign policy chops? Let's take a look:
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio summed up his hawkish foreign policy in a speech at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on Saturday with a reference to the 2008 thriller Taken.

“On our strategy on global jihadists and terrorists, I refer them to the movie Taken. Have you seen the movie Taken? Liam Neeson. He had a line, and this is what our strategy should be: 'We will look for you, we will find you, and we will kill you,'” the Florida senator said in Greenville.

The line -- referring to Neeson's character, a CIA operative threatening a human trafficker who had kidnapped his daughter -- earned the top-tier candidate thunderous applause.
How thoughtful! How well-informed! How nuanced! You sure can tell that Rubio is a seasoned, experienced member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and not some hick college dropout governor!

I'm not snarking off in order to defend what Walker said -- I'm just trying to point out that the level of simplemindedness in Walker's statement was just about average for the Republican field. (Remember: Republicans think Ronald Reagan said something surpassingly brilliant when he told America that his Cold War strategy was "We win, they lose.")

And, of course, if we're going to take Rubio seriously, we ought to recall that Neeson's threat is made in the first Taken movie, and while Neeson makes good on that threat (by torturing that particular antagonist to death), there are still two more sequels' worth of brutality for Neeson to deal with (and respond to with his own brutality) -- which means that Rubio is recommending as an object lesson a fictional world in which you can't fully deter extremely committed bad guys by being really, really angry and threatening toward them in the way Rubio recommends.

But at least we're getting advance warning that Bush-style cowboy rhetoric is coming back with a vengeance in a Rubio presidency.


retiredeng said...

When it comes time for these idiots to produce campaign ads I expect them all to be dressed up as Rambo. With the tag line: "We will find you, and we will kill you."

Victor said...

With all of he conservatives out there, I'm very surprised that we don't have Westerns on TV anymore.

Everyone knew who the good guys bad guys were.
At the end of that night's episode, the good guys won every time, and the bad guys died/

And, also, if one of the "Bonanaza" sons brought home a future bride, or his new wife, you knew she'd be dead by the end of the episode.

bgn said...

We don't have Westerns on TV any more because even TV Westerns weren't Western enough. Instead, we have modern-dress action flicks like Taken, which are the only Hollywood movies anyone in Washington takes seriously. Too seriously.

Professor Chaos said...

Republicans since Reagan have all wanted to base foreign policy on some movie or other. Either John Wayne or Rambo or Chuck Norris. They have a serious disconnect from reality

Ken_L said...

I don't know if these clowns just yearn for life to be like a Hollywood movie, or believe it actually is. Either way, they're not safe to let within 100 miles of the US military.