US voters aren't withdrawing from the world by any means. We're withdrawing from profiteering foreign policy "experts."
3/15/2016, "Rubio’s demise marks the last gasp of the Republican reboot," Washington Post, Robert Costa, Philip Rucker, West Miami, Fla.
""Those very elegant papers it published and conferences it held may have
been good and smart, but they didn’t really matter,” said William J.
Bennett, a conservative talk-show host and former education secretary in
Ronald Reagan’s administration. “Instead, everyone who’s been prominent for the last 15 to 20 years finds themselves getting pushed out.”...
Years of carefully laid plans to repackage the Republican Party’s
traditional ideas for a fast-changing country came crashing down here on
Tuesday when Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his campaign for the presidency
after a crippling defeat in his home-state primary.
Romney’s devastating loss in the 2012 presidential election, the
Republican National Committee and leading voices at think tanks,
editorial boards and Capitol Hill symposiums have charted a path back to
the White House based on inclusive rhetoric and a focus on middle-class
Nobody embodied that vision better than Rubio, a charismatic
standard-bearer for conservative orthodoxy who readily embraced the proposals of the right’s elite thinkers. The senator from Florida spoke
urgently and eloquently about raising stagnant wages and eradicating
poverty. He had an immigrant’s tale to match the rhetoric. And on
foreign affairs, he was a passionate defender of the GOP’s hawkish tilt.
But Rubio’s once-promising candidacy, as well as the conservative reform
movement’s playbook, was spectacularly undone by Donald Trump and his
defiant politics of economic and ethnic grievance. The drift toward
visceral populism became an all-consuming rush, leaving Rubio and others
unable to adjust.
Rubio’s fall comes weeks after others who advocated for conservative
reforms, such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie, dropped out of the race, and as the donors and
institutions who have long supported hawkish fiscal and foreign policies
find themselves scrambling to hold onto the consensus that has shaped
the GOP for decades.
For many of them, Trump represents a threat
to the traditional order of the party and its platform. He does not
support overhauling Social Security — a key plank for Romney and GOP
congressional leaders — and he was a vocal critic of the 2003 invasion
of Iraq in its aftermath, setting him apart from much of the party’s
Rubio, whose ascent was propelled by a network of powerful players
for years, was supposed to be the candidate best positioned to stop
Trump and prevent a Republican rupture....
Romney’s defeat in an election many Republicans thought they should
have won, party
leaders concluded the only way to regain the presidency would be to
engage the growing and diverse electorate that President Obama had won over twice. The RNC drafted an “autopsy” that
recommended bolstering appeals to women and minority voters, while
reform conservatives drafted their own manifesto.
Rubio had been
building his base among these Republicans since January 2011, when he
began his Senate term. He joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
and began to speak at think tanks and meet with scholars, most of them
former staffers from George W. Bush’s administration. He hired a number
of them for his own staff.
During his breaks in the Senate, Rubio
would often tell colleagues how he was reading papers sent to him from
former Republican officials or how he was about to have lunch with
another bold-faced name from the Bush years. On his computer, he kept a
“drop box” of related policy files compiled by his advisers....
followed a similar path with foreign-policy hawks as they began to look
for a favorite ahead of the 2016 contest: a flurry of meetings and
op-ed articles and, most critically, solidarity on the issues as they
Although Rubio entered 2015 hobbled with parts of the GOP base
because of immigration, he carried goodwill among those two
constituencies that were driving the Republican establishment: the
reformers and and the hawks.
“The critique was there: The Republican
Party was out of touch,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the
Ethics and Public Policy Center and former George W. Bush speechwriter.
“But the breakdown occurred because we got into a cycle where policy didn't matter at all. Policy was not just secondary, but it was almost
not even in the conversation. And when people tried to interject policy —
whether it was Rubio or Bush or others — there was just no appetite for
it. It didn’t catch on.”
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich said that Rubio campaigned in a way that quickly became obsolete.
was prepared, much like Jeb Bush, for a reasonable dialogue in
Washington policy language, offering positions that reflect 40 years of
national security and foreign-policy experts. All of that disappeared. The market didn't care,” Gingrich said.
Rubio’s hawkish foreign
policy footing, thought to be an asset, was challenged. Trump’s claims
of being “militaristic” even though he was inclined against intervention muddled how voters perceived the candidates, disassociating American power with the hawkish ideology of Rubio and the Bush orbit. Trump’s
denunciations of George W. Bush’s decision to go into Iraq did not make
the hawkish cause any easier."...
Monday, May 29, 2017
Perfumed parasites at GOP affiliated Think Tanks learned by March 2016 that the gravy train had ended: "Those very elegant papers it published and conferences it held may have been good and smart, but they didn’t really matter...Instead, everyone who’s been prominent for the last 15 to 20 years finds themselves getting pushed out.” William J. Bennett, Washington Post, 3/15/2016
Posted by susan at 3:11 AM