Republicans Should Stop Complaining About Obama’s Foreign Policy

How to Make Government Work
Nov. 19 2012 5:41 PM

Republicans Should Stop Complaining About Obama’s Foreign Policy

156442410
Sen. John McCain won't let go of Benghazi as a political talking point

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images.

Note to Sen. John McCain and other Republicans who love to talk about foreign policy: The election is over. The moment for partisanship, if there ever is one when foreign policy is the topic, has passed. We used to say, "Politics stops at the water’s edge." And we believed it. Now is the time to focus on answers and solutions, if there are any, to the vexing issues we confront in a complicated and turbulent world.

Yet even yesterday, John McCain, perhaps the most senior Republican voice on foreign policy, continued to rant against the president. Some Republicans seem to view the entire world through the lens of partisan disagreement. Isn't the Benghazi tragedy a cover-up for something? Did the turmoil in Gaza erupt right after the election because the president somehow delayed the crisis there? It is all kind of nuts, maybe a last stage in Republican grief or denial that hopefully will pass soon. 

Advertisement

We all acknowledge that many regions of the world really are a mess, especially the Middle East. Syria's civil war is a continuing humanitarian disaster. Hamas is raining rockets down on Israel, and experiencing the predictable and appropriate response. Iran is marching forward with its nuclear enrichment process, and getting awfully close to whatever red lines have been drawn.

Simply stating that we need to get the Middle East peace process back on track is too vapid an answer. While I do like the idea of sending Bill Clinton back to the region to see if the talks can be revived, the moment simply may not be propitious for a broader agreement. A ceasefire to the current conflict is welcome, but there are deep-seated hostilities that need to be resolved before a two-state solution is realistic. And it is not yet clear what role Egypt will play. Public rhetoric aside, President Mohamed Morsi privately may be seeking a more moderate path between Hamas and Israel. With appropriate encouragement Egypt could join Turkey as a moderate, democratic, Islamic nation helping us thread the needle in this tortured region. This is where real diplomacy is needed, not theatrics by disappointed Republicans trying to unearth nonexistent cover-ups in the tragedy of Benghazi.

Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of the state of New York, hosts Viewpoint on Current TV. Follow @eliotspitzer on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The NFL Has No Business Punishing Players for Off-Field Conduct. Leave That to the Teams.

Meet the Allies the U.S. Won’t Admit It Needs in Its Fight Against ISIS

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Medical Examiner

How to Stop Ebola

Survivors might be immune. Let’s recruit them to care for the infected.

History

America in Africa

The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.

New GOP Claim: Hillary Clinton’s Wealth and Celebrity Are Tricks to Disguise Her Socialism

Why the Byzantine Hiring Process at Universities Drives Academics Batty

Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 3:29 PM The Fascinating Origins of Savannah, Georgia’s Distinctive Typeface
  News & Politics
History
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM America in Africa The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Education
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM Why Your Cousin With a Ph.D. Is a Basket Case  Understanding the Byzantine hiring process that drives academics up the wall.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 23 2014 11:37 PM How to Stop Ebola Could survivors safely care for the infected?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?