It has always been a cornerstone of the conservative Republican theology, however fictional/bogus, that the Republican “daddy” party is better able to keep America safe, by relentlessly pursuing a belligerent, muscle-bound foreign policy, dismissing diplomacy as the refuge of weaklings and “appeasers”. George W. Bush’s “with us or against us”, “dead or alive”, “bring ’em on” and “my way or the highway” rhetoric on the subject nicely encapsulate this manly self-image of the GOP and its sycophantic mouthpieces in the media (most notably, Bill O’Reilly, who has raised ignorant belligerence to a new level, and Rush Limbaugh, the pilonidal pussy with a patriot pin).
In truth, 7 years of stunningly incompetent deployment of this Republican strategy has left the United States in an historically weak position, with a military exhausted by a useless and unnecessary war of choice in Iraq, and an economy in hock to foreign debt holders and enfeebled by petroleum princes (our friends!!) who are sucking the lifeblood out of our country with $130/barrel oil. Worst of all, this president has so diminished and demeaned the office of the President of the United States, that diplomacy is really no longer an option: even our allies feel no obligation to take his call (witness the recent sorry spectacle of George W. Bush virtually groveling at the feet of Saudi King Abdullah seeking lower oil prices, and Abdullah virtually telling him to take a hike).
This, then, is what we get from the muscular stupidity of the Right. John McCain promises more of the same. Obama’s strategy of engagement with our enemies (and with our allies who now treat us with contempt) is only “appeasement” in the minds of the ideologically-blinkered “patriots” who have (mis) led this country to near-ruin. This is the Legacy of 43.