This post was written by Connor Balough
In the New York Slimes today, a miraculous thing happened. Liberal feminist Maureen Down came out in favor of Republican Donald Trump over liberal Hillary Clinton when it comes to foreign policy.
She considers Trump a dove compared to hawkish Hillary, quoting his favor of strong national defense over meddling in other countries’ affairs with unintended consequences all while bankrupting us in the process. Here’s a quote from her piece.
“….On some foreign policy issues, the roles are reversed for the candidates and their parties. It’s Hillary the Hawk against Donald the Quasi-Dove.
Just as Barack Obama seemed the more feminized candidate in 2008 because of his talk-it-out management style, his antiwar platform and his delicate eating habits, always watching his figure, so now, in some ways, Trump seems less macho than Hillary.
He has a tender ego, pouty tweets, needy temperament and obsession with hand sanitizer, whereas she is so tough and combat-hardened, she’s known by her staff as “the Warrior.”
The prime example of commander-in-chief judgment Trump offers is the fact that, like Obama, he thought the invasion of Iraq was a stupid idea.
He can sound belligerent, of course, saying that he would bomb the expletive-deleted out of ISIS and that he would think up new and imaginative ways to torture terrorists and kill their families.
But he says that in most cases he would rather do the art of the deal than shock and awe.
“Unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct,” he said in his maiden foreign policy speech in Washington last week, adding, “A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength.”
These Kumbaya lines had the neocons leaping into Hillary’s muscular embrace.
If the neocons get neophyte Republicans on the presidential ticket, they prefer ones like Dan Quayle, W. and Sarah Palin, who are “educable,” as Bill Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, once said of Quayle.
Trump may have a lot to learn about the issues, but he’s not malleable.
In his new book, “Alter Egos,” Times White House correspondent Mark Landler makes the case that the former Goldwater Girl, the daughter of a Navy petty officer and a staunch Republican, has long had hawkish tendencies, reflected in her support for military action in Iraq and Libya and a no-fly zone in Syria.
“It’s bred in the bone,” Landler told me.
“There’s no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s more muscular brand of American foreign policy is better matched to 2016 than it was to 2008,” Jake Sullivan, Hillary’s policy adviser both at the State Department and in her campaign, told Landler.
But Hillary never expected to meet this mix of dove, hawk and isolationist. She thought she would face Marco Rubio, a more traditional conservative who would out-hawk her. Instead, she’s meeting Trump, who is “a sheep in wolf’s clothing,” as Axelrod put it. Like a free-swinging asymmetric boxer, Trump can keep Hillary off balance by punching from both the left and the right.
You can actually envision a foreign policy debate between Trump and Clinton that sounds oddly like the one Obama and Clinton had in 2008, with Trump playing Obama, preening about his good judgment on Iraq, wanting an end to nation-building and thinking he could have a reset with Russia.
Despite gossip when she was first lady that she did not like people in uniform, the truth is the reverse: She gravitates toward “nail-eaters,” her aides told Landler, and loves the gruff, Irish, bearlike demeanor of Jack Keane, a retired four-star general and the resident hawk on Fox News who helped define her views on military issues and is still in touch.
As secretary of state, she hit it off with Gen. Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus. And she loved to have a stiff drink with Bob Gates and John McCain.
She has a weakness for big, swaggering, rascally he-men.
Like Donald Trump.”