Republican Reckoning

Mismanaged for eight years by the Bush administration, the Republican Party is in peril. Neoconservative table scraps are neither appropriate nor wise. But the GOP has another foreign-policy tradition to which it can turn. Presidents from Eisenhow

Issue: July-Aug 2009

From the July/August 2009 issue of The National Interest.


THE REPUBLICAN Party is not in trouble. It is in peril. In 2006 it lost control of Congress. In 2008 it lost the presidency. And in 2010 it may lose again unless the party changes course, particularly in foreign policy, where it has, by and large, enjoyed a commanding lead over Democrats for decades.

The GOP long championed pragmatism in foreign policy, marrying diplomacy with force, prudence with vigilance. America is served best by a coldly austere assessment of its ambitions and the resources required to fulfill them. It is a strategic approach that emphasizes the assertion of national interests, but also shuns wantonly antagonizing foreign powers-and this was once emblematic of the GOP.

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