We Bow to the God Bipartisanship

We Bow to the God Bipartisanship

Mini Teaser: Bipartisanship: the Holy Grail of American politics. Long the go-to buzzword for presidents, elusive cross-aisle support at home has all too often been purchased at the price of good policy abroad.

by Author(s): Leslie H. Gelb

The foreign-policy community should look again at the costs and benefits of bipartisanship. A strong case can be made that a winning U.S. foreign policy turns not so much on politics and political parties but on other factors: the strength and vibrancy of the economy (declining seriously), the credibility of our military capability (still strong for deterrence and punishment), and how well policy corresponds to realities on the ground and applicable U.S. power.

Step one in the quest for better policy is to stop drinking the bipartisan Kool-Aid.

Leslie H. Gelb is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former senior official in the State and Defense Departments, and a former New York Times columnist. He is also a member of The National Interest’s Advisory Council.

Image: Pullquote: Brent Scowcroft put it best: “Our policies are too often constructed to deal with domestic politics rather than the realities of world politics.” Essay Types: Essay