The Republican Party has been a warlike, hawkish party for the past two decades since the Gulf War, with Congressman Ron Paul of Texas being a rare critic.
When Paul was competing for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2008, he was ridiculed in debates by Rudy Guiliani and other GOP candidates as loony and unrealistic about America’s role in the world.
But as we near ten years in Afghanistan and soon withdraw our forces from Iraq and wonder about the Libyan intervention, nearing three months with no resolution, we are starting to see chinks in the armor of the war wing of the Republican Party.
Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are always looking to bomb and intervene in another Muslim country, and most Republicans in Congress have refused up to now to realize the heavy financial cost of constant military intervention, particularly at a time of record deficits and the growing dispute over raising the debt limit.
But now, at least two Presidential candidates, the two most likely to go all the way to the nomination, are expressing doubts about continuation of the war in Afghanistan, and the need to reconsider military spending in some form. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have taken a courageous stand in this regard, but this has led at least Lindsey Graham to call Mitt Romney another Jimmy Carter, of all things!
IF either Romney or Huntsman become the GOP nominee against Barack Obama next year, there could be an opening for Obama to start moving to end the involvement in Afghanistan.
And if real discussion of defense and military cuts could move forward, it would change the economic outlook dramatically, and allow some relief on such issues as education, health care, and the environment taking all the hits in spending cuts!