FRONT ROYAL, VA — During the Reagan years, a story circulated about a meeting between Henry Kissinger and a newly-appointed Assistant Secretary of State.
“I have finally met a man more arrogant than I,” Kissinger later told his friends.
Mr. Kissinger had not yet met Barack Obama.
It’s sad but true that Obama’s colossal ineptitude offers an easy target these days; his flippant narcissism only feeds the dark fog of discontent that grips the country.
Republicans have made the most of it, unloading a barrage of criticism, most of which, even stunned Obamanites admit, is richly deserved.
And yet, amidst the sludge, the Rubble perceives a cause for pause when viewing the recent Crimean unpleasantness.
Neocon pundit Charles Krauthammer rises to the transcendental pinnacle of histrionic horror: “Good God,” he writes.
All that’s missing is the exclamation point.
But Dr. Krauthammer’s invocation of the deity has garnered our attention.
“Under Obama, Russia has run rings around America, including America’s empty threats of ‘consequences’ were Russia to annex Crimea,” he gripes.
Well, since the good doctor has invoked the supernatural, the Rubble will abide there long enough to borrow a question worn on the wrist by many Christians to remind them of their moral priorities: “WWJD.”
“What Would Jesus Do?”
Only now, leaving sacred ground far behind, we ask instead, “What Would Republicans Do?”
Cast your memory back to 2008, when Candidate John McCain proclaimed, “We’re all Georgians now” (note: this was not a pitch for the Greater Savannah Chamber of Commerce).
Had McCain won in 2008, would he have taken the U.S. to war over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the territories in dispute between Georgia and its Russian neighbor?
His rhetoric said he would.
Now fast-forward four years to 2012.
(Fast forward? It’s more like a long, hard slog).
During the Republican primary debates, Mitt Romney said that, if “crippling sanctions” failed, he would be willing to go to war to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Romney also advocated “not only sanctions, but covert actions within Syria to get regime change there.”
Well, last September, Obama wanted U.S. military intervention in Syria as well, intimating en passant an unspoken alliance with Al Qaeda “rebels” there.
But then Pope Francis called for a worldwide day of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for peace in Syria; and three days later, the war was cancelled.
Would a bellicose President Romney have listened to the Pope?
The question here is simple: Regarding Crimea, WWRD?
Consider a President John McCain.
Last month, McCain bragged on the Senate floor that he had warned in 2008 of Russia’s intention to “regain the status of the old Russian Empire.” As a deterrent, then-candidate McCain had advocated bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO.
Had that come to pass, the U.S. would today be bound by the NATO treaty to go to war against Russia to defend the territorial integrity of its NATO ally.
Would a President McCain really go to war with Russia over Crimea?
Consider a President Romney.
Had Romney followed through on his debate threat, the U.S. military would already be involved – dare we say “bogged down” – in the Syrian civil war.
Would Romney open a second front in Crimea?
Would either McCain or Romney bother to go to Congress first, and encourage a national and open debate prior to an up-or-down vote on a Declaration of War, as the Constitution requires?
Maybe they could try whipping up public support with a catchy slogan, along the lines of the “Axis of Evil.”
An open, nationwide debate would doubtless help them find out just how eager Americans really are to go to war with Russia.
Or perhaps they would avoid Congress, and proceed along the lines of George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, and ask United Nations for its seal of approval.
Well, we all know where that got us.
Peace and Prosperity, Or Plunder?
During the debates surrounding the adoption of the Constitution by the several states, one commentator observed that “the government should be so small that it doesn’t matter who wins.”
Well, the government is no longer small; and Republicans share the blame.
Conservatives are dismayed at the collapse of conviction and principle in the party’s national establishment. Gone are the days when GOP leaders would defend valiantly the principles of limited government, the rule of law, and the rights and duties of individual citizens.
Now the national party seems to quibble – if at all – only over how fast the budget should rise, and how far the government’s intrusion into our daily lives should increase.
Just how hard have the GOP and its leadership stood up to the vast tsunami of government growth, unconstitutional overreach, and just plain incompetence of the current administration?
All too often, the GOP has abandoned constitutional principle in order to serve the financial and business interests of America’s Crony Class.
The party of “peace and prosperity” that once condemned “Democrat wars,” as Senator Bob Dole so famously did in 1976, now splashes in the Bipartisan Beltway Hot Tub along with their pals from the Military-Security-Lobbyist-Financial Complex.
Sure, Krauthammer and friends grouse that the imperial presidency doesn’t work under Obama. Did it have better days under George W. Bush?
Back in our nation’s Founding period, remember, someone observed that the government should be so small that it shouldn’t matter who wins.
Now it’s so BIG that it doesn’t matter, either.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom