At the Examiner, Gene Healy writes about why the Rand Paul/Rick Perry initial sparring is good for the foreign policy debate on the right. Whether it’s good or bad in the long run, I do believe it illustrates a number of challenges Republican candidates in 2016 will have to deal with, and the difficulty of assessing where the Republican base is headed at a time when few leaders have run in tandem with its shifting views on national security and foreign policy.
Tagged: Foreign policy
In my last post I discussed the apparent inversion of the responsibility of the executive branch of government, namely that it has taken on a far greater role in domestic policy while turning its back in large part on its traditional responsibility for foreign affairs. The result has been an over-mighty presidency at home, a weakened and ineffectual Congress, and a rudderless foreign policy. While I challenged the American public to rise against the tide of executive overreach, I did not thoroughly address what Congress itself can do to challenge the siphoning away of its traditional powers. There is in fact a great deal it can do.
It was long the case that American presidents held less power on domestic issues than the Congress. The executive branch could only enact the laws of the legislature with a limited tendency to veto. The president’s real power lay in setting foreign policy, as he had much more freedom of action in that arena than on the home front wherein the checks and balances of the Constitution were in full force. That traditional balance has been overridden in the current political system. The fault for this breakdown of traditional magisteria of influence lies with both the executive and the legislative branches.
Fossil fuel use is the lifeblood of developed industrial nations. It has eliminated hunger, poverty, lack of shelter, drudgery, and provided healthier, more comfortable, and longer lifespans. The United States is blessed by having over one hundred years or more supply of inexpensive or moderate cost deposits of each of the fossil fuels–coal, oil, and natural gas. Secretary Kerry, along with President Obama and his supporters, want to eliminate use of the nation’s abundant, reliable, and economical fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources–wind and solar–whose present state of technology make them expensive, unreliable, and impractical to scale up to the size of present fossil fuel capabilities. These policies will substantially lower the standard of living for Americans and condemn developing nations to perpetual poverty.
Pundits are expected to make predictions for the year ahead and far be it for me to avoid what, generally speaking, depends on who is making them. Major trends are already in place and easy to predict as they proceed, but it is always unknown events that upend predictions. Mother Nature and perpetrators of evil can always be counted upon to provide them.
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