Impressive Show for Anti-War Republicans: Is Neoconservatism Now Outside Republican Mainstream?
Imagine if Ohio Representative and anti-war activist Dennis Kucinich had come in second place and won 23 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 2008 -- after taking a close third place in the Iowa caucuses. The New York Times' headlines would be proclaiming "A Huge Victory for Anti-War Democrats," and Fox News pundits would be warning that the Democratic Party was being taken over by "anti-American appeasers" and "secret Muslims."
But Kucinich ended up winning only 1.35 percent of the New Hampshire primary vote in 2008. Chicago Senator Barack Obama who was a critic of the Iraq War did get 36.45 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary in the Granite State that year. But his foreign policy views had never amounted to a coherent anti-interventionist agenda.
If anything, when it comes to foreign policy, it is former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and this year's Republican presidential candidate who is calling for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that sounds today like candidate Obama did in 2008 when he was urging an end to the war in Iraq.
You can describe both Huntsman and Obama as "realist internationalists" in the tradition of Republican President George H. W. Bush and Democratic President Bill Clinton. They have never pretended they that they were waving the anti-war flag; but still, they were critical of the neoconservative let's-invade-the-world agenda.