ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Foreign Policy" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Republican Senators Prepare To Violate A Sworn Oath

[ Posted Friday, January 17th, 2020 – 17:46 UTC ]

This doublethink continued this week, as every sitting senator (except the one who was absent due to a family medical emergency) swore a solemn oath to be an impartial juror -- an oath that several Republicans have already publicly promised to utterly disregard. Because, you know, all that business about being for law and order and all that tut-tutting over the sins of "moral relativism" is so 1990s.

Read Complete Article »

Snap Reactions To The Seventh Democratic Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 00:12 UTC ]

To use a sports metaphor, we're right at the end of the pre-season and about to start the actual games that count. Tonight was the last presidential debate between the Democratic candidates before Iowa votes in its caucuses. From now on, in each subsequent debate, we'll know not just who is up in the public opinion polling, but who has done better at the actual polls, where voters cast their ballots for the Democratic nomination.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- The Madman Theory, Personified

[ Posted Friday, January 10th, 2020 – 18:29 UTC ]

We've said it before and we're sure we'll have to say it again before the year's out, but President Trump is the personification of what Richard Nixon used to call the "Madman Theory" of foreign policy. Back then, it was a bluff -- if Nixon acted crazy enough, then perhaps the North Vietnamese would think he was so crazy he might just drop a nuclear bomb on them. This would tend to restrain them more than if they were sure he wouldn't.

Read Complete Article »

Precedent Trump

[ Posted Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 18:23 UTC ]

Today, I'd like to step back from a day-to-day analysis of Donald Trump's actions in order to look at a slightly bigger picture. Because at this point, it almost seems like we should all start calling him "Precedent Trump," since he is setting so many of them for future presidents to either use or abuse at will. Republicans who now slavishly insist upon supporting anything and everything Trump does -- no matter how outrageous, no matter how disruptive -- should be warned that future presidents (Democratic ones most definitely included) may one day point to current GOP behavior while insisting that they have exactly the same rights that Trump has claimed for himself. Because this is always the ultimate test of supporting any expansion of presidential powers: would you support a president of the other party doing such a thing? Again, Republicans would do well to consider this in the Trump era, because it's my guess that some of these precedents are going to come back to bite them later on. And it'll be pretty tough for them to argue against these precedents after so wholeheartedly supporting them now.

Read Complete Article »

Looking Forward To A Democratic Foreign Policy Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 – 18:14 UTC ]

The next Democratic presidential debate is going to almost have to focus intensely on questions of foreign policy. No matter what anyone had planned previously, the situation almost demands it now. So far, the debates have been remarkably light on foreign policy, which has allowed almost all the candidates to utter platitudes about the type of world they'd like to see as president, without delving too far into any specifics about what they'd do as president at all (except perhaps on minor differences between the candidates' policies). This is no longer good enough, as we all wait to see what happens next with Iran.

Read Complete Article »

Today's Two Big Stories

[ Posted Monday, January 6th, 2020 – 18:26 UTC ]

There are two major stories in the political world today, without a whole lot of overlap. They both have foreign policy in common, and the outcome of both is unpredictable at this point. Other than that they are entirely separate stories, so we're going to handle them separately rather than trying to tie them together in any way. The bigger story by far is Donald Trump's assassination of a major Iranian military figure as well as an Iraqi militia leader. This could have far-reaching consequences across the Middle East, obviously. The second story is that John Bolton is apparently ready to spill the beans on Trump, as long as the Senate "forces" him to by issuing a subpoena.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- On The Brink

[ Posted Friday, January 3rd, 2020 – 18:23 UTC ]

As we sit down to write this, America is on the brink... of a lot of things, all at once. Largest among these: we are now on the brink of another war in the Middle East, this time with Iran. We could also be on the brink of a North Korean nuclear test or I.C.B.M. launch, which would probably signal a disastrous end to the Trump diplomatic bromance with Kim Jong Un. We're on the brink of a presidential impeachment trial in the Senate -- only the third one in our entire history. We're on the brink of a presidential primary season. And we're on the brink of a new political decade. All are pretty momentous, meaning that 2020 could turn out to be even more chaotic than the three years which preceded it. There's a scary (or just plain exhausting) thought, indeed.

Read Complete Article »

Pelosi Trolls Trump

[ Posted Monday, December 30th, 2019 – 18:06 UTC ]

Is Nancy Pelosi now just openly trolling Trump? It certainly seems that way. At this point, Pelosi's refusal to send over the articles of impeachment to the Senate appears to be nothing short of a political stunt to keep the impeachment story raging over the holiday weeks at the end of the year, while causing Trump's head to explode (even more than normal, of course). By this measure, it is working out wonderfully well for Pelosi.

Read Complete Article »

My 2019 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 27th, 2019 – 19:41 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second and final installment of our year-end awards columns! If you missed last week's column, you should probably check that out, too.

Read Complete Article »

My 2019 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 20th, 2019 – 19:05 UTC ]

Welcome back once again to our year-end "McLaughlin Awards," named for the awards categories we lifted from the McLaughlin Report years ago. We've added a category here and there over time, but it's still the same basic list.

Read Complete Article »