The Republican ‘civil war’ on foreign policy

The Republican ‘civil war’ on foreign policy

The Washington Post reports:

When Ronald Reagan addressed a brand new organization of upstart conservatives nearly five decades ago, he cast U.S. entanglements abroad as part of the nation’s destiny to take on “leadership of the free world” and to serve as a shining “city on the hill” that inspired other countries, sparking thunderous applause.

At a dinner named after the former president at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gathering earlier this month, failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake pushed a very different message to the party’s activists.

“We are living on planet crazy where we have hundreds of billions of dollars of our hard-earned American money being sent overseas to start World War III,” Lake said in her keynote address, inflating the amount of U.S. aid that’s been sent to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. “This is not our fight. We are ‘America First!’”

Lake’s strident aversion to deepening American involvement in Ukraine, echoed by many speakers at CPAC, has been dismissed by some Republicans in Congress as a fringe viewpoint held by a handful of conservatives that does not meaningfully threaten NATO unity against Vladimir Putin’s invasion. Congress has appropriated more than $113 billion since the war started in multiple bipartisan votes.

But Republican voters are increasingly adopting those same skeptical views, with surveys showing them becoming colder to continued U.S. aid as the conflict drags into its second year. Likely and declared GOP presidential candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former president Donald Trump, as well as a growing faction of Republican lawmakers in the House, are promoting that skepticism as well, with potentially seismic consequences for the conflict and the party itself. [Continue reading…]

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