I came across an interesting piece by Carter Eskew this week in the Washington Post. The post, "Compromises for Romney?" speculated about concessions Mitt Romney might have to make to please conservatives in his party if he wins the Republican nomination and is elected President this fall. Some of the speculation: John Bolton as Secretary of State; Newt Gingrich as U.N. ambassador; and Rick Santorum as attorney general.
It's going to be tough to lose the outstanding Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in any case (as she's leaving after this term is up even if President Obama is re-elected). But I can't think of anyone I'd rather NOT see succeed her than John Bolton. He was refused confirmation as U.N. ambassador by the Senate in 2005 and 2006 (since he had expressed his belief that the U.N. shouldn't exist at all, that was hardly surprising) before finally getting the position during a recess appointment. Somehow, I don't think that having someone who opposes the U.N.'s very existence managing America's relationship with the rest of the world is a very bright idea. Bolton also said the decision to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was the "happiest moment" of his political career to date.
The Spring 2012 Newsletter features: Exciting Changes at CGS, New ICC Prosecutor Elected, Peacekeeing Report Launched, News and Notes from the Field, and The 2012 Congressional Report Card.
The Republican presidential primary race finally began yesterday with the Iowa caucus, bringing an end to what has seemed like an endless series of debates and media appearances by a field of candidates competing to appeal to their conservative base. In somewhat of a surprise, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won by a mere 8 votes over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The results were all the more perplexing because Romney, thought to be the front runner, did little campaigning in the state, and Santorum, once trailing dead last in polls, came so close to defeating him.
What was also surprising was the support overall by Iowa caucus-goers for Republican candidates with absolutely no foreign policy credentials or knowledge. Let's take Romney for example. While the Republican contender does have a detailed foreign policy plan, unfortunately, most of it is awful. One of his priorities for his first 100 days in office would be to "enhance our deterrent against Iran's [nuclear program]" by increasing our naval presence in surrounding waters and increasing military coordination with nations such as Israel, which has long advocated using military strikes to deter Iran. These are essentially the preliminary steps that precede going to war. After finally ending the war in Iraq and beginning to draw down military efforts in Afghanistan, the last thing we need to do is begin yet another costly, deadly war.
With the new year beginning, this is the time when Citizens for Global Solutions would normally prepare our Congressional Report Card to rate members of Congress on global issue. The CGS Report Card analyzes voting records on issues ranging from genocide prevention to nuclear nonproliferation to funding for the international affairs budget.
But this year, we’ve come to the sad conclusion that there isn’t going to be a Report Card. Why not? Because Congress didn’t do enough on record last year to warrant one.