Poor Max Boot
Back in 1956, Clarence "Frogman" Henry croaked out a tune entitled "Ain't Got No Home." This is the theme song of Max Boot, as his latest opinion piece demonstrates.
In the pages of the Washington Post, the paper of record for the Washington establishment, Boot decries the fact that the left wing of the Democratic Party more or less mirrors President Trump on foreign policy matters. Boot writes,
The progressive wing of the Democrat Party is as ready to abandon free trade as the Trumpified GOP – and as willing to criticize money spent for nation-building as a giveaway to foreigners that would be better directed towards domestic needs.
Apart from Boot's mischaracterization of the unfair trade arrangements endured by the U.S. as "free trade," what's not to like about such positions? Anyone who is not on the Chinese payroll directly or indirectly can see the absolute need of Trump's efforts to aggressively address China's predatory trade practices.
Continuing on trade, Boot criticizes Elizabeth Warren for writing the following in Foreign Affairs magazine:
While international economic policies and trade deals have worked gloriously well for the elites around the world, they have left working people discouraged and disaffected. Efforts to promote the United States' own security have soaked up huge resources and destabilized entire regions, and meanwhile, U.S. technological dominance has quickly eroded[.] ... To fight back, we need to pursue international policies that benefit all Americans, not merely an elite few.
If Warren keeps thinking like that, next thing you know, she'll be wearing a MAGA hat.
Regarding military interventions, Boot can't seem to understand why Bernie Sanders would say something like this: "Far too often, American interventions and the use of American military power has produced unintended consequences which have cause incalculable harm" to the U.S. and others. It is not often that Crazy Bernie is lucid, but in this particular case, credit the Vermont senator for seeing the obvious.
Boot is tearing out what is left of his hair as "[n]either Democrats nor Republicans will make a principled argument for nation-building[.]" Well, Max, no candidate is likely to make such an argument. If any did, his chances of winning an election at any level, never mind the presidential one, is slim. What Boot can't get through his head is that a "principled case for nation-building" was basically made by candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney. What happened to them? They both lost to an otherwise beatable man who rejected it. More to the point, the U.S. is suffering from an ongoing nation-building hangover due to President George W. Bush's disastrous experiment with it in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those interventions, along with the Obama-Clinton Libya fiasco, have destabilized the Middle East, costing America many trillions of dollars along with a multitude of dead and maimed young U.S. soldiers. The truth is America is not more secure for trying to bring democracy to the Middle East; it is less so.
Boot thinks he can reverse the tide of American public opinion against foreign adventures and unfair trade by the power of his words. At least when King Canute commanded the tide to stop from coming in, he was intentionally demonstrating the folly of trying. Not Boot. And because Max Boot demands his adopted country continue to be the "benevolent global hegemon" of yesteryear tending to the world's problems, he ain't got no home – not in the Republican Party of Trump nor the rising progressive wing of the Democratic Party.