TheDC Morning

TheDC Morning: A tea party foreign policy?

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) Tea party foreign policy?  — At least part of the tea party is wading into the foreign policy debate. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Jim Antle reports:

“The conservative activist group FreedomWorks is telling Congress to vote against the Syria war resolution. In an email to supporters titled ‘Stop Obama’s War in Syria,’ FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe wrote, ‘Obama has asked Congress to authorize a potentially limitless war.’ ‘Americans don’t want this war, and we can’t afford this war,’ Kibbe continued. ‘We shouldn’t be focused on ‘red lines’ abroad. The President and Congress should focus on the ‘red lines’ at home.’ ‘There is no guarantee that ‘limited’ military operations in Syria will lead to a ‘limited’ result,’ Kibbe added in a media statement. ‘The costs of brinksmanship in an ongoing civil war are steep, and a collapse of state would fall in our laps. In other words, if we break it, we buy it.'”

Two things to note here. First, there are many reasons to oppose intervention in Syria, but cost is really not one of the best. There is very little chance that the cost of the intervention will have a meaningful impact on our long-term fiscal situation. We need to reform our entitlements, especially Medicare, to save our budgetary ship. What we do in Syria will matter little financially. The second point worth noting is that a tea party group is getting into the foreign policy game. When the tea party arose, it was focused on budgetary issues and as a result was able to unite a wide range Americans with different foreign policy perspectives in a common cause of budgetary restraint. TheDC Morning doubts Syria will fracture the tea party coalition given the potential conflict’s unpopularity, but if the movement wades into other foreign policy issues, we may see the tea party fracture along what you might call the Rand Paul/Marco Rubio-axis. It’s certainly something to watch.

2.) Making the case — Back from his not-so-successful Russian adventure, President Obama is ready to persuade the American people on Syria. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports

“President Barack Obama is blitzing senators and American voters prior to the Senate’s Tuesday vote on his still-secret plan for punishing the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for firing nerve gas into rebel-held neighborhoods. On Sunday evening, Obama dropped into a meeting held by Vice President Joe Biden with several swing-voting GOP senators, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Bob Corker Tennessee, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Deb Fischer of Nebraska, according to the White House. Obama stayed for roughly 80 minutes. On Monday, Obama will do face-to-face interviews with six networks, where reporters might prod him to outline the scope and limits of his planned aerial intervention into Syria’s civil war.”

Hopefully his speechifying won’t prevent him from getting in a few rounds of golf this week.

3.) Tomahawk away — Congress has not yet weighted in on Syria, but the Oneida Nation is letting its voice be known on an important aspect of the potential strike. TheDC’s Patrick Howley reports:

“The American Indian tribe pushing to change the name of the Washington Redskins is not offended by President Obama’s potential use of ‘Tomahawk’ cruise missiles in Syria. ‘Go to a Webster’s dictionary and read what ‘Redskins’ means. It specifically says that it is a racial slur. That is the Webster’s dictionary. If you look up ‘tomahawk’ that’s not what it says,’ Joel Barkin, vice president of communications for Oneida Nation, told The Daily Caller. ‘[Redskin] is an objective slur. That is the primary issue here,’ Barkin said.”

President Obama may not have the American people, Congress, America’s closest allies, the United Nations or NATO, but he sure as hell has the Oneida Nation. Well, at least they aren’t offended by the name of missile that could be this conflict’s signature weapon. That counts for something, no?

4.) Does Newt know how to ask questions? — Newt Gingrich is a man of many talents, from politics to zoology. But as he prepares to debut as a television host on CNN’s “Crossfire” Monday, the world wants to know whether he can stop pontificating long enough to ask a question? TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports:

“One question observers have asked of Gingrich, who will transition from politician to TV host: can the intellectual conservative succeed in not just answering questions, but asking them too? Asked that question by TheDC, Gingrich pointed to his time as speaker. ‘When you spend 20 years in the U.S. House and the other 434 people also won elections, everybody believes they have a right to be heard,’ he said. ‘The essence of leadership is listening and learning in that kind of environment. So I’m very comfortable being in a setting, listening to people and asking them questions.’ As for his role on ‘Crossfire,’ Gingrich said: ‘I have an interest in asking the right question of the guest on the other side in order to open up whatever weakness there is in their particular position.'”

TheDC Morning has faith Newt can pull it off.

5.) Tweet of Yesterday  Eli Lake: Washington insiders say the #Syria vote will be a top White House priority this week. #protip

6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “Actions Called for Those Responsible for Hypocritical Project of Four Large Rivers”

VIDEO: Syria’s military an unstoppable all-terrain juggernaut, Syrian videos definitively prove

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Jamie Weinstein