Is Huntsman a Republican?
Is Jon Huntsman a Republican?
In a post below, Benjamin Domenech argues that Jon Huntsman's foreign policy views are not those of a Republican:
Whether you agree with them or not, even supporters must concede that Huntsman's foreign policy views are a clear rejection not just of George W. Bush, but of thirty years of the views of Republican nominees on the proper attitude toward war fighting and engagement. One does not have to accept the view of Washington's neoconservative elite in order to take a view of America's role in the world that has been consistent in the Republican Party since the post-Nixon era. And Huntsman's foreign policy team - which includes former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, CFR head Richard Haass and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the leaker of Valerie Plame's identity - has already sparked concern among Jewish groups that Huntsman's views on America's relationship with Israel could be as out of sync with Republican values as the rest of his portfolio.
I wonder about this. First, as Ben notes, Huntsman's foreign policy advisors are all... Republicans. Not only that, they're Republicans who have all held senior foreign policy making positions in Republican governments following the Nixon administration. Don't their views and input qualify as authentically Republican?
Second, the Huntsman position that is most at odds with what Ben defines as Republican foreign policy is the argument that the U.S. must withdraw troops from Afghanistan at a faster pace than what General Petraeus reportedly recommended to President Obama. Disagreeing with the military is not only not a rejection of 30 years of Republican foreign policy making - it's completely consistent with George Bush's foreign policy. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was famous for questioning and even over-riding the military advice of his commanders. Rumsfeld remains, I presume, a Republican.
What Huntsman's initial campaign rhetoric does suggest is that he's willing to question some cherished foreign policy orthodoxies of the neoconservative wing of the Republican party. I think there's room to do that and still qualify as a Republican.