Brimming with confidence that the despised outsider usurper who held them back is on his way out, the Swamp critters are rustling again, and they’re not making any bones about their intention of putting the cronyist insider globalist band back together.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis has put an exclamation point on why supporters of President Trump believe it is vital to the very future of this nation that he continues to fight to fully expose the shenanigans that surrounded the 2020 election. In a Nov. 23 op-ed for Foreign Affairs magazine co-authored with three think tank wonks, Mattis bluntly called the “America First” championed by Trump to be expunged from U.S. foreign policy.
In the opinion piece, Mattis and his cohorts passionately defend robust U.S. military interventionism abroad and specifically take exception to any criticism that labels the decades-old quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq as “endless wars.”
The language employed is straight out of the neoconservative heyday of the George W. Bush years:
“In practice, ‘America first’ has meant ‘America alone.’ That has damaged the country’s ability to address problems before they reach U.S. territory and has thus compounded the danger emergent threats pose …
To dismiss U.S. involvement today in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere as ‘endless’ or ‘forever’ wars … rather than as support to friendly governments struggling to exert control over their own territory misses the point.”
Lest anyone miss that point, a subheading later in the piece is titled “The End of America First.” Mattis’ co-authors include Jim Ellis and Joe Felter of the Hoover Institution and Kori Schake of the American Enterprise Institute. We’ve written before about the increasingly cozy merger of supposedly “conservative” Swamp think tanks with stridently leftist organizations.
Internationalism is the tie that binds.
In 2018, an AEI scholar joined up with the Hillary Clinton-aligned, John Podesta-founded Center for American Progress on a position paper decrying the rise of “authoritarian populism” in Europe and the United States. A note to the paper revealed that the project was a true partnership between the two organizations:
“The report was inspired by conversations with academics, strategists, and policymakers, which were held in early 2018 at workshops convened jointly by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Florence and Prague under the auspices of our common project, ‘Defending Democracy and Underwriting the Transatlantic Partnership.’”
Radical progressive Georgia Democratic leading light Stacey Abrams currently sits on the Board of Directors at the Center for American Progress. Along with Mattis co-author Schake, notable “conservative” scholars at AEI include New York Times opinion writer Ross Douthat, The Bell Curve author Charles Murray, and former Speaker of the House and likely Fox News wrecking ball Paul Ryan.
Guess what those three have been up to in November? Douthat has been tirelessly throwing snarky shade at Trump’s efforts to expose voting irregularities amid strong allegations of massive fraud. Murray publicly revealed that he “sighed heavily and voted for Biden.” And Ryan has predictably urged the president to meekly accept defeat, stating that “the election is over” and “the outcome is certain.”
Thousand Points of Drivel
If Swamp mocking of opposition to endless war were not enough, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) took RINO pre-2106 fantasies to an even more exotic level by ridiculously proposing a seamless merger of Trump populists with Bush-era neocons.
“No one in the conservative movement is having the conversation about how we bring Bush compassionate conservatives and marry them with Trump populists — the party of Reagan with the party of Trump,” Banks told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “How do we fold all that together into a winning party, a winning message, a winning agenda?”
At a time when over 90% of Republicans stand with Trump and the non-think tank-employed enthusiasts of Thousand Points of Light-style Bushie conservatism can easily fit in one car at a Joe Biden parking lot rally, Banks is already assigning the president to the ash heap of history and embracing a new Republican Party led by … Jim Banks.
“The Trump agenda was what was popular — not Trump the man,” Banks told the Examiner. “As it appears more and more likely that Trump will not be in the White House and we will begin the post-Trump era, our party has to begin a conversation of what we look like moving forward. No one is having that conversation. I want to lead it.”
It’s not hard to sketch out just where he would go. Banks swims in the same waters inhabited by Swampers like Mattis and Ryan. Labeled a “staunch Trump ally” because he identified with the president when it served his purposes, Banks is a classic pre-2016 Republican. In 2018 he received the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the pro-illegal immigration U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his “commitment” to globalist “free-market” economics.
In September of that year, Banks proclaimed that he “believes deeply in free trade” and has been “vocally opposed to the president’s approach on the tariffs subject from the very beginning,” The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported.
“Ultimately, we must follow the truth, which is why it remains important for the Mueller investigation to continue without interruption,” he tweeted out in Feb. 2018 of the now-thoroughly discredited Russia hoax that was used to throttle much of the first two-plus years of Trump’s administration.
In March 2018, he hyped AEI-affiliated arch-neocon John Bolton as “the right choice for national security adviser.”
If this all appears to be one seamless garment, that would be because it is. Neoconservatives, internationalists, and squishy establishment GOPers see a Joe Biden presidency that would be profoundly rejected as illegitimate by the overwhelming majority of grassroots Republicans as their ticket to turn back the clock to 2014 and beyond.
That only makes sense, given that touting promiscuous U.S. military adventurism overseas and the inanity that was Conservatism Lite under the Bush family dynasty are every bit as outlandish in the eyes of the 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump as the notion that Joe Biden could wipe out a 700,000-vote deficit in Pennsylvania with early-morning ballot dumps and post-Election Day ballot counting that only ends after he finally takes the lead.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.