Fareed Zakaria at PostGlobal

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. He is a member of the roundtable of ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanapoulos" as well as an analyst for ABC News. And he is the host of a new weekly PBS show, "Foreign Exchange" which focuses on international affairs. His most recent book, "The Future of Freedom," was published in the spring of 2003 and was a New York Times bestseller and is being translated into eighteen languages. He is also the author of "From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role" (Princeton University Press), and co-editor of "The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World" (Basic Books). Close.

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. more »

Main Page | Fareed Zakaria Archives | PostGlobal Archives


McCain's Downfall: Republican Foreign Policy

As conservatives survey the damage they have done to the Republican
Party, they have fixed upon one comforting notion. John McCain lost the
election, according to many of them, because he supported the surge in
Iraq. McCain's dedicated pursuit of this policy created stability in Iraq
that allowed the American electorate to focus on other matters, chiefly the
economy. "No good deed goes unpunished," intoned William Kristol in the
Weekly Standard.

But is this really true? Let us imagine that the surge had not worked.
Imagine that over the past year and a half, American deaths in Iraq had
soared, the gruesome civil war between Shiites and Sunnis had deepened, the
flow of refugees out of Iraq had increased and the government in Baghdad
had lost control of the country to gangs and militias. Would Americans then
have turned to the most passionate advocate of the surge and given him the
presidency? Having watched the economy crumble as a consequence of policies
that McCain generally supported, they would have also watched a war spiral
downward as a consequence of policies that McCain specifically supported.

The fact is that had the surge failed, McCain would have lost. It
succeeded, and he lost. The logical conclusion is that the surge was
irrelevant to McCain's fate -- that there were broader reasons for the
resounding Republican loss. The electorate has voted no on the current
Republican ideology on foreign policy. Note that President Bush's approval
ratings had plummeted to historic lows by 2005 even when the economy seemed
to be on a steady course.

Ideas matter, Richard Weaver once wrote, and the Republican Party has
become a party bereft of ideas or trapped by the wrong ones. The
Reagan-Thatcher revolution of low taxes, deregulation and tight money seems
irrelevant to the problems of underregulated financial products, huge
deficits and a deepening recession. The Republican Party's social program
is out of tune with an increasingly young, diverse and tolerant electorate.
As the conservative writer David Frum points out, "College-educated
Americans have come to believe that their money is safe with the Democrats
-- but that their values are under threat from Republicans."

Something similar has happened in foreign policy. The electorate has
seemed to sense that there is a new world out there and that the nostrums
presented by McCain in his campaign are irrelevant to it. As with
economics, these feelings developed after watching the ideas in action.
Bush embraced a series of radical policy stances -- many of them long
espoused by neoconservatives -- especially during his first term.

But the vigorous unilateralism openly advocated by the administration is
recognized by most Americans to have weakened the country's influence
abroad. Its excessive reliance on military force has yielded few results
worth the costs.

At the heart of Bush's ideology was regime change -- armed Wilsonianism.
Whether in Iraq, North Korea or Iran, the basic goal was to refuse any kind
of negotiation or diplomacy and instead try to overthrow the government and
replace it with a democratic and friendly one. Most Americans now recognize
that, however pleasant this sounds in theory, the real world is a
complicated place and cannot be transformed by magic or military power.

The most powerful repudiation of Bush's ideas has come from Bush himself.
Over the past three years, he has negotiated with North Korea and Libya and
even taken a tentative step with Iran; launched a high-profile peace
process between the Palestinians and Israelis; and made encouraging
proposals about global warming. These are all steps Bush actively opposed
during his first term. He has moved in this direction out of necessity.
Failure concentrates the mind.

The world we are living in now is very different from even a decade ago.
Next year, for the first time in history, the world's emerging economies
will provide 100 percent of global economic growth. And for several more
years, the world's richest countries will be mired in recession and
burdened by debt. Many large emerging-market countries, on the other hand,
will grow at 4, 5, and 6 percent a year. Some will have hundreds of
billions of dollars of surpluses. China just announced a stimulus package
equivalent to about $586 billion, which is almost 15 percent of its gross
domestic product and roughly 10 times as large (in proportionate terms) as
the proposed U.S. package.

In such a world, Americans seem to understand that bloviating about "USA
as Number One" is cheap rhetoric, divorced from the real world. They sense
that the real challenge for Washington is not to boast about America's
might but to use its capacities -- military, political, intellectual -- to
work with others to create a more stable, peaceful and prosperous world in
which American interests and ideals will be secure.

Barack Obama keeps being advised (warned) by conservatives to govern from
the center. But he should look at this new world, not failed Republican
ideology, to find that center.


The writer is editor of Newsweek International and co-host of PostGlobal,
an online discussion of international issues. His e-mail address is
comments@fareedzakaria.com.

Comments (158)

Gorbe67 Author Profile Page:

> This election like all others in the recent past
> was determined by the growing number of
> independents. Who tend to swing both ways
> according to the current situation and condition
> of the country.

Too bad McCain chose a VP that scared the crap out of many of those independents ... many of whom had been on board the Straight Talk Express.

Sandra9 Author Profile Page:

This election like all others in the recent past was determined by the growing number of independents. Who tend to swing both ways according to the current situation and condition of the country.

Barack Obama benefited from a perfect storm. With the gas prices rising, which by the way gave an lead to McCain, and then the crash of the financial conditions right afterwards, did more to help President Elect Obama, than anything Republicans did or didn't do.

One is left to wonder just how much of this crisis was manufactured to this end result?

I have worked in the world of finance my entire adult life, and have seen markets rise and fall, but this one is more mysterious than others. Why? Because never before have I seen the government make a move like it is now. I wonder what is really going on, that we are not being told.

SuzanneVesely Author Profile Page:

Is this realignment permanent or transient? Possibly short-lived because it may have been in response to lack of economic regulation and disapproval of President Bush. The % of voters who are pro-activist government may decrease again after an economic recovery and/or a swing back to the center-right.

Some have predicted a permanent shift to the Democrats because of an increasingly metropolitan/urban, racially diverse, and better educated electorate.

I would disagree with this. Metropolitan means urban and suburban, and possibly includes exurban. Suburban, exurban, small town, small city, rural all combined, regardless of the election, are either battleground or red—resulting in the country roughly 50 50.

57 43 in a presidential election may indicate a shift, but 53 46 is no cause for concern for Republicans considering there is an unpopular President, historical political cycle coming around to the Democrats, and an economic crisis.

SuzanneVesely Author Profile Page:

There has been a shift away from a preference for limited government, with more preferring an activist government.

That applies to voters in general, particularly Latinos, but narrow that down to white voters, and a majority believe in limited government, probably 60 to 40. McCain did get 46% of the vote, with a preference for limited government among whites a major factor.

After 8 years of Bush conservatism, we want change and to go in a different direction—call it a temporary realignment, with the political pendulum swinging back to the right in 4 or 8 or 12 years. In other words, our historical political cycles.

We may need to go to the center-left temporarily, particularly economically, after 8 years of deregulation.

SuzanneVesely Author Profile Page:

Let's remember, McCain did get 46% of the popular vote, which shows that we are a center-right country and conservatives/Republicans/right leaning moderates still have confidence in, and prefer, Republicans, conservatism, and right wing politics. Even though the current President has low approval ratings, the Republican show must go on. Even though the current President has low approval ratings, conservatives and Republicans will go with their own and vote for the Republican.

Each Republican President or presidential candidate is his own person, is confronted with different issues, and has different policy positions and opinions compared to other Republicans. Compare and contrast former President George Bush 41 and W.

As for the results of this presidential election--chalk it up to our historical political cycles—after 8 years, we want change and to go in a different direction.

The 2 parties will not compete—each will specialize in certain issues—Democrats—the economy, education, energy, environment, with Republicans emphasizing limited government, moral values, social responsibility, and prudent spending. Republican limited government, moral values, social responsibility, and prudent spending are not principles that only the rural conservative base believes in, but that all Americans should believe in, at least to a certain degree.

Some swing voters voted in that order for this election: economy, health care, and energy first, then Republican principles are next on the priority list.

SuzanneVesely Author Profile Page:

Comment

baduba54 Author Profile Page:

Fareed as is often the case is right on. The surge worked and helped McCain as much as possible but was not sufficient to change the other circumstances. The lesson for Obama from Iraq is to know when to stop even when on a wrong track. Mr. Bush did not know this. After Iraqi invasion and the discovery that there were no weapons of mass destruction and with Saddam gone, it was time to quit. But he continued with more disastrous results. If he had declared victory and left $100 billion for the rebuilding of Iraq, he would have been ahead.

CharlieAndy Author Profile Page:

I have a problem with the statement, "the Surge is Working." The Iraq war is illegal. The goal of removing Saddam Hussein may have been admirable but that goal, achieved with the blood and death and destruction as the means, is not worth it. It is the means, not the ends that is and was heinous, immoral, and illegal. That the Surge is Working does not mitigate any of this.

route7192 Author Profile Page:

Despite all of the hyperbole, for the parties, no political victory is complete and no defeat final. Traditionally, anti incumbent fatigue makes it almost impossible for the same party to be in the White House more than 8 years. Yes, the republicans lost and will have to retool. The democrats have had to do the same in the past. It's not deeper than that. No new value to add from Mr Zakaria here.

palkuk Author Profile Page:

Republican equals Pseud-conservative
Any ideology taken to extreme does not work.
Obama is intelligent but problems are huge and success is doubtful
Let us hope for the best and he will need lot help
from the people and esp PATIENCE which is short supply in time of dificulties

bethechange1 Author Profile Page:

The republican party has gotten away with bamboozling the American public (at least half) using divisive, culture-war types of issues to distract from the fact that they have been the party for the wealthy class and corporations. There have been tactics that were used to train the republican base to respond emotionally like Pavlov's dog: "Taxes are bad!" "Democrats will raise your taxes!" "Pro-Abortion!" "Cut and run!" The McCain campaign was not as saavy in employing the Rovian tactics and Americans were just tired of this type of campaigning. When "Joe the Plummer" became McCain's "role model," I thought, wow, these republicans are sad. I'm grateful that some of the intellectual and thoughtful republicans voted for Barack Obama, not blindly supporting their party over their country. Now, let's see if the republicans in congress can work in a bipartisan manner with the Obama administration. I love how, after 8 years of hyper-partisan politics, the republicans are counseling the democrats to be bipartisan. I guess this is their way of acknowledging that the way they've been operating for 8 years has been destructive? We need grown-ups in the government. There seems to be one at the helm, now congress needs to follow suit.

johnhouse Author Profile Page:

FREDERICKBOYD 1:54 I guess I'm having trouble understanding your distasteful remarks directed toward me. I think we're on the same side. Were you really talking to PIANOGUY who posted after me? I have NEVER sided with the logically challenged Bill Kristol on anything and especially not on this subject. READ MORE CAREFULLY BEFORE SOUNDING OFF.

marisman Author Profile Page:

"The Reagan-Thatcher revolution of low taxes, deregulation and tight money seems irrelevant to the problems of underregulated financial products, huge deficits and a deepening recession."
More reason to follow the same; they are not irrelevant. Growth solves two of those three issues and most economists agree that the Reagan-Thatcher approach is the best pro-growth policy. As for regulation, the assumption here is always that the government can somehow foretell and eliminate these mistakes and corrections. Gov't can do no such thing.

Mr. Zakaria has really changed his tune as far as this casual observer is concerned. I used to see him siding with a more conservative philosophy. I could be mistaken, but the Iraq War and/or Bush seems to have changed his views.

DardenCavalcade1 Author Profile Page:

Fareed makes the case 100 per cent of world growth this year will be from emerging markets. I'd like to make two comments about that forecast.

First, if the forecast proves to be true it almost certainly isn't the first time it has happened. Periods of sharp recession among the advanced industrialized states often have cut into growth rates in places like China and Brazil, but not reduced them to zero. The context of Fareed's comment makes it appear like this is something entirely new; thus, it is something to give special weight. Maybe. Maybe not.

Second, Alexandra Economy, in a recent issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, makes the case that China's breath-taking economic performance comes at breath-taking cost to the Chinese people. She quotes a Chinese government study of the environmental costs of China's economic rise. The Chinese study concludes that the environmental damage of China's industrial policies entirely negates the positive effects of Chinese economic growth annually. In short, in China's best economic years it has a net zero when the costs of environmental damage are included.

Economy, citing the Chinese government again, estimates that every year millions of Chinese demonstrate illegally, sometimes violently, due to the heavy damage done to the environment. If Americans demonstrated in proportional numbers in our own society, elected officials would think a revolution was in progress.

I said I had only two points to make. A third has occurred to me. Fareed says he believes the recent election points to the emptiness of the Republican Party's vision of the world and the Party's being out-of-touch with the American people. Maybe. Maybe not.

I interpret the election, from primary candidate selections to the general, as a rejection of mainstream politics and politicians in both parties. I've said before in the space that I believe the American form of government no longer serves the interests of the American people, because it is corrupt, incompetent, and...to the degree that it ignores the voice of the people to supply goodies to the privileged few...it is tyrannical. I regard 2008 as the people having given both parties notice: evolve and and do it damn quickly.


knjincvc Author Profile Page:

gunnylrp wrote:
This intellectually dishonest myth of national debt being paid off by our grandchildren MUST end. ….The worry is that someone will come up with another great idea like a "peace dividend" that will result in the deaths of military personnel when the next war comes. So go ahead and spend the national treasure on "educating" college students, ignore technical, industrial training, and raise a generation of white collar workers, who manufacture money with these great "schemes".
Humm… How do you suggest the country pay off $10.6+ Trillion dollars in debt?? Sure the country could keep rolling the debt over and continue to pay interest, $550 Billion a year, on the debt. The government could raise taxes, cut spending on Medicare and social security and other social programs or cut military expenditures.
The solution to reducing military deaths is simple, do not start unnecessary wars.
If war is necessary then be prepared instead of going to war with the military you have, which by the way was very well equipped when cheney and rumsfield chose to invade Iraq.
I agree the USA educational system should be restructured to train more students in technical and trade skills. But first the country needs to eliminate tax benefits for companies that outsource technical jobs. There need to be more schools for nurses, medical technicians, doctors, auto mechanics.
In case you haven’t realized it, our National treasure is our young people currently working their way through the public school system.

Also for those republicans who do not believe national health care should be a top priority I suggest reading WaPo’s Hidden hurt!! These are Sarah Palin’s and John McCain’s REAL American’s, and they are hurting bad.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/31/AR2008103101756.html

smfeb2002 Author Profile Page:

When we will look back at the years 2001-2007, we will realize that it was indeed a dark age when government manipulated public opinion by threats, both real and imaginary. Remember, the color coded threat levels going up and down regularly near 2004 elections?
To top it off, even as the government was engaged in a systematic deception, big corporations were busy looting the country - Big oil making billions, Banks making phony profits, Defence contractors in no-bid contracts, the list goes on. The public is now being asked for pay for these corporate robberies.

Obama has won because he has offered a far more rosy picture of reality and offered hope - He'll surely be tested in the next couple of years. He will need to reassure Americans that even in the face of new threats (or attacks) on US, his approach of hope is superior than the politics of fear. He will have to systematically expose the fear mongers and call their bluff. Only then will hope trounce fear.

demchrises Author Profile Page:

Wizard2 what a great post! I needed a good laugh after the somber and disgruntled conservative comments. Keep the hits coming.

GunnyLRP Author Profile Page:

This intellectually dishonest myth of national debt being paid off by our grandchildren MUST end. All monetary systems are cyclical as are the debts incurred by governments. This is a wedge issue used by both sides and is laughable that so many fall for that. Had we elected Mickey Mouse to the presidency, our debt will change and most likely go down. The worry is that someone will come up with another great idea like a "peace dividend" that will result in the deaths of military personnel when the next war comes. So go ahead and spend the national treasure on "educating" college students, ignore technical, industrial training, and raise a generation of white collar workers, who manufacture money with these great "schemes".

knjincvc Author Profile Page:

Beatrix1 wrote:
'But all it took was 4 years of Carter, and even loyal Democrats gratefully supported Reagan."

The GOP and radio talking heads have been denigrating Jimmy carter ever since they realized cheney/bush would be doomed to history's ash bin.

When using Jimmy Carter as beatrix does people generally fail to mention Watergate, economic fallout of the Viet Nam war, America's support of Israel which caused the Arab oil embargo, ironically becoming a republican litmus test for "real Americans". They also leave out the impact of Reagan's trickle down plan that left the USA with a $5 TRILLION debt.

Jimmy carter also warned America that dependence on foreign oil was America's Achilles heel.

Reagan ignored Carter's warning and the result is $10 Trillion dollar debt and an unnecessary war for oil.

MikeL4 Author Profile Page:

The bottom line is this: the Republicans failed this election because the ECONOMY went in the tank. Americans do NOT vote on foreign policy, only wars. Since the war in IRAQ turned in the United States favor, thanks to the surge policy finally adopted by the Bush Administration, the IRAQ war got moved off the electorate's radar.

Zakaria makes a great college professor. Only there are his irrelevant and wrong theories worth taking notes over. You might have to take a test. In the real world, they fail.

sboyd18 Author Profile Page:

The bottom line is this: the American people have rejected the Republican agenda because of its massive failures in the hands of the Bush administration. They came into the White House with tremendous advantages, like a trillion dollar budget surplus. That surplus is not only long gone, but now we have a deficit so large that my grandchildren's grandchildren will be paying for it. Also, deregulation has shown itself to be a license to steal by those who would take advantage of the absence of government oversight. We're just sick of the failed policies, particularly the administration's willingness to bail out big companies rather than the average working family.

wizard2 Author Profile Page:

Interesting batch of comments today.

To say that the economy was the driving force in the elections seems slightly counter-intuitive. The national debt growth in the last 8 years is due to war. The mortgage crisis is the result of irresponsible lending practices. The bailout package may have had a difference in the election, but both candidates supported it.

To pin it down ever further, McCain suspended his campaign because of the urgency of the bailout, but his arrival stopped progress, which did not resume until he went back to campaigning.

I consider myself moderate. Maybe a bit to the liberal side, in a conservative, tentative sort of way. I didn't vote for Obama because of the economy. Or the war. Or abortion, gay rights, environmentalism, conservation, education or science.

This week, AFTER the election, Newt Gingrich was quoted as saying that the War on Terror may require suspension of the First Amendment -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to assemble.

That is, of course, the next logical step in the neoconservative game plan. If you find it surprising, you haven't been paying attention.

I voted for Obama because a black man will think twice, maybe more than that, before taking away any more civil rights than have already been discarded for political purposes. But it wouldn't have mattered who the candidate was. I would have voted against the "permanent Republican majority" of Karl Rove's dreams.

I'm amused by those warning us of the plunge into socialism, and the idea that if you're not far-right, you must be far-left. Us vs. Them. You're with us or you're against us.

That's not democracy -- it's the Jerry Springer show. Democracy requires compromise, logic and the ability to recognize more than one perspective. Most of us are in the middle because the people at both extremes freak us out and we are trying to stay as far as possible from both sides.

The right scares the crap out of us.

alphahelix Author Profile Page:

Tengam asks:

"What if the media actually asked Obama or Biden the tough questions that they did McCain and Palin?"

---

Man, I know, "what newspapers do you read?" is such an unreasonably tough question. How dare they!

RedRat Author Profile Page:

The problem with the Republican Party was that it was captured, heart and soul, by its extreme right wing, composed of Chicago School economists, Ayan Rand advocates, and Evangelicals. What happens is that these people at the core would not tolerate deviation from ideology. jcrobin below is correct in his assessment. You must be a true believer or you are ousted.

That was one part of the problem, the other is that the Republican party is not truly bereft of ideas, it has ideas but they are out of touch with modern reality. The very concept of small government, no taxes, and deregulation (thanks to Milton Friedman and the Chicago school) just don't fit with modern America. These are ideas that would work in an America with perhaps 50-100 million people living largely on farms in rural areas, and most importantly be homogeneous in their culture. Unfortunately, the Republican Party derived its ideas back in the days of Lincoln and the post-Civil War era. Modern Republicans look back wistfully at an era that they see in movies like the "The Music Man" (gee let's go down to the village park and listen to a concert on Sunday).

That is not modern America, we are a nation of 350 million, multi-cultured, and our economy is industry and technologically based. Our working people are not largely in the service sector. We are assemblers of parts into products. Those parts are largely made overseas. The average working person has literally no fall back when he/she loses their job. Republicans forgot about Main Street and concentrated their efforts on Wall Street and the Bankers and Big Corporations now became their best friends.

If the Republicans are to emerge in any semblance of a viable political party, they had better adapt to the realities of today's America.

knjincvc Author Profile Page:

chevychasedesigns is absolutly correct: The ECONOMY is tied to the WAR.
Billions of dollars borrowed and spent over the last 5 years could have been spent at home - - The invasion of Iraq has had a devastating impact on the economy and foreign policy.

I would also remind everyone that McCain was the GOP candidate because he was the last man standing. When his campaign ran out of money he kept plodding along holding sparsely attended town hall meetings running against Mitt Romney, the conservatives real choice, who was spending wads of his own money. McCain was never conservatives first choice.
Recall millionaire radio talking heads predicting McCain would destroy the republican party. Neo-cons finally convinced Fred (my hearts not in it) Thompson to run to no avail.
The only republican I could have supported was moderate Tommy Thompson.
The total list of republican candidates was a comedy act led by Rudy the clown.

There are many comments listed like; they(voters?) come to understand that there is a republicanism of tolerance, there is a republicanism of social service and responsibility, there is a republicanism of inclusion, there is a republicanism of scientific integrity; all nebulous descriptions.

As long as republicans keep using hate radio talking points, continue to ratchet up name calling and cling to single issues such as “gay married terrorists”, “will become the party of resentful Southern white men and Mormons.”

DonJasper Author Profile Page:

It will be seen that is was only an accident of history, with the 9/11 attack, that 'froze' the political process for years. During that time confusion of 'Republican' and 'patriot', 'Republican' and 'American' began to happen. The unprecidented public support allowed those in power a free hand in public policy. That many of those in power where members of the religious right, allowed Evengalicals direct acccess to the levers of power.

Without 9/11 the federal government doesn't get involved in the Terri Schiavo heartbreak.

Along the way some people confused the high poll numbers to 'merit' instead of 'fear'. Katrina changed that impression for those outside the party.

It remains to be seen if the 2008 election convinced those within the party. I'd be a little more confident had they learned from the 2006 election and decided to stop their plans to pack the Justice Department with 'loyal Bushies'.

jcrobin Author Profile Page:

Ah, yes: the ideology cannot fail; the failure was in the (invariably) poor execution by the not-really-True Believers. So, now Mr. Bush and his crew are not, after all, real conservatives. It's always this way, whether the doctrine is Communism, Maoism, Reaganism or any other Utopianism. What ever happened to Pragmatism? Why not simply simply try to do something for good reasons and then, if it doesn't work as desired, try something else? Throw away the ideological labels - ideology is simply an excuse for not thinking. Procrustean government is not in the best interests of the nation, as Procrustes himself was not concerned with the well-being of his guests.

dj333 Author Profile Page:

BEATRIX1 :
When Nixon was booted out, it looked as though the Republicans were done. No one could imagine that any sensible person would ever vote Republican again. But all it took was 4 years of Carter, and even loyal Democrats gratefully supported Reagan. It was 12 years before Democrats took back the presidency and even then the public supported Gingrich’s Republican agenda two years later.
___________________________________________

True enough, but Bill Clinton better fills the Nixon role in your analogy than Bush does: a republican redeemer coming in after years of other party rule, leaving with his party routed in Congress and the White House (Ford never won an election on his own, and doesn't really count). This reading would make Bush your Carter, and Obama your Reagan...

The problem with looking for history to repeat itself is that you can never tell how it's doing it until it's done. We will have to wait and see just how things work out. If Obama's administration is competent, the Republicans are in trouble. If it's not, the Democrats are.

Gingrich is correct about one thing: competence and good governance are the new bywords for a successful political party: whoever best figures out how to do that will dominate the next generation politically.

tengam Author Profile Page:

What if the media actually asked Obama or Biden the tough questions that they did McCain and Palin?

What if Obama did not get a free pass from nearly every news team in the country.

What if McCain had been following a popular GOP canditate or even an unpopular Dem?

We could do this all day but it's a stupid debate and an even more stupid article.

Why don't you start a real discussion of how we all can be a part of fix our countries problems.

Idiot!

rtc1 Author Profile Page:

"Let us imagine that the surge had not worked."

I find the seemingly universal belief that the surge worked perplexing. Wouldn't it have "worked" even better if the U.S. had sent a 1/2 million more troups; or even better had we sent 1 million! Crime in New York dropped when Giulliani put a cop on every corner. The problem is, unlike the NY Police, we can't keep our cops in Iraq, in Iraq forever. When we pull them out the Surge will stop "working". The surge is a band-aid and a political maneuver not a solution.

Ejayraptor Author Profile Page:

Every time there is a graduation ceremony in our colleges, the conservative ideology dies. Every time the younger generation relocates from small town America to the larger cities in search of jobs and a better standard of living for themselves and their families, the conservative ideology dies. This country is changing and the conservative ideology has not. The GOP, if it does not drastically change its rhetoric will be in the wilderness for a whole generation.

Regan’s trickle down economics has not worked. It has failed twice. The evidence is in both Bush 41 and Bush 43’s economic realities. The economy was in shambles when both Bushes left office, that is a indictment on Regan’s economic ideology. The idea that if you cut taxes for the rich, they would create more jobs and hence wealth would trickle down to the middle class has not been supported by the results. At the end of both Bush administrations, the results have been contrary to the theory. Massive job loss and severe damages to the middle class has been the results of conservative economic theories.

The tax cutting, small government conservative values, simply do not work. I’m saying this a someone who has a very vast knowledge in business and economics. It actually sounds good in theory: if you cut taxes and reduce the size of government, the economy would be fine. It may even grow. In reality, if you reduce revenue -- cut taxes --, you’ll have to reduce your expenses as well --reduce the size of government -- in order to avoid getting the country in a deficit situation. The tax reduction part is easy but it’s the reducing the size of government part of the equation that never works. There are too many unforeseen circumstances that leads to increased government. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were unforeseen increase in the size of government spending therefore the Bush tax cuts were doomed from the start. The smaller government variable is too volatile to actually work. The conservative ideology does not take into account the unforeseen circumstances therefore it is a flawed ideology doomed to fail in the event of the slightest increase in government spending.

Democrats have failed to adequately explain their economic ideologies to the American people. All we know is that when the Democrats are in office, the economy recovers from the conservative abuse it had been subjected to. BUT WHY?

It is simple, when the middle class get a tax break, they have more disposable income and they purchase more goods and services. This leads more profit for corporations. More profit for corporations leads to the creation of more jobs for the middle class. More profit for corporations leads to the creation of wealth for the stakeholders of the corporations. More jobs for the middle class and more wealth for the wealthy leads to a health economy. WE ALL WIN.

Beatrix1 Author Profile Page:

When Nixon was booted out, it looked as though the Republicans were done. No one could imagine that any sensible person would ever vote Republican again. But all it took was 4 years of Carter, and even loyal Democrats gratefully supported Reagan. It was 12 years before Democrats took back the presidency and even then the public supported Gingrich’s Republican agenda two years later.

There’s such a nastiness and gloating among the winners who gave us such a complete novice to lead the country at such a challenging time that one can’t help but worry about what the future holds for all of us.

JohnBrown08 Author Profile Page:

Right on the mark! After a long period of Americans not caring what the heck the rest of world thinks about us, and a more recent bout of "why do they hate us," it is time for us to look at exactly who "they" is. In this regard, perhaps the best thing Obama can do in terms of foreign policy over the next couple years is to make serious multiple openings to Africa. We need to beat the Chinese at the aid and trading game on that continent. Zimbabwe, Congo, Nigeria, and his father's Kenya can provide the basis for bilateral growth and security. Of course we need to help them move toward serious, stable democracy first.

caribis Author Profile Page:

The surge did not hurt the situation in Iraq, but buying off the Sunni militias and new military technologies that better find and target insurgents are the primary reasons for the decrease in violence in Iraq. At least that is what the Pentagon reported to Congress.

The best sign yet from the GOP is that they are buying into this and other myths. The longer they cling to myths the longer they will remain out of power.

frederickboyd Author Profile Page:

JohnHouse:

If you think Kristol is a credible source to use to back up your argument against Zakaria, then you are confirming my belief that McCain supporters are willfully ignorant know-nothings.

Using well thought out analysis and william Kristol in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

I'm a product of the 50's & 60's. It's people such as yourself that had Michelle Obama say "for the first time in my ADULT life I'm proud of America". I have the same sentiment. We have finally wrested control of our government from people such as you. Hopefully America has left you and your ilk behind forever.

petervandenbosch Author Profile Page:

This article is dismaying in its lack of logic, tripping over the starting line. The success of the surge is indeed irrelevant to McCain's loss. His backing of it, however, had everything to do with his failure to impress on Americans that he would strive to draw down an unpopular and immoral war. Did I say back? I meant do everything in his power to convince the Administration it was the right strategy, even a year before they chose it, over the opposition of the Joint Chiefs and most of the Cabinet. Americans simply are not prepared to accelerate this war or extend our involvement.

cleveyoung Author Profile Page:

What's being assumed here is that the Democrats "new" ideas will all work and fix everything that is wrong. The problem with that is the majority of their plans are nothing new, mostly just a rehash of policies of the past. The world is changing in how it interacts, and how business works is ever evolving. Many of the ideas of Barack and other Democrats have already been proven failures elsewhere (ie Europe); if they were exactly what will work right today why then is Europe in the same or even worse shape than we are? And when was the last time you saw bold and succesfull international leadership from that continent on a topic of true significance. Heck, they can't even stick to the proposals they make for themselves such as Kyoto (which they are all missing targets for, many badly).

And the notion that the Republicans ideas have been completely rejected is odd, seeing as how 47% of the country voted for McCain, even with all of the "problems" facing us. By that reasoning the Democrats ideas were thoroughly rejected in 2004 when Bush won the Presidency with over 50% of the vote also and the Congress was controlled by Republican. Is it truly reasonable to think and say what was "rejected" four years ago is now being accepted as gospel today.

A bit of perspective is in order.

jkbryant2004 Author Profile Page:

I appreciated the premise and internal logic of this article, as of many of Mr. Zakaria's. I'm a moderate Democrat with "independent" leanings.
I have just a couple of comments:

- It seems pretty obvious that there was more
than one reason why McCain lost. I notice that
a lot of folks are "making hay" by claiming
that their favorite objection to Republican
orthodoxy is THE reason. Proving such assertions
would involve statistical analysis of election
results, not just the restating of recent events
through a personal filter.

- Both the Democratic and Republican parties are
comprised of subgroups with competing and
sometimes antagonistic agendas. Sheer numbers,
devotion to cause, national scope, and political
ability all seem to matter in battles between
these subgroups. I'm not an expert, but I can
think of some examples (Carter, Goldwater)
where political failure did not result in a
basic power realignment between a party's
subgroups.

- An outstanding feature, for me, of this elec-
tion, was the first-time participation of a
large number of new voters. I hope that they
can stay the course, in spite of inevitable
disappointments. Long may they vote!!

rmorris391 Author Profile Page:

If you think about the government and the GOP as a business organization, you will see that it has come up short. To survive, and grow, a business organization must adapt its services to meet the needs of its customers. The government has failed to adapt its services both domestically and internationally.

Much of the GOP's ideas are old, outdated, and rooted in the Cold War, and Reaganomics. Ginrich's "contract with america" is now over 14 years old (first proposed in 1994). America's needs for government services has changed since then. The needs of the "global customer" have changed significantly in just the past 8 years.

When a business organization cannot adapt to meet the needs of its customers, a business organization will likely go into bankruptcy. For instance, look at the auto industry these days. For several years, the auto industry said, "the market demands huge cars". Now that no one wants to buy "huge cars", the auto industry is facing bankruptcy because they cannot meet the needs of current "small car" buyers. The auto industry is unable to adapt itself to producing "small cars".

Likewise, the GOP and the current administration is unable to adapt itself. People want jobs, schools, health care, roads, and a place to call home. The GOP has redistributed substantial tax revenues to corporations, lobbyists, and the wealthy class (via tax breaks), without meeting the needs of the majority of its customers. The current administration has even failed to meet the long-term care needs of its own military employees, namely injured soldiers.

If the government cannot meet the health-care needs of its employees soldiers, how on earth could it provide meaningful support for its tax paying citizens? It is a wonder that anyone would volunteer to work for such a callous employer.

Jazzcomedian Author Profile Page:

Tax cuts, limited government, free markets, fiscal discipline, strong defense. That seems to be the extent of the conservative agenda.

Under Bush, tax cuts starved the government of necessary funds, limited government became incompetent "Heckuva job Brownie" government that spied on it's citizens, deregulated free markets became wild and terrifying markets, fiscal discipline became excessive borrowing and spending without anything to show for it, and strong defense became poorly prosecuted military adventurism benefiting only cronies in the oil industry. Why govern if they don't believe in government? That's the question they need to answer.

When the GOP adds things like justice, compassion, tolerance, equality, honesty, integrity and global cooperation to their agenda and philosophy, maybe they'll be relevant again.

The bullying, every man for himself philosophy they so revere, is turning our society into a Darwinian, and Dickensian jungle.

Respect for the individual spirit, freedom, and genuine concern for the larger society need not be mutually exclusive. That's the true message of the voter's verdict this year, and the GOP needs to come to grips with that.

pianoguy Author Profile Page:

#1) Zakaria (perhaps willfully) misunderstands Kristol. Kristol is not asking "what if the surge had failed" (which it obviously did not); He is asking, what if, instead of the surge, we had an immediate pullout of Iraq following the 2006 elections (as Obama and the Democrats wanted) leaving it a bloodbath? In other words, what if the surge had never been tried? It is possible that the American electorate (despite the Obamamedia) would have held Democrats accountable and elected McCain.

Straw man #2) I think we can stipulate that the "real world is a complicated place" and cannot be transformed by "magic", but are you seriously telling me it can't be transformed by military power? That must be why they still have slavery in the Confederate States of America, and why Europe is still under the domination of the Nazis.

Why does anyone even take Zakaria seriously, when he doesn't even take his supposed role as an intellectual seriously?

johnhouse Author Profile Page:

People can talk about the merits of the surge all they want. Was it responsible for lowering the violence in Iraq or was it something else? It is all irrelevent. No success achieved there, by whatever means, will EVER make our pre-emptive intervention legitmate. We should never have gone. Now after more than 7 years since September 11, 4000 dead soldiers and $500B of our national treasure, we are farther than ever from capturing Bin Laden. Wasn't that ultimate goal?

flcwalker Author Profile Page:

The GOP has plenty of ideas, just none that you agree with. Don't worry Republicans, you won't have to wait long - the Democrats always have a way of overreaching. The country is moderate to conservtive; let's see how the new administration intends to govern. From the look of things, doesn't seem that we are going to get the huge CHANGE that we anticipated, what with all of the Clintonites who are being tapped!

I wish the President-Elect and his administration the best; when the President succeeds the country succeeds!!!

hughes_168 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria is of Indian origin. His mother worked as editor of Times of India newspaper and his father was a politician in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). He is one of those that's done well in US and with obvious exposure from the other side of the World, brings new perspective to issues facing America.

CardFan Author Profile Page:

While I'd agree that the Bush/Cheney/McCain foreign policy is an abysmal failure, that hardly explains the 2008 drubbing. EVERYTHING they've touched has turned to poop. EVERYTHING. I often asks Bush apologists to tell me one thing that Bush did well. Inevitably, it's "he got rid of Saddam". At the cost of 4200 of America's finest and $10 BILLION per month, can we stand much more Bush "success"?

To explain the morose situation of the GOP think one word... make that two words... "abysmal failure".

71 days till the end of the Bush administration.

mmkauk Author Profile Page:

to CMAc
I am a republican and take offense at your attack on the GOP. I have read the column and find it very interesting. I think McCain lost because of the association to the current administration, the economic disaster, and he probably should have chosen a different running mate. Considering all the things that went wrong he did very well in the final outcome.

jaybird2 Author Profile Page:

The outcome of this election had very little to do with foreign policy -- because the real issue was our present economic distress. Voters as always, placed primary blame on the incumbent party (which is only nominally Republican) and opted for a new course. So much the better. I just hope that "change" doesn't mean higher taxes, an even more intrusive government, and restrictions on free trade! That would really screw us.

globalone Author Profile Page:

Granted, the Republican party has a mountain of issues which it needs to confront. I am hopeful that the leadership will have the strength and patience to work through these obstacles and get the train back on the tracks.

However, any sort of education from liberal Democrats on building/creating "ideas" is laughable at best. The party of *no* ideas is now heckling the Republican party about *bad* ideas?

Most of Obama's "Audacity of Hype" changes he promises to bring to America are ripoffs of failed policies in Europe. (Except, of course, taxes and entitlements).

I think I liked it better when Dems had *no* ideas.

Teach a man to fish, and he'll never be hungry. Give a man a fish, and he'll always be a loyal democrat.

francis4 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria's exposure of the illogical reasons offered by the far right, conservatives, neo-cons and social conservatives for the defeat of the Republican Party in the last election is both logically reasoned and correct as far as it goes.

What also must be considered by the Republican Party and Mr. Zakaria is that you can only fool the people for so long. The preachings given to us since Mr. Reagan are now being rejected by the populace; particularly their nostrums about taxes, regulation, the market and the role of government in our lives.

Mr. Zakaria also should realize that writers on the Right, and Mr. Kristol in particular will always have an answer for defeat no matter how far fetched or how incompletely their answer addresses the question.

Lastly, my personal hope is that the Right now recognizes the futility of campaigns of "us against them", that belittling their opponents and conducting uncivil and personally disparaging campaigns ultimately don't work. The populace rejected the political tactics of the nasty Karl Rove once and for all in this last election.

johnlloydscharf Author Profile Page:

The name Fareed Zakaria is not what I would call respected on the subject of foreign policy.

tmaffolter Author Profile Page:

Fareed,

You suggest that the Republican party is failing because it has not developed new ideas, and is clinging to the ideology of the Reagan revoluation. But, as is suggested by the Frum quote (which is insightful), it is worse than that. The Republican party, over time, has been hijacked by the cultural and religious right, alienating not only independent voters but even the libertarians and "Rockefeller Republicans." The sad fact for the religious right (and happy fact for the rest of us) is that they are going to have to accept that they do not comprise a majority in this country, and are going to have to accept a more compromising and tolerant world view if they are going to be part of a governing majority. Unfortunately, the damage they inflicted during the time they did manage control cannot be fully undone.

pmathai Author Profile Page:

In answer to the self-serving comments blaming Iraq War and "fundamentalists" influence in the Republican Party for the McCain loss: it is the economy that caused the election loss, neither of the above reason. Instead of Republicans, if it were a Democratic President in the White House with the economic disaster of last two months hurting the nation, I dare to say a Democratic candidate would have lost all states except, maybe, Massachusettes. With an inept adminsitration in the White House,McCain running a clumsy campaign without a central message, and practically all the major media ready to anoint their favorite son as president,the wonder is that McCain_Palin ticket received over 46% of the votes cast; if 2-3% more had voted for him same pundits like Mr. Z would have been singing how glorious the surge in Iraq was. This was not a landslide victory for the Democratic candidate.
"Fundamentalists" are a perennially convenient whipping boy for the Left. Any one opposed to their social agenda automatically become a "fundamentalist" even if he/she has had nothing to do with religion. Not only did tradidtional conservatives give a momentum to McCain-Palin ticket, but in states like Florida and California which Senator Obama won, initiatives promoted by the traditionalis won, showing that the Secularist Left, not "Fundamentalists" who are out of touch with main stream America. The country remains central right and no amount of self-serving propaganda is going to change that reality.

continental46@aol.com Author Profile Page:

Every time someone tells me the surge succeeded, I have to ask: Why can't we bring the troops home?

The answer I get is that the security gains are so fragile that if our troops left the violence would resume. If that is true, how can anyone say the surge worked? Violence subsides only so long as we keep a huge army in Iraq -- is that what we mean by "success"?

When Bush announced the surge policy he told the nation that the object was to end the violence so that our troops could come home. Clearly this has not happened. So where's the success?

vmonroe_valnesio Author Profile Page:

The number of reasons why McCain and the Republicans lost is virtually without limit. For the past eight years, we have been living a joke. When we see 401Ks, IRAs, annuities, home equities, jobs, to name a few, which are all now virtually a joke compared to when the GOP took over the Oval Office, virtually any movement away from this gutter we are in will be a huge improvement. Add the trillion dollar hole in Iraq together with over four thousand Americans needlessly dead and the big "Damn", which we so angrily eschewed is upon us, isn't it?

Redistribution of wealth is the only way to prevent GOP policies from wiping out the middle class entirely, which Bush's policies have been doing for almost eight years. Ever throwing more and more money to those at the top is what we have witnessed, but it's not called redistribution. I call it a disgracefully repugnant moving of this country towards Dukes and Serfs. The God I serve doesn't like any of this. There are many ways to be damned and something tells me that we are experiencing one of those ways right now.

In the two thousand six elections the voters sent a shot across the GOP’s bow, stating that they wanted some changes, including some positive movement towards disengaging from Iraq. Showing their urgency, they tilted the both houses on Capitol Hill towards the Democrats. The GOP chose to ignore the voters and in effect gave them the stiff middle finger. That action by the GOP was a kiss of death for John McCain.

Finally, the GOP is in dire need of a serious makeover. During GOP events, the picture they present to the country and the world is embarrassingly reminiscent of apartheid South Africa twenty-five years ago. Iconic sayings such as: “Bring me your…” and “We the people…”, which are indelible parts of this country is virtually nowhere reflected in GOP gatherings. Additionally, biblical precepts are also absent. Consequently, any GOP makeover, which does not positively and effectively address this visual estrangement from U.S. reality will be a sham job.

-CMAC- Author Profile Page:

Good article Z...

To bad nobody in th eGOP will read it, because it is elitist to read in their eyes. Also you appear to have brown skin, that will be held against you. Your last anme also sounds a little foreign.

That would be 3 strikes...

Draesop Author Profile Page:

The Republican brand is occupying an increasingly limited corner of American politics. It's not stupid, it is irrelevant. That it will improve is beyond question.

mendonsa Author Profile Page:

While I agree with the tenor of FZ's take on the surge being immaterial to the outcome, I believe he left out the possibility that the partisan hack Kristol could have meant that there not have been a surge at all...that McCain while forcefully advocating such a tactic, GWB might not have ordered one at all. McCain could conceivably then use the failures that would definitely (according to Kristol) ensue as a political argument that he McCain has no equal in war deliberations. However, the issue still remains that evil Kristol gives not a hoot about the death and destruction that a particular tactic or strategy succeed or fail....only that the political repurcussions be favorable to his chosen one. The intellectual depths that man stoops to must be a sewer. No wonder the Republican party is where it is with advocates such as this.

jmounadi Author Profile Page:

This ideology is for the weak-minded, and will not last long. It is merely anti-American drivel being enabled by the temporary lapses in Iraq, and Bush's lack of communication with the American people on a more regular basis.

This does not justify this articles attacks that conservatism is a lost cause. It is a temporary set back that the democrats continued reliance to mold us into a more socialistic society will encounter challenges from the conservative base.

Mr. Zakaria, no where in the world does a middle class society enjoy more luxuries than in America. In most nations you would have to be in the upper class of the economy to enjoy what middle class America enjoys.

Also, what does the comment mean that college students trust their money with democrats more than they do with republicans. As for policies you have to be kidding me as the tax rates under democrats will and must increase to implement their social changes.

This article wreaks of pure jealousy that America continues to set examples for the world to follow (First black leaders in the First World economy), and we always recupirate from failed experiements faster than other nations. It's no wonder the world's brightest minds come to America and not China Mr. Zakaria. Perhaps you have a vacation home in China....

steveandjanereed1 Author Profile Page:

No amount of warning to the American public about failing policies -domestic or foreign- has much of an effect on their voting behavior.
It is primarily when they feel pain and fear that changes can come in how they perceive policies and people as promoting or demoting their self-interest.
Self-interest, and tribalism (identity). I have no big problem in people voting their self-interest. I just wish they were better at it.

vanagunas Author Profile Page:

This was the grand strategic vision, I believe, of Bush Administration and its neo-con supporters: Force-feed Afganistan and Iraq into semi-democratic, reasonably prosperous societies and serve them up as models to the mostly backward and unstable Islamic world. At the same time, contain on the east and on the west IRAN, the most dangerous regime in the Mid-East.

A magnificent vision worthy of a Superpower, but one that, however, over-reached America's institutional constraints. A quintessential democracy which is United States is not built to have the political endurance to pursue to completion of such a majestic strategy. Mr. Obama was elected to preside over the whimpering down
of an imperial United States. Que Sera.

smokberry2002@yahoo.com Author Profile Page:

It took us 5 years to figure who we need to bribe in Iraq to buy some peace. The Republicans call it the 'Surge'.

Obama should forget about moving troops to Afghanistan. We have lost that war as well. Aghanistan is not a country, it is a combine of war lords. Managing Afghanistan is like herding cats.

Palestine/Israel will not be solved. It is very clear since our new chief of staff is an Israeli who has served in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).

That leaves only a few things for him to do:
National health care
College for everyone
Rebuild infrastructure
Carry out Green energy policy

csintala79 Author Profile Page:

Even now the Bush administration is another "sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." Bush will keep company with Fillmore, Buchanan, Pierce and Andrew Johnson in the ranking of presidents. Even these historical losers shine by comparison to him.

faithfulservant3 Author Profile Page:

Trillions of dollars on war and increased Pentagon and CIA spending.

What if we had taken a third, or a quarter, or even just ten percent of this grotesque amount and spent it instead on economic, education and health development in the Middle East?

Our image would be entirely positive, even if military action later became necessary. We would be welcomed rather than hated. And, our negotiations all across the board would be much smoother.

Too bad we just wasted an equal amount on Wall Street.

danw1 Author Profile Page:

Fareed, any chance of you joining the Obama Administration? They could use your expertise.

JTMoney1 Author Profile Page:

One of 43's biggest mistakes was to surround himself in his administration that was completely like-minded people. The result was nobody was available to hit the emergency breaks when detrimental policies and actions were pursued. He basically used a bunch of "yes men" to stroke his ego. Unfortunately, when everybody thinks alike, when one is wrong, the whole bunch is wrong. We all paid the penalty. Obama seems to have a well enough sense of history to avoid this same mistake.

vk5u Author Profile Page:

On this interesting debate of conservatives and liberals, I'd like to point out one thing - Obama ran as a conservative. Many people point to McCain's foreign policy as why he lost the election ultimately. Exit polls show that of the people who support the Iraq war, 4 out of 5 voted for McCain, and of those who were against it, 4 out of 5 voted for Obama.

With that said, I would like to ask Mr. Zakaria, is Barrack Obama actually more pro-Israel than McCain? He just made Rahm Emanuel his chief of staff, a man whose father was a member of Irgun, a Jewish Zionist militant group responsible for several bombings not just in Palestine, but as far as London. He himself served in the Israel Defense forces. After campaigning openly that he would sit down with Iran without "preconditions", Obama has yet to respond to the congratulations courteously extended to him by Iranian president Ahmadinejad. If he doesn't even respond to a thank you, how is he expecting to sit down and negotiate nuclear arms? I don't understand why any American leader can't put America's interests first, and Israel's second.

tarquinis Author Profile Page:

It is so often if not nearly always claimed that the surge was a success. What success would that be? What strategic reality did it change?

Yes, violence did decline markedly at the time of the surge, but I would argue that such decline in violence was just as much if not much more occasioned by coincident matters unrelated to more brigades being sent to the Baghdad area.

These other causes coincident would include but are not limited to (a) the Sunni tribes of Anbar becomming at first disillusioned and then quite opposed to the al-Qaeda fanatics, and then being well paid by the American forces to the tune of $300 per month per man to become at least temporarily quiescent (b) the stand down by the Sadr militia forces both in the Baghdad area and the successful force down of same in the Basra area by Shiia brigades of the Iraqi army (c) it encouraged the Kurds to limit their drive to dominate the Kirkuk area until more fortuitous times, and (d) the active support of Iran in backing the stability and writ of al-Maliki for their own reasons. Both al-Maliki and al-Hakim are quite attentive and aware of the fact that Iran will still be there when the Americans do leave the area, and both of course culture warm relations with the IRI where they spent considerable time during the Saddam era.

I would maintain that "the surge" did no more that dampen the continuing and totally unresolved conflicts in Iraq, which will all in due course erupt

Roism007 Author Profile Page:

I agree with the logical thought process of Mr Zakaria except that he should start using the word "Fundamentalist" instead of "Conservatives".

In my opinion and observations of the RepubliCon party in the past 8 years, they have eliminated the term conservatism from their dictionary and choosen to follow the religious fundamentalist in the GOP.

These fundamentalist in the RepubliCon party are no different then the Muslim fundamentalist that we are fighting under the brand name of Al Qaida or Taliban or Insurgent or Terrorist or call it what you want....

rkerg Author Profile Page:

It is no surprise that W. Krystol still tries to get everyone to understand the world through the prism of Iraq. Krystol and his neo con buddies were responsible for selling the Iraq adventure idea to Cheney who sold it to Bush. As self absorbed egoists, these neo cons have few peers, and, therefore, ever since their Iraq debacle turned out to be something less than the cakewalk that they promised it to be, they have been busy constructing new tortured logic so to assure us all that, despite all appearances to the contrary, they, (as always) were and are right about everything. Got that? Everything.
Apparently, being a neo con means never having to say you're sorry. (Or accept any responsibility).

kaycwagner Author Profile Page:

The Republican Party rejected statesmanship in favor of arrogance. Like bullying, it worked temporarily but eventually met it's 'comeuppance'. The ambiance of the party shifted to the lowest common denomonitor, measured by a dirty tricks approach to any dispute, followed by macho posturing. Obama and the Democratic Party has ushered in the return of the intellect and civility in governing.

LeroyTheRoadie Author Profile Page:

Felix155,

There is typically a suggestion that glee accompanies what detractors say following failure... Heartwarming...? No, I am heartsick, as are many of my fellow Americans, I believe, even as we hope that we can recover and rise above the ugliness...

Personally, I wish Bush had been a great president... I wish he hadn't started by having the state of which his brother was governor hand him the presidency in an election in which he didn't win the popular vote... Ugly third world politics... I wish Wall Street hadn't crashed due to lack of regulation... I wish our invasion of Iraq would've solved terrorism instead of exacerbating it... I wish, I wish, I wish...

Yes, wait and see what the Dems do, but I ask that you drop the assumption that any sensible person wouldn't GLEEFULLY trade their righteous indignation for a reversal of all the policies and mistakes and arrogance and ugliness... Sensible Americans who want this country to live up to its ideals and serve again as a beacon in the world take no joy in what has happened...

I agree with you that one dogma traded for another will not work in these times, but you suggest to keep Congress "on the margins"... Now THAT was a big part of the dogma of the outgoing administration... They buggy whipped the Legislative Branch into whimpering submission...

Even as Cheney claimed to be part of either the Executive or Legislative brances as he needed to deflect any oversight, we had an Executive branch that was so out of control as to make it a near monarchy...

Give us back checks and balances...

But more than that...

Give us Executive and Legislative Branches that will work in concert for the good of the American people, and an INDEPENDENT Judiciary to hold respect for our great Constitution higher than their efforts...

On the other side of your "no clean slate" statement would be a fair and well-deserved acknowledgement of this very, very dirty slate that must be cleaned before we can begin writing new history... We, as a country, are staggering under the weight of what has come before and, yes, it will take "extraordinary intellectual bravery" to make progress...

Please read this as one person's attempt to dialogue and challenge respectfully... Respect has been sorely lacking in our discourse, and your concluding point about the danger of the U.S. Dollar being replaced as the global reserve currency reminds me that all the minor points and approaches to our economic recovery will, as you say, pale in comparison if our currency is eclipsed on the world stage...

I join you in fervently hoping that the new Administration and Congress will get THAT right...

And I ask that you evaluate your suggestion that the country's unhappiness with the outgoing administration is "heartwarming"...

joy2 Author Profile Page:

Good point Golfnut. According to Woodward's book, they did the same in Afghanistan. Brought in sacks of money to give to the Northern Alliance and Tribal leaders to gain their opposition against the Taliban.

The trouble with paying bribes is, unless you keep forking over, the "loyalty" ends.

joy2 Author Profile Page:

Another insightful article by Mr. Zakaria. I would make just one observation though, regarding his statement that Bush/Cheney planned to establish a "democratic and friendly" government in Iraq. Democratic and friendly, yes...but to whom? Bush/Cheney thought they could use force to put in place a U.S. puppet government led by the likes of Ahmed Chalabi. Then was their big chance to implement the scheme hatched by PNAC (which they tried to get Clinton to do): Overthrow Saddam and fulfill the pie-in-the-sky dreams of the neocons - Cheney, Pearle, Wolfowitz, Kristol, Schuenemann, McCain, etc. - whose goal was to establish a conservative Utopia in the mideast that would give us oil and provide an ally for Israel. Oh, and they promised George W. Bush that the Iraqis would build statues in his honor. As Bush 41 would say "Read my lips...ain't gonna happen."
We are so lucky to have elected Barack Obama - the man who had the prescience to warn against such folly. I trust him not to put our nation at war for the sole reason "now's our chance" to fool the American people.

jaxas Author Profile Page:

One more point to add to this discussion. Remember how Ronald Reagan ran as a conservative? How he insisted that government was the problem and not the solution? Well, look how he actually governed though. He governed in a center right fashion which at that time just happen to match where th majority of the electorate was. Whe he tried going too far to the right, he got into trouble, as he did with his firing of the FAA employees, his deregualtion of the savings and loan industries, and Iran-Contra.

But, when he governed from the center--as he did with his negotiations with Gorbachev, his willingness to raise taxes on upper income social security recipients to lessen the deficit and his more centrist policies on trade, he blossomed.

The lesson is that Presidents fare much better when they stay within the confines of what the great mass of the reasonable center in American politics tells them to do. When they stray outside that center--as Bush did--they do so at their peril.

golfnut7 Author Profile Page:

On Iraq, "the surge, the surge, the surge." What about the Sons of Awakening "Council," to whom the U.S. paid money to stop them from fighting and killing each other? Early on, Gen. Petraeus indicated that a proven counterinsurgency tactic was to pay locals money. If the surge was "Successful," why not draw attention to buying the Iraqis?

jaxas Author Profile Page:

Someone on this blog made the comment that the nation is more red than blue. This is silly. What conservatives do not seem to get is that that large swath of red they have been so accustomed to seeing on these political maps largely cover areas of the country where populations are very low. Places like Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas combined cannot muster sufficient numbers to match one county in northern New Jersey or southern California.

At the moment, conservatives are clutching to the comforting nostrum that more people in the country identify themselves as conservative than as liberal. But, this is deceptive as well. My wife considers herself as conservative because she is a Mormon and believes in such conservative notions as thrift and paying ones bills and keeping her personal accounts balanced. But, she also believes strongly in a more universal health care system, federal aid to education, strong government involvement in energy and environmental concerns and a more tolerant attitude in general to equal rights among all groups including gays. She voted for Obama as did I. She calls herself a conservative, I call myself a liberal.

Such labels can be completely misleading. The truth is the country is moving into a center left position at present. It tends to wobble back and forth between center left and center right. What does that tell you? It tells you that the vast majority of Americans do not trust ideological extremes. That is why they rejected Carter in 1980. And it is why they rejected McCain in 2008.

bevjims1 Author Profile Page:

woltman1 wrote: "Why has everyone forgotten the UN diplomatic failure which led to the US invasion of Iraq to begin with?"

I do remember the UN voting to require Iraq to let in the weapons inspectors, which they did. Bush warned them to leave after they had been there a few months and found nothing because he intended to invade to stop Saddam from developing the weapons the inspectors could not find. Bush said he "knew" they had weapons. Cheney said he "knew where they were". Neither told the weapons inspectors where to look even though the weapons inspectors pleaded for the supposed information. Weeks before the invasion the inspectors left as Bush demanded. After the war Bush found out the weapons inspectors were right, and joked about it. So please don't try to blame the UN. They tried to stop the mistake Bush was making, they did not cause it.

rcbakewell Author Profile Page:

Only about 20 % of voters actually decide on a candidate based on matching their ideology / views with a careful analysis of the candidate's policy proposals. Therefore, the GOP is in trouble because most people vote based on heuristic process that reflects their affinity for a certain candidate. The population in general is becoming more diverse , more urban and more informed. The GOP, if it continues to pander to nativists, religious extremists, anti-intellectuals and rural non-cosmopolitans, will further damage its prospects to maintain relevancy. This is bad for America. Bloviation about the US being #1 will be a truly hollow boast if the GOP continues to self destruct.

thetruthseeker Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria,

It is time you call quit, your expertise on Foriegn Policy; you were wrong before and this time around you are simply jumping on the bandwagon. Please save whatever is left of your dignity and stay away from foriegn policies.

Sincerely

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria

"No good deed goes unpunished"?

Well, the worst in US history should have been perceived as the best, but were misunderstood and have now become "les mal aimés" (the ill-loved)... Poor little things!

The above is as Orwellian as claiming to this day that the US won the Vietnam war!

The facts are that for years on end, those creatures have ruled against the will of the majority of (decent) US citizens and of the vast majority of world opinion. They would neither talk nor listen. Deprived of any vision, incompetent and totally inept, they insisted on ruling unilaterally, constantly lying and deceiving their own citizens and the world's.

The results are there for everyone to see. Hence the euphoria, not only in the US but throughout the world, last Tueday night. It felt literally like this country was free again, free at last, after years of illegitimate rule! The born again must have thought the feeling was familiar enough.

Yes, "ideas matter"; and "the real challenge for Washington is (indeed) ... to use its... intellectual capacities to work with others to create a more stable, peaceful and prosperous world...".

Having been used too long to govern from the extreme right, that lot is currently off-centre. That alone explains why it kept complaining, during the presidential campaign, that Obama was extreme left.

This country urgently needs advice and leadership coming from its best minds, right now. It is comforting watching some of them appear and express their views on your GPS.

ptymccall Author Profile Page:

Mr Z

While I've not always agreed with your POV, I do appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you write. My wife and I were talking this weekend and agreed that we have many beliefs consistent with the Republican party but also agreed that as long as religous zealots hold the party hostage and consider overturning RvW and outlawing gay marriage as litmus tests than we will NEVER become members.

The party is the party of hypocrisy--we will preach moral values on you but don't dare hold us accountable to the same values (unmarried teen pregnancy and the Palin children). We believe in the death penalty-even in cases with dubious evidence but don't dare make a decision about your own body and consequances for the next 18 years of your life of having to be responsible for another person. We believe in marriage for a man and a woman but feel free to get married as many times as you want (Newt, Rudy, McCain). Not to mention that the party has turned scarily anti-intellectual--I'm sorry, but I want my leaders smarter than me. I want a president who has been exposed to other cultures and ideas and who recognizes that while the American dream is still alive we have much room for improvement as a country and culture.

Hypocrites-that's the main plank of the republican party and as long as they allow their beliefs to be guided by the christian taliban than this educated, professional, white male and his wife will gladly embrace the title of 'liberal' and eschew any support at all for republican candidates.

adask Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria correctly stresses the word "irrelevant." We need a New Deal to handle problems that come with globalization: outsourcing, high energy costs, climate change, illegal immigration, etc. The Republicans continue to wring their hands on tackling these issues. Without a comprehensive, PRAGMATIC, plan to deal with these problems, the party will cease to be relevant in the next century, and will be replaced with a new one.

gtnaustin Author Profile Page:

The GOP has been devoid of ideas, morals, values, compassion for the past 8+ years and only filled with greed.

rbraun2000 Author Profile Page:

That is why he won an electoral landslide because Americans are fed up with the Republican Brand and failed policies. They are also tired of fantasy land elections by the Republicans buy running McCain that is George Bush and Palin who was "Dumber than a third grader." Can someone please tell me how and why she got elected to office in Alaska? Having the brain capacity and knowledge is still part of the qualifications for that kind of job, isn't it?

squirebass Author Profile Page:

Two words were responsible for McCains downfall:
Bush/Cheney

Bush, the so-called "head" of the ticket, was a lazy incompetent fool, with no ability either for leadership or forward thinking, which is why all the change-phobic Republican fools rallied around him. We will probably spend the better part of the next century cleaning up the mess those two made! It was made far worse by the fact that we had Republican majorities in the House and Senate at the same time that these bumbling fools were running the executive(and whatever Cheney thought the VP Office fit under!), so the damages were exponential.

arceedee Author Profile Page:

Several posts have commented on the role of the United Nations in the run-up to and management of the Iraq war.

Please recall that Bush-41 carefully marshalled UN and world opinion before attacking Iraqi forces in Kuwait and Iraq. Domestic and foreign opposition to US military actions was minor and muted. Bush-43 actively ignored world opinion and acted unilaterally. Although he eventually strong-armed Colin Powell into making a presentation to the UN, that work was largely seen as inadequate and was later revealed to be flawed at best and fraudulent at worst.

Bush-41 also presented a clear and consistent reason for attacking Iraq: Saddam Hussein had attacked a small country -- Kuwait -- with which the US has defense agreement. Bush-43 has never presented a defensible reason we are in Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction? They were never there and no one would reasonably infer from pre-2003 data that they really existed. Al-Qaeda? Not active in Iraq until the US invasion provided the perfect recruiting tool. Saddam as bogeyman? Maybe, but Bush-43 never made that case well, and the world is full of bad people, notably in Afghanistan.

Other than the general observation that McCain's support of the Bush-43 war in Iraq continued the faulty reasoning present throughout the GOP's campaign, foreign policy did not play much role in the defeat.

For additional info on why McCain lost -- inability to function in a complex decision environment -- please see http://theleastofus.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-mccain-lost-election.html.

donald_mcmunn Author Profile Page:

You are essentially right on, Mr. Zakaria ! President Obama will find his own 'center', and that should not reflect any of the republican notions, since they have not come up with anything but destructive policies starting with Reagan. I hope Mr. Obama will bring about regulations on the corporations that will end the current slavery system that relies upon illegal aliens and a bare existence level of wages for the majority of American workers. High taxes should also be imposed on all that ship their jobs overseas and leave American workers jobless to take advantage of other slave labor.

thetruthseeker Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria,

It is time you call quit your expertise in Forign POlicy you were wrong before and this time you are simply jumping on the band wagon. Please save whatever is left of your soul and take a long vacation from politics.

Sincerely

erickaba Author Profile Page:

WOLTMAN1 wrote:
"One of the drivers of US "unilateralism" is the disfunctionality of the United Nations. Why has everyone forgotten the UN diplomatic failure which led to the US invasion of Iraq to begin with?"

You are either completely uninformed or willingfully determined to ignore reality. How can you say the UN failed on Iraq when it was the very UN (through its International Atomic Energy Agency) that compelled Sadam Huissen to submit to the destruction of his biological and chemical weapons and to a complete inspection of Iraq for any nuclear weapons programs? Do you remember Dr. Hans Blix and Dr. Mohammed El Baradei? Go back and read the reports they gave the UN and the world before Georgr Bush invaded Iraq.

tony_in_Durham_NC Author Profile Page:

Let's take a quick look at The Republican Party, Neo-Cons and their political "culture."

Led by Rush Limbaugh, they engaged in cute games, like trying to get Hillary Clinton nominated as the Democratic candidate for President. Some of their other games include voter suppression, the "Brooks Brothers" "riot" in Florida, 2000. This is a political culture with all the impulse and maturity of a drunk frat boy. It seems enough voters have noticed that.

The constant change-up in what was "acceptable" from Democratic candidates still plays out on the "conservative" TV network, FOX NEWS. Watching this channel, post-election, is like watching a strange, surreal "bizarro" world (like in Superman, where everything is reversed).

The Republican party has become so anti-intellectual that even members of their own base said "enough" with "Rednecks for Obama" supporters. McCain's not a fool, but Sarah Palin surely is and the voters knew that.

In my own state of North Carolina, the once-respectable Liddy Dole engaged in ridiculous name-calling of her Democratic opponent. She called Kay Hagan, an elder in the Presbyterian Church -- "godless". WTF?

Of course with Democrats in power, I fully expect the MSM to "suddenly" "rediscover" its "role" as "watchdog." Funny, how it takes Democrats to wake up the media to responsibilities it failed to uphold during the Bush years.

Also, and this is the part that really cheeses me off---where's the tipping point to the Conservative smear campaign against Dems and Obama? When does it finally and obviously become unpatriotic? Why can't "cons" give any new Democratic administration or player a break?

Because The Republican party is run by and for immature children. Call it "Me First" NOT "Country First" (although I still think that slogan was more about taste in music).

vgailitis Author Profile Page:

Bereft of ideas? The fact is the nation is more red than blue. The other fact is, depsite the oBama win, the Blacks who voted for him here in CA also voted for Proposition 8, a very conservative issue. The left is still protesting "the will of the people" on Prop hoping for an Obama intervention making gay marriage "a right" that somehow found its way into the Constitution though the usual tactic of legislating freom the bench! So the party isn't bereft of ideas at all. If it were Obama would NOT have run talking about "tax cuts"! The fact is, conservative ideas work each and every time they're applied in politics. Bereft of ideas? Rahm Emanual used conservative principles to find "conservative" democrats to unseat Republicans in 2006! It appears the Democrats are actually bereft of ideas not the right. Unfortunately, the handwringing serves no purpose. The Republicans don't have fanatic uber socialists like the DailyKos, Huffington Post or the other groups like MoveOn.org to veer the party to the right the way these clumps of waste moved the dems to the extreme left!

thesuperclasssux Author Profile Page:

Mr. Z. --

Nailed it!

MNUSA Author Profile Page:

Good column. As an ordinary person who works for a living (like a majority of Americans), what does the Republican party offer? If anything, their message isn't clear. Foreign policy-wise, they still seem to be in a cold war mentality. They don't offer progressive solutions to our problems - noted by our youth. We need 21st century solutions to 21st problems.

I agree with your comment about the "we're number 1," too. Bloviating is such a perfect word to describe it. It's arrogant and reminds me of high school students at a football game chanting mindless slogans.

johnuw93 Author Profile Page:

We should not overlook the fact that the GOP is becoming a regional and rural party. McCain won in the South and in a few Mountain West states, as well as the small-population farming states of the Midwest. Even in Texas, cities trended Democratic, and that is the only big state McCain won. In short, unless the Republicans reshape their message soon, they will become the party of resentful Southern white men and Mormons. That is not a winning coalition, especially as the country's demographics continue to work against the GOP's philosophy and appeal.

chevychasedesigns Author Profile Page:

DE-REGULATION lost the Election for the GOP.

De-regulation of WAR:
Going to War with no laws. Just bombing a country that never attacked the US, hundreds of thousands dead civilians. Pre-emptive, my way or the highway, who cares about laws or mandates - that's when De-regulation is applied to wars.

De-regulation of the ECONOMY;
Turning the concept of Free-Markets to having a Free-License to do whatever you want - as Obama said during the campaign.

The Neo-cons don't want to dig deep enought to understand that both the War and the Economy had at their roots the perils of De-regulation and lawlessness.
If it makes them happy to cherry pick one without the other to asign blame as to why they lost, fine. I for one am happy that such cherry pickers have left the White House.

tmcproductions2004 Author Profile Page:

Here is the elephant in the "senate" room:
AGES OF U.S. SENATORS:
Currently 1 Senator is in his 90s, 5 are in their 80s, 20 are in their 70s, 37 are in their 60s, 29 are in their 50s, 8 are in their 40s, and 0 are in their 30s. (see Wikopedia for list and birthdates)

With the country screaming for change, these old farts--of both parties-- need to be moved OUT!! Forget term limits, I want age limits!

chevychasedesigns Author Profile Page:

The ECONOMY is tied to the WAR.
Billions of dollars over 5 years could have been spent at home -

So those airy-fairy neo-cons who are convincing themselves that the Economy alone lost the election - for your own benefit, stop being so superficial. The War itself has had an effect on the Economy. THey are inextricably linked.

I for one am really happy that such shallow thinkers are off the stage, after 8 years of spin and foolery.

EliPeyton Author Profile Page:

How many donkeys support the killing of a child who has survived abortion? Life is being redefined by the donkeys, and especially President-elect Hussein.
Tax break--I'll expect my tax break by January 22, 2009.
Iraq--I'll expect the troops home by Feb. 2009
Immigration--If auntie is allowed to stay, there are no more rules.
Drilling--they can't drill or they will alienate their kook fringe
===============================================
Conservative ideas for President-elect Barry:
1) Obey Article II of the Constitution. Period. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Zakaria, have you read the Constitution? Which article applies to Hussein?

tommic856 Author Profile Page:

The Grand Old Party is in a state of turmoil sustained by their own actions or lack of, they have surrenderd the middle of the road independents and conservative democrats for the full support of the religious right and their intolorence. As the most religious of any of the seven industrialized nations the conservative coalition has destroyed any chance in the near future for centrist support. Rhetoric from conservatives instead of reality assures the dominance of the Democratic Party for years to come, with the black vote now able to organize and the new younger voters exersizing their own will we as a nation may actually be able to start on a progressive approach by government to change everything from healthcare to banking and finance that will serve all Americans not just those white old men who have so terribly screwed up our system that our grandchildren will be paying the bills of their idiological policies. Time for the rich to pay their fair share and for taxes to be raised to confiscatory rates for those earning over twenty or thirty millions of dollars a year.
No peron ever envisioned CEO's making three hundred million dollars a year or more, one must ask the question how much is enough, how many houses does one need to own, how many Bently's does one need. These questions need to be answered and when they are 99 and a half percent of Americans will be far better off.
Tom McMahon
tommic856@verizon.net
millis Ma

lambertj Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria is much more intelligent and intellectual than I am, so I make this response humbly. I don't understand his assertions about the Bush Administration's diplomacy (or lack thereof) with Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. As far as Pyongyang goes, the United States wanted multi-lateral talks; that's right, multi-lateral. It was Kim Jung Il who made express demands for bi-lateral talks. In my view it seems reasonable to have multilateral talks with North Korea, especially considering our crucial relationships with China, Japan, and South Korea.
As far as the Iranian problem goes, my understanding is that, first we were willing to negotiate with the regime, but on certain preconditions (I apologize for not being more specific than that at the moment). In addition, the "EU 3" has had back door negotiations with Ahmadinejad, without serious objection from the United States. It is Europe who has failed on that front, and with our consent in the name of multilateralism as an end unto itself.

woltman1 Author Profile Page:

While I agree the Republican party is stuck in a quagmire of bad ideas, defense of our national security with a strong military is not one of them. How we achieve that end is open to some interpretation. But our foreign policy doesn't actually change much regardless of party leadership (as we'll soon witness with the advent of President Obama.)

One of the drivers of US "unilateralism" is the disfunctionality of the United Nations. Why has everyone forgotten the UN diplomatic failure which led to the US invasion of Iraq to begin with? While the invasion may not have been the best idea, the US "unilateral" action was a Presidential effort (with broad bi-partisan support) to exercise his constitutional responsibility of providing for US national security.

If the UN Security Council had acted in the interests of the world and not its individual countries' national interests, Sadam Hussein would have been required to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency UN resolutions, and there probably would have never been an invasion.

But that would have required the rest of the world world's multilateralism.

So let's not just keep beating up on the US (and the Repuoblicans) for our foreign policy.

Bottom line is that defense of our national security is not a "Republican" bad idea. It's a US Constitutional requirement.

What is perceived as the US acting unilaterally is often a result of the failure of the United Nations and the broader world community to do their part.

BennyFactor Author Profile Page:

The only unifying issue the conservatives have left is homophobia, which draws in all the evangelicals and some of the macho elements of black/hispanic culture. Beyond that they have zilch. If Obama is bold, he will try to extricate the government from the "sanctification" business by offering all consenting couples civil union rights, but leaving it to the religious communities to battle over what defines the sanctity of marriage and which institutions will/will not perform ceremonies for gay couples who want their union sanctified as a marriage under God - thereby weakening, isolating and dividing the single-issue right-wingers to fight with other churches who might want to sanctify gay couples as married. Government has NO business in that arena anyway.

billkistler Author Profile Page:

Fareed, simple is good but too simple isn’t and your analysis of why McCain lost is too simple. You say, “The logical conclusion is that the surge was irrelevant to McCain's fate -- that there were broader reasons for the resounding Republican loss,” and this is mostly true, although”irrelevant” is too strong. That, “The electorate has voted no on the current Republican ideology on foreign policy,” is way too simple. In general, Americans are not ideological and the reasons that they voted for Obama have a wide variety of reasons, but probably the deciding factors have much more to do with the economy than any foreign policy issues. You are like a carpenter after a hurricane that ONLY sees what needs to be nailed down.

billkistler Author Profile Page:

Fareed, simple is good but too simple isn’t and your analysis of why McCain lost is too simple. You say, “The logical conclusion is that the surge was irrelevant to McCain's fate -- that there were broader reasons for the resounding Republican loss,” and this is mostly true, although”irrelevant” is too strong. That, “The electorate has voted no on the current Republican ideology on foreign policy,” is way too simple. In general, Americans are not ideological and the reasons that they voted for Obama have a wide variety of reasons, but probably the deciding factors have much more to do with the economy than any foreign policy issues. You are like a carpenter after a hurricane that ONLY sees what needs to be nailed down.

greyghost1 Author Profile Page:

The GOP foreign policy was war, is war, & was going to remain war if McCain was elected.

www.nextrevolution.net

Is it hard to understand why the American people wanted change? Terrorist didn't attack US because of what We the People did, it's what we didn't do.

We didn't make government work for US, they worked for campaign contributors.

Beholding to campaign contributors, the union busting GOP is all about promoting illegal immigration while putting Americans out of work. They have busted our health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, & Social Srcurity as well.

Bush himself was all about giving jobs that once paid Americans a living wage to illegal immigrants while suggesting Americans won't do those jobs. Like many Americans, I used to do those jobs in the seventies & eighties when they paid a living wage.

Read Fast Food Nation.

I have just received a box of information from a man in Lincoln, NE., Reuben Worster, who as an American veteran who fought for his country lost the money meant to care for his handicapped son. The state will now pay,{taxpayers} for the care of Reuben Worster's son. Reuben was & is a responsible man who served his country & put $ aside to care for his son but our government, our representatives allowed the money to be stolen.

I also have information from 1978, five years before the savings & loan failure which should have prevented it. Another American Veteran who has since passed away, went to Nebraksa Gov. Exon & told him not to appoint a banker from Grand Island, NE {Riley, because he was floating million dollar notes,} to State Banking Director. Exon didn't appoint Riley but Bob Kerry did.

State Attorney General Paul Douglas sat in on the meeting with Exon but did nothing to stop Kerry from appointing Riley to State Banking Diretor. Paul Douglas was later convicted later to be overturned on appeal. Former NE State Senator John Decamp has the facts, the information which could help the investors get their moeny back but he won't. More than one man lost his life, in a plane crash with his nine year old son while trying to get justice for the investors.

The rest is history & the sad part is, we're reliving it in the $700 billion bail out!

This information includes alomost everything involved in the Commonwealth Savings & Loan & State Securities failures. John Decamp has the rest. I need a publisher. This box of information contains the truth about how & why the investors lost their money & why we're bailing out the crooks again with $700 billion of our tax $!

hromeroscripts Author Profile Page:

My advice to the GOP: Dtch the Christians Conservatives. They are the most obnoxious, cantakerous and divisive people around, and increasingly in the minority.

The Christian right are the ones willing to die for their ideology and to beat everybody upside the head with it. They do not accept a pluralistic society. In their view, every one must agree with them on abortion, right to life, immigration, gay marriage, affirmative action, and whatever else they come up with or else they're not patriotic enough, or american enough.

That kind of rigid ideology and unwillingness to accept people from other religious and cultures is actually most unamerican and uniclusive.

At this point they are not helping anybody. They sunk the GOP in these past elections by painting the democrats as the devil, and themselves as the true americans.

Enough already with that bunch. Look a the mess they've created in California with gay marriage. They have no problem taking rights away from citizens and depriving others the right to life by supporting a war, but take umbrage at the slightest contradiction and go into an outrage over things that are not that important.

The GOP should stop paying attention to them and dump them by the side of the road.

MikeL4 Author Profile Page:

This election was about the ECONOMY, not foreign policy. Remember, it's the economy stupid! Well, the economic foolishness in the mortgage industry of the past 12 years under both Republicans and Democrats came home to roost under the the Republican watch. That is why the electorate tossed out the Republicans.

For Zakaria to say it was foreign policy shows his total lack of understanding of foreign policy. He should also take a moment to read some exit polls.

dsar Author Profile Page:

I agree, the most of author's arguments on Demise of GOPS, but these arguments are equally be applicable to DEMS. In my view, conservatism and conservativeness, are essential parts of Nation's psyche and for her vibrant Citizens. I see it in this angle - that conservatives are true Nationals, and they, are and will work for the Nation as a whole, to improve Her subjects' lives and their prides, and prestiges, plus for their better living standard, Economical solvency, and their securities. I think Conservatives are true Nationalists, and they are guided by the principle of National interests, in any sphere- that may be in economic field, Foreign policy, or fighting against global terrorism. Yes this recent poll didn't go in favour of GOPS, but that debacle was due to, some Neocons, who over stepped their eligibility and their imbibing of, the wrong Economic Policies and wrong foreign policies, that dearly hurt them. I hope that our Conservatives will assess their mistakes and be able to rectify their past and recent bad policies. Conservatives should start work now at grass root level to revive and earn confidence amongst Nation-loving people.
DEMS, I personally feels that they are gloating on hollow victory, and this Honeymoon period wont last much longer. People, are already watching & scrutinizing the every step, the DEMS are taking. The greatest danger, the DEMS are going to face- that they are dividing the American society in to the line of Race, Color, Religions, ethnicity, and Immigrants. The sole purpose of all these, are to "Divide and Rule policy". Plus DEMS's present objective is to consolidate their "Vote Bank" power, So that in future, the DEM- ideologues' master plan, will work on, to segregate [divide] the society, so that they [DEMS] will remain in power, perpetually [I mean forever], and can rule on the subjects of this Fractured Nation. And if my assumption is correct, then I have many worries to ponder about. At this very moment, many nations, around the world, are suffering for their> Racially divided societies, and their progresses were seriously compromised. So I like to request, current DEM ruler at WH, to take serious look on my above described pitfalls.

skeptonomist Author Profile Page:

Another rat leaves the sinking (or sunken) ship of the Iraq war (Zakaria supported it). When the next militaristic adventure is imminent, Zakaria will likely support it as well. Jingoism transcends partisan alignment and the pundit crowd will get aboard again - this is why "leaders" use jingoism to consolidate their power.

thatfutureone Author Profile Page:

Good article. I just got back from Iraq, where I was a combat advisor to one of the better Iraqi Infantry Battalions. If the surge was intended only to reduce the violence, then I can say it worked. The problem is it was also meant to get the Iraqi Govt off they're collective a** and meet political benchmarks. That is not happening, and until we demonstrate we aren't there permanently, the Iraqis will continue to drag they're feet.

skiloypet Author Profile Page:

Grover Norquist....remember him? One of Jack A's friends. Long-time political operative. I watched his C-SPAN performance the other day when he had no one there to rebut his sermon. Conservatives and Republicans....not that Republicans are conservative...one is trying like the dickens to shanghai the other. You can figure it out. The conservative movement is a sinister one: lower taxes and less government; right, that's responsible given the schmidt-sandwich 'ol GW left us. The republican party's ideology is not worth a plug nickle; evidence the change in direction manifested in the recent election. As for "conservatism", this delusion is now debunked as theoretical gibberish. I think I know how conservatives would square the concept of social responsibility with their beliefs, but I challenge them to explain what conservative social responsibility is.

MadasHelinVA Author Profile Page:

The McCain-supported surge, in and of itself, as a 'military' endeavor is NOT the measure we should use to recognize its success. Yes, it helped to have more boots on the ground but that was not its primary dividend. It was really more the fact of the TIME it provided to the Iraqi government to distribute its governing powers more 'fairly' among Kurd, Sunni and Shia.

After the past 8 years of a truly leaderless GOP in Bush and Cheney [actually closer to 16 years] being caught up in corruption and scandals, of rotten core principles along with divisive ideology bereft of new thoughts and ideas, it has been completely devoid of any decent leadership. Instead of 'listening' to dissatisfied or disgruntled members [many of whom dared to question the qualifications of Palin as VP], the Party's ire was aroused and those members were hit with 'personal character attacks' as a rebuke. It has become the Republican Party of INTOLERANCE. The GOP has been left devoid of strong and well-educated leaders who could guide the Party back to good governance and diversity.

The American electorate not only spoke, but also shouted in unison with a loud and clear voice. If the GOP have not heard them, they will continue to be left behind with a huge shortage of good members leaving only the racists, bigots and haters who currently makeup their base and refuse to allow their minds and hearts to grow into the 21st century. Moreover, until they listen without retribution, they will remain exactly where they are - stuck in a well-deserved historical quagmire!

jdoc1 Author Profile Page:

I find this article accurate and well presented. The Republican has become the party of the Religeous Right and this is not acceptable to many people. This group is as fanatical as the Islamic Extremist. They see only one point of view and try to ram their ideology down everyones throat.

McCain lost this election because he was not "McCain". He chose to satisfy everybody in his party as the Democrats have in past elections and they also lost.

dutchess2 Author Profile Page:

Three things:

1. This nation's editorial pundits and reporters have absolutely GOT to stop pretending the 'surge' worked. It did not because we've PAID the insurgents to stop shooting Americans, and the Iraqi people are no closer to a government of, for and by all its different religious factions that it was 10 years ago.

2. Sarah Palin was never qualified to be a heartbeat away from the POTUS...it remains to be seen if she could be - but she has left a foul smell wherever she has been - insulting, disparating, and lying about half the votes the campaing SHOULD have realized they needed to win. She and McCain together managed to get the threats to Obama and his family significantly increased with their dangerous, fear mongering, slimin and lyin campaign. That is unforgivable, and Palin needs to know her welcome here is thin to non existant, McCain needs to recognize he is damaged goods.

3. Someone, somewhere, convinced Palin and McCain they needed only appeal to the base... about 30% of the total electorate... the other 24.5% of his vote may have come from those that could not see voting for a democrat, or a black, no matter what. The far rightwing nutcases are STILL saying they need to 'run on the sancity of marriage', like that had anything to do with the economy, with tax fairness, with jobs and health care. Seeing as how the venue of deviding and conquoring has failed, I don't care if that is as far as they can see, but wiser heads in that party need to get on the train that's moving ahead, even if they have to call themselves something besides republicans.

We need everyone rowing the boat or it will sink.

If some republicans want to play dog in the manger, let them, but we need the adults to get on board and leave them at the dock.

The first order of business has already begun... Obama did not allow a Fox reporter to ask a question in his first news conference... and I doubt that was accidental. Not with Hannity and the kids that play at the morning show sliming him every chance they get.

Next, I think democrat tax payers will not allow Rush Limbaugh to smear and spread hate for half the people who pay for the armed services radio waves to the troops... They don't need to hear it and we aren't gonna pay for it.


Pebble1776 Author Profile Page:

Over reach by both the economic and national security branches of the GOP have turned off many members of the middle class. Perhaps it is the result of accomplishing everything you wanted to do and then over reaching as you look for something new to keep busy.

If this is the end game for the Contract for America, then a new playbook, a new set of goals is going to be needed to revitalize the party rather than regrouping and going down the same path. This does not have to mean Democrat-lite. It is like being a football team where the other teams have figured out your plays. Time for something new.

MikeL4 Author Profile Page:

Zakaria is devoid of common sense. The America electorate did not give a flying fig about foreign policy after the success of the surge in Iraq.

This election was about the ECONOMY only.

Zakaria's bias is foreign policy and liberalism. He is a failure at both.

centerist Author Profile Page:

The problem for the GOP isn't being devoid of ideas in its mainstream. It's that that mainstream has been purged by 8 years of ultra-right wing extremism; the Party and the White House having been usurped by what by any definition can only be called a fascist cabal with a weak Quisling-type leader, Bush, which had bamboozled all with the usual propaganda of extremism of any persuasion, right or left.

It's future sucess depends on a return to its mainstream. The question is: How to do it? The problem is like the US under Reagan and the UK under Thatcher before, the leadeship has been purged of just the very people and their ideas it needs. If the experience of the UK's right wing party, the Conservatives is anything to go by, it will take at least 3 general elections before the GOP clears out the dross of the past 8 years for such real mainstream GOP talent as it has to fight its way to the fore.

What about the Iraq 'surge'? Well, what has really made it work? It isn't the presence of the extra troops, that's for sure. The two elements which never seem to appear in the media are bribery and the equivalent of a Berlin Wall or rather a series of walls.

The recalcitrant Sunni and Shia leaderships have been bribed with more Dollars than most can really imagine in exchange for some kind of peaceful coexistence.

However, these leaders can't control their no compromise extremists. In the real hot spots huge concrete walls have been built to keep the factions apart. These walls are made from what are called 'tombstones' about 15 ft. or so tall, encircling the main flashpoints of internecine conflict.

Without both the bribery and the walls, it's very unlikley the surge would have succeeded, instead the surge would have been in coalition casualties. In any case, Iraqi's are still killed and maimed every day, even if coalition troops aren't. So, where really is its success?

Finally, one commentator to this article has alluded to foreign attitudes to the USA particularly over the past 8 years. It isn't envy, jealousy or anything so benign as that, it's fear. Fear what the US might do as the sole economic and military super power. The bible of the GOP right, PNAC, in so far as it retains any credibility is all about the US exercising its supremacy. It's Mein Kampf all over again, except its authors hadn't the balls to go for a 1000 years of it. The world has seen it in Iraq, so where else would or could US do the same? The answer under Bush was anywhere of its own choosing. The relief for the world is that McCain, who despite calling himself a maverick has followed Bush in everything of significance, won't be the next president.

Whether Obama can straighten out 8 years of Bush2 as did Clinton with 8 years of Reagan and 4 of the Bush1, if he did or was it really luck, is something we'll just have to wait and see.

One thing is certain if nothing else, the citizens of the world will sleep easier in their beds at night.


Fei_Hu Author Profile Page:

jmwlaw :
I get tired of hearing folks like Zakaria who think they are so smart in describing things AFTER they have occured. His foreign policy suggestions are based on a weak model of American exercise of power. I think he needs to help illuminate how we kill the terrorists (aside from sitting down to tea with them).

========================================
YOU fool he was saying this before.
In fact everyone was.
You are deaf in one ear and blind in the other.

Fei Hu

the1joncook Author Profile Page:

Two campaign slogans: "Yes We Can" and "Country First". The former is inclusive the latter exclusive. The former won. Hopefully this is the lesson the Republicans can take from their loss.

jmwlaw Author Profile Page:

I get tired of hearing folks like Zakaria who think they are so smart in describing things AFTER they have occured. His foreign policy suggestions are based on a weak model of American exercise of power. I think he needs to help illuminate how we kill the terrorists (aside from sitting down to tea with them).

dutchess2 Author Profile Page:

Thank YOu!

All the advice from pundits and political hacks whose wavering pitiful voices are coming from the smoking heap of collapse is almost comical.

This is a new day, a new set of problems, and as with the Great Depression, a larger role for government is demanded now.

We need jobs programs, and we got years of neglect of infrastructure to repair, new green manufacturing to do...its a natural marriage.

I suspect much of the new manufacturing will be grants to companies and startups for manufacturing, using the dead factories that dot the landscape, local grants of water and sewage from municipalities, and training at local Community Colleges.

You're gonna see those ghosts of economic wisdom failed pointing fingers and complaining... ignore them. We'll get this country retooled and recovered just like we did with the Great Depression, and just like we did after Pearl Harbor...

Obama can do whatever he and the cream of the crop he has selected to advise him wants to do..Obama has millions and millions of us out here, as close as the click of a 'send' button on an email, backing him every step of the way.

We have taken our country back, and we're a bit gun shy of failures giving advice.

willisforrester Author Profile Page:

The Republicans are out of touch with most of the people in the United States. They won't have any new ideas to offer and will cling to simple repackaging the "brand." If a product is not selling because the box is drab, outdated, not needed and so over then a new box is needed. The Republicans are stuck with their hard right ideology mainly because of the likes of James Dobson, Tony Perkins, John Hagee and similar ilk who think they have the power to control the Republicans - well, I guess they do and look what it got them. Praise God that His will was done by the Obama election.

coloradodog Author Profile Page:

Delusional buddy of potatoe head Dan Quayle, William Kristol, should realize his bad deeds did not go unpunished. Kristol and his Rovian ilk led the GOP down another rat hole of hatred, lies, smears and religious and racial intolerance dragging poor old John McCain behind them.

I don't like Republicans in general for their big business socialism and sincerely hope, in their delusional ignorance, that they once again have learned no lessons from their defeat.

flyguy49kc Author Profile Page:

Zakaria should stick to foreign policy where he is normally spot on. Domestic issues are clearly NOT his strong suit. More regulation is definitely needed but FIRST you have to use what you have - please tell that to the Barney Franks and Chris Dodds of the world with their micro economic policy from hell. Obama's presidency has as a foundation, Pelosi, Reid, Conyers, Waxman, Dodd, Frank, et.al. Unless he applies "CHANGE" to that , he will be lucky to get past mediocre/average. Words and speeches will only take you so far. He also needs to change his mantra to "CHANGE WE CAN AFFORD" - Debt is not his or this countries friend

jim4postnatl Author Profile Page:

If the surge worked, then why has the Iraqi government not completed the required benchmarks? Why is there so much violence day to day in Iraq? The Awakening and Shiite Militias stepping down, as has been mentioned below, had more to do with a reduction in violence, but that reduction has only brought the level down from historically horrific to merely horrific. Think of a place with the population of California and overlay the car bombings, suicide attacks on checkpoints and other violence that we read about every day in Iraq, then look in the mirror and honestly say that our policy in Iraq has been a success.

truth1011 Author Profile Page:

Unfortunately the Republican Party is looking for something, anything to try and explain away their embarrassing defeat on November 4th by laying blame to something that is basically, inanimate.

They refuse to accept that McCains jerky non-productive move suspending his campaign to go to Washington to as he said so often "fix it" save the world so to speak in this meeting of the financial minds, then, saying nothing in the meeting...that can't be blamed.

His constant talk of "I can fix it" "I know how to do it" "I know how to fix it" in ALL the debates and rallies and his town meetings without even the simplest of explanations of a basic idea or what he meant, certainly can't be blamed.

Sarah Palin the darling of the religious right but a very very bad pick for VP when there were SO MANY other qualified people...that can't be blamed either.

SO what's left. ANSWER: NOT MUCH

This thing that McCain supported, the so-called surge is and always has been a MYTH. We should never have invaded Iraq in the first place...PERIOD.

But given that, when we did we went in with way too few troops, many untrained in this type of gorilla warfare against basically crazy extremeists who simply put NO VALUE on their lives, only ingrained ideaologies drummed into them since birth that can never be questioned, our brave fighting men and women were woefully ill-equipped all around.

So this label or new term, (we love labels for things) called THE SURGE was invented. BS: Had we done it right the first time, this so called war, (really a war for big business and OIL that was supposed to last awhile) would have been over long long ago.

So the first thing that needs to happen in the Republican Party is that they have to be really honest with themselves and stop trying to find what I will call SCAPE GHOSTS to blame just to give them a little peace and hopefully get a little credibility from their many supporters that will believe anything they are told, becauase they MUST be told sdomething to believe in anything.

Then they will come back....but not before.

f_raiser Author Profile Page:

The conservatives are now in search of new ideas. What they are really searching for is a new packaging for their ideas, as content is always the same. The outer flavoring of the pill is always changing, the pill is always bitter.

GaryPeschell Author Profile Page:


Please. It was not the "surge" that brought the sharp drop in violence in Iraq, but mainly the Sunni "Awakening Councils" (a development preceeding the "surge") that put 100,000 Sunni gunmen (many former insurgents) on the American payroll. (Also, note that the Shia militias have stopped shooting at Americans - for the time being.)
Senator McCain has been wrong about the Iraq War from the beginning - and remains so.

BillPD Author Profile Page:

As usual, the GOP loses when it tries to be Democrat-lite. Expansion of Medicaid -- it grew at twice the amount of Military Spending during the Bush years. Campaign Finance -- Obama outspent McCain by a wide margin. Despite overwhelming campaign spending, bad economy and biased reporting in favor of Obama, he won by a surprisingly small margin; nothing close to Reagan's win over Carter or Nixon's win over McGovern.

jgdonahue Author Profile Page:

While you are right in the "logical conclusion" concerning the "Surge", you somehow miss the same type of conclusion on how the Democratic party is bereft of ideas as well. What becomes apparent to anyone who has seen the Democrats in Congress in the last two years is that this is a power hungry bunch not much interested in what the public wants or needs (see the Energy "crisis" averted with NO action). Pelosi and crew did not even bring this important and vital topic to a vote. Can you think of ONE topic where the Democratic party has considered that actually makes sense and is not the same worn out "tax and spend" philosophy - such as with healthcare. The party of Dodd, Schumer, Rangle, Pelosi, Reid, and Frank is the one who last had a good idea - never.

LeftGuy Author Profile Page:

The GOP does not need to repudiate Reagan but they do need to admit that Reagan was a man for his time, and only his time. Zakaria gives sound reasoning to this point and I don't need to repeat it.

The GOP scoffed at the 'green eye shade' depiction of the republican moderates, yet the only memorable achievement of the Gingrich congress was the balanced budgets they forced on Bill Clinton. I think Clinton did a very good job in office, but admit that without the green eye shade republicans, we would not have had the budget surpluses for which he will get credit from all future historians.

The GOP should return to its moderate roots. here is how to do it:
1. Initiate a non binding resolution in Congress that affirms the principle of right to privacy laid down in Roe v. Wade. (Lincoln would have done so). Get everyone on record.
2. Initiate a resolution that calls for a health care system overhaul in which all residents are covered, and total costs are reduced to 120% of those found in Canada, the UK, Germany, France and Japan. (FDR would have done so).
3. Initiate a proposal to overhaul our energy system using clean technology, including the impositon of a gasoline tax to pay for it if necessary. (Kennedy would have done so)
4. Commit to a reduction in federal spending of 3% per year for the next seven years. (Goldwater would have done so).
5. Get behind a modified version of the original Bush immigration policy overhaul. Think in terms of 'land for treaty' thinking if you have to, but stop building fences and alientating a lot of people.

This reflects center-left thinking and gets social conservatives thinking about something other than abortion, guns and gays. They will find a way to come on board. Palin is their preferred choice for now, which should tell us how far afield the GOP is, so I see no risk at all in developing new positions.

artmann11 Author Profile Page:

Wow. Bush wins with 51% and Republicans say he has a mandate for anything they ever dreamed of. Obama wins with a bigger margin and Republicans think they should still run the show. Well guess what kids, ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

TomB1 Author Profile Page:

OK, a lot of very odd posts here this morning. One more on the way... It's important to keep two things in mind:

1. McCain only lost to Obama by about 6 points. So a good deal of the country is on board with the Republican message.

2. That number will keep shrinking.

True, the Republican Party is on the losing side of key demographic trends. At this point it has yet to convince (in part because it has made absolutely no effort to do so) younger voters and Americans of color that conservativism can lead to positive outcomes for individuals and the entire body politic.

Conservativism has been hijacked by Republican neo-fascists, propagandists, and obscene profit takers. Understandably, in reaction to what the last 8 years of Republicanism has brought us a majority of voters looked for an alternative. The fact that such a standout candidate was available sealed the deal.

As a conservative I can yet again vote Republican, but not until it cleans up its own house. The basic principles of conservative philosophy are as powerful now as ever. It would be a mistake to conflate Neo-Con ideology with substantive conservative philosophy. In fact, the two have very little in common.

Hopefully a new generation of thinkers will replace the Kristols, Pearls and Roves who were the architects of the current Republican train wreck. Obama, as decent as he is, seems wedded to a set of policies and approaches that have never worked. While aware of the horror of pre-emptive war, he remains blind to pre-emptive termination of human life. Unless he re-invents a pragmatic liberalism and reverses this society’s reliance on casual abortion, we will continue to need a Republican Party.

Just not the one we have today.

davidscott1 Author Profile Page:

Thank you. This is an intellectually bankrupt party and that needs to be squarely recognized. The last Republican Senate majority made James Inhofe Chair of the Environment Committee. He calls global warming a hoax. GOP leaders talk in their usual vague terms about fiscal responsibility and cutting spending -- after a $5 trillion borrowing spree on their watch. But they refuse to acknowledge arithmetic. Long term fiscal solvency requires either substantially raising taxes or cutting Medicare and Defense or both. Which choice do you support, oh fiscally responsible ones? And if the answer is neither, show us the math. Modern conservatism is founded on a fundamental lie: that government is something removed and detached from ordinary Americans - something that Republicans have the political will to do away with.

For 28 years, Republicans have clung to power by playing to citizens' desire for simple answers to complicated problems. Their little ruse has finally come a cropper.

nanonano1 Author Profile Page:

I am sick of hearing the term "surge" as if it were some kind of esoteric military strategy instead of merely reenforcement of units which it is.

Surge, shock and awe - all BS. Cover up standard military tactics with words - more BS.

nanonano1 Author Profile Page:

I am sick of hearing the term "surge" as if it were some kind of esoteric military strategy instead of merely reenforcement of units which it is.

Surge, shock and awe - all BS. Cover up standard military tactics with words - more BS.

wideblacksky Author Profile Page:

The emerging economies will crash harder than the US does... just watch.

robin1231hotmailcom Author Profile Page:


washingtonpost.com > ColumnsYour Comments On...

A New Specter: Deflation
Not only is it possible, it could abort any real recovery of the economy.
- By Robert J. Samuelson

Commentsrobin1231hotmailcom wrote:
THAT MODERN ECONOMIC ODDS ARE EVIDENCES OF NEED TO NEW STATUS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF HUMAN_ANIMALS' LEADERSHIP WITH AVERAGE CONSUMERS. THE ECONOMIC GROWTHS IN CURRENT CENTURY HAS EXCEEDED POSSIBLY gOD/S' EXPECTATIONS OF HIS OWN CREAION VIZ "HUMAN ANIMALS" ON EARTH & NEIBORING ENVIRONMENTS. ECONOMIC TROUBLES ARE JUST TEMPORARY. hUMAN_ANIMALS SHOULD TRY TO CONTAIN TRUTH AND REALITIES OF MODERN DEVELOPMENTS ON GLOBE WITH EVER_FEWER ODDS. lAST OF ALL ECONOMIC WORLD NOW ARE BEST EQUIPPED WITH LAND LABOR CAPITAL & MANAGEMENT. INFLATION, RECESSIONS ETC ARE CHANGING PHASES OF ECONOMY.WORLD IS BRIGHTER AHEAD...QUOTED FROM EXPRESSED VIEWS OF DR KAMAL K ROY , A U S PATRIOT OF CURRENT WORLD.
Yahoo! My Yahoo! Mail Search the web Welcome, carvillenation@ymail.com

[Sign Out, My Account] Answers Home - Forum - Blog - Help
Ask Answer Discover Search for questions: Advanced My Profile
Home > What is my name? 2 Categorize your question
Categorize your question Carville... Your Question
STORY oF COMMON hUMAN WHO TRY TO LEAD NATION SHE/HE LIVE , &tRULY whoMAY be DENIED TO LEAD OWN LIFE..K.ROY?

Home > Ask Your Question 3 Preview your question
Preview your question Carville... Your Question
sTORY OFdR ROY FROM WEAKER COMMUNITIES IN USA/GLOBE IS STORY OF DEMOCRA DENIAL OFdUE OPPORTUNITY/BUTsURVIVAL?
Yahoo!
THE REV DR KAMAL KARNA ROY:POLITICIANgop/STATESMAN:LEGALhopeful USpRES08tILL
Category
News & Events > Current Events

Asking costs you 5 points. You can ask 4 questions today.

Make sure your question follows the community guidelines.

robin1231hotmailcom Author Profile Page:


washingtonpost.com > ColumnsYour Comments On...

A New Specter: Deflation
Not only is it possible, it could abort any real recovery of the economy.
- By Robert J. Samuelson

Commentsrobin1231hotmailcom wrote:
THAT MODERN ECONOMIC ODDS ARE EVIDENCES OF NEED TO NEW STATUS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF HUMAN_ANIMALS' LEADERSHIP WITH AVERAGE CONSUMERS. THE ECONOMIC GROWTHS IN CURRENT CENTURY HAS EXCEEDED POSSIBLY gOD/S' EXPECTATIONS OF HIS OWN CREAION VIZ "HUMAN ANIMALS" ON EARTH & NEIBORING ENVIRONMENTS. ECONOMIC TROUBLES ARE JUST TEMPORARY. hUMAN_ANIMALS SHOULD TRY TO CONTAIN TRUTH AND REALITIES OF MODERN DEVELOPMENTS ON GLOBE WITH EVER_FEWER ODDS. lAST OF ALL ECONOMIC WORLD NOW ARE BEST EQUIPPED WITH LAND LABOR CAPITAL & MANAGEMENT. INFLATION, RECESSIONS ETC ARE CHANGING PHASES OF ECONOMY.WORLD IS BRIGHTER AHEAD...QUOTED FROM EXPRESSED VIEWS OF DR KAMAL K ROY , A U S PATRIOT OF CURRENT WORLD.
Yahoo! My Yahoo! Mail Search the web Welcome, carvillenation@ymail.com

[Sign Out, My Account] Answers Home - Forum - Blog - Help
Ask Answer Discover Search for questions: Advanced My Profile
Home > What is my name? 2 Categorize your question
Categorize your question Carville... Your Question
STORY oF COMMON hUMAN WHO TRY TO LEAD NATION SHE/HE LIVE , &tRULY whoMAY be DENIED TO LEAD OWN LIFE..K.ROY?

Home > Ask Your Question 3 Preview your question
Preview your question Carville... Your Question
sTORY OFdR ROY FROM WEAKER COMMUNITIES IN USA/GLOBE IS STORY OF DEMOCRA DENIAL OFdUE OPPORTUNITY/BUTsURVIVAL?
Yahoo!
THE REV DR KAMAL KARNA ROY:POLITICIANgop/STATESMAN:LEGALhopeful USpRES08tILL
Category
News & Events > Current Events

Asking costs you 5 points. You can ask 4 questions today.

Make sure your question follows the community guidelines.

lohengrin Author Profile Page:

I was nodding my head till someone said that Zakaria supported the regime change in Iraq. Then I started shaking my head.

MPatalinjug Author Profile Page:

Yonkers, New York
10 November 2008

It was not Iraq or Afghanistan which was the primary reason for Republican presidential candidate John McCain and other Republican candidates being carried away to a historic defeat on November 4th in the hands of Democratic candidate Barack Obama like smelly flotsam by a mind-boggling tsunami of such scope and ferocity.

It was the ECONOMY.

This was right on top of the concerns of some 53 million American voters--Democrats, Republicans, Independents; men and women; young and old; liberals and conservatives, because the crisis impacted them, their families and their friends very badly.

And the American people knew who the culprit was: 8 years of Republican George W. Bush!

Because a John McCain presidency would only be a very close CLONE of George W. Bush's, the American people decided rationally and correctly not to take the risk of voting for Mr. McCain.

Mr. McCain knew this only too well. Late on the campaign trail he had to protest plaintively and pathetically, time and time again, that "I AM NOT GEORGE BUSH!"

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

optimist3 Author Profile Page:

Good government does have a vital role to play.

More than that, more than all of the above, and more than Mr. Zakaria's current shape-shifting to suit the political winds, is that he and his class of boosters utterly gutted the American economy while destroying sixty years of privilege and two hundred years of hard work. As we lurch toward war-cost and deregulated-speculation induced recession, and he continues to praise the ethnic cleansing that is now labeled "the Surge," let us reject him.

Let Americans reject them all. Murderous traitors they are.

mainetimes Author Profile Page:

Good government has a VITAL role in society. Republicans disdain government. So, under Republicans, America ends up with horrible government (Iraq War, domestic spying, recession, ENRON and AIG due to no oversight, crumbling bridges).

Democrats and progressives believe in the role of the public sector; FDR fueled the boom of the mid-1900s with the New Deal; Kennedy's space program fueled the R&D for the computer revolution. Now, Obama will restore Main Street and incubate the Green Economy -- all through WISE spending from GOOD GOVT.

youngj1 Author Profile Page:

All too often over the last 30 yrs the words Republican and Conservative have been synonomous when in fact Republicanism and Conservatism can and should be seen a two distinct ideologies. I dare say that the Presidents Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt would have much in common with what passes for Republican othodoxy these days. I would also venture to posit that many Americans hold very Republican views about the roles of the individual, business and government but unfortunately all we've been exposed to since Ronald Reagan is this sense that government is the enemy, businesses do it better, fundametal christianity is our guide and the American brand rules the world. None very republican by my reading of history.

Let's hope that, contrary to the noise coming from the DOP (Dead Old Party), they come to understand that there is a republicanism of tolerance, there is a republicanism of social service and responsibility, there is a republicanism of inclusion, there is a republicanism of scientific intergrity; in short a Republican party for all of the people not just the religious right and the conservative chicken hawks and the snake oil salesmen who have dominated the Republican discussion since 1964.

_kt_ Author Profile Page:

"The fact is that had the surge failed, McCain would have lost. It succeeded, and he lost. The logical conclusion is that the surge was
irrelevant to McCain's fate -- that there were broader reasons for the resounding Republican loss."

It certainly was not irrelevant. He won the Republican primary on the success of the surge. It just wasn't enough.

"The electorate has voted no on the current
Republican ideology on foreign policy. Note that President Bush's approval ratings had plummeted to historic lows by 2005 even when the economy seemed to be on a steady course."

In 2005, things were still looking very bad in Iraq. The surge was in 2007, and its success, completed unexpected by most politicians, justified the position that John McCain had been evangelizing since early in the war. John McCain lost because the Democrats managed to tar John McCain with Bush policies that McCain had vigorously fought against. While the Democrats and many Republicans were advocating retreat, John McCain pushed for a strategy that could result in victory, that is, bringing stability to Iraq and avoiding millions of lives lost in civil, and perhaps even regional, war. Our failure under Clinton to act in Rwanda left 500,000 to 1,000,000 innocent people dead. The Clinton administration even worked to prevent UN troops from fighting to save people. John McCain was unwilling to see such a thing happen in Iraq. He knew that as bad as things were, our leaving could make things far, far worse. Barrack Obama is a great campaigner. He might even make a good president. But John McCain and David Petraeus are heroes.

robin1231hotmailcom Author Profile Page:

11.10. 2008
Yahoo! My Yahoo! Mail Search the web Welcome, carvillenation@ymail.com

[Sign Out, My Account] Answers Home - Forum - Blog - Help
Ask Answer Discover Search for questions: Advanced My Profile
Home > What is my name? 2 Categorize your question
Categorize your question Carville... Your Question
STORY oF COMMON hUMAN WHO TRY TO LEAD NATION SHE/HE LIVE , &tRULY whoMAY be DENIED TO LEAD OWN LIFE..K.ROY?

Home > Ask Your Question 3 Preview your question
Preview your question Carville... Your Question
sTORY OFdR ROY FROM WEAKER COMMUNITIES IN USA/GLOBE IS STORY OF DEMOCRA DENIAL OFdUE OPPORTUNITY/BUTsURVIVAL?
Yahoo!
THE REV DR KAMAL KARNA ROY:POLITICIANgop/STATESMAN:LEGALhopeful USpRES08tILL
Category
News & Events > Current Events

Asking costs you 5 points. You can ask 4 questions today.

Make sure your question follows the community guidelines.

Submit
Edit


Based on your question, we think it belongs in one of these categories:
Suggested Category Browse Categories Suggested Category Society & Culture > Cultures & Groups > General - Cultures & Groups
Arts & Humanities > Philosophy
Society & Culture > Religion & Spirituality
Politics & Government > Immigration
Politics & Government > Law & Ethics

Or, select a different category from our complete list.

Select a category using our category browser below or view Suggested Categories.

Arts & Humanities ›Beauty & Style ›Business & Finance ›Cars & Transportation ›Computers & Internet ›Consumer Electronics ›Dining Out ›Education & Reference ›Entertainment & Music ›Environment ›Family & Relationships ›Food & Drink ›Games & Recreation ›Health ›Home & Garden ›Local Businesses ›News & Events ›Pets ›Politics & Government ›Pregnancy & Parenting ›Science & Mathematics ›Social Science ›Society & Culture ›Sports ›Travel ›Yahoo! Products ›
Select a category
NotificationsNotifications
E-mail me when I receive a new answer
Add this question to my messenger status

Make sure your question follows the community guidelines.

Preview
Previous
Tip: Choosing the right category helps others find your question.

Answers International
Argentina Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Japan Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Philippines Quebec Singapore South Korea Spain Taiwan Thailand United Kingdom United States Vietnam en Español Yahoo! does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any Yahoo! Answers content. Click here for the Full Disclaimer.

Help us improve Yahoo! Answers. Tell us what you think.

Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright/IP Policy - Privacy Policy - Terms of Service - Community Guidelines

robin1231hotmailcom Author Profile Page:

MRS ATREYEE SEN ROY , A CURRENT CENTURY DRAUPADIAN WOMAN IN SEARCH OF DESIRABLE CONJUGAL RELATIONSHIP WITH MAN AS FEMALE COUNTERPART : AS DEFINED BY WORLD RELIGIONS GROUP VIA DR THE REV KAMAL KARNA ROY Yahoo! My Yahoo! Mail Search the web Welcome, carvillenation@ymail.com

[Sign Out, My Account] Answers Home - Forum - Blog - Help
Ask Answer Discover Search for questions: Advanced My Profile
Home > What is my name? 2 Categorize your question
Categorize your question Carville... Your Question
STORY oF COMMON hUMAN WHO TRY TO LEAD NATION SHE/HE LIVE , &tRULY whoMAY be DENIED TO LEAD OWN LIFE..K.ROY?

Home > Ask Your Question 3 Preview your question
Preview your question Carville... Your Question
sTORY OFdR ROY FROM WEAKER COMMUNITIES IN USA/GLOBE IS STORY OF DEMOCRA DENIAL OFdUE OPPORTUNITY/BUTsURVIVAL?
Yahoo!
THE REV DR KAMAL KARNA ROY:POLITICIANgop/STATESMAN:LEGALhopeful USpRES08tILL
Category
News & Events > Current Events

Asking costs you 5 points. You can ask 4 questions today.

Make sure your question follows the community guidelines.

Submit
Edit


Based on your question, we think it belongs in one of these categories:
Suggested Category Browse Categories Suggested Category Society & Culture > Cultures & Groups > General - Cultures & Groups
Arts & Humanities > Philosophy
Society & Culture > Religion & Spirituality
Politics & Government > Immigration
Politics & Government > Law & Ethics

Or, select a different category from our complete list.

Select a category using our category browser below or view Suggested Categories.

Arts & Humanities ›Beauty & Style ›Business & Finance ›Cars & Transportation ›Computers & Internet ›Consumer Electronics ›Dining Out ›Education & Reference ›Entertainment & Music ›Environment ›Family & Relationships ›Food & Drink ›Games & Recreation ›Health ›Home & Garden ›Local Businesses ›News & Events ›Pets ›Politics & Government ›Pregnancy & Parenting ›Science & Mathematics ›Social Science ›Society & Culture ›Sports ›Travel ›Yahoo! Products ›
Select a category
NotificationsNotifications
E-mail me when I receive a new answer
Add this question to my messenger status

Make sure your question follows the community guidelines.

Preview
Previous
Tip: Choosing the right category helps others find your question.

Answers International
Argentina Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Japan Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Philippines Quebec Singapore South Korea Spain Taiwan Thailand United Kingdom United States Vietnam en Español Yahoo! does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any Yahoo! Answers content. Click here for the Full Disclaimer.

Help us improve Yahoo! Answers. Tell us what you think.

Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright/IP Policy - Privacy Policy - Terms of Service - Community Guidelines & REV PREMANSU D ROY ASSTS TO DR ROY: SCRIPT REPACKAGED BY AUTHOR IN NEW YORK, USA::

meand2 Author Profile Page:

The conservatives did it to themselves all right, because they lacked foresight. It's the far right loonies who have chased so many mainstream conservatives out of today's GOP. Conservatives can blame themselves for inviting those people into the party back in Ronald Reagan's day, but I don't remember any Republican at the time worrying that they would become a liability someday.
The Republican Party is no longer a coherent group, and is increasingly out of touch with mainstream America. The Republicans have their work cut out for them if they want to regain power. They've lost a substantial portion of their base, and much of what remains is a confusing melange of right-wingers who have little in common besides hatred for anyone who doesn't agree with their views, whatever those views may be. It would be fine with me if the GOP faded quietly into history, and took the racists, fascists, neocons and Bible thumpers with it.
I don't believe McCain's support for the surge had anything to do with his losing the election.
McCain lost the election partly because he had nothing to offer American voters but more of the same policies, both domestic and foreign, which have already failed to achieve the objectives Republicans claimed they would achieve.
He ran a very negative campaign based largely on personal attacks. Voters rightly saw this tactic as that of a man and a political party bereft of ideas, and a lot of us are just sick and tired of that kind of campaign anyway.
His choice of a woman as running mate, which should have been a stroke of genius, backfired on him because he chose the wrong woman.
Mostly, McCain lost because he's a Republican, and the Republicans are the product of a bygone era. An era most Americans want to stay bygone.

LeePefley1 Author Profile Page:

"As conservatives survey the damage they have done to the Republican.."

You've got it backwards sir. It is the GOP that has done such great damage to authentic conservatives, (paleocons, so-called) who, unlike you, vehemently opposed the Iraq adventure.

elgunjduts Author Profile Page:

The Republicans lost because the party became so corrupt that the stench permeates farthest corners of the world. It became the party of delusional thinking. They lost because they became the party of lies, bad lies that couldn't pass the lightest scrutiny. The Rupublicans lost because they became authoritarian thugs with no respect for humane values. They became the party of the selfish for the selfish. May their souls rot in hell.

kls1 Author Profile Page:

Your phrase: "Let us imagine" -- that Sarah Palin turned out to be good at handling the press. "Let us imagine" -- there was no economic collapse.

In September McCain was even with Obama; the party "bereft of ideas" would have won again.

More than anything, it's the typical pattern of one party staying in power long enough for the voters to sweep them out, just because they've been there too long. Every time that happens the columns come out -- Is it the end of the Democratic Party? Is it the end of the Republican Party.

GOP will be back like clockwork taking over Congress within four years and the White House in 4 or 8 at the latest. And yes, they'll be out of there again before too long.

That's what keeps the U.S. strong, strong enough that it annoys people. Other countries will always complain we're arrogant, it's not worth worrying about.

Chops2 Author Profile Page:

I think the great irony of the "sucess" of the surge is that it was built on negotiating (and paying off) with former insurgents /nationalists /Bathists (conveniently labelled terrorists) i.e. the "Sons of Iraq", which was mocked by McCain as naive and waving the white flag during the debates with Obama.

If only they had done that earlier and on a broader regional scale, much death and national embarrasement could have been avoided.

kls1 Author Profile Page:

Your phrase: "Let us imagine" -- that Sarah Palin turned out to be good at handling the press. "Let us imagine" -- there was no economic collapse.

In September, when McCain was even with Obama, the party "bereft of ideas" would have won again.

More than anything, it's the typical pattern of one party staying in power long enough for the voters to sweep them out, just because they've been there too long. Every time that happens the columns come out -- Is it the end of the Democratic Party? Is it the end of the Republican Party.

GOP will be back like clockwork taking over Congress within four years and the White House in 4 or 8 at the latest. And yes, they'll be out of there again before too long.

That's what keeps the U.S. strong, strong enough that it annoys people. Other countries will always complain we're arrogant, it's not worth worrying about.

FamillePetersen Author Profile Page:

I think everyone reading this article should be reminded that Mr. Zakaria suppported the "regime change" that he is criticizing in Iraq.

Can you explain that Mr. Zakaria? I guess as a journalist you get a free pass.

felix155 Author Profile Page:

Let's wait until Democrats demonstrate a set of working, not just declamatory, ideas. Being anti-Bush or anti-neocons might be heartwarming but,certainly, not enough. And it aplies to all spheres. The danger is, especially regarding the economy, that old ideas would not be applicable in new circumstances; however they will consume time and money. There is no clean slate, unfortunately, and an extraordinary intellectual bravery is required. The exchange of one dogma for another might not work, so the more the Congress will be held on the margins,if one can imagine it, the better for us, the people. For all the economic troubles we will suffer the uppermost is the loss of US dollar role as the global reserve currency. If this happens God help us, debtors.

BlueTwo1 Author Profile Page:

Nothing fails like failure. And eight years of fecklessness and illegality from the Executive Mansion cannot be dismissed so simply as "McCain's surge tamped down the violence, so voters didn't have Iraq on their minds as they voted." Voters' minds were focused on the big bank giveaway, rotting 401(k) accounts, and dream retirements transforming into work until you drop dead, thanks to right wing politics. At least Reagan's mythical Welfare Queen didn't make an appearance in the latest go round.

ScottFromOz Author Profile Page:

Fareed: "Barack Obama keeps being advised (warned) by conservatives to govern from
the center." This is just another tactic by the neocons to try to protect and perpetuate their ideology. I'm confident that Obama will see it for what it is. If this election illustrated anything to Obama, it is that any advice from the Republicans is not accurate, useful or impartial. On that basis alone he would probably completely ignore it.

SDWalters Author Profile Page:

When the far right extremists controlling the Republican party make a pronouncement like the current claim that McCain lost the election because of his support for the surge in Iraq, it makes more sense to ascribe the false argument to political expediency than to a wrong-headed, but sincere belief, as Fareed Zakaria apparently does.

Mr. Zakaria is correct that the neoconservatives are bereft of ideas, but they are not stupid. They simply are trapped in an unworkable ideology that is being rejected by increasing numbers of young and old Americans, and they desperately latch onto any excuse for that rejection.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.