Romney and the War

David Freddoso:

Romney may be leaving a door open, in case he wins the nomination, to say that while America still cannot run from Iraq, he would probably not have become involved to begin with, knowing what he knows now. Such a position would be invaluable when debating Senator Clinton, who spoke out for and voted for a war that 57 percent of Americans now say was a mistake.

Future presidents, like the current one, will face agonizing choices over whether to become involved in foreign wars. For that reason, the eventual Republican nominee will be forced to answer the “hypothetical” question about this war. He may need to give an answer that many Republicans don’t want to hear.

You could take this as evidence of Romney's possible crypto-realist tendencies, or of his eye for the main political chance (or both). Either way, though, I think Freddoso's broader analysis of the political dynamic facing the GOP is pretty astute - as is his point that Newt Gingrich's latest take on the war on terror amounts to a sotto voce rejection of the original push to invade Iraq.

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

Just In