On domestic policy, the Democratic Party is moving left. On foreign policy, the Democratic Party barely exists. Yes, Democrats like climate change agreements and oppose banning refugees. But those are extensions of the party’s domestic commitments. Yes, Democrats support a hard line against Vladimir Putin. But that’s mostly because he helped elect Donald Trump. What is the Democratic position on Syria’s civil war? Or Chinese imperialism in the South China sea? Or Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and bullying of Qatar? There isn’t one. President Obama stood for the proposition that America should resist costly military interventions and seek diplomatic agreements with longtime foes. When it comes to war and peace, the post-Obama Democratic Party doesn’t really stand for much at all.
Take North Korea. Ask congressional Democrats what America should do about Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions and they mostly answer: more pressure. Which is the same answer Republicans give. After Kim tested an intercontinental ballistic missile this week, Politico reported that “Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday called on President Donald Trump to increase pressure on North Korea and China.” In May, every Democrat in the House joined every Republican except one in supporting a bill to impose new sanctions against companies that do business with Pyongyang. In March, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity, Ed Markey, joined his Republican counterpart in “praising” the Trump administration for imposing new sanctions of its own.