Realism and Pragmatism
In a fascinating interview broadcast yesterday, former Secretary of State, former Secretary of the Treasury, and former White House Chief of Staff James Baker [pictured above with President Reagan in 1988] believes realism and pragmatism are central to an effective foreign policy.
They are also concepts Baker said he is happy to see the United States return to in President Barack Obama's foreign policy.
This is in stark contrast to GOP leader Newt Gingrich's view that Obama has a Fantasy Foreign Policy. Catch the clip here at Conservatism with Heart.
Let's see now. If I had to choose between Gingrich, who served as a congressman, and who never had to be responsible for negotiating with and dealing with foreign leaders, and James Baker, who served under both Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush, I think I would choose the expertise of Mr. Baker.
Mr. Baker was very supportive of President Obama's approach to both Russia and the Middle East [including Iran and Iraq] in this interview.
But maybe you are not the type that gets excited about foreign policy. Perhaps you would be interested in Mr. Baker's views on the economy.
He mentioned that when he was on the job, the US hit a pretty rough patch and the government "threw liquidity at the problem," just like Geithner is doing. He mentioned that while our current Secretary has had some rough spots, he said "a lot of what has been done by the Fed and Treasury has been absolutely the right thing to do."
He also said that we ought to support our Treasury Secretary and that he, in fact does and hopes he succeeds.
Lest you think Baker is some kind of RINO [for those of you not versed in Republican party lingo, that means Republican in Name Only, as in John McCain], let's remember that it was Baker who organized the team that put GW Bush into the White House after the Florida mess. He also stated that he believes our country is much better off having had Bush, as opposed to Gore.
My point here is that those on the right who are apoplectic about President Obama's monetary and foreign policy ought to step back and take a deep breath. There are principled Republicans out there who know what is going on in the world and who believe in President Barack Obama's policies.
Maybe they know something we don't.
Here's the entire interview.