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An important read by @KatieBoWill for @DefenseOne on the state of play with #2020 Dems and foreign policy. A few thoughts worth pulling out of the piece, and some that are missing. <thread> defenseone.com/politics/2019/…
First and foremost, always good to see @MiekeEoyang giving her thoughts on this stuff. Mieke and I don't agree on everything, but if you aren't listening to her, even when you disagree with her, you're doing Dem foreign policy wrong. 2/
Hard to argue with Prof. Schulman that foreign policy experience is hardly decisive in presidential elections, but there's ample evidence that foreign policy positions play an important role in voter's decisions. 3/
The last time a candidate won the election by out-hawking their opponent was 2004 Bush v Kerry. The 3 elections since have seen voters choose candidates offering to bring our troops home, focus their energies domestically, and turn the page on the broken status quo. 4/
This shouldn't be shocking. Rather than losing voters by Dems moving left, candidates staking out such positions are likely to find they are firmly in the mainstream of the US public. I made this case last summer in @thenation here: thenation.com/article/americ… 5/
And as the story notes, 2 of the Dem frontrunners have already laid the core of their foreign policy positions in major addresses. Myself and @KateKizer looked at @ewarren's speech here: huffpost.com/entry/opinion-… & I looked at @BernieSanders speech here: thenation.com/article/bernie… 6/
But back to the premise of the speech: experience. Setting aside whether not it matters, Trump's sole experience remains his term as Commander in Chief, a tumultuos, reckless period which any candidate should be able to demonstrate shows how unfit he is to continue to serve. 7/
On the Dem side you have, as the story notes, @BernieSanders who has led the most significant foreign policy debate in the Senate for the past 2 years. @ewarren has served ably on the Senate Armed Services Committee, 8/
.@SenGillibrand also serves on SASC as well confronting head-on the crisis of sexual assault in the military, @BetoORourke likewise served on the House Armed Services Cmte, @CoryBooker serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Cmte as lead Dem on the Africa Subcommittee. 9/
The 2020 Dem field also features two post-9/11 vets with @PeteButtigieg (Afghanistan) and @TulsiGabbard (Iraq) having a pretty damn good case to make that they have some highly relevant first hand experience on our current foreign policy. 10/
There are of course still more who may yet join the field and its hardly an exhaustive examination of the current field. Sure candidates like @JulianCastro @JayInslee and @Hickenlooper have little experience on foreign policy, but hardly abnormal for govs and cabinet members. 11/
Part of the challenge here is what we define as "experience" in the establishment's consensus of foreign policy credientials. Again, as we've seen voters tend to care far more about positions than experience. And as the story says, there's a LOT up for debate in #2020. 12/
Hopefully, we'll get the debate @MiekeEoyang calls for about what America's role in the world is. There are a lot of folks like me who think that the US does need to engage vigorously in the world, but alsobreak ourselves of the military being the only tool for doing so. 13/
But there's a whole host of issues the next #POTUS will confront on day 1. From North Korea to Iran to Venezuela, questions around immigration and Trump's muslim ban and military trans ban, there's questions around climate, the rise of China and Russia, and so much more. 14/
And, we have to be honest, that Donald Trump has made clear that Israel and Palestine will be front and center as a campaign issue in #2020. Where and how the Dem candidates come down on this may yet be the defining foreign policy debate of this election. 15/
That's a long way of saying that we need more pieces like this on foreign policy and 2020, but we also need ones that center the concerns and focus of voters, both in the primaries and the general, and not just those of us in DC. It's gonna be a wild ride, folks. Buckle up! <end>
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