Though he is hardly the first Republican to express doubts about the nearly decade long Afghan War, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s calls to reduce the 100,000 strong US occupation force and cut the broader military budget suggests those doubts are moving firmly into the Republican mainstream.
“Anybody who says you can’t save money at the Pentagon has never been to the Pentagon,” insisted Barbour, and that comment may serve to differentiate him from other high profile candidates like Mitt Romney, who is proposing an increase in military spending as part of his platform.
And while Barbour stopped well short of calling for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan, his comments may position him well for such a campaign both in the face of growing war-exhaustion (recent polls show the war strongly and increasingly unpopular) and a spiraling budget deficit which is likely to be a top issue in 2012.
Perhaps more important, however, is that the comments will give questioning the war more mainstream momentum amongst the Republican leadership, which has previously treated such questions as taboo, and may give more momentum to the freshmen Republican Congressmen who suggested military cuts could be part of the financial solution.
11 thoughts on “Gov. Barbour’s Afghan War Comments a Game Changer for GOP?”
Haley Barbour knows he hasn't got a snowballs chance in hell of becoming president unless he grabs some popular issue and tries to ride it to the White House– luckily most people realize he will reverse his position the first time he hears Hail to the Chief. You know, sort of like. . . . .
Exactly. "Change we can believe in", Republican style. Riiiiight!
He is not a communist or socialist.., is he.., I think that would be the first reaction from pentagon asking that question, yet even if he is, he is my man, so is Ron Paul.., he is my first man.., Obama.., perhaps if he would have done things differently and kept his words I would have called him my man.., although he is from the Chicago gang of politicians but he is not worthy of the meaning.
We need Ron Paul. Ron Paul? Ron Paul.
They won't be able to paint Ron Paul as crazy this time around…
Hey now! Does this mean the anti-imperialism paleo-conservatives might be 're-habilitated' into respectability?
Sorry, but I agree with Max. This man would never actually attempt to reduce Pentagon spending. He's just pulling a Mitt – trying to portray himself as someone he ain't. Besides, I could never get beyond his voice – almost like listening to Gomer Pyle.
Not a game changer at all, Bourbon is all about good old boy networks and everything that bad about the south. When it come to getting into office he will vote with status quo of the last 20 years.
I don't trust Republicans and Tea Partiers to do anything serious about the war orgy in times of financial apocalypse. Sure they'll criticize the war budget to get elected, but once they have power, they quickly learn that being on the side of war pay$ handsomely. If they want to get cool and high paying positions in the future, attacking the war is not the way to go.
I wonder how long it will be before Romney changes his position – expected quip from Mitt:
"I don't know about you ma'am, but when the facts change, I change my mind".
He can always change back again later. Back to more spending and war, that is, if you were getting confused.
I don’t care about his personality I like what I hear.., wasn't that the same issue with Obama.., Liberal democrats thought that he is socialist and poor people (40-50 million of them) thought that he is (like Bush) a savior from heaven and sent to earth to save them from poverty.., CIA made all kind propaganda that he might be killed sooner then later because he is a true democrat and going to change.., to make him bigger and bolder then he was…, then it struck.., you have to pay for your healthcare.., we are not going to close the Guantanamo, we are not going to end the war in Iraq and we are going to continue the war in Afghanistan.., and then they lost their majority in both houses.., here perhaps this guy going to be the same as Obama.., yet this has been the US politics as usual for decades.., and is nothing new.., that these people turn to be a lire after all. Look USA is a militarism regime, never been a democracy nor has a good record on helping democracy to grow.., yes there is a trend called democracy both in EU and in USA but is based on capitalism ideology.., everything for me and from time to time I well throw you something like a dog so you can continue obey my laws.., this is the principals in capitalism democracy.., democracy in the other hand is by the people and for the people.., here theoretical and philosophically or socially the principals are in opposite of each other therefore it wont work for people, never have and never will.., so what’s up with people like this man to say something and do something else later.., changing their minds is just another way to prove the fact that they are following the trend and terms in capitalism democracy.., and they will continue that path. Upon that.., US and EU been falsifying democracy and using the words when is been good for them.., now we have a militarized world and they still using the same reasons as in last 60 years. The last 60 years is the years that US and EU been in wars, if US and EU stop this path.., all the hard work for liars and cheaters are over.., unless you have a democracy based on people and for the people and I don’t think that Senator Kerry or Sarkozi is the chosen ones to implement the idea.
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