01 September 2008

Biden Wrong Then

From Family Security Matters:

....Sarah Palin's views on some key national issues remains a mystery. For example, there is the issue of illegal immigration. I spent hours searching without success for any writings or statements about illegal immigration. As best as I can tell, none exist. Should we therefore assume that her position on the issue is identical to that of McCain - who has generally been a strong supporter of open borders? People who follow this issue very closely have no idea about Palin's views on the issue, and given McCain's past collaboration with Teddy Kennedy in support of mass amnesty, the mystery is troubling.

But by far the biggest issue about Palin will be foreign policy. Get ready for an onslaught of news reports on the major networks and articles in the Washington Post and New York Times comparing her unflatteringly with Biden - articles that will tout at great length his foreign-policy experience. The point of the pieces will be: "Sure, Obama is an ingenue who got Iraq completely wrong. And yes, he has only been paying attention to the stuff for a few years, but he has a lot of smart advisors around him. And even though he has a lot less experience than John McCain when it comes to foreign policy, Obama's inexperience is compensated for by the fact that Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has 35 years of foreign policy experience, while Palin has none."

This could gain traction for the Democrats unless Palin in the coming weeks begins to give interviews explaining her own worldview (think about a very compressed version of what former California Gov. Ronald Reagan did between 1975 and 1979) and contrasts it with Obama- Biden on so many of the foreign policy issues he has addressed during his Senate career, Joe Biden has simply been on the wrong side of history. In 1972, for example, he was elected to the Senate at age 29, running as an anti-war candidate, as John McCain's time in the Hanoi Hilton was about to end. Biden should be asked about his opposition to the war and what happened after the United States was defeated in the spring of 1975 - including the horrific sagas of the "Boat People" and Cambodian genocide. Perhaps Mr. Biden could talk about his advocacy of President Carter's SALT II Treaty and his opposition to the Reagan defense buildup of the 1980s that helped win the Cold War: Mr. Biden was tireless in working against it, and he also opposed President Reagan's efforts to fight communism in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Biden also fought tooth and nail against the 1991 Gulf War that drove Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Although he voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002, Biden has spent much of the past five years or so mobilizing opposition to what the United States has been doing in Iraq, including the very successful surge. He has been a strong advocate of dialogue with Iran. And he has opposed efforts to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to ensure that the United States can eavesdrop on foreign terrorists operating outside the United States without obtaining warrants beforehand.

The bottom line is that much of Biden's experience consists of pursuing policies that have undermined U.S. strength in the world. If McCain and Palin are unable or unwilling to make this case, Biden will continue to have a free pass when it comes to foreign policy. And he will try to use it to pound Sarah Palin (and McCain's hopes of winning the election) right into the ground.

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