The Debate Over the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Morning Should-Read: Dan Drezner: Why Is the GOP-led Congress Making Such a Hash of Foreign Policy?: "Armed with a pretty strong midterm election performance, the GOP-controlled Congress came to power with legitimate policy disagreements...

...with the president and some legitimate gripes about the process.... It wasn’t just Republicans, either.... And yet, over the past two months, the Republican-controlled Congress has managed to go from one blunder to another.... It takes real effort for people, such as Les Gelb, David Ignatius, Fred Kaplan, Richard Haass, Phil Zelikow et al, to get off their bipartisan fence and blast one party for acting recklessly on foreign policy--and yet Sen. Tom Cotton’s letter has managed to pull it off. And how has the GOP reacted to all of this?... Some doubling down... [but also] reports that many GOP members of Congress are surprised and a bit chagrined by the blowback.... If the GOP response ranges from sheer denial of a problem to ‘¯_(ツ)_/¯’, that’s a sign that they’re not serious at all about foreign policy.... Let me suggest three drivers: 1) The executive branch has a structural advantage on foreign policy.... 2) Congress ain’t what it used to be. These kinds of stunts would have been vetoed by party leaders in Congress even a decade ago.... But an awful lot of the GOP Senate caucus is new... and you have the old bulls, such as Sen. John McCain saying things like, ‘I saw the letter, I saw that it looked reasonable to me and I signed it, that’s all. I sign lots of letters.’ Which is code for, ‘what was in that letter again?’ 3) To get ahead in the GOP, you need to be a disruptor.... The effect such stunts have on foreign policy are secondary.... Two months into the new Congress, the GOP has squandered what was supposed to be a political and policy advantage for them. And they’ve squandered it badly.

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