The Audacity of Ignorance

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Richard Cohen’s thesis in his latest Washington Post column is that Republicans are showing a deplorable isolationist streak by looking for the exits in Afghanistan, and the way to fight this isolationism is by getting out of Afghanistan. So it’s okay to take the Republicans’ (alleged) advice as long as you also jeer at them while doing so.

He writes, “Their position regarding Afghanistan is, however, just a piece of their wholesale embrace of Herbert Hoover Republicanism. They would turn the country inward — what John McCain and Lindsey Graham characterize as isolationism — while also adopting Hoover’s disastrous economic policy. The historical ignorance so obvious in our youth is an appropriate homage to their GOP elders.” Their liberal elders, too, who wouldn’t say such things if they kept in mind (or were aware of) Hoover’s record on taxes and tariffs.

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