“They” say elections rarely turn on foreign policy. And mid-term elections, “they” say, are almost never a referendum on the president. Well, take that, whoever “they” are. This election turned on foreign policy big time. But not the way you might think. Foreign policy was not on the ballot; nor is the United States losing a war or in a titanic struggle somewhere.
But foreign policy is the lurking shadow in this election, nonetheless. The witches’ brew, fired up by Republican candidates, contains the “eye of newt” (fear), stirred together with the “toe of frog” (loathing). Together they have given the Republicans control of the Congress. The question now is whether this reversal of fortune will lead to dramatic changes in foreign policy and the resources behind America’s international engagements. Not as much as you think, it turns out.
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