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Schumer/Dodd Adviser: Democrats Would Damage America's International Standing

5:28 PM, Jul 7, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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It's been clear for a while that Democrats were making an empty promise when they talked of treating our allies better and 'restoring' America's reputation abroad. Respected Yale University professor and Democratic foreign policy expert Stuart Gottlieb, makes the case quite effectively:

The message Democrats are sending to the world is clear: You cannot trust America to honor its trade agreements, even with developing nations struggling to enter the global middle class. This is a far cry from Obama's Lincolnesque promise in his Democratic nomination victory speech June 3rd to restore "our image as the last, best hope on earth."

On Iraq, Democrats have put themselves in an equally tenuous position. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama and congressional Democrats remain committed to calling the "surge" a failure. And they are wedded to promises for immediate troop withdrawals.

Every reputable analysis of Iraq - including from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group - warns that a rapid reduction of US troops would reignite sectarian violence and threaten the government in Baghdad.

Nonetheless, more than 40 Democratic congressional candidates recently pledged that, if elected, they would legislate an immediate withdrawal of all troops except those guarding the US Embassy. And Obama maintains his vow to immediately begin removing "one to two combat brigades each month" - a pace that would represent the most frantic retreat since Vietnam.

On trade, it's hard to picture a President Obama undoing the damage Congressional Democrats have already done. Presidential trade negotiating authority has elapsed. Existing trade deals--which were already modified to address labor and environmental concerns--were killed anyway. With Congress likely to face a crowded legislative agenda, there's unlikely to be room for Obama to reclaim one of America's most valuable 'soft' foreign policy tools of the last few decades -- trade.