GOP Hawks Should Tone It Down

Candidates might just scare off the electorate: Peggy Noonan
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 25, 2011 12:20 PM CST
Republican presidential hopefuls listen to the national anthem prior to the start of the Republican presidential debate on national security on November 22.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – In the latest Republican debate, we saw the candidates showcase their hawkishness, each trying to play it tougher than the next. (Except for Ron Paul, of course.) That may work in “Republo-world,” where theoretical discussions on, say, bombing Iran, are commonplace, but it won’t play well outside such circles, writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. “Should we be discussing those things so blithely and explicitly in such a public way? You have to wonder what the world thinks when it hears such talk—and the world is watching.”

CNN's introduction to the debate set “a weird, hyperventilating tone,” full of explosions and machine guns; the candidates themselves seem to follow suit. “This is a major-party nomination for the presidency, not a trailer for Homeland,” Noonan complains. Does it serve “US interests to have possible presidents in a formal venue pressed on whether they will topple this regime or bomb that sovereign nation”? Indeed, “by the end, Ron Paul seemed like the normal one.” If they don't tone it down, Republicans run the risk of sounding like the "War Party."

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