President Obama’s foreign policy doesn’t make a lot of sense on its face, Heritage expert Tod Bromund explains in a review of Colin Dueck’s new book, The Obama Doctrine:

Obama’s starting point, Dueck argues, is that he cares most of all about domestic policy. Obama doesn’t want to change the world: he wants to transform the United States. His goal is to avoid being Lyndon Johnson, who tried to build his Great Society but instead was consumed by Vietnam.

But no president can ignore foreign policy. In dealing with it, Obama’s been tactically flexible. He’s not, for example, been willing to take the political hit of closing Guantanamo. If you define a strategy as a coherent plan, Obama doesn’t have one.

You can read Bromund’s full piece in Newsday.

Do you agree that President Obama doesn’t have a plan when it comes to foreign policy? 

British MEP Daniel Hannan, right, presents the Edmund Burke Award to Heritage’s Jim DeMint. (Photo: AECR)

On May 22, the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists presented their first-ever Edmund Burke award to Heritage President Jim DeMint for his work to advance conservative principles.

In his acceptance speech, DeMint explained the importance of limited government and the relationship of American conservatives to their allies in Europe:

No top-down control can force goodwill, but it is very likely to destroy it. True patriotism and brotherhood flourishes when men and women are allowed to be masters of their own spheres.

It is a cruel irony that any authority, with the pretense of celebrating diverse cultures, demands they all fit the same mold.

I have been saddened to see this trend in the United States.

Americans live under an administration that runs roughshod over their rights and traditions, and accuses those who stand against it of being bigots, or clinging bitterly to guns and religion … Two things, I might add, that our Constitution gave us every encouragement to cling, so that a demagogue could not take more power for himself.

Far from being unified, top-down policies have divided my countrymen further than ever—whether by race, riches, or faith.

But there are many who are fighting back, who are rebuilding the “little platoons” of society—their communities, churches, and local governments—working toward prosperity, self-sufficiency, and independence.

They do not hate their country because of those in power. They love her in spite of them.

You can read all of Sen. DeMint’s remarks on The Daily Signal.

 

It’s not surprising that the same big-government policies that favor well-connected businesses also show favoritism to certain groups based on a liberal social agenda.

It’s called “cultural cronyism” and it is how the Left forces unpopular social policies on the American people. Planned Parenthood takes huge subsidies from government, for example, while Catholic Charities gets snubbed by government.

Heritage Foundation expert Ryan Anderson and Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham write in The Federalist that conservatives can combat this unsettling trend:

Outside the courtroom, our best strategy for combating cultural cronyism is identical to our strategy for combating economic cronyism: fight for governments whose powers are limited enough that cronyism becomes impossible. The alliance between social and economic conservatives is no mere product of contingent historical circumstance. Its strength is in part due to the fact that the greatest threat on both fronts is shared: the expansion of government into realms far beyond its appropriate scope

Do you think limiting government is the correct solution?

A trove of information seized during the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound was declassified yesterday.  In total, 266 English-language books, U.S. government documents, and think tank reports were found in Bin Laden’s Pakistan hideaway. And among the documents recovered was a report from Heritage Foundation expert Jim Phillips.

Phillips’ report, “The Evolving Al-Qaeda Threat,” is a testimony he gave in 2006 before the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on terrorism.

The key to defeating Al Qaeda, Phillips argued, is to discredit and defeat its ideology — not just to target Al Qaeda leaders.  So a two-pronged approach is necessary to truly defeat the terrorist network: we must confront them not only on the battlefield but in the ideological war of ideas.

“The revelation made me feel queasy and surreal,” Phillips said of this uninvited notoriety:

Queasy because I was shocked at how much attention Bin Laden evidently paid to think tank analyses and Washington debates on counterterrorism strategy.  I hope that anything I wrote did not help him.  Also surreal, because I have been reading his writings and video transcripts since before 9/11 and it is odd to think that he also was reading mine.

In a way, the discovery of Phillips’ report among Bin Laden’s reading materials is a testament to the power of ideas. Heritage works to ensure that our analyses, grounded in the principles of the American founding, have as broad an audience as possible, whether we’re making the case for economic reform or for defeating Al-Qaeda.

In his testimony, Phillips quoted conservative thinker Richard Weaver’s dictum that “Ideas have consequences” and explained how Muslims must be convinced that Bin Laden’s ideas have bad consequences, not just for the United States or non-Muslims, but for Muslims themselves.

Los Angeles’ city council voted this week to increase the city’s minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2020, up from $9 today. Heritage labor economist James Sherk explained the consequences of such a drastic hike in a report last fall:

Union activists want to raise the minimum wage in the fast-food industry to $15 an hour. However, fast-food restaurants operate on very small profit margins; they could only afford such wages by raising prices—significantly. Higher prices would, in turn, drive customers away, forcing even larger price increases to cover costs. Ultimately, the average fast-food restaurant would have to raise prices by nearly two-fifths. This would cause sales to drop by more than one-third, and profits to fall by more than three-quarters. Absent the widespread adoption of labor-saving technology, the union-led “Fight for 15” would make fast food much more expensive for Americans.

Do you think the government should set minimum wages like this? Tell us in the comments.

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