POLITICS

Question for NYT: If I don’t get in fights with my neighbors, am I a ‘loner’?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

If you don’t want the U.S. military to intervene in a brutal civil war halfway around the world, or to start a war with a nuclear power, then the New York Times reporters and editors apparently think you’re an “isolationist.” Catch the lead from this news story at the Times.

Americans are exhibiting an isolationist streak, with majorities across party lines decidedly opposed to American intervention in North Korea or Syria right now as economic concerns continue to dwarf all other issues, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Let me posit different characteristics of an “isolationist”: What if you didn’t want to allow Americans to trade with foreign countries or visit overseas, if you wanted to prohibit immigrants, cease all diplomatic relationships and eliminate all foreign aid? I think that would be the makings of an isolationist. But the Times' definition — someone who opposes U.S. entry into some foreign wars — is a standard one.

NPR’s Mara Liasson said during the GOP primary that Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich were displaying some of the “new isolationism” for opposing U.S. intervention in Libya’s civil war and the desire to wrap up our decade-long occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Time’s Adam Sorenson called Jon Huntsman an isolationist for saying “I would have chosen from the beginning not to intervene in Libya. I would say that is not core to our national security interest ... I would tell you that we have to evaluate very carefully our presence in Afghanistan.”

As I wrote at the time:

Huntsman was an AMBASSADOR TO CHINA! He speaks Mandarin. He was deputy assistant secretary of commerce and ambassador to Singapore. His degree from U Penn is in international politics. He was deputy U.S. trade representative who launched the Doha free-trade talks. Wikipedia tells me he is or has been on the boards of “the Pacific Council on International Policy … the Brookings Institute Asia Policy Board, the Asia Society in New York, and the National Bureau of Asian Research.”

But he could be an “isolationist” if he wants us to do less bombing, policing and shooting in the Muslim world?

I wonder if the Times has an editorial policy on use of the word "isolationist."

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