Donald Trump’s foreign policy is making Republicans nervous. From announcing troop withdrawals from Syria via tweet to his second planned meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, both the content and the execution of Trump’s foreign policy are a problem for congressional Republicans, to the point where the highly loyal Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, offered up the legislative equivalent of an extreme frowny face over the “precipitous withdrawal” of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
House Republicans have gotten in on the act, too, voting against the Trump administration to maintain sanctions against Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s companies and to prevent Trump from pulling out of NATO.
But while congressional Republicans are shifting nervously in their seats and starting to push back against Trump, “As you look at the Republican Party in the electorate, I think it’s lining up a little more with the president because I think he’s shifting Republican voters more on things like trade and Russia, maybe on Syria and Afghanistan,” one establishment Republican critic of Trump noted. And because Republican foreign policy has not been all that popular since George W. Bush’s wars at least, so the Republican base may be ready for an alternative. (The problem, from an anti-war perspective, is that Trump is basically guaranteed to always execute his ideas in the worst-possible way.)
“We are not the world’s policeman,” McConnell said in his floor speech pushing his Trump-chastising troop-withdrawal amendment. “But we are the leader of the free world. And it is incumbent upon the United States to lead.”
With Donald Trump at the helm, good luck with that.