Veering Right: How the Bush Administration Subverts the Law for Conservative Causes

By Charles Tiefer | Go to book overview

6
Going It Alone

As of 1992 the United States followed multilateral approaches respecting established international institutions and law and earned grudging respect from the world. By 2004 President Bush had changed that, putting his unilateralist stamp—a conservative partisan stamp—on the conduct of international affairs. This chapter begins with the evolution of conservative causes in the 1990s and describes how the incoming president defined his ideological approach in part by the choices he made for his team, epitomized by Vice President Cheney and two legal lieutenants: Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton and U. S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick. I address the Bush administration's casting the United States as the great nullifier of the international legal regimes that preceding administrations had built, at the cost of increased world suspicion. On another major dimension, by politically twisting the trade fast track and trade law in general, Bush based his international trade stance on partisan terms while bypassing democratic accountability in Congress.


RISE OF THE NEW CONSERVATIVE UNILATERALISM

Post–Cold War Conservatism

When President Bush became the first newly elected Republican president since the end of the Cold War, his conservative base required a replacement

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