Clemons is the indefatigable foreign policy wonk at the New America Foundation and publisher of the popular Washington Note. Norquist spreads his influence via the advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform. What they both focus on is what is or isn't happening in Afghanistan, with Norquist weighing in from the tax angle. The war is costing the U.S. taxpayers nearly $100 billion per year.
"Going forward for conservatives," said Norquist, "...we [need to] we take the politics out. It’s not about scoring points against Obama. We could spend all of our time criticizing him when we should be discussing what should we be doing.”
The fact that Norquist is expessing the need to have that conversation is significant, said Clemons. "And look who else is out there -- George Will, Richard Hasse, Tony Blankley, Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee who came out, although was criticized by Bill Kristol."
Could we be moving toward a bipartisan approach to Afghanistan? The study group A New Way Forward: Rethinking U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan thinks so.
Guests were so impressed by the non-partisan discussion that one suggested they give each other a hug. But that, of course, was asking a bit too much.