If Rand Paul Has Hawks Nervous He's Doing Something Right

The Kentucky senator wants a less aggressive foreign policy, and so do most Americans

GOP hawks are reportedly nervous about the potential level of support Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) could enjoy if he decides to run for president in 2016. On Monday Zeke J. Miller wrote in TIME about how several prominent Republican donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition suggested that the billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who spent more than $100 million backing both the Newt Gingrich and the Mitt Romney presidential campaigns in 2012 and has advocated for the nuking of Iran, is likely to invest in an anti Paul campaign if the Kentucky senator looks like he will do well in primaries. According to Miller's reporting, one unnamed former Mitt Romney bundler thinks that Paul could win both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. 

Over at her blog at The Washington Post the neoconservative writer Jennifer Rubin has been demonstrating a fascination with Paul that borders on obsession. Recent headlines include "Rand Paul is the odd man out of the GOP on foreign policy," "Rand Paul seems confused," and "Rand Paul's fake foreign policy." One of Rubin's recent blog posts is titled "Rand Paul trashed military option for Iran and blamed the U.S. for WWII," claims David Harsanyi dismissed in a post at The Federalist. Rubin has also repeatedly called Paul an isolationist, despite the fact that he isn't one.

That Adelson and GOP hawks view Paul as a threat and Rubin thinks he is worthy of so much attention is a testament to the impact the junior senator has had on the Republican Party since being sworn in back in January 2011. Like his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Rand Paul has argued for a foreign policy less aggressive than the foreign policies implemented under recent presidents. If you're a pro-war Republican and you don't want a Democrat in the White House in 2017 a Paul presidential bid is understandably an unnerving prospect. However, unfortunately for Republican hawks not only is Paul right to be concerned about interventionist foreign policies, most Americans agree with him. 

Although perhaps not a popular stance among neoconservatives, Paul represented the views of the majority of Americans when he opposed military intervention in Syria. After the White House claimed that it did not need congressional approval to carry out military strikes against the Assad regime in the wake of chemical attacks on the outskirts of Damascus last August, Paul wrote a TIME op-ed outlining why he was opposed to a military intervention in Syria. A few days after Paul's op-ed was published NBC reported that almost sixty percent of Americans wanted their representatives in Congress to vote against military intervention in Syria. 

This non-interventionist sentiment has not only been on display in relation to the conflict in Syria. According to the most recent Reason-Rupe Poll almost sixty percent of Americans want the U.S. to stay out of the Ukraine conflict altogether, and only 31 percent back sanctions. Even if the situation in Ukraine worsens, and Russia sends troops into more of Ukraine, 76 percent of Americans say that they would still oppose sending U.S. troops to the region.

It is not only Reason's polling that has highlighted Americans' lack of enthusiasm for foreign intervention. Pew polling from late last year shows that over 50 percent of Americans believe that "The U.S. should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own," and an overwhelming majority believe that we should be concentrating more on domestic concerns rather than problems abroad.

That Americans are tired of foreign military engagements should not be a surprise. The war in Afghanistan, arguably the most unpopular war in American history, and the war in Iraq have highlighted how awful prolonged military conflicts are not only on American lives but also on the American economy and the state of Americans' civil liberties.

Perhaps some in the GOP should consider that Americans are tired of having successive Democratic and Republican administrations implementing expensive and over-stretched foreign policies. Although not perfect, Paul supports a foreign policy most Americans could back and is making a conscious effort to appeal to the left on issues such a drug sentencing reform and mass government surveillance. However, the Republican Party has demonstrated more than enough times that it is bad at seizing opportunities, and it shouldn't be surprising if wealthy GOP hawks do all they can to jeopardize Paul's widely expected 2016 presidential bid. 

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  • Concerned Citizen||

    These hawks can go fight anyone they want, same as the Flying Tigers, who fought for China before Congress declared war.

  • Restoras||

    Hey if I could fly an F-16 I'd be all over that. Even a P-40, for that matter.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I'd be your wingman, except I'm nearly blind in one eye. I hear that depth perception is overrated.

  • Restoras||

    A fighter pilot with an eye-patch - that's totally bad ass.

    Back in the day I used to go to the local dirt track on Saturday nights in Middletown, NY. This guy was reputed to be blind in one eye, so maybe depth perception is overrated?

  • LynchPin1477||

    One of my best friends is blind in one eye, and he is able to compensate for just about everything, except for our endless taunting.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    We're two dimensional men living in a three dimensional world.

  • R C Dean||

    So true.

  • AdamJ||

    Do you do that sweet move where you hold up your swear finger in his periphery so he can't see?

  • SugarFree||

    I'd like to see the right-hawks and the left-do-gooders break off and form a Pax Americana Party.

  • sloopyinca||

    They already have. One faction is called the "Republican Party" and the other is called the "Democrat Party". Supposedly they're a big deal.

  • SugarFree||

    But we need to get them together. The love-hate marriage will birth a kinder and more destructive military we need. And they both adore nation-building.

  • sloopyinca||

    Thank God for the divisiveness of abortion, otherwise we'd have had one party rule by now based on nation building/interventionism alone.

  • SugarFree||

    Pretty much. Considering the overlap between SoCons and NeoCons, this will hopefully never change.

  • Sudden||

    Consumption of trans-fats or looks of contempt at non-heteronormative and cis-gendered people will be met with immediate execution in the occupied territories.

  • Restoras||

    Know who else liked immediate executions in occupied territory?

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    The 1985 Bears defense?

  • sloopyinca||

    Alexander?

  • Tonio||

    The Imperial Japanese Army?

  • shortviking||

    Planned Parenthood?

  • R C Dean||

    Winner.

  • fish_remote||

    GOP hawks are reportedly nervous about the potential level of support Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) could enjoy if he decides to run for president in 2016.

    Ooooh.....sucker play! Run and win in 2016 and inherit the Putins Buttplug/Obama flaming bag of shit economy!

    Wait till 2020!

    Shreeky....how's the daytrading going? Make your cool 25$ in the market today...why not treat your self to a bottle of Henry J. Duffs Private Reserve beer.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    I believe he is living high off the money he made shorting gold, so when it hit $300 an oz or whatever he claimed, he cashed in and made it big! Wait, what...?

  • sloopyinca||

    Speaking of hitting it big, Banjos thought it would be cool to sell off some baseball cards I bought at auction (a random lot of 10k cards). SO far we've sold two on Ebay and after the PayPal fees we've made a cool $.26. I calculated the labor involved and it looks like we're making considerably less than a sweatshop piss bucket carrier in Bangladesh.

  • sarcasmic||

    And you can't even blame corporate oppression! That's terrible!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    My dad had the complete 1957 Topps set in mint condition. My grandma threw it away during a spring cleaning bender.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Sob

  • sloopyinca||

    I am usually opposed to violence against old people, but...

  • Sudden||

    My grandma threw it away during a spring cleaning bender.

    This is why no one should ever start cleaning on a cocaine bender.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    Maybe she had huffed to much "Pledge"?

  • Tonio||

    Yep, it's the mothers of America who have reduced the supply of childhood memorabilia, thus driving up the prices.

  • Brett L||

    Not to worry, bro, you can make it up on volume!

  • sloopyinca||

    Hopefully. I think we (by "we", I mean Banjos) did a poor job listing them. I mean, a Donruss Griffey Jr rookie card should have received the opening $.99 bid.

    I've got a bunch of really valuable cards I'm thinking of selling but now I'm a little spooked.

  • Brett L||

    Well, if you have a time machine my 11 year-old self (1988?) would give you way more than a dollar.

  • sloopyinca||

    If I could find a signed infamous Billy Ripken card, I'd trade all 10k cards for it.

  • Brett L||

    The best card I ever owned was an Ozzie Smith rookie. I haven't the faintest clue what happened to it. Hopefully, I sold it for beer money or my younger brother traded it for weed.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I have most of the '87 Topps in storage somewhere. The Bonds and McGuire cards are pretty hilarious. They look like stick figures.

  • fish_remote||

    I've got a bunch of really valuable cards I'm thinking of selling but now I'm a little spooked.

    Well hide them at least....rumor has it that old people hate baseball cards!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Baseball cards ain't worth what they used to be dude.

  • Sudden||

    Ya, there are fewer old people to buy them and the kids mostly don't even like beisbol and those that do would pay more for an instagram image of these players.

  • sloopyinca||

    Perhaps, but I bought the whole lot for $20 plus $10 shipping. I'm sure there's plenty of money to be made there.

    And if not, we'll just use the cards as wallpaper for my son's room. I've always thought that would be cool.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    My good man, why are you child laborers not working on this?! Turn in your monocle!

  • Loki||

    we're making considerably less than a sweatshop piss bucket carrier in Bangladesh.

    You look like the piss boy.

  • OldMexican||

    GOP hawks are reportedly nervous about the potential level of support Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) could enjoy if he decides to run for president in 2016.


    Why would they be worried about him really boggles the mind

  • LynchPin1477||

    Tony March 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM
    Nope, dear Rand-apologists.

    Rand Paul is not a neocon waiting to happen at all, move along.
    He is just playing the game to get power and bring libertarian happiness to America.

    Idiots.

    Reply

    I wonder if there's any relation to our very own...

  • OldMexican||

    No, he's a different Tony. I was confused at first but his posts have nothing to do with our resident prevaricator.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Gambling Protectionism And Nuking Brown People.

    Adelson is a real charmer. He just needs to fuck a sheep and he'll be a real hero.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    Sheep? How common. I say he would have to copulate with an angry camel before he gets any of the hero treatment!

    *adjust monocle and goes back to reading foreskin-leather bound edition of The Time Travel Adventures of Warty Hugeman*

  • Loki||

    Adelson is a real charmer. He just needs to fuck a sheep and he'll be a real hero.

    I'd prefer it he would become "an hero."

  • ||

    Quick who would you rather see purged from the republican party:

    Neo-conservatives or social conservative?

    Quick second question:

    Which group being purged would help hurt the republican party more?

    Note: Not same question. One is a personal opinion the other is a political analysis.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    I would rather convert them to the side of liberty rather than "purge". I suspect the true neoconservatives - commies that have flipped to becoming Wilsonian crusaders - would be harder to convert. At this point, Bo's fixation aside, I suspect most SoConz!!!! would prefer to be just left alone.

  • Tonio||

    I'm sure they would prefer to be left alone, the question is are they willing to leave others alone.

  • sloopyinca||

    1: NeoCons. Rand Paul is a SoCon and so was his father. You can get a SoCon to respect liberty. A NeoCon can't be persuaded to respect sovereignty.

    2: Purging NeoCons would help more. Let the Democrats embrace them. They were the War Party for decades. Might as well get back to normal.

  • bassjoe||

    The NeoCons should just go away. Their politics make completely no sense; they're pro-war and pro-military yet have no desire to actually pay for their wars or guns. Somehow -- I blame Bill Kristol for this -- NeoCons have gotten it into their heads that wars are cheap.

  • ||

    1: Neo-cons. Wars are expensive and we're out of money.
    2: So-cons. Ostentatious tolerance is all the rage nowadays.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    "Ostentatious tolerance"

    Good name for a bistro?

  • sloopyinca||

    As long as its French, then yes.

  • sarcasmic||

    Is there any other kind?

  • NoVAHockey||

    Neither. You need both to defeat the progressives.

  • LynchPin1477||

    SoCons are a dying breed anyway, and they are effectively powerless to do anything other than embarrass themselves. NeoCons have more staying power and are a lot more dangerous and expensive. So I'd rather see Republicans dump the NeoCons, and let the SoCons take care of themselves.

    But it would probably be more politically expedient to dump the SoCons. Not only do they probably hold less power, but the media seizes upon their gaffs and idiotic statements as a way of making Republicans look stupid, while going comparatively much softer on the NeoCon war rhetoric.

  • Restoras||

    the media seizes upon their gaffs and idiotic statements as a way of making Republicans look stupid, while going comparatively much softer on the NeoCon war rhetoric

    In the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.

    As much as I agree that dumping the Neocons would be smarter longer term, I think dumping (or just politely ignoring) the SnoConezzz!!! is probably a smarter strategy to win in the enxt two elections.

    Americans may sorta/kinda/maybe not like the NSA, IRS and Benghazi fiscoes, but show them enough footage of airliners crashing into the WTC and all of a sudden looking 'soft' on foreign policy could be a loser.

  • ||

    SoCons are a dying breed anyway, and they are effectively powerless to do anything other than embarrass themselves

    I don't see them going away. Polls show people a more pro-life then they have been in a generation.

    SoCons just lose they don't go away.

    Also Bush was popular until his wars. The public only hated him until he embraced Neo-cons. Everyone already knew he was a SoCon.

  • NoVAHockey||

    kind of. they turned on him when the wars didn't go as planned.

  • sloopyinca||

    kind of. they turned on him when the wars didn't go as planned media told them to.

    FIFY

  • LynchPin1477||

    Right. I can't recall anyone in the mainstream objecting to Afghanistan, and for good reason. And he got plenty of support for Iraq at the outset, even from some prominent Democrats (such as a once and future presidential candidate).

    A lot of the current opposition to SoCons is a reaction to the political sway that they held in the early 2000s. If you had asked this question 10 years ago the answers might be different. At the very least, it would be more difficult to write off the SoCons. Using Bush's early popularity isn't going to give you an accurate picture of the current political liability of SoCons.

  • gaoxiaen||

    A coke-snorting, pot-smoking drunkard SoCon, but you have to give that shit up so you can imprison or kill a lot of people.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Not to start an abortion thread, but I think abortion is something of a unique issue. I wouldn't use it as a bellwether of the SoCon movement. And I didn't mean to imply that people would let go of conservative personal beliefs, only that the political influence of the Social Conservative wing of the Republican party is, in my opinion, waning.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "it would probably be more politically expedient to dump the SoCons"

    The Reps would do that in an instant if they thought they could get away with it. But even the establishment imbeciles know that would be a disaster. Kicking the SoCons repeatedly and expecting them to come and lick their leaders' hands like whipped dogs is an excellent recipe for getting primaried and forced to get honest work (or become lobbyists).

    So from time to time, the establishment leaders get together with the SoCon groups for a "what do you people want *now*?" meeting, and agree to throw the SoCons a couple of bones. Then the establishmentarians will tell the SoCons to shut up and go away until the next election.

  • Neoconwatch||

    The Socon movement is kept alive only by the power of the Neocons. The Socons have no power - intellectual, press-wise, or popular. The Neocons are dead-set on keeping social conservatism alive and pushing it. The Neocon leadership demands it of Republicans and expects the Republican Party to be willing to go down in flames permanently before giving up the Socon platform. They readily state that it is a losing agenda. It does not faze them. They are psychotic.

  • Brett L||

    Eh. I haven't been a Republican in nigh on a decade. I hope they keep both sets of idiots and die like the Whig party with the Democrats collapsing in the following vacuum. That said, the neocons have to re-learn all of the lessons the PaleoCons already knew. So firing the Neocons would probably lead to a more successful GOP.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Neo-conservatives. No question.

    At least a segment of the social conservatives can be reasoned with and eventually convinced. The neo-conservatives are never going to be convinced.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Jennifer Rubin can fuck herself. While I agree with the criticisms of Ron Paul's foreign policy, Rand is his own man and should be judged accordingly. I can't say I agree with every call he's made, but his foreign policy is neither nutty nor "isolationist", and it is beyond pathetic that Rubin and co think they can salvage their disastrous foreign policy by attacking someone else's.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    Rubin the quintessential TEAM RED mouthpiece. She is simply following the brain-dead path of the Elephant Establishment. She isn't worth getting angry about, but perhaps worth scraping up some pity and expressing some sadness toward.

  • ||

    Do the words "isolationist" and "protectionist" resonate with voters at all? Do they resonate with Republicans?

    Sometimes i think the hawks are only interested in signalling to their own rather then actually explaining their position.

    It is as if they heard Giuliani debate Ron Paul back in the day and only heard the "go" words but were blind to Giuliani being kicked from the primary soon after.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    What you have to realize is that the Jennifer Rubins of the world are SO interventionist that pretty much anything else is "isolationist" in comparison. Paul's made pretty clear that his foreign policy views aren't even strictly non-interventionist. They're pretty solidly in the realist (foreign policy based on concrete interest, balance of costs and benefits, & recognition of limitations) camp. For Rubin, this deviation from "all-war-all-the-time" is completely unacceptable.

  • Brett L||

    Maybe we can get into an international incident helping these proud people resist the Taliban under not-Rand in 2017.

    Lahore (Pakistan) (AFP) - While many children his age are still learning how to crawl, a nine-month-old boy in Pakistan has been accused of attempted murder in a case observers say highlights endemic flaws in the country's legal system.

    Baby Mohammad Musa along with his father and other family members was booked for throwing rocks at gas company officials in the working-class Ahata Thanedaran neighbourhood on February 1, the family's lawyer Chaudhry Irfan Sadiq told AFP Friday.
  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The idea that you can charge a baby with attempted (insert crime here) is pretty hilarious.

  • ||

    Officer! This baby attempted to piss in my face!

  • Brett L||

    My son: "Attempted, Hell."

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    My son pissed in his own face way more than mine.

  • Brett L||

    He got me once. Ever since my "baptism", I've been on guard.

  • Restoras||

    Always keep one hand over the little pecker when changing the diaper.

  • sloopyinca||

    What the fuck is "changing the diaper"?

  • Brett L||

    We don't all live on a farm where the babies can go naked until they gain control of their bodily functions. Regrettably.

  • fish_remote||

    Officer! This baby attempted to piss in my face!

    Is this a complaint about the quality of service provided?

  • ||

    Officer! This baby attempted to piss in my face!

    That would make it different than everyone else you know how, exactly?

  • sloopyinca||

    Wait, you're back to calling Epi "Baby" again?

  • fish_remote||

    Wait, you're back to calling Epi "Baby" again?

    Don't you call Banjos "baby" during your intimate moments?

  • sloopyinca||

    Oddly enough, when we're doing water sports I call her something else. But that's personal.

  • fish_remote||

    But that's personal.

    Yes that's probably best.

  • fish_remote||

    Hey wait a second....I thought "watersports" was referred to as "rooting for the Dodgers"?

  • Brett L||

    I thought "rooting for the Dodgers" was when a bunch of guys get together and beat some random dude into a coma.

  • fish_remote||

    Don't spoil my petty Giants/Dodgers rivalry moment Brett.

  • LynchPin1477||

    No jury in the world is gonna convict a baby. Hmm... maybe Texas Pakistan.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    a nine-month-old boy in Pakistan has been accused of attempted murder

    D'AWWWWW!!!

  • gaoxiaen||

    It's funny until they convict and hang him.

  • Tim||

    " I don't care how much money you promise me Sheldon, nuking Tehran is NOT going to happen."

    "That much huh?"

  • Skip||

    All the lefties who make fun of Adelson would kiss his butt if he was the only thing stopping a Paul victory.

  • Restoras||

    What happens in Vegas...

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling!!!||

    Nicely done.

  • ||

    I got into an argument with a friend of mine over Rand Paul. I was like, you would rather not cast a vote for guy who would slowly eliminate mandatory drug sentences, and wind down the War on Drugs both which unfairly target blacks the most simply because he won't give you and anyone else free shit? After trying to explain, I took his answer for a yes.

  • american socialist||

    and there aren't a lot of Democrats who have been arguing-- for decades now-- that we should end the drug war?

    don't worry, rand paul gives plenty of free shit to his benefactors. but, hey, those benefactors are rich white guys so no problemo.

    http://nader.org/2013/08/09/th.....rand-paul/

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    Ralph Nader... speaking of rich white guys.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Paul is the antivenin of political parametrization. Political snakes despise the nullification of their poison and will viciously and repeatedly attack until solidly smacked into oblivion.

  • bassjoe||

    Everybody knows that "you advocating for a less-aggressive foreign policy" = " you think America is weak". /s

    Seriously, though, Paul is going to have to deal with attacks like the above. While Americans WANT a "less-aggressive" foreign policy, they have a possibly more-powerful parallel desire/fear to not do anything that looks "weak", after decades of indoctrination that America is the most-powerful country in the history of history, the richest/smartest, yadda-yadda-yadda (after all, we won a rather epic global war 70 years ago...).

  • R C Dean||

    America is the most-powerful country in the history of history

    Well, that's actually true, you know.

  • leo573||

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  • Agile Cyborg||

    I tried visiting, leo, and your 573 tried to stick a massive digital prawn right into my left hemisphere. I repelled it with an augmentation.

  • american socialist||

    prediction: when rand paul loses the primary and the GOP church ladies nominate that good-looking wonderboy, paul ryan, who hasn't seen a military intervention he hasn't liked, the "llibertarians" at Reason mag will make all sorts of arguments as to why this neocon turd should be President.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Shove a rag in it. Don't ever presume to speak for all "llibertarians".

  • John C. Randolph||

    Like we all argued for Willard, right? Oh, wait: that didn't happen.

    -jcr

  • Michael S. Langston||

    You're not from around here are you?

    Hint - look in archives - see most writers here openly voted for Obama... twice, while pushing others to do the same.

    Of course if actually read differing views in an attempt to learn things, you wouldn't be here writing stupid, nonsensical non-sequiturs.

    & while I hate giving predictions - I'll make this one - even if you do read this, you'll still firmly believe what you wrote is true because you heard it from people you trust and you'll go on happily steering clear of any cognitive dissonance caused by learning that your beliefs might be wrong.

    After all, dealing with cognitive dissonance might be required for learning, but it's hard and something tells me hard things make you quit & learning is really hard when you have to first come to grips with the fact your an idiot.

    Good luck though - there's always hope - check the archives - try to prove me wrong - maybe you'll learn something.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I'm writing too much - need to remember brevity...

    Shorter version: You're an idiot as evidenced by your belief in something easily refutable.

    Additional prediction - you'll likely stay an idiot.

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    For the record, who are you pulling for there Comrade?

  • american socialist||

    I voted for Tom Harkin/Clinton in 1992, Nader in 1996 and 2000, kucinich/Kerry in 2004, kucinich/Obama in 2008, and Obama in 2012. I'm on the fence about Hillary...

  • Hyperion||

    I'm on the fence about Hillary...

    Still holding out for the promise that a more sociopathic war monger will come along, with a D after it's name?

    Well, it's going to be hard for any potential D to out sociopath and out war monger the Hildebeast, so if she don't drop over from old hagitus before the election, I think she's your girl!

  • corinamoretonpun||

    my roomate's sister makes $72 /hour on the internet . She has been without a job for eight months but last month her pay check was $12251 just working on the internet for a few hours. have a peek at this web-site.......
    http://www.Works23.us

  • shipley130||

    Americans pay way too many taxes. From the less wealthy to the most wealthy. The latest shake down from the Ukraine and the United Nations is really the last straw. We have been giving all you crocksuckers billions of dollars every year. And what do you do? You let your presidents build palaces, buy millions of dollars worth of shoes, purchase diamonds and pearls for their mistresses. NOT ANYMORE!

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