A New Wave of Less Warlike GOP Politicians Detected

James Antle at American Spectator (in a back and forth with Daniel Larison at American Conservative) sees promising signs of both serious domestic small government thought and at least less openly belligerent foreign policy in the new wave of conservative Senators and potential senators and representatives, such as Texas GOP hopeful Ted Cruz:

Marco Rubio didn't run on a platform that included getting out of Afghanistan, abolishing the TSA, and opposing the NDAA while appearing with Ron Paul. Ted Cruz did. In an interview with me, Mike Lee criticized the Libya war on substantive as well as constitutional grounds and didn't sound too enthusiastic about our other recent wars. Although Jim DeMint voted for the Iraq war, he was also one of just four Senate Republicans who voted to end its authorization.

Admittedly, Rand Paul is the only one 'd more or less guarantee would vote against war with Iran unless there was a much stronger casus belli than there was with Iraq....

Look, these candidates aren't noninterventionists (although a few of them, like Thomas Massie and Kerry Bentivolio, essentially are). But in the not-too-distant past, the most conservative candidates running in a Republican primary would have been without fail the most enthusiastic champions of the Bush Doctrine and dead-enders in support of unpopular foreign wars. The fact that these candidates don't fit that description doesn't necessarily mean they will be cautious on Iran, but it does mean something. 

I blogged about Rand Paul's critique of Mitt Romney's foreign policy back in June.

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  • ||

    I hope Cruz works out. I won't be voting for him in the general but voted him in the primary and runoff. Already feel a little dirty.

  • Brian from Texas||

    I voted for Cruz in the Primary and Run-off as well even though I'll be voting for John Jay Myers in November. I still feel pretty clean (though I did just take a shower, LOL!)

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    same here. (well runoff, I voted for some other guy that got like 5% the first time around).

    I told myself that there was a realistic possibility he was less of a douchebag than Dewhurst. So if he ends up actually being a good senator, that's all gravy, but I'm keeping my expectations low.

  • Libertarian||

    Enjoy these conservative Republicans while they're still around (or until their guy gets in the White House - whichever comes first).

  • Robert||

    When y how did Republicans get to be warlike? AFAICT the pattern was set in the 1960s and affected that party from its leadership to its grass roots.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It happened when the neo-cons left the democrat party in the 70s 80s and effected a take over of the republican party on "security" issues.

  • ||

    It was the "Southern Strategy" of Reagan.

    Won elections, lost their soul.

  • Killazontherun||

    'Southern Strategy.' That is what democrats say to avoid the words, 'I'm a loser.'

  • np||

    Ron Paul - Neo-CONNED! (July 10, 2003)

    ... Neo-conservatism has been around for decades and, strangely, has connections to past generations as far back as Machiavelli. Modern-day neo-conservatism was introduced to us in the 1960s. It entails both a detailed strategy as well as a philosophy of government. The ideas of Teddy Roosevelt, and certainly Woodrow Wilson, were quite similar to many of the views of present-day neocons. Neocon spokesman Max Boot brags that what he advocates is “hard Wilsonianism.” In many ways, there’s nothing “neo” about their views, and certainly nothing conservative. Yet they have been able to co-opt the conservative movement by advertising themselves as a new or modern form of conservatism.

  • np||

    ... More recently, the modern-day neocons have come from the far left, a group historically identified as former Trotskyites. Liberal, Christopher Hitchens, has recently officially joined the neocons, and it has been reported that he has already been to the White House as an ad hoc consultant. Many neocons now in positions of influence in Washington can trace their status back to Professor Leo Strauss of the University of Chicago. One of Strauss’ books was Thoughts on Machiavelli. This book was not a condemnation of Machiavelli’s philosophy. Paul Wolfowitz actually got his PhD under Strauss. Others closely associated with these views are Richard Perle, Eliot Abrams, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol. All are key players in designing our new strategy of preemptive war. Others include: Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute; former CIA Director James Woolsey; Bill Bennett of Book of Virtues fame; Frank Gaffney; Dick Cheney; and Donald Rumsfeld. There are just too many to mention who are philosophically or politically connected to the neocon philosophy in some varying degree.

  • ||

    One of Strauss’ books was Thoughts on Machiavelli. This book was not a condemnation of Machiavelli’s philosophy.

    What the fuck did Machiavelli do?

    He always get a bum wrap.

  • Brandybuck||

    Machiavelli wrote some satirical comedies. I've often wondered if The Prince was meant to be satire and everyone took it seriously.

  • Calidissident||

    There have been some guys that are definitely improvements, but still a LOOOONG way to go. We'll know we're there when a guy like Ron Paul doesn't lose the vote of a group supposedly dedicated to limiting government and cutting spending and taxes to the likes of Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney because he doesn't want to the US military to be world police (and of course because he doesn't want to lock up drug users)

  • fried wylie||

    New Wave sucks.

  • ||

    But in the not-too-distant past, the most conservative candidates running in a Republican primary would have been without fail the most enthusiastic champions of the Bush Doctrine and dead-enders in support of unpopular foreign wars.

    It is now 2012. the farther away from 9/11 you get the more republicans will move back to their more military isolationist stance.

    You have to remember before 9/11 Bush was fairly isolationist. In fact he probably would have fit on the margins of the list above.

  • Calidissident||

    "It is now 2012. the farther away from 9/11 you get the more republicans will move back to their more military isolationist stance."

    True to some extent, and I hope it becomes more true, but most Republicans today think we should fought the Vietnam War, for example, not to mention a bunch of other needless interventions in the recent (and not so recent) past. So I wouldn't give them too much credit. Bush campaigned on a "humble foreign policy" but his braintrust wasn't exactly a bunch of noninterventionists, so I'm not sure how serious he was

  • SIV||

    Bush had a total war cabinet. If 9/11 hadn't happened he would've gone into Iraq anyways. That "humble foreign policy" shit was a sop to the paleocons and peacenik moderates.

  • ||

    That "humble foreign policy" shit was a sop to the paleocons and peacenik moderates.

    Maybe...I think that is unknown and unknowable.

    Anyway he did get nominated and elected with a ticket of a "humble foreign policy". In other words republicans liked him at least in part because he said he had a humble foreign policy.

    Republicans did like military isolationism not so long ago...it should not be a surprise that that wing of the party is reasserting itself as we get further from 9/11.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The republican Congress in the 90s was relatively noninterventionist.

    Against sending troops into Yugoslavias civil war and criticizing Clinton's "wag the dog" military attacks on al queda as 'distractions' from his domestic troubles.

  • Voros McCracken||

    #Iamalibertarian because no set of arbitrary rules is going to force me to post in the correct thread.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    It's like a "Why be normal?" bumper sticker on the front bumper. . . upside down.

    ... Hobbit

  • Killazontherun||

    Anarchy was made to be obeyed.

  • MWG||

    Ha! I lol'd.

  • ||

    #Iamalibertarian because no set of arbitrary rules is going to force me to post in the correct thread.

    lies...you posted here cuz they shut down the comments.

    ADMIT IT!

  • ||

    Does this mean we're finally going to stop wasting our time on 14th-century holdouts in Afghanistan and Africa and shit and get the fuck already?

  • ||

    Retarded mistake is retarded. *Get the fuck out already?

  • ||

    I would rather get the fuck.

  • Yuno Hoo||

    Then you have to get out already.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Are you advocating pulling out? Living on the edge, brother my brother.

  • Cytotoxic||

    What parts of Africa are we 'in'? We're droning some parts of Africa but that's basically cost free and beneficial.

    'Get the fuck already' is now a Reason meme. I don't know what it means or will mean but it's happening.

  • Killazontherun||

    An Italian politician.

    http://www.wwtdd.com/2012/08/i.....ican-ones/

    They look, uhm, somewhat different from ours.

  • Mike M.||

    Hell will freeze over before the neurotic, insecure women of America will ever allow a woman who looks like that to be elected to a high level political office in this country.

  • Hyperion||

    If the GOP would change their platform to more Libertarian leaning, they would destroy the Dems, as the Dems would really have nothing to counter with. But for now, the GOP remains incredibldy clueless.

  • San Diego Criminal Attorn||

    I think that this is a very good thing to use in this time and it will help so much in future for the work of it.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't have any idea what you just said...

  • Cytotoxic||

    Get the fuck already.

  • JW||

    Like most waves, this one will pass quickly, no doubt.

  • Srynerson||

    Isn't the real question how likely these guys will remain non-interventionist if Romney (or another Republican in 2016) is elected president?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "The fact that these candidates don't fit that description doesn't necessarily mean they will be cautious on Iran, but it does mean something."

    So we'll be invading Iran, but probably not Luxembourg? Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Rand Paul is the only one 'd more or less guarantee would vote against war with Iran unless there was a much stronger casus belli

    In what instance would there be a casus belli? Invasion is practically impossible. Would anything less than a nuclear explosion that could be traced to Iran suffice?

    For the sake of argument, lets say they were able to produce an aerosol ebola like in one of the Tom Clancy novels. Would an attempt to kill thousands that actually didn't kill anyone be enough reason for a casus belli? What if it killed 1000? 10,000?

    I run Marshall's Half Priced Wars so I am obviously a warmonger and would favor wiping them off the map because they looked at us the wrong way but am curious about what, if anything, would constitute casus belli with the peaceniks?

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