Romney Supporter Rand Paul Bashes Romney's Foreign Policy Speech

As we have been chronicling at Reason for a while now, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has positioned himself as both a rising star in the Republican Party and a trenchant critic of its most freedom-harshing policies. The latest example comes in this Paul column at CNN Opinion bashing Mitt Romney's foreign policy speech from earlier this week. Excerpt:

Romney chose to criticize President Obama for seeking to cut a bloated Defense Department and for not being bellicose enough in the Middle East, two assertions with which I cannot agree.

Defense and war spending has grown 137% since 2001. That kind of growth is not sustainable. [...]

In North Africa and the Middle East, our problem has not been a lack of intervention. In the past 10 years we have fought two full wars there, and bombed or sent troops into several others. [...]

This "act first, think later" foreign policy has real consequences. We've seen our embassies and consulates stormed in more than one country. Our diplomats and security team were killed. Our flag is being burned, our country mocked.

The proper response to this would be to step back and think of whether we really need to be involved in these countries in the way we have been. Instead, both parties rush headlong into more places they don't understand, exemplified Monday by Romney urging action to arm Syrian rebels and topple President Bashar al-Assad. [...]

We owe it to ourselves, our soldiers and our children to take a more careful look at our foreign policy, to not rush into war, and to not attempt to score political points with wrongheaded policy ideas.

Two related bits from me: "American Exceptionalism Routs Paul Family's Foreign Policy," and "Four More Years of War." And here's a Reason.tv piece from the Republican National Convention: "Ron Paul's RNC Speech and the Future of the Republican Party."

 

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  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but if we don't kill the terrorists there then they'll attack us here!

  • $park¥||

    With nukes. Constantly. One major city every week. They'll find a way.

  • tarran||

    According to Eric Dondero, only Obama's robust foreign policy keeps Al Queda from bombarding Texas with Scuds launched from Mexico.

  • T||

    Listening to Donderoooooooo is it's own punishment, so don't try to pass along the misery.

  • SugarFree||

    Eric Dondero is the Ezra Klein of the Fakeatarian Movement.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I thought that was Maher's job.

  • SugarFree||

    He's really more the David Frum.

  • aelhues||

    If they do, and the reaction is a thunderous, sudden and disproportionate attack, those left alive will think twice before trying it again.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    In the same piece he rails on Obama's illegal wars, but I guess that doesn't fit with Welch's objectives...

  • ||

    I think pointing out the split from Romney was more relevant to the piece since Rand endorsed him earlier in the year.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Like a single sentence stating that Romney also was critical of Obama's foreign policy would be so hard to write? And would be a lot more truthful.

    I mean the whole thing is that Rand is outspoken on 'freedom-harshing' policies, and Obama's are pretty objectively 'freedom-harshing' - AND Rand calls them out.

    The only reason for not mentioning that is suspect.

  • ||

    But if Rand opposes the freedom-harshing policies of the Democrat president, he will just like a member of the "Party of NO", whereas if he criticizes the policies of someone in his own party it fits the scope of the topic better. I guess it just depends if Matt came up with the headline before the article, or vice versa.

  • robc||

    If he had endorsed Obama, his criticism would be the important thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Awwwwww, he didn't say exactly what you wanted him to say with the words you wanted him to use in the proper inflection so as to send the message that you feel he should have sent?

    You poor baby.

    Maybe you should write him a letter listing all the corrections to his speech that you would have made, and offer your services as a speech writer.

  • $park¥||

    Doesn't it comfort you to know that there are plenty of Team Red supporters around to let the reason editors know they aren't hating Team Blue hard enough? They go well with the Team Blue supports that let the reason editors know they aren't hating Team Red hard enough.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I could give a crap about Romney, the article makes Rand look like a douchebag is the only thing I really care about.

  • robc||

    the article makes Rand look like a douchebag

    ???

    I think it makes him look good.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think it makes him look good.

    I agree.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. Someone needs to let Paul know that in his response to a speech by Romney he's supposed to bash Obama lest he be portrayed as an Obama supporter.

    /WG derp

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Actually he DID bash Obama in his response to a speech by Romney. That's what I'm saying.

    But I guess that doesn't fit with your narrative.

  • sarcasmic||

    Flailing at straw men.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    If it's a straw man, you built it.

  • ||

    Actually he DID bash Obama in his response to a speech by Romney.

    I'm uncertain how the absence of Obama in the article makes Rand look bad. This idea going around that mentioning one means you HAVE to mention the other at the same time is absurd.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Well, when Obamatrons like you are on the loose it's all we can do...

  • ||

    There we go! THERE'S that HitandRunpublican spirit! People who think your criticism is stupid and douchey must LOVE Obama. Really now, just read what you typed. In no way does that describe sarcasmic, but I doubt you care.

  • ||

    THERE'S that HitandRunpublican spirit!

    I retract the "HitandRunpublican" accusation in my comment. Everything else stands, though.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I agree. It feels agenda-ish. Like his primary goal is to drive a wedge between Paul voters (either Paul) and Romney voters.

    Doesn't mean that was actually the intent. But that is the subjective feeling I get from the omission, especially considering the editoral prime directive around here of "both parties suck".

  • Coeus||

    I agree. It feels agenda-ish. Like his primary goal is to drive a wedge between Paul voters (either Paul) and Romney voters.

    If there isn't already a wedge there, there fucking should be.

  • ||

    Sorry, but I usually don't get a "feeling" from the absence of Obama in a post highlighting apt criticism of Romney.

    I ALSO don't think every post regarding Obama has to mention Romney.

  • Watoosh88||

    Only that wasn't the point here. Of course Obama's foreign policy is horseshit, but reason.com has covered that a thousand times before. What's more interesting is Rand Paul calling out the guy he's supposed to stand behind, and what's more, becoming an honest representative of anti-imperialism inside the GOP.

    Do you have eyes? Do they function? Do you ever use them to read this magazine?

    In case you do, and you somehow find that reason or Matt Welch have been kind to Obama's foreign policy, you are insane and delusional.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Shills will shill, and suckers will buy it I guess.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Haven't you canceled your subscription yet, WG?

  • John Thacker||

    You seem to be the sucker shilling, WG. But whatever.

    I think that it is more news that there's an occasional politician willing to admit that he's endorsed the lesser of two evils. Most of them, no matter how much they criticized during the primaries, fall right in line and refuse to complain during the general election.

    I consider the real suckers to be people that won't even admit that they're making an inevitable compromise, and then act shocked when inevitably betrayed, sucker.

  • Calidissident||

    This is exactly what I was talking about a couple days ago when I said that it's getting to the point where Reason can't publish something critical of Romney without somebody bitching about how unfair it is. Do you give Reason the same crap when they criticize Obama and don't mention Romney? Rand Paul criticizing Obama isn't news. Him criticizing his party's nominee, who he endorsed, is

  • Ice Nine||

    Rand is not exactly a pragmatist, is he.

  • robc||

    Actually he is. He endorsed Romney. That was his pragmatism.

  • Ice Nine||

    This is pragmatic?: You are a Republican senator who has presidential aspirations in hopes of getting into the most powerful office in the land so that you can unleash your libertarian dreams on the country (and I'm all for him on all of that). The pragmatic approach does not include "bashing" any policy of your party's prez candidate just as he is starting to lift off, with a good shot at winning, four weeks before the election.

    Wait five weeks, idiot.

  • robc||

    And this hurts his chances in 2016 how?

  • Brett L||

    It doesn't. In 2016, he'll be the "Declare Victory, Then Leave" candidate, and he'll have this as his bona fides.

  • robc||

    It doesn't. In 2016, he'll be the "Declare Victory, Then Leave" candidate, and he'll have this as his bona fides.

    In other words, its pragmatic.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. That was meant to back you up, not disagree.

  • robc||

    Yeah. That was meant to back you up, not disagree.

    Yeah, I know, just was saying I agree.

  • SugarFree||

    The proper response to this would be to step back and think of whether we really need to be involved in these countries in the way we have been.

    He's a lunatic that's going to get us all killed!

  • Whiterun Guard||

    If we did that those places could degenerate to savage hell-holes who put religious nutcases in charge of governments!

  • $park¥||

    And then?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I kind of meant that they were already like that or something.

  • ||

    Sounds to me like he's a racist.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Islam isn't a race. He's just a bigot.

  • Rick Santorum||

    He doesn't support the Civil Rights Act! He probably is an organizer for the KKK! And a neo-Nazi!

  • ||

    i rather like the first picture. Inspired by this I suppose

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Funny thing is, I don't even think that's actually a picture of fire behind him. It's from the RNC convention and I think if you pan back it was just some kind of reddish texture.

    I think they have the same picture but of Eastwood.

  • ||

    That just means they're in on it together. Paul/Eastwood 2016!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    RINO ALERT.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    That is some excellent presentation on his part.

    I think he is in 80-90% agreement with his father, but I can see how it is more palatable to the median team red voter. It doesn't have any of those "blame america" cooties on it.

  • Tman||

    I always loved this bit from PJ about our foreign policy-

    "We saw the results of Clinton's emotional, ad hoc, higgledy-piggledy foreign policy,” O'Rourke writes in “Peace Kills.” “It led to strained relations with Russia and China, increased violence in the Middle East, continued fighting in Africa and Asia, and Serbs killing Albanians. Then we saw the results of Bush's tough, calculated, focused foreign policy—strained relations with Russia and China, increased violence in the Middle East, continued fighting in Africa and Asia, and Serbs killing Albanians. Between the first year of the Clinton administration and the first year of the Bush administration, we went from attack on the World Trade Center to World Trade Center attack.”

    That being said I think that no matter what type of approach we take, either isolationist or World Peace Officer, we will end up with similar results. The only mistake I think we've made from a military standpoint is trying to use our Armed Forces as nation builders.

  • robc||

    If Bush 2 had gone into Afghanistan, bombed the hell out of the Taliban, put in a new government and COME HOME, he would have been brilliant on foreign policy with little to no criticism.

    Which I think means I agree with you.

  • Brett L||

    Fuck the new government. It was Colin Powell's dumbass "Pottery Barn Strategy" that led to us even bothering with installing a government. Once the US installs a government, then they have to back it and that's where the shit unwound. Countries with no history of any stable governance don't get there in 5 years or even 10. My guess is it takes at least a generation, maybe as many as 3.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I think 3 generations would be the minimum in countries with no external threats and an enforceable peace internally like maybe Ghana.

    I think that's way too low for a place like Afghanistan.

  • robc||

    then they have to back it

    Nah, I say toss them the keys and never look back.

  • sarcasmic||

    Nah, I say toss them the keys and never look back.

    But, but, but then you'll have millions of terrorists streaming over the border like ants from an anthill, each with a plane ticket the New York and a small nuclear device!

    Why do you want to blow up New York?

  • Brett L||

    Because Eli Manning is the difference between dominating the Pick'em League and being midpack. Also, hipsters.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Because Eli Manning is the difference between dominating the Pick'em League and being midpack.

    Mwuahaha. Notice I got the Eli pick correct this week, which allowed me to grab 1st place for the week... and pick up only 5.75 points because it got split so much.

  • entropy||

    Because if I can't have a super big gulp no one can.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Countries with no history of any stable governance don't get there in 5 years or even 10. My guess is it takes at least a generation, maybe as many as 3.

    Remember the post a few days ago that showed Afghanistan in the post-WW2 world as a relatively modern, secular country? That only happened because the country basically had an autocratic ruler in Zahir Shah who dragged the country kicking and screaming into the 20th century over about 40 years. The minute the Commies backed his ouster in 1973, everything went completely downhill.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Countries with no history of any stable governance don't get there in 5 years or even 10. My guess is it takes at least a generation, maybe as many as 3.

    It took England 20 generations, more in France and even more in Germany.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The only mistake I think we've made from a military standpoint is trying to use our Armed Forces as nation builders.

    A much bigger mistake was to restrain our forces in an immoral altruistic manner.

  • Tman||

    I guess we could debate which was a bigger mistake, but I agree they are both mistakes.

  • Calidissident||

    HAHAHAHA good one Cyto. We really have been restraining our military in recent years

  • Rasilio||

    Actually yes. Given the damage we could cause if we REALLY wanted to. Lets just say that if we used the unrestrained military tactics of world war 2 the populations of Afghanistan and Pakistan would be less than half what they are today because we'd have been carpet bombing villiages, not using drone strikes.

  • Calidissident||

    That's like saying that in your scenario, we used restraint because we didn't nuke everywhere. In the past decade we've had military operations in more countries than any one else by far. That is not restraint in any sense of the word

  • Brian D||

    At the very least, the military's rules of engagement have been restrained.

    Marine: Hey, gun-toting masked man. Are you an enemy combatant?"
    GTMM: BLAM!
    Marine: "Okay, I've been shot, but maybe that was just a misfire on your part?"
    GTMM: BLAM BLAM BLAM!
    Marine: "Okay, I am now required to give you fair warning to surrender."
    GTMM: BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM!

  • ||

    At the very least, the military's rules of engagement have been restrained.

    Unless you count drones.

    Drone: "Target acquired."
    16-year old male passerby: "Huh?"
    Drone: BOOM BOOM BOOM!
    .............................
    First person who approaches body: "What the hell!?"
    Drone: "Target acquired."

  • Cyto||

    Although I don't disagree with your point, most other powers and pretty much everyone prior to US/Vietnam would go to war with more of a "we have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass - and we're all out of bubble gum" attitude.

    Traditionally when you go to war you intend to kill all of the enemy soldiers you can and then grab all the plunder you want. By that measure the whole focus on "collateral damage" is crazy restrained. Compare a drone strike with WWII Dresden. Sure, blowing up houses in Pakistan fails to win many friends - but imagine how it would go without the restraint. Think Carthage, Jericho or Vjayanagar.

  • ||

    VERBAL focus. I don't see any indication the words are reflected in actual policy decisions. We're actually hitting people we wouldn't have bothered to go after before. It's the opposite of restraint.

    As to actual declarations of war, we haven't had many of those, have we? If Obama was honest, he'd ask for a formal declaration of war in those countries. He hasn't, because the public would crucify him for it.

  • ||

    Actually yes. Given the damage we could cause if we REALLY wanted to.

    I don't think "not attacking every nation we possibly could" counts as restraint.

  • Art Vandelay||

    MOAR BOMMZZZZ!!!!!

  • Chris Mallory||

    We haven't been isolationist since the late 1800's. Can we give that a try again?

  • Calidissident||

    I wouldn't exactly describe Clinton as an isolationist

  • ||

    Some people think the way a politician talks means their policies are different.

  • R C Dean||

    Let them all rot. We can't change them anyway with military and diplomatic intervention, so let's stop wasting blood and treasure.

    Build our alliance with India, which we need to do anyway as a major trading partner and a counterbalance to China if/when it starts getting frisky.

    Tell Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, whoever, that we see no reason to interfere in their internal affairs, but will respond with disproportionate force against them if there are any attacks on the US originating from their territory or supported , directly or indirectly, by their governments. "Dispropotionate force" includes a nuclear response to any WMD attack, BTW. When they test us, follow up. We'll know we've done enough when we have to veto a Security Council resolution telling us to stop.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Iran has attacked America many times already.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Yeah, but if it's a new policy, I think you have to let them start with a clean slate.

  • R C Dean||

    Pretty much. Give 'em fair warning, and all that.

    For Iran, though, I might send them a list of my high-priority targets if there were to be any unpleasantness, just to make the point.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Dates please?

  • Calidissident||

    It was so unforeseeable that overthrowing Iraq's government would lead to Iran trying to get a friendly government in power in the only other major majority-Shiite country, which happens to be right next door. And it was totally unforeseeable that this would lead to our soldiers getting killed

  • ||

    It was also unforeseeable that reinstalling the same leader in Iran that was already thrown out once would get him thrown out AGAIN by a government that hates America. TOTALLY unforeseeable.

  • T||

    We'll know we've done enough when we have to veto a Security Council resolution telling us to stop.

    If the rubble isn't bouncing, we're not finished.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I agree with most of this but am upset by the dishonesty. Rand (correctly) paints Romney and the GOP as 'act first think later'. But he implies that he things the GOP should 'think about it' first. Rand doesn't want the GOP to 'think about it' and he's not going to think about it either. He wants non-intervention and only non-intervention without thinking or debate.

  • robc||

    I am not an isolationist or a pacifist. I heartily reject both labels. I believe in engagement in the world, with trade, commerce, diplomacy and a foreign policy that projects the greatness of America and her people. I would not hesitate to vote to send American troops to war to protect our country and our vital national security interests.

  • sarcasmic||

    So the only choices are to react without thinking or to be a complete isolationist?

    Do we have a new fallacy-fellating Red Tony?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    New? Cyto's been around, like, forever.

  • sarcasmic||

    I know that, but has he always been a Red-tard?

  • ||

    He's a 20 year old virgin Canadian Objectivist. He never had a chance to not be a fucking idiot, dude.

  • Calidissident||

    Cyto's not a Red-tard, I'll give him that much. He's just a warmongering faux tuff gai who thinks terrorism will end if we just bombed enough people. Though I guess he's right in that regard. I mean, if we just nuked the world that would it end it. It's the only way to be sure

  • 0x90||

    From orbit. From orbit!

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I would argue with you. But you have mind reading skills. So you probably already know what I think.

  • tarran||

    It's not that Cyto has mind reading skills. It's that the Imams interpreting the holy words of Ayn Rand (PBUH) have told him what everyone else thinks.

  • John Thacker||

    I'm pretty sure that he does want thinking and debate, since he's currently in a minority. Without thinking or debate, no one will be persuaded.

  • Paul.||

    When are we going to do something about this Kony guy?

  • The Derider||

    "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has positioned himself as both a rising star in the Republican Party and a trenchant critic of its most freedom-harshing policies."

    Except for the Republican Party's most freedom-harshing policy, prohibiting abortion. Rand's fully on-board there.

  • Calidissident||

    Throwing people in prison for smoking a plant, spending money into oblivion, spying on people without warrants, indefinitely detaining people with no due process, killing people (even US citizens) with no due process, unnecessarily starting/conducting wars abroad that leave thousands dead, even more wounded, and cost trillions of dollars. Republicans support all this and more (as do Democrats). Heck, throw in opposition to gay rights. All this, and abortion is their most freedom-harshing policy?

  • The Derider||

    Yes. 1.4 million women in the US get abortions every year. Republicans would force these women to give birth.

  • ||

    Unless he'd also force them to get pregnant, you're overreacting.

  • The Derider||

    That's like saying "unless the Republicans forced people to get high, you're overreacting about the drug war."

  • ||

    Nope. Getting high isn't really analogous to getting pregnant. The comparison could only attempt to make sense of getting an abortion were comparable to QUITTING marijuana. Which would be a ridiculous legal comparison.

  • The Derider||

    If women want to have sex for pleasure, why should the state intrude on the decision?

    If people want to smoke weed for pleasure, why should the state intrude on the decision?

  • Rick Santorum||

    Smoking weed isn't socially destructive. Women (and men) embracing sexual hedonism leads to social decay because it erodes the family unit. If a woman wants to be promiscuous, then so be it, but I expect her to take full responsibility for her actions, which includes not killing her fetus out of convenience.

    The acceptance of abortion devalues the intrinsic worth of human life. The real issue is living in a society that tolerates abortion, not one that makes it legal. That is, in a virtuous society, one would not need laws prohibiting convenience abortions because the people would not tolerate its existence in the first place. Abortion would remain a medical procedure for use in emergencies or when a fetus is non-viable, and even then it would be accompanied by sorrow.

    But we do not live in a virtuous society, do we?

  • ||

    If women want to have sex for pleasure, why should the state intrude on the decision?

    Except no one's outlawed sex.

    Smoking weed isn't socially destructive.

    That's not the distinction I was making.

  • R C Dean||

    1.4 million women in the US get abortions every year.

    Fewer than the number arrested on drug charges.

  • mgd||

    But RC, abortion is the only right that matters, and the only choice that anyone should be able to make about their lives. Surely you know this!

  • The Derider||

    Nobody's making that argument, tool.

  • mgd||

    You appear to be that argument, you disingenuous cunt. All the other freedom-harshing policies that Rand is against, and you call him on the one--the most debatable, at that--that he is not. If abortion is not the only freedom that matters, then what in the fuck is your point?

  • The Derider||

    Being forced to bear a child has more significant consequences than arrest.

  • Rick Santorum||

    There are several options available to women who don't want to get pregnant.

    • Keep their legs shut.
    • Get on the pill.
    • Use a condom.
    • Use spermicide, an IUD, a diaphragm, or other form of contraceptive.
    • Have non-vaginal intercourse.
    • Keep their legs shut.

    Gee, it sure is hard not to get pregnant.

  • ||

    From his view, killing unborn Americans is a "freedom-harshing policy". I disagree with him, but I understand where he's coming from. And I'd hardly call that the MOST freedom-harshing. Presidential assassination is definitely the worst.

  • The Derider||

    From a Marxist's view, unrestrained capitalism is a freedom-harshing policy. What's clear is that he is happy to infringe on the rights of Women in order to protect their fertilized eggs.

    And while I agree that being assassinated is worse than being forced to bear children, 1.4 million Americans have abortions every year. How many are assasinated? 1.4? 14? Abortion prohibition affects many magnitudes more people.

  • Calidissident||

    Who gives a shit what Marxist's view? They killed over a 100 million people in half a century, so I really don't care what they consider "freedom-harshing"

  • ||

    From a Marxist's view, unrestrained capitalism is a freedom-harshing policy.

    That's nice, but not really analogous to the idea that killing unborn children is anti-freedom. This really is your day for stupid comparisons, isn't it?

    Abortion prohibition affects many magnitudes more people.

    Better, but still no cigar. Death is permanent, pregnancy isn't. Assassination "wins".

  • The Derider||

    Forcing women to have children they don't want increases their risk of death, as well.

  • Rick Santorum||

    How ever did humanity survive before we could have doctors suck out undesired pre-persons? Oh, the horror!

  • ||

    Again, no one's forcing them to become pregnant. It's entirely avoidable.

  • Calidissident||

    While there are exceptions, I think most Republicans are ok with health exceptions for abortion

  • ||

    I'm not sure. He got to talking about Rand's position on abortion as a counterpoint to the idea he's worried about freedom. I disagreed with him (Derider). The rest will live in infamy in this thread forever.

  • Calidissident||

    Oh and I guess hundreds of thousands of people dying is less important than rich (even poor Americans are well-off compared to people in the 3rd word) American women getting abortions. Dying is so much better than having a child. Really comparable. Or does it not matter cause they're just poor brown people who live in a far away place?

    And I suppose there's no way warrantless spying, indefinite detention, and assassination could be used against the masses on a far greater, more horrendous scale. We'll worry about it then, right?

  • The Derider||

    It's your argument now that Obama is assassinating hundred of thousands of people?

  • ||

    It's your argument now that pregnancy is worse than death?

  • Calidissident||

    I'm talking about the wars you moron. And since when did this discussion become about Obama? We were talking about policies Republicans support (which do overlap a lot with Obama's positions, so I understand your confusion)

  • John C. Randolph||

    The only freedom any Marxist ever cared about is the freedom to kill, rob, and/or enslave anyone who isn't a marxist.

    -jcr

  • gdstark||

    I think Rand make some excellent points. If we were to REALLY think through our foreign policy, we would need to first re-examine the United Nations. If we believe in democracy, it's time to start acting like it.

    This is what a democratic version of the UN would look like...

    http://www.UnitedDemocraticNations.org

    gary

  • d_remington||

    Why the hell would we want to promote majority tyrrany?

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