Rand Paul

American Exceptionalism Routs Paul Family's Foreign Policy

Rand Paul gets his four paragraphs in, but the Republican Party is still firmly interventionist.


Rand Paul

After 10 weeks of taking flak from the supporters of his own father for endorsing Mitt Romney, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) received his reward last night: The ability to say these four paragraphs to an arena filled with the nation's most powerful Republicans:

Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows. Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed.

Republicans and Democrats must replace fear with confidence, confidence that no terrorist, and no country, will ever conquer us if we remain steadfast to the principles of our Founding documents. 

We have nothing to fear except our own unwillingness to defend what is naturally ours, our God-given rights. We have nothing to fear that should cause us to forget or relinquish our rights as free men and women.

To thrive we must believe in ourselves again, and we must never—never—trade our liberty for any fleeting promise of security.

These sentiments are new and alien to the modern Republican Party, and would have been driven out of the RNC by a pitchfork-wielding mob as recently as 2004. They are shared by a small but growing portion of the GOP caucus on Capitol Hill. Rand Paul, who three days earlier gave a barnburning speech 11 miles away advocating an audit of the Pentagon and praising his father for popularizing the notion of foreign policy blowback, was now earning unabashed praise from quarters that never could stomach his dad.  

So is Paul's political balancing act worth it? Do four carefully worded wind-spitting paragraphs indicate that the Republican Party is inching toward a less interventionist and less costly foreign policy?

Last night answered the second of those two questions, anyway: Oh hell no.

A few minutes after Rand Paul wrapped, the GOP's 2008 nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), delivered a stern warning to not even think about cutting military spending.

"We can't afford another $500 billion in cuts in our defense budget on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making," McCain said, inaccurately, before insisting that "the leader of the free world must stand with" revolutionaries in Iran and Syria, among other interventionist duties. "The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don't want less of America, they want more," he said. "If America doesn't lead, our adversaries will and the world will go darker, poorer and much more dangerous."

It's hard to imagine a vision of foreign policy more antithetical to that of Rand Paul's father Ron, who was not given a speaking slot (he has not and probably will not endorse Romney), but was feted last night in a (politically) star-studded four-minute tribute video that — remarkably — did not once mention Dr. No's foundational critique of U.S. foreign policy.

Two hours later the respectful foreign policy admonitions of Rand Paul were all but washed away by the ovations greeting former George W. Bush national security adviser and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who made the case for renewing Bush-era American exceptionalism.

"I know […] there is a wariness," Rice said. "I know that it feels as if we have carried these burdens long enough. But we can only know that there is no choice, because one of two things will happen if we don't lead: Either no one will lead and there will be chaos, or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values. My fellow Americans, we do not have a choice. We cannot be reluctant to lead and you cannot lead from behind."

The latter line, sourced from an anonymous Obama administration functionary in a May 2011 New Yorker article about U.S. diplomacy and the Arab Spring, has become the Republican anti-Obama foreign policy snark of choice. It also neatly encapsulates the empty-calorie chest-thumping that passes for mainstream GOP international theorizing.

America must lead from the front! OK, swell, but what's the limiting principle here? Is that checkbook bottomless? Are there potentially unpleasant consequences to pushing the scales on poor-country revolutions with the world's mightiest military? If other countries always look to Washington to take responsibility, will they ever begin to behave responsibly on their own? Does this unlimited vision of American power ever stop for a moment and reflect that power inevitably corrupts?

These questions remained as unaddressed last night as the two biggest legacies of Bush-era front-leading, America's never-ending and continuously deadly military deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. As many fans of Rice's well-received speech last night noted, a talent for public speaking does not automatically translate into an aptitude for effective or even coherent management of foreign policy.

"We stand for free peoples and free markets. We will defend and support them," Rice said. Does that include those who seek freedom in dictatorships that America actively supports, like Saudi Arabia?

Lest there be any doubt where even the fiscal conservative wing of the mainstream GOP stands on foreign policy hawkery, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan sealed the evening's Rand Paul rout with yet another shout-out for American exceptionalism:

"In our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity," Ryan said. "Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side. Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known."

Two hours before Rand Paul's speech, a gathering of 100 or so people a few blocks away gave a more accurate indicator of where a Romney/Ryan administration might go with foreign policy. In it, Weekly Standard Editor and prominent neoconservative William Kristol conversed with senior Romney adviser and potential secretary of state Tim Pawlenty about how a Republican restoration might play out in the world. It took about 20 seconds after I entered the room before the conversation turned to making sure that "all options are on the table" with Iran.

"I believe it would be in our best interests to do everything that we can to make sure the Iranians believe that we are not bluffing," Pawlenty said, pointing to the freeing of U.S. hostages on the day of Ronald Reagan's inauguration as an example of changing Tehran's behavior through the demonstrated firmness of resolve. ("I don't think that was a coincidence," he said.)

At the end of the conversation, Kristol expressed gratitude that, even with the economy ailing and the country tired of war, Republicans have rejected the "Buchananite" and "Ron Paulite" temptation of "isolationist" and "protectionist" policies. "We've done our part to prevent that," he said, also giving nod to the anti-Tehran resolve of the GOP presidential field. "Ron Paul was the outlier."

There is no doubt that Kristol is right in the short term, as last night's proceedings attested. Republican foreign policy will be Bush/McCain foreign policy, campaigning on being more robustly interventionist than the war-starting/extending Barack Obama. So does that mean Rand Paul took a sucker's bet?

Not necessarily. Last night's speeches may have contained paeans to America's global policework, but the lines only really drew enthusiastic response when they praised troops or dinged Obama, not when they articulated more Bushism. The speakers avoided talking about the real-world applications of their philosophy, perhaps because those results are wildly (and deservedly) unpopular.

Like a minority Supreme Court opinion, Rand Paul is injecting a long-overdue counter-framework into the conversation, in the hopes that he can eventually rally a majority around his ideas. There is no doubt (in my mind, anyway) that Ron Paul intends his son to be his more-palatable political heir, and that Rand will be running for president in 2016, either as a radical course-change from Obama or as a dissident uprising against Romney. They are still playing the long game.

It's a thin consolation prize considering the wars and spending and surveillance and assassination to come over the next four years. But if and when America has its day of reckoning, when fiscal and imperial and monetary overstretch necessitate a sharp break from past policy, we'll be grateful that someone within shouting distance of power was laying out a radically different path. 

NEXT: Busting An Observer Costs Tampa Cops $20,000

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  1. Looks like he’s in some version of Saul Goodman’s office.

    1. You sure they’re not receiving a feed from FUCKUP?

  2. Ninety-nine red balloons
    Floating in the summer sky
    Panic lads, it’s a red alert
    There’s something here from somewhere else

    The war machine springs to life
    Opens up one eager eye
    Focusing it on the sky
    Ninety-nine red balloons go by

    Ninety-nine Decision Street
    Ninety-nine ministers meet
    To worry, worry, super-scurry
    Call the troops out in a hurry

    This is what we’ve waiting for
    This is it boys, this is war
    The President is on the line
    As ninety-nine red balloons go by

    1. The hairy armpits were the best part.

      1. Thanks for reminding me of that. No really, thank you, I’d forgotten.

    2. From Skee-no Nevada, here’s 7 Seconds and their youth crew version of the new wave classic: 99 Red Balloons.

      1. I had that on cassette…

        1. Yeah. Those were the days. Massive swirling moshpit at the Vogue Theater in Indy. Doc Martins, torn jeans, Black Flag t-shirt, and a flannel tied around the waist. I thought I was the skank kid.

        2. I have that on my MP3 player.

  3. “our adversaries will and the world will go darker…”



    Paul gets his apology in on behalf of Lew Rockwell, but Reason magazine is still firmly cosmotarian.

    1. I’m sure Reason magazine is wounded by your rapier-like wit. “Cosmotarian”? Zounds, man!

    2. You’re a fucking moron. Don’t ever change, subgenius.

      1. Seriously though, where was all this “love” for Ron Paul back in 2008? Back then, Reason was repeatedly putting the knife in his back over the stupid, so-called “racist newsletter”, with phoney baloney libertarian David Weigel leading the charge.

        I would love to get a real substantive answer on this question from you guys instead of just another nonresponsive ad hominem attack, but I’m not exactly holding my breath.

        1. I wish I was a regular commenter here during Wegiel’s reign of terror. Just by his photos the guy looks like a smug douche. The stories of his idiocy around here are legend.

          How long was he at Reason anyway?

          1. “I wish I was a regular commenter here during Wegiel’s reign of terror.”

            No you don’t.

            1. Probably true, bit that’s mostly because back then the comments weren’t threaded.

              1. That was awesome, new stuff was at the bottom.

                And everyone knew that weigel was a faux-libertarian douche.

          2. How long was he at Reason anyway?

            He joined Reason in late March or early April of 2006, stuck around long enough to do his hatchet job on Ron Paul and make sure that his boy Obama got elected president, and then about ten seconds after Obama’s victory he skedaddled on out of here to work for such noted libertarian media champions of limited government like the (now defunct) Washington Independent, the Washington Post, MSNBC, and Slate.

            1. I doubt that anything Dave Weigel wrote had much effect on the ’08 elections. I’d never even heard of the guy until I started coming here a couple of years ago. Ron Paul didn’t win the republican nomination in ’08 because, well, he’s Ron Paul and the Republican party was the Republican party (and they still are).

              Not that Weigel isn’t a douche nozzle, based on the horror stories around here and the stuff of his I have now read on Slate, but still. I’d bet dollars to donuts that in an alternate universe where he didn’t exist, Ron Paul might have garned 0.001% more primary votes in ’08, and Barack Obama would still be president.

            2. Weigs did yoeman work on macacca too didn’t he?

          3. Weigel was just a bit player. He did his articles on the Ron Paul newsletters, and of course the Paultards freaked their shit out. Now, I’m not saying Weigel didn’t end up exposing himself a fucking weaselly shitbag with the JournoLIST stuff, but there was no “reign of terror”, there were prog rock Fridays and some articles covering the newsletter stuff.

            Scumbags like Mike M. want anything even possibly negative about Ron Paul to be swept under the rug like good little lickspittle partisans. Some of us would like to 1) know the truth, and 2) hope that if the truth isn’t negative, that airing it makes everything more honest.

            1. This. I still supported Ron Paul, but only because I think he was not personally responsible for the content of those newsletters.

              If something is true, IT IS TRUE. Weigel didn’t damage Ron Paul, Paul did it to himself by letting some shithead write crap in newsletters he made a lot of money off of.

              1. Stop picking on Ron Paul you filthy communist cocksucker!

              2. I just don’t get why RP never came forward and just said “hey look, I badly mismanaged those Reports. I should have never let _ _ express those sentiments under my name. Now I’m forced to defend myself from something I don’t really believe.”

                1. I should have never let _ _ express those sentiments under my name.

                  My theory: Paul isnt going to toss the dead under the bus when they can no longer defend themselves.

            2. I agree, but I did think reason went especially overboard covering a decade old newsstory in 2008.

              Should it have been covered? Yes. One or two articles would have been about right.

              And to be fair about it, I thought this week was insane the other way. One or two articles about the Paulapalooza would have been about right.

            3. “there were prog rock Fridays”

              I thought you said there was no reign of terror?

        2. God, you fucking people are pathetic. You’re just like the Obamatrons, but you’re Paultards instead. No wonder you’re so fucking stupid. You seem to think that reason needs to be on TEAM PAUL and sweep anything he may or may not have done under the rug instead of fairly examining it and trying to get an understanding of it.

          You’re just another partisan scumbag fuck who will excuse anything your TEAM does. How fucking repulsive. Fuck off, shitstain.

        3. Ron Paul is thoroughly flawed as the mouthpiece for the libertarian movement. The newsletters, the cavorting with unhinged conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and his unlibertarian immigration stance make him unfit for the role. Most of us want a serious spokesperson that won’t embarrass us or force us to defend ourselves from arguments we are something we definitely aren’t.

          Libertarians are already fighting an Sisyphean uphill battle without the yoke of racism and kookery around our necks. Why should we defend a candidate that is the most public purported representation of our beliefs when he’s merely making the long game harder?

          1. Ron Paul is thoroughly flawed as the mouthpiece for the libertarian movement.

            Everyone is flawed if you look long, hard, and close enough. Everyone, without exception. And the longer that a person is in a system, the more their flaws eventually come out.

            We’re never going to get anything more than a pinky toe in the door if we demand that someone meet our idea of a 100% perfect libertarian purity litmus test. That person doesn’t exist.

            1. So you go with a 90% perfect libertarian. And if you’ll settle for 90%, why not go with 80%? And hey, 70% is still better nothing right? Hell, even 60% is still more than half the time. Etc, etc, etc.

              1. I know this is sarcasm, but well, yeah, kind of.

                Some people are content to spend the rest of their lives like thumb-sucking babies screaming about how horrible RED and BLUE are (do I even have to mention names) while the country goes down the crapper. I think we can do a little better, but it will never happen by letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

                1. Why not just realize that the Libertarian Party is fighting for a place at a corrupt and broken table? Realize that even if a Libertarian were elected President it would change almost nothing? Do you think Ron Paul would have converted the country into a libertarian utopia? Would Gary Johnson?

                  I don’t remember who it was that said it yesterday, maybe it was Pro Lib, but this country needs to be split up if there’s going to be even a small hope of fixing things anywhere.

              2. that’s right. I draw the line at 50%.

                Nice, round number.

            2. I’m not asking for a 100% perfect libertarian purity litmus test. Gary Johnson is not a perfect libertarian. Despite his lack of charisma, he is a great spokesperson because he can’t be easily attacked by the media for a known history of casual racism or nuttery. His policies are pragmatic and reasonable and could be packaged for the centrist independent voter. The ideal spokesperson would be a candidate with Gary’s experience and policies coupled with Paul Ryan’s “brainy intellectualism” and Barack Obama circa 2008’s charisma and speaking ability.

              Such a person may not currently exist, but that doesn’t make Ron Paul the second-best scenario by default.

            3. “Everyone is flawed if you look long, hard, and close enough.”

              Note to self: Spend remainder of life looking long, hard, and close enough to find a flaw in Kate Upton.

          2. Not saying Ron Paul isn’t flawed, as a person, politician (both in terms of his views and his political savvy), or a mouthpiece, but who has had any where near the success he has had bringing people to libertarianism? Name one person in recent years who has brought any where near the number of people as he has in the last five years. Has an LP candidate ever gotten even one million votes in a general election, whereas Paul got two million in a primary? Until the last election, he was also the only libertarian to actually win election to federal office in recent years.

            Gary Johnson may, on the surface, have more acceptable views and not as many skeletons, but there is a reason he hasn’t had RP’s success. He comes off as boring, is still well outside the mainstream, and he’s not as principled. And this is coming from someone who is voting for him in November. I agree that long term, the libertarian movement will need a better face than Ron Paul. Hopefully Rand is that guy. But Ron Paul has at least gotten the ball rolling, which is more than anyone else can say.

            1. I don’t think there’s a single non-troll person here who is not appreciative of how Paul has grown the liberty movement. The thing is, with his principles, can we imagine how much more effective he could have been without the Alex Jones/truther connections and the newsletters? He might be the nominee right now.

              He was gaining steam and looked like he was going to be the last standing non-Romney of the week, and then of course the media brought the story out again with non-stop coverage until his chances were dead.

              Should you blame the media, or should you blame Paul himself for giving them the fodder and the evasion they were looking for to make the case that he wasn’t as principled as he claimed?

              1. The thing is, with his principles, can we imagine how much more effective he could have been without the Alex Jones/truther connections and the newsletters?

                Yes. He would have been 10% more effective.

                He might be the nominee right now.

                No, he would not.

                The fact of the matter is the Alex Jones/Truther connections did provide momentum in 2008. It was not a problem to ditch them in 2012. And the people who mocked him for that were looking for ANY reason to reject Paul; they would have found it.

                1. (I mean if I were in the paul camp I would have tried to ditch the Truthers – alex jones not so much) but I just don’t think it was as much a big deal as most people following Ron Paul thought it was.

          3. Ron Paul made the libertarian long game much easier, by recruiting millions of young people to the cause. Obviously not all libertarians agree on all issues, and he had some baggage, but he was a GREAT spokesperson for the cause of liberty.

            1. His baggage is the reason he’s not the nominee. I also still wonder if Paul had not been in the race if Gary Johnson could have caught fire occupying the same territory? Considering the positive reaction even many liberals have to Johnson, I would think that he would be the heavy favorite, winning over libertarians, conservatives, moderates, independents and even some civil libertarians on the Left.

              1. Gary Johnson has some baggage, and some crazy, un-libertarian ideas too.

                Johnson doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell because quite frankly the country isn’t ready yet. Maybe in 8 years.

                1. The difference for me personally is that I wish the media covered Gary Johnson more because he’s an interesting guy with a strong track record who is thoroughly qualified to be president, while I was afraid of what would (and did) happen when they covered Paul more.

                  I have no doubt that Johnson has his skeletons, but I never got any feeling that he would make us look crazy, unreasonable, unqualified or racist. In fact, he makes us look pretty legit, even to Lefties.

              2. It’s absurd to think that his baggage was the difference between getting 10% of the vote and winning the nomination. The Republican Party is not full of libertarians. Paul lost because of his foreign policy views, and to a lesser extent his social views (WOD for example)

                1. I know that a lot of libertarians don’t get this, but I think there’s another factor.

                  Ron Paul just doesn’t seem like a President.

                  Don’t get me wrong; I like the guy. But he doesn’t have “it”. He would have had a better chance, 100 years ago or more. There are many past Presidents who probably couldn’t win a primary today.

                  Libertarians often seem to be looking for a messiah, too. Not everyone is.

                  Rand Paul has a much better chance, IMO, simply because he comes off differently.

                  I really don’t think “issues” are everything. And there are more than a few conservatives who aren’t enamored with the War on Drugs.

                2. The Republican Party didn’t need to be full of libertarians for Paul to win. Paul’s strength was independents.

                  Polls showed two GOP candidates with any chance of beating Obama: Romney and Paul. That’s because they were the only two that could win independents and still keep an unhappy base in line.

                  If getting Obama out of power is the all-encompassing goal, they have an “unfortunate” choice between a moderate who created Obamacare and shows very little difference from Obama, and a wacky dude with weird views, non-interventionist foreign policy but serious limited government credentials. That’s the choice, and when Ron Paul got the real opportunity to make the public case, his “weird views” sunk him, because it hurt his appeal to independents.

        4. Paul deserved to get raked over the coals over that shit. He was getting paid for the use of his name by rank racists, or people pretending to be racists at least. He followed this shameful episode by either blatantly lying or being extremely uninterested in finding out the truth about how his name was used.

          I have a feeling that the person who he lent the name was a close friend who Paul doesn’t want to expose, and he’s willing to fudge the truth to avoid betraying his friend. Not the most dastardly thing a politician can be guilty of, but he deserves to be grilled over it, that’s for sure.

  5. “Rand Paul’s Speech From Hell”

  6. I honestly think the Pauls are counting on two things:

    -Romney losing this year
    -Rand being a viable candidate in 2016

    They get him elected by pretending he’s only a tiny-bit off the platform. Then once he’s elected he goes full libertarian crazy.

    I have to believe that.

    I have to believe that.

    1. If only.

    2. Or, Romney is elected and is Obama 2: Electric Boogaloo.

      Or, I guess, Bush 3-D.

      Either way, Rand can challenge in 2016, even if its just to set up a 2020 run. Otherwise, Dems would argue he is just more of Romney in 2020.

    3. If Rand Paul gets elected in 2016 and/or 2020, compromise is fine, as long as it’s in the right direction. Balance the budget in 8 years instead of 3. Cut taxes 5 percent instead of 10 percent. Cut spending 10 percent instead of 30 percent. Just don’t move in the wrong direction.

  7. What’s with the orange? Did he speak in front of a giant blast of gasoline fueled fire?

    1. The Republican National Convention, produced by Michael Bay.

      In a world where fiscally unresponsible liberals control the US government…

  8. Over 40 years ago, when my teacher turned to Current Events, the burning issue, particularly in light of the Viet Nam war, was whether the United States needed to be the world’s policeman. We argued it when I was a kid, and it’s the same damn argument today.

  9. give me a break. So someone like McCain disagrees with Rand Paul. That’s news? The real news really is that someone who flies under the R label got up in a roomful of Rs and told the malicious truth about Pentagon spending. No amount of pretending that every defense dollar is necessary changes the facts that 1) no, it isn’t and 2) we can only afford so many of those dollars.

    The Libertarian wing wants to pretend the bulk of the GOP is something that it is not. A small cohort of Repubs IS in line with the principles of limited govt and increased liberty, whereas zero Dems share that view. Paul saying what he said where he said is a step forward.

  10. People don’t want less of America, they want more

    I’m not sure events over the last 40 years or so have really confirmed this.

    1. edit: wanting more American stuff is not the same thing as wanting more America.

      1. They’re gonna get all the America they can take, good and hard.

        1. reach around sold separately.

          1. They’ll have to pay extra for the reach around. We’re not like hookers in Saigon who will give you “everyting you want” for $10.

    2. Let’s not confuse wanting more America with wanting more American government.

      1. Unfortunately that’s what McCain is referring to.

    3. Americans don’t want to take less of other Americans’ stuff, they want to take more.

  11. Good luck auditing the Pentagon. The DoD’s financial statements have been unauditable since 1990, when Pere Bush passed a law requiring audits of all executive departments. Most departments were given clean opinions by the GAO last year; I think the exception were HHS, State, and Defense. They refused to give State a clean opinion because they said State was engaged in too many illegal activities. Twenty-five percent of DoD’s assets are completely unaccounted for (see Rumsfeld’s speech on September 10, 2001), yet they claim that they want to reach “audit readiness” by 2014, although they say that it’s too difficult to “deploy” vast numbers of accountants into the field. Not that I would want to count mines in a minefield,mind you…

    1. They refused to give State a clean opinion because they said State was engaged in too many illegal activities.

      Wait, WHAT? Citation? That’s awesome.

  12. “A close friend of Mitt and Ann Romney confirmed to Whispers Wednesday night that Clint Eastwood is indeed Thursday’s mystery speaker at the Republican National Convention.”


    I think Eastwood describes himself as libertarian?

    1. Paul/Eastwood 2016 would be one of few GOP tickets I’d vote for.

      1. Clint would be 86 years old by then.

        1. So maybe he could tell the neocon Republicans to get off OUR lawn.

    2. After that God aweful Chrysler commercial, I’m not sure I give a shit about what Dirty Harry has to say.

  13. So is Paul’s political balancing act worth it?

    We’ll know the answer to that on January 20th, 2017 if Rand Paul is being sworn in as president.

  14. I have always understood the doctrine of American Exceptionalism to be about domestic policy, not foreign.

    E.g., if every other country censors political speech, that doesn’t mean we should, because America is not the rest of the world, but a society that aspires to something more than the lowest common denominator. If we have to stand alone in our principles, so be it.

    I don’t think we should let either the right or the left co-opt this important concept and turn it into a new form of “Manifest Destiny”, which is something else entirely.

    1. I don’t think we should let either the right or the left co-opt this important concept and turn it into a new form of “Manifest Destiny”, which is something else entirely.

      Too late.

      1. Time to take it back, then.

        “American Exceptionalism” is a term that Rush Limbaugh has used, and AFAIK he has always meant it in the true domestic policy sense, not the vulgar “Manifest Destiny” sense.

        So clearly there’s a good-sized chunk of the Right that sees it as a libertarian does.

        1. No, they think America is blessed the Creator and inherently virtuous and can do no wrong, even when we have to bomb and kill and torture people in other countries for their own good and the greater good of the world. THAT’s the exceptionalism they refer to, I’m afraid.

    2. That’s correct.

      America has always the most influence when it leads by example. Which doesn’t usually involve SEAL teams and drone strikes.

      Right now, we’re not much of an example for anyone to follow, either in domestic or foreign policy. We’re just a big old mess.

    3. Yeah sorry, it’s been corrupted into a nouveau Manifest Destiny for awhile now. Except instead of gobbling up territory, it’s our God-given right to provide leadership to the rest of the world. And if they don’t want our leadership, well then…

  15. I, for one, like the “supervillain lair” vibe that backdrop gives.

    1. Somebody needs to bring out a Mr. Bigglesworth cat while they’re speaking in front of that backdrop.

  16. The Repugs’ problem is they can’t live without the Pauls and their supporters but can’t stand the price they’ll have to pay to keep them long-term. So in the interim, they’ll probably make a bunch of promises they don’t mean to keep (like the platform planks they negotiated).

    This raises the stakes – if the repug leadership gets to blatant in selling out the Paul forces, then it will be time for them to talk third party.

    1. You mean more blatant than stealing control of convention delegations from Louisiana and Maine, just to prevent Ron Paul from speaking for 10 minutes?

      1. Well, they got Rand up there preaching foreign-policy heresy. And Rand is, I think, the more eloquent member of the father/son Paul team. And the one who will still be in Congress when the election is over.

        So I don’t think that’s a dealbreaker in itself.

  17. It’s obvious Rand Paul didn’t grovel hard enough, because if he could just lick that boot a little bit more enthusiastically, then I’m sure the RNC would realize that liberty is the way to go, and not try to disenfranchise the Paul contingent. I mean that’s the plan right?

    So get to lickin Rand, that boot’s not shiny enough just yet…

  18. The chair/head of virtually every federal agency


    having oversight or control of the banking/financial industry or the federal budget is Jewish – a croup comprising 2.5% of the population.

    Whether or not this is through fear of being smeared as an ‘antisemite’ or the misapprehension that it actually is, I can not tell. All I know is the lack of a story on this strange fact is … strange… and reminds me of a Voltair quote… “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

    I think it’s the same phenomena wherein one can’t point out the painfully obvious truth that necons got us into Iraq based on ‘sexed up’ evidence, largely if not primarily out of concern for Israel, and that most of the neocons were right-wing Jews.


    1. The Chair and 4 of the 7 members of the “Federal” “Reserve” Board:


      and 4 or maybe 5 of the 12 regional bank presidents:


      and probably around half {therefore} of the mighty FOMC


  19. America must lead from the front! OK, swell, but what’s the limiting principle here? Is that checkbook bottomless? Are there potentially unpleasant consequences to pushing the scales on http://nickidugas.fotopages.com/ poor-country revolutions with the world’s mightiest military? If other countries always look to Washington to take responsibility, will they ever begin to behave responsibly on their own? Does this unlimited vision of American power ever stop for a moment and reflect that power inevitably corrupts?

  20. As an elected GOP party official I can tell you with 100% certainty that most self-identified “Republicans” do not embrace republicanism. Most are pro-war democrat-lite folks who are either too lazy or too stupid to educate themselves as to what the world is really about. Real Republicans want to follow the US constitution. Since there is no authority in the US constitution for us to be sticking our nose in other countries business, ALL of our foreign entanglements including foreign aid and military bases on foreign soil etc. are unconstitutional and un-republican. Regrettably trying to educate these simpletons who support the likes of Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney is like trying to teach differential equations to my dog. Their minds are simply too weak to grasp the notion.

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