GOP War Against the Insufficiently Pro-War in the GOP


James Antle III at American Conservative sums up some of the opposition facing Republican Party politicians seen by some financiers and interest groups as insufficiently hawkish on foreign policy.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones is up against:

a primary challenge from former George W. Bush aide Taylor Griffin—and a barrage of hostile spending from outside groups.

The Emergency Committee for Israel has launched a six-figure ad campaign describing Jones as a convert to liberalism. "Once upon a time, Walter Jones was right for North Carolina but he's changed," says the narrator in the 30-second spot. "Isn't it time your vote changed as well?"

A super PAC formed by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts is also spending$156,000 on ads attacking Jones as some kind of liberal….

As Antle points out, despite developing a dislike for foreign entanglements, Jones remains:

pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-gun, and has compiled one of the most reliable socially conservative records in Congress. He voted to repeal and defund Obamacare. He's also voted against many big-ticket spending items supported by most Republicans, including Bush's deficit-financed Medicare prescription-drug benefit, No Child Left Behind, and last year's farm bill.

Jones' sin, though, is that he has come "to doubt the intelligence used to justify the war and turned sharply against it—and most of the subsequent military interventions pushed by the bipartisan establishment."

Michigan's Justin Amash, Antle points out, is under attack for generally lacking the willingness to go along to get along and being an intransigent contributor to "gridlock" (that is, trying to stop government from doing dumb, unconstitutional things). But his primary challenger, funded by many wealthy Michiganers, Brian Willis is also

quick to pounce on Amash's "bizarre" vote against tightening Iran sanctions. Amash has supported some carefully targeted sanctions against Iran. "Sanctions that are directed toward preventing them from getting weapons of mass destruction, I think those sanctions are useful and helpful in the short run. I'm not sure you'd want to use them for 20 years," he told Reason. "But there are other sanctions that are targeted at the people of Iran. Those are not beneficial to the United States."

Antle goes on to discuss, as Matthew Feeney has written about here at Reason, that Sheldon Adelson thinks Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is bad for Israel and the United States and intends to spend all he must to make sure Paul never becomes the GOP presidential nominee.

Antle's stinging conclusion:

Former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer says of Paul, "there's still a naiveté that's going to be a problem. He represents a departure from something a lot of Republicans are used to."

Hopefully a departure from losing wars and elections.