Readers of Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post, be ready for a lot of repetition of this point as the 2016 election season dawns: Hey Republicans! Even Hillary is more ready to start a war than this Rand Paul guy! Don't vote for him, because we all know that getting into more wars is what America needs to stay strong, or "protect our interests" or something, we'll figure it out!
[Rand Paul] has gone far to the left of Clinton and even Obama on a number of issues. He advocated in a detailed budget proposal eliminating all foreign aid, including aid to Israel. He claimed that we had no dog in the fight in Iraq and that any action there would be helping terrorists. (Later he said he'd favor aid to Iraq, but it's not clear why we should if he believed we had no interest in Iraq. By the way, his no-foreign-aid pledge would have made this impossible.) He wanted to go much further than the Obama team in dismantling the National Security Agency surveillance program and compared the traitor Edward Snowden to Martin Luther King Jr. He opposes droning American jihadists overseas unless there is an imminent threat.
There is a reason that left-wing MSNBC commentators fawn over Paul on foreign policy. He offers a philosophy more in tune with their own philosophy than even Obama. He is now getting a taste of the criticism he will face not only from hawkish opponents and pundits, but also from ordinary voters and grass-roots activists in early primary states.
Hillary expounds on how much tougher she is than Obama, as related in New York Times today.
While I like to believe in our hoary self-congratulatory myth that we as American people are a pacific and kindly folk, content to lie low until struck, I think history shows that when the federal government decides it really wants war, it's pretty good at convincing the rest of us to go along, at least long enough to get started, and then what? Cut and run?? I wrote last year on the frequent irrelevance of public opinion to the start of wars.
At least a Reason-Rupe Poll found 58 percent not yearning for war in the Ukraine on our part in April. But remember it took well over a year for half of those polled by Gallup to turn on the Iraq War.
But I'd like to believe that voters don't need their candidates nationally to be fully supportive of our complicated and deep financing of bloody chaos in Israel/Gaza or waging war to try to stanch the problems we generated last time we waged war in Iraq. But Jennifer Rubin may understand her audience all too well.
Previous blogging from April of this year and March of last year on Rand Paul's potential problems selling his foreign policy to the GOP base, to America, and even to libertarians if he slips too far from Ron Paul's impassioned non-interventionism.