I like a lot of what Rand Paul has to say; I’m on board with limited Constitutional government, auditing the Fed, thoughtful deregulation, and major tax reform. When it comes to foreign policy and America’s place in the world, however, I can’t think of another Republican with whom I disagree more. (Except maybe his father.)
And I’m not alone. Rand has been trying to affirm his strength on national security precisely because there are a lot GOP primary voters who do not share his isolationist leanings. As Kemberlee noted in September of last year, Rand’s “I’m neither an isolationist nor an interventionist” may not have appeal . . . to either side.
His rhetoric has changed rather dramatically from last fall, however. Now he’s going so far as to argue that Republican hawks “created” ISIS. This statement is getting a lot of attention, and for good reason: it’s an amazing and strange thing to say. Watch:
Team Hillary is probably already scrambling to get this into a campaign ad. Bernie Sanders may also be wise to spend some of his significantly more limited campaign cash on ads showcasing this statement.
Rand will be walking this back for the next several days, but what it shows is not only a worldview that is unlikely to win him many GOP primary votes but also the sort of adolescent petulance we’ve seen in him before.
As soon as Joe Scarborough mentions Lindesy Graham’s presumed argument that “ISIS exists because of people like Rand Paul,” Rand does what any good high school debate team captain would do: he flips the statement to argue that ISIS exists because of people like Lindsey Graham. It’s a rhetorical device, not a thoughtful argument.
It’s also unattractive and unpresidential. As Rand is likely learning, “uh uh you are!” is not a good way to approach important questions about foreign policy, national security, or America’s role in the world.DONATE
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