Below is an excerpt from Uber-Libertarian Justin Raimondo. The whole article at his website is worth a read.
Lindsey Graham’s Desperation
A RINO in search of a war
Antiwar.com …Graham’s political calculations may be off: the hostility to him from the tea party grassroots is certainly strong, and no amount of warmongering is likely to neutralize it. Indeed, it’s likely to cause the tea partiers to ask themselves if all that warmongering is a smokescreen behind which big spenders like Graham are wont to hide. But you have to give him credit for facing the issue squarely, as he did in his extended remarks to the Halifax conference:
“Although Graham predicted Republican support for more aggressive U.S. involvement in the world, he acknowledged that some new members of Congress, particularly those elected under the tea party banner, are likely to have different foreign policy views.
“‘The Republican Party is going to have two wings,’ he said at a high-level security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sponsored by the German Marshall Fund and the Canadian government. ‘The isolationist wing, and the wing led by [Sen. John] McCain [Ariz.], Graham and [Sen. Jeff] Sessions [Ala.] that says you’d better stay involved in the world because if you do disengage, you’ll regret it.”
“‘If you ask Rand Paul about NATO and ask Rob Portman, you’ll get two different answers,” Graham said. Paul, just elected GOP Senator from Kentucky, is a tea party favorite. Portman, a former House member and George W. Bush administration international trade representative, has a record of foreign involvement.”
Speaking of Rand Paul, he was interviewed on “This Week,” by Christiane Amanpour, and it was fascinating to see him come out of the closet, so to speak, as what Lindsey Light-Loafers would describe as an “isolationist,” i.e. someone who wants to isolate us from bankruptcy and unnecessary foreign wars. Amanpour asks him if his fervor for budget-cutting extends to the military, and he says “yes” not once but twice. He is then asked for specifics, and wisely fails to give any – what is he, a military expert? – whereupon Amanpour throws him a question one might expect of Hugh Hewitt:
“AMANPOUR: Pay for soldiers? Would you cut that?
“PAUL: I think that’s something that you can’t do. I don’t think…
“AMANPOUR: You cannot do?
“PAUL: Right. I think that soldiers have to be paid. Now, can we say that gradually we don’t need as large of an Army if we’re not in two wars? Yes, I think you can say that. You can save money there. You can bring some troops home or have Europe pay more for their defense and Japan pay more and Korea pay more for their defense or bring those troops home and have savings there.
“AMANPOUR: Have you thought much about foreign policy? Does the Tea Party have a foreign policy?
“PAUL: I think the Tea Party believes in a strong national defense, that it’s a priority for our country, that the Constitution exemplifies and says that national defense is one of our priorities. But, no, primarily the Tea Party is about the debt. It’s concerned and worried that we’re inheriting or passing along this debt to our kids and our grandkids, is the number one thing of the Tea Party.”
Shame on Amanpour for throwing him that curveball, and kudos to Rand Paul, whom I seem to have seriously misjudged. I guess that meeting with Bill Kristol and the neocons didn’t mean what I feared it meant. His remarks not only validate his anti-interventionist credentials, but they also show what a good politician he is becoming: in these war-weary days, you can’t say “bring the troops home” often enough. I’m glad to admit I was wrong about Rand Paul because I can breathe a lot easier, now, knowing he’s going to be a credit to the libertarian movement and his father’s legacy.
Oh, to be sure, I don’t agree with his opposition to the renewal of the START treaty: does he really think we need to spend billions on nuclear rearmament and re-start the cold war? Is there really a possibility of a Russian nuclear attack on the United States – which is what our nuclear posture is geared up for? To ask the question is to answer it in the negative, to be sure. But then again, as I said, Rand Paul the politician is coming into his own: he owes a lot of chits to Jim DeMint, who is making opposition to START his signature issue in the Senate, and it wouldn’t do to cross him, just yet. Very crafty, or too crafty by half: we report, you decide.
While we’re on the subject of Rand Paul: I predict it won’t be long before we start hearing about his presidential prospects. After all, I seem to recall another freshly-elected US Senator who made it to the White House without serving out his term. Rand is young, he’s very presentable, and, although he does a good job of hiding it, he’s just as radical as his father. Why, he even had me fooled.
Radicalism may seem like an undesirable trait in a potential candidate for the White House – and that would be true if we weren’t in the midst of America’s Second Great Depression, and we weren’t fighting two wars at once. That’s why the movement founded by Rand’s father has picked up so much support lately: the Campaign for Liberty is now a major factor in GOP politics – while Rudy “One Delegate” Giuliani, who unsuccessfully tried to marginalize Ron Paul, is yesterday’s news. That’s also why Ron may run again in the GOP presidential primaries: if he does, you can be sure the foreign policy issue will be front and center….
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