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The Mildly Distinctive, Mostly Mainstream Foreign Policy of Rand Paul

Why Washington Can Sleep Easy

by Steve Breyman

. . .One thing you cannot say about Paul is that he has a foreign policy that differs much from that of the Republican and Democratic mainstreams, despite the clamor from the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Lindsey Graham and John McCain worked themselves into twinned frenzies at Paul’s chutzpah over drone targets. These guys, and their echo chamber in the media, dearly love Hellfire-armed Predators, even when directed by Obama. McCain went so far as to refer to Paul, and his Tea Party compatriot Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas, who joined the filibuster after encouragement from party chair Reince Priebus, as “wacko birds.” Paul poses a mostly personal (not policy) challenge to the Republican dinosaurs. It’s telling that McCain’s epithet came not following Paul’s disavowal of the Civil Rights Act, but when he appeared to break with the reigning Washington foreign policy consensus over drones.

How big a threat does Paul pose to Washington’s foreign-policy-as-usual? Not much of one (though this hasn’t stopped consensus defenders from arguing the contrary). Take a look at his official website, his voting record, and his February 6, 2013, speech to the Heritage Foundation. There’s also the unofficial transcript of his filibuster, available (in one hour blocks) on his website. As Paul votes with his party 68% of the time (with the occasional surprise, as when he voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense—one of only four Republicans to do so) and his filibuster zeroed in on Obama’s galling civil liberties record and the potential for domestic drone strikes against Americans (but not on the use of drones elsewhere, even against Americans; an analysis of the filibuster is available here), I’ll focus on his website, and his one big foreign policy speech.


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This guy actually comes off

This guy actually comes off sounding like a neo-con himself at certain points. The best line of all was, " But this is perhaps expecting too much from a single speech." You damned right it is. Rand is being treated like a second grader who finds himself in the unfortunate position of being in his own mother's class. He gets treated worse than anyone to prove a lack of bias. I'm down with the cause, until my dying breath, but I swear, some of these people.... it's just never enough. I don't know the man, but if I had to guess, I'd say Steve Breyman is an asshole.

I don't think it matters much what Rand's foreign policy is.

America's foreign policy is destined to fail, no matter what anyone thinks it should be.

Let Rand 'grandstand' all he wants if that is what it takes. U.S. foreign policy is a fail but if it gets R into the WH it's a win.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

sharkhearted's picture

Here is my email to the author of this editorial....

I can not agree on anything you say in your editorial about Dr. Paul. His filibuster was epic. Brilliant. Historic.

He forced the world (and the main stream media) to have to talk about media-blacked out subjects that their corporatist overlords would not allow them to talk about, such as drones, and the president's secret kill list.

Rand's foreign policy is not that far from his dad's actually. He is only playing the neocon political game to get in there.

Trust me...the apple does not fall from the tree where that is concerned.

While I agree with much of the antiwar.com website material (I am an ex-necon who is now and anarcho-capitalist)...I found your editorial to be a distraction and just plain offensive...like disinformation.

If you really care about ending wars and stopping the Anglo-American NWO globalist illuminati empire that is trying to kill most of us off and enslave the rest...then you should have given mad props to Dr. Paul for taking a step in the right direction.

Instead you launch into this purist criticism, which doesn't help; rather, it hurts. It doesn't bring more people under the tent, it excludes more people.

Your editorial is EXACTLY why classical liberalism has trouble taking off today because the purists in the ivory towers take pot shots at everybody that is not as "pure" as them...as opposed to welcoming them into the tent.

~Christopher M
Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

coffee_sponge's picture

I agree 100% with you Chris

When I attended some Libertarian meetings years ago I was astounded at the tendency for so many of the attendees to sit around in an intellectual circle-jerk, each participant attempting to prove how much more consistently libertarian he was than everyone else. It was a complete waste of time.

Clearly, Rand is on our side, and thankfully he has some of the best political skills of anyone in the Senate. Instead of conjuring lame excuses to avoid fighting well-chosen battles, like phonies such as Marco Rubio, Rand is taking the fight to the enemy in a well thought out and effective way.

IMHO, Rand Paul is America's Senator. God bless him. He certainly has my support.

sharkhearted's picture

This article is horse s*h*i*t

I about threw up in my mouth when I read this. Could not believe the level of fake criticism. It almost feels like disinformation.

That filibuster was an historic event. Epic in proportion....and profound in content and scope.

I get the antiwar website...and I agree with many of their sentiments.

HOWEVER....they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater on this one (Rand) as purists do...and in turn...defeating their cause.

Want to know why a libertarian has never been president? The PURISM.

When will they ever learn?

Rand...well the apple don't fall from far from that tree of his father...is the closest...and BEST chance to get a classical liberal that more resembles the founders (and his father)...into office...and maybe rescue our republic from the gates of hell.

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.