The Mildly Distinctive, Mostly Mainstream Foreign Policy of Rand PaulSubmitted by Calgary4Paul on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 23:29
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.