Washington Post: How Rand Paul’s bid could fundamentally transform the Republican party on foreign policySubmitted by RandWatcher on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 09:10
By Chris Cillizza | July 14, 2014
The Washington Post
In the last 48 hours, two likely Republican presidential candidates have exchanged foreign policy body blows via op-ed.
First came Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who blasted Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in a piece over the weekend in the Post. Perry writes that Paul believes "our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq", adding that Paul is "curiously blind" to the threat to American interests posed by ISIS. Paul, not one to avoid verbal fisticuffs, answered back in Politico Monday morning. "Governor Perry writes a fictionalized account of my foreign policy so mischaracterizing my views that I wonder if he’s even really read any of my policy papers," writes Paul. (Our favorite part of Paul's op-ed? His attack on Perry's hipster glasses; "Apparently his new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly." writes Paul of Perry.)
Putting aside the verbal slap fight, there is something very important going on here. The most important paragraphs in either op-ed -- as it relates to the future (and the past) of the Republican party -- are these two written by Paul:
On foreign policy, Perry couldn’t be more stuck in the past, doubling down on formulas that haven’t worked, parroting rhetoric that doesn’t make sense and reinforcing petulant attitudes that have cost our nation a great deal.
If repeating the same mistakes over and over again is what Perry advocates in U.S. foreign policy, or any other policy, he really should run for president. In Washington, he’d fit right in, because leading Republicans and Democrats not only supported the Iraq war in the first place, but leaders of both parties campaigned on it in 2008.
What Paul is proposing is that he is the Republican candidate willing (and able) to handle the party's long-delayed reckoning with the war in Iraq.