“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Kentucky senator Rand Paul said Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?” he added coyly.
The names he had in mind were of course those of John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Those spokesmen for “the GOP of old” had the bad form to call out Rand Paul after he took to the Senate floor to speculate glibly about American presidents and American military and intelligence officers calling in unprovoked domestic drone strikes against innocent Americans. McCain and Graham, advocates of what Paul calls an “aggressive” foreign policy—i.e., the foreign policy of the Republican party for the last 70 years—also challenged Paul’s general foreign policy prescription.
What does Dr. Paul prescribe? In an interview last week, Paul appealed to the wisdom of Vice President Joe Biden. In the 2012 vice presidential debate, Paul said, Biden had a good response to Paul Ryan on Afghanistan: “We’re coming home.” And, Paul continued, “I think that’s what people want. I think that’s what people are ready for, that we’re coming home.” And why does Paul think the American people are now ready for this McGovernite message? “War weariness.”
Are the American people war weary? Yes, to some degree. Could there be a worse prescription for American foreign policy than giving in to popular war weariness? No.
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