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How Do We Know That Rand Paul is On To Something? Jen Rubin Is Attacking Him
Jews for Rand Paul ^ | libertarian neocon

Posted on 02/07/2013 7:32:38 AM PST by libertarian neocon

For those of you who aren't as obsessed by politics as I am, Jen Rubin can best be described as the Eva Braun or the Tasmanian Devil of the Republican Establishment.  She was so Pro-Romney that she should have been voted "most likely to try to rape Mitt Romney when he isn't looking".  For all other candidates she made big deals over very minor points like what was painted over on rocks on leased hunting grounds and consulting arrangements and did so viciously and incessantly.  For 2016, she is probably trying to decide whether to turn her googly eyes on Chris Christie, Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan.  I'm not sure those candidates should be happy or not (though I'm sure their wives don't really want a bunny boiler hanging around their husbands).  


Anyway, she just came up with a piece titled "Rand Paul's Confused Foreign Policy Speech".  While I didn't agree 100% with everything that was in his foreign policy speech (I tend to be a bit more hawkish, especially on Iran), I thought it well thought out and had a lot of food for thought.  The main points, as they apply to foreign policy, were:

1.  We need to have a flexible foreign policy
2.  We shouldn't tell our enemies exactly what we will do before we do them
3.  We should contain in some instances and confront directly in other based on clear criteria based on our interests and our ability to win it and be able to afford the cost, both financially and in terms of lives
4.  Congress needs to be the ultimate arbiter of whether we go to war, as defined by our constitution

Does any of this sound confused?  It all seems pretty reasonable to me and point 3 would surely keep us out of trouble (why did we get involved with Libya anyway?  Where was the national interest?  And in the end, did we even win?)

Now here is what Jen Rubin says:

This is not unlike a typical President Obama straw-man speech. But of course, in the real world, no serious politician or foreign policy analyst favors war for frivolous reasons. And pacifists are largely out of favor these days. So claiming the mantle of Ronald Reagan as he does without relation to specific conflicts and challenges is a bit of an empty gesture.

It almost seems that Jen Rubin is making a straw man by claiming this was a straw man speech.  Where did Rand Paul say that neoconservatives want to go to war for frivolous reasons?  A frivolous reason would be, "I just don't like him" or "He reminds me of my chemistry teacher", I don't think Rand Paul was claiming either of those.  Neoconservatives tend to want a more active foreign policy for some good reasons, the problem that Rand Paul has is that they simply might not be good enough.  It's always attractive to go in fighting and blow the enemy to bits, but then we have to deal with the aftermath and in the end, the situation might be worse than when we started.  Is Libya better off now?  Is Egypt better off after we pressured Mubarak to leave?  It certainly is doubtful that Syria would be if the Max Boot's get there way.  The reasons for these interventions are usually good ones, they are for democratic and humanitarian reasons.  But are those reasons good enough for the United States to go to war.  For Billy Bob Jones from East Overshoe, Kentucky to lose his life?  That is the debate Rand Paul wants us to have.

Now back to Jen Rubin:

More problematic is that the speech is based on a giant fallacy. Parts of the speech are downright incoherent. For example: "Many of today's neoconservatives want to wrap themselves up in Reagan's mantle, but the truth is that Reagan used clear messages of communism's evil and clear exposition of America's strength to contain and ultimately transcend the Soviet Union." Huh? Reagan said of the Cold War, "We win, you lose." What conservative of any stripe, especially those attuned to the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, takes issue with that?

Talk about incoherent.  She takes one sentence out of context and then throws a short Reagan quote after it.  Here is the Rand Paul quote in context:

Many of today's neoconservatives want to wrap themselves up in Reagan's mantle but the truth is that Reagan used clear messages of communism's evil and clear exposition of America's strength to contain and ultimately transcend the Soviet Union. 
The Cold War ended because the engine of capitalism defeated the engine of socialism. Reagan aided and abetted this end not by "liberation" of captive people but by a combination of don't mess with us language and diplomacy, not inconsistent with Kennan's approach. 
Jack Matlock, one of Reagan's national security advisors, wrote, "Reagan's Soviet policy had more in common with Kennan's thinking than the policy of any of Reagan's predecessors."
Reagan waged a policy of containment and usually (with 1 exception) took a more direct role only when the two conditions that Rand Paul mentioned were met A) " there is a sufficiently powerful national interest"  and B) when "we have the means to conduct such intervention successfully and can afford the cost."  Reagan is known for 3 military interventions, the Invasion of Grenada, the bombing of Libya and sendind the Marines on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon.  
Grenada was a short operation that involved only 7,300 US troops (and even some from Jamaica) and had a goal of deposing the military rulers who had just murdered the previous government, ending Soviet and Cuban inroads into that country (there were quite a few Cuban troops there and an airport that could accommodate large Soviet aircraft) and protecting American medical students.  Basically, it was a very limited operation of low cost and American interests were involved.  Perfect.  
The April 1986 bombing of Libya was another limited engagement to send Gaddafi a message to stop funding terrorism in Europe.  Just that December, Libyan funded terrorists attacked the airports in Vienna and Rome, killing 19 and wounding 140.  Then on April 5th, Libyan agents bombed a club in West Berlin that was frequented by US soldiers.  Clearly, it was in US interests to get Gaddafi to stop.  So there was a bombing campaign involving a total of only 45 aircraft that lasted for only 1 night.   Again, our interests were involved and the cost was low (only one plane was lost).
Reagan's biggest mistake, one that he admitted, was sending Marines to Lebanon.  That was really the one time when he didn't follow the Kennan/Rand Paul doctrine and instead decided to act simply because of humanitarian reasons, a reason many neoconservatives give for us to get involved in Syria.  That one mistake cost a total of 265 American lives, 12 times greater than the cost of both the Libya and Grenada engagements.
Jen Rubin continues:
Because radical jihadism is a culture of death and religious zealotry, containment doesn't work. Israel knows this. The entire Western world knows this. Both of our political parties know this. But not Rand Paul.
Is radical Islam really that different from the Soviet threat?  My family and I know this firsthand, the Soviets were just as evil and just as nefarious as the radical jihadists.  Instead of religious zealotry they had revolutionary zealotry and both share anti-semitism and an inferiority complex towards the West as well.  And just as a reminder, Communists murdered 100 million people worldwide, which is more than the Nazis for God's sake!   And do you really think anything but containment was a choice for dealing with the Soviets?  What were you going to do, invade a country with thousands of ICBM's?  Invade China?  When dealing with radical islam as a whole, containment is the only choice here as well.  Just about every single country in the muslim world and many of those outside it, have radical islamic elements.  Some are small minorities and others, like those in Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia, are in charge of things.  So on the whole, all you can do is contain it, you can't eliminate it, it doesn't matter how many regime changes you go through.  Only in isolated cases, like with Iran, could military confrontation meet the Rand Paul/Keenan exception standards as our interests would be great (but please no more nation building!).  
Jen Rubin wants to get people to think this speech was confused and silly, instead of the thoughtful articulation of a moderate foreign policy that it is.  Thankfully her reputation was soiled enough in the 2012 election cycle and her points were vapid enough that it won't work.


TOPICS: Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: iran; libya; randpaul; syria

1 posted on 02/07/2013 7:32:53 AM PST by libertarian neocon
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To: libertarian neocon
If anyone wants to know where Rand Paul is coming from, then just watch him in action....HERE!
2 posted on 02/07/2013 7:44:17 AM PST by LibFreeUSA
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To: libertarian neocon
It's early and mileage may vary, but so far, Rand Paul has been fighting on the Constitutional/right side of the issues I care about and I appreciate his 2nd Amendment fights and warnings.

His future could come to a screeching halt if he comes out on the wrong side of amnesty, but he's been fighting the good fight so far and making the right enemies.

3 posted on 02/07/2013 7:59:02 AM PST by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: GBA

“It’s early and mileage may vary, but so far, Rand Paul has been fighting on the Constitutional/right side of the issues I care about and I appreciate his 2nd Amendment fights and warnings.
His future could come to a screeching halt if he comes out on the wrong side of amnesty, but he’s been fighting the good fight so far and making the right enemies.”

I’m a little bit worried about some of the things that he is saying about immigration but it sounds like he is trying to stake a position that is well short of Rubio’s. Politically it wouldnt make sense for him to agree with him because then what really differentiates them?


4 posted on 02/07/2013 8:16:06 AM PST by libertarian neocon
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To: libertarian neocon

She and Ann Coulter can draw straws to see which one gets to soap up Chris Christie’s magnificient backside ;-)

I’ve been touting Rand Pauls budget since the day I read it. I don’t agree with 100% of it but he’s one guy with a bold vision and deserves attention. Unlike his old man, he’s not a kook.


5 posted on 02/07/2013 8:24:33 AM PST by bigbob
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To: libertarian neocon

Rand seems mostly alright so far. The problem is his Dad is a nut and his Dad’s paultard followers are not people I’d want to be associated with. I have a sneaking suspicion that Rand is much more like his father than he lets on. I get the sense that he can’t be genuine about some of his true beliefs because he knows they make him unelectable among conservatives. Still, so far Rand has been an asset in the Senate and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Lastly, if Rand has any hope to ever win the Presidency, he’s going to have to do something about that dead squirrel he wears on top his head. That looks like one of the worst hairpieces I’ve ever seen.


6 posted on 02/07/2013 8:26:00 AM PST by Longbow1969
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To: Longbow1969

“Rand seems mostly alright so far. The problem is his Dad is a nut and his Dad’s paultard followers are not people I’d want to be associated with.”

I agree with that. Ron Paul-ites tend to be nutbags and truthers. So far though his son is much more reasonable about a lot of things and judging by the reaction at antiwar.com, he is scaring the nutbags away.


7 posted on 02/07/2013 8:40:20 AM PST by libertarian neocon
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To: libertarian neocon
So far though his son is much more reasonable about a lot of things and judging by the reaction at antiwar.com, he is scaring the nutbags away.

That's basically the way I see. I am willing to give Rand a lot of leeway. I think he is trying to unite traditional conservatives and the more libertarianish conservatives - and that is a very good thing if it can be done.

8 posted on 02/07/2013 8:46:19 AM PST by Longbow1969
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To: libertarian neocon
wives don't really want a bunny boiler hanging around their husbands

This guy is funny!

9 posted on 02/07/2013 9:04:40 AM PST by DManA
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To: Longbow1969
I think he is trying to unite traditional conservatives and the more libertarianish conservatives - and that is a very good thing if it can be done.

Yes, I very much agree. There is a vast untapped reservoir of voters, including both the independents and conservative democrats as well as those you cite, who have no place to go on election day. If they vote, they are voting merely out of habit and a vague sense of past loyalties.

obama has been clarifying the progressive position and rallying the troops around him, but the eGOP has no position other than to compromise with whatever progressive idea is popular in the moment and then spend what it thinks will keep them viable.

This is the vacuum that remains to be filled and it's growing.

10 posted on 02/07/2013 9:06:19 AM PST by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: libertarian neocon
I agree with the author for the most part but he's wrong about this:

Is radical Islam really that different from the Soviet threat?

Yes it is fundamentally different.

11 posted on 02/07/2013 9:11:17 AM PST by DManA
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To: libertarian neocon
His dad could have been prez if he wasn't a weirdo about Middle East policy and the use of force. I have looked at Libertarianism for 40 years and just can't pull the trigger. Much of it sounds pretty good until you get to the real world. To not be able to see that people that want to die for Allah aren't the same as a Soviet commie is just naive. Many don't believe in God and have squishy moral codes, like, "I don't like abortion, but I wouldn't want to deny you your abortion."

Rand is a good guy to have in the Senate, but I'm not sure he's ready for prime time. The same with Rubio. I've not heard anything concerning with Rubio yet, but we will see if he ditches the Tea Party for the establishment. If so, he too can go to hell. Anything is better than what we have now, but why not find the next Reagan and back him/her? I don't think Rand will end up my choice. I just can't see a Libertarian as prez. They always go off the deep end on some subject. I would rather take the generic Tea Party candidate than some wild card.

12 posted on 02/07/2013 9:18:48 AM PST by chuckles
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To: libertarian neocon

I pride myself on being a fairly knowledgeable Freeper but who in the hell is Jen Rubin?


13 posted on 02/07/2013 9:30:01 AM PST by Cyman
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To: Cyman

“I pride myself on being a fairly knowledgeable Freeper but who in the hell is Jen Rubin?”

If she’s the one I’m thinking of she’s one homely beactch.


14 posted on 02/07/2013 9:40:56 AM PST by apoliticalone
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To: Cyman

She’s a political writer...supposedly conservative...for the Washington Post.


15 posted on 02/07/2013 9:41:50 AM PST by pgkdan ( "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Longbow1969

I agree that he believes the same as his father. Therefore I do not trust him for President. I do like his job in the senate and don’t want to lose him there. I support Sarah Palin for President. I know where she stands and don’t have to wonder.


16 posted on 02/07/2013 9:42:06 AM PST by carjic (Fed up!)
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To: libertarian neocon; Netz; ml/nj; ExTexasRedhead; Yaelle; popdonnelly; nickcarraway; ...
Rand Paul's trip to Israel about a month ago appeared to be an attempt to distance himself from his father on the Middle East and the war on terror - in preparation, perhaps, for a run for the presidency in 2016.

Pro-Israel Americans and Israelis should view this development favorably.

17 posted on 02/07/2013 9:47:31 AM PST by justiceseeker93
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To: Longbow1969

In my observations, mothers and wives have far more influence over men than there fathers. Look at his mother, look at his wife.


18 posted on 02/07/2013 9:50:26 AM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Cyman

Given what I’ve read by her in the past, she struck me as a somewhat vapid Republican cheerleader brought in by the Post to provide “harmless” balance to their overwhelmingly Liberal slate of commentators while giving their Libetal readers/discussion group participants an easy target to pick apart in the comments section.

This piece has really changed my perception of her. She’s not so much “somewhat vapid” as a complete moron who is probably taking material that’s being spoonfed to her by other sources and slapping her byline on it before hitting the submit button.


19 posted on 02/07/2013 10:05:01 AM PST by tanknetter
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To: DManA

“I agree with the author for the most part but he’s wrong about this:
Is radical Islam really that different from the Soviet threat?

Yes it is fundamentally different.”

Just so you know, I wasnt minimizing the radical islamic threat at all. I think it’s a huge danger and must be dealt with. I just have a sense that people forget how bad the Soviet threat was. Read Witness by Whittaker Chambers, our government and elits were full of spies and fellow travellers, some of whom were kidnapped on American soil when they tried to get out of the network. It was just as bad as the infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood.


20 posted on 02/07/2013 10:54:28 AM PST by libertarian neocon
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To: Cyman

“I pride myself on being a fairly knowledgeable Freeper but who in the hell is Jen Rubin?”

She is the blogger at the Washtington Post who supposedly represents conservatives but then eviscerates real conservatives every chance she gets.


21 posted on 02/07/2013 11:04:53 AM PST by libertarian neocon
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To: libertarian neocon

Oh, I didn’t catch that you wrote that. Good writing.


22 posted on 02/07/2013 11:07:34 AM PST by DManA
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To: DManA
"fundamentally different"

I agree. Communist countries after Stalin and Mao were ruled by people who were mostly careerists. Most of the citizens of communist countries probably hated the whole rotten structure. When virtually all communist governments were replaced in one fell swoop after the Soviet Union went down, there were few loyal commies who rebelled.

Islamism is quite different. A great percentage of average Muslims are quite happy with slaughtering their fellow man and celebrated 9/11 like we do Christmas. The last thing the citizens (and most of the leaders) of a communist country wanted was a worldwide conflagration with multi-millions killed. Islam's followers think differently.

23 posted on 02/07/2013 11:41:45 AM PST by driftless2
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To: libertarian neocon

Only guy I see who consistently pushes Constitutional values on a day to day basis.


24 posted on 02/07/2013 12:03:08 PM PST by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...
...by softening its edge on some volatile social issues and altering its image as the party always seemingly "eager to go to war... We do need to expand the party and grow the party and that does mean that we don't always all agree on every issue" ... the party needs to become more welcoming to individuals who disagree with basic Republican doctrine on emotional social issues such as gay marriage... "We're going to have to be a little hands off on some of these issues ... and get people into the party," Paul said. [Rand Paul: Time for GOP to soften war stance]

25 posted on 02/07/2013 6:16:09 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: justiceseeker93

Interesting..


26 posted on 02/07/2013 11:07:26 PM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: pgkdan; justiceseeker93

She is a neoconservative. Fundamentally different from a libertarian. With libertarians we have to take the bad with the good and it makes many of us a bit nervous. Rubin is coming from a basically Jewish, very pro-Israel point of view; plus she’s not running for president.

I agree that it’s a good thing if Rand Paul leans further in her direction.


27 posted on 02/07/2013 11:40:04 PM PST by firebrand
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To: DManA

You saw the same flaw that stood out to me, as well.


28 posted on 02/07/2013 11:46:15 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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