Skip to comments.Ted Cruz and Rand Paul May Be the Future of GOP Foreign Policy
Posted on 08/30/2013 8:47:26 AM PDT by SoConPubbie
As scores of Republican lawmakers urge the Obama administration to intervene militarily in Syria, a handful of Republican senators want to keep the U.S. on the sidelines.
Tomahawk cruise missiles are in place and could be launched as early as Thursday against key military targets in Syria, a response against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's deployment of chemical weapons on civilians.
[READ: Congress Wants to Give Input on Syria ]
Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was among the first to voice his opposition to a possible missile strike in the region.
"The United States armed forces doesn't exist to be a policeman of the world," Cruz told Fox News Monday, "I certainly hope the reaction isn't simply lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad's murderous actions."
The statement gives important insight into what kind of foreign policy approach the potential 2016 presidential candidate subscribes to and a clue into how the GOP may be evolving its approach on foreign policy.
His libertarian, anti-interventionist viewpoint is yet another voice among the younger generation of Republicans in the U.S. Senate and in direct conflict with the older longer-serving defense hawks serving there such as John McCain, R-Ariz.
And he's not alone. Another potential Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016 also strays from GOP party leadership on foreign policy.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has long been a thorn in the sides of old guard Republicans, crusading against foreign aid to Egypt and for cuts to the Defense Department. And up until now, he has carried many of his campaigns against the old guard GOP foreign policy, alone.
Paul has also been an outspoken advocate against military intervention in Syria, blasting President Barack Obama for his decision to arm Syrian rebels this summer without a vote of approval by Congress.
[PHOTOS: Alleged Gas Attack Kills Dozens in Damascus ]
He even sponsored bipartisan legislation with Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., that would prohibit Obama from using any congressionally appropriated funds to escalate U.S. involvement in Syria.
"The President's unilateral decision to arm Syrian rebels is incredibly disturbing, considering what little we know about whom we are arming," Paul said in a statement about the issue. "Engaging in yet another conflict in the Middle East with no vote or Congressional oversight compounds the severity of this situation."
But Cruz and Paul, while they may be the future of the GOP, are still a small coalition within their party.
A vote for Paul's plan to stop foreign aid to Egypt, while closer than ever, failed by a wide margin 83 to 13 in July.
More Republican lawmakers still take their cues on the party's defense strategy from Senate veterans like McCain, who has been urging the Obama administration to be more involved in the conflict in Syria from the onset.
McCain says America has "sat on the sidelines for too long" as more than 100,000 Syrians have died in the civil war and millions more are fleeing the country as refugees.
"It is not in our national security interest for this conflict to grind on, as some suggest. To the contrary, as we have clearly seen, the longer the conflict in Syria goes on, the worse and worse it gets and the more it spreads throughout the region," McCain said in a recent joint statement with fellow defense hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
"Instead, we must work to end this conflict as soon as possible by taking decisive steps that can shift the balance of power on the battlefield against Assad and his forces. Anything short of such actions now would only allow the conflict in Syria to continue."
[VOTE: Should the U.S. Intervene in Syria?]
But Doug Bandow, a senior policy expert at the CATO Institute and former special assistant to Ronald Reagan, says Graham and McCain's dominance on foreign policy may be coming to an end. And a recent Reuters poll showed only 9 percent of Americans approve of military intervention in the conflict.
Bandow argues that in a post Iraq-war world, Republican voters across the U.S. are hesitant to intervene in conflicts in the Middle East because they no longer believe the U.S. has the ability to make a difference in the region.
He argues, politically, Cruz and Paul, have entered the spotlight at exactly the right time.
Cruz and Paul might be in the minority now, but by the time 2016 rolls around, voters might see the majority of GOP presidential candidates on a debate stage emulating the message the senators send today.
"The enthusiasm and attention Cruz and Rand Paul get, all of that, suggests a growing interest and support for their viewpoints," Bandow says. "The party is moving in their direction."
Ted Cruz Ping!
The simple fact is that the GOP needs to become the party of restraint.
If we can’t look back on 50 years of American war fighting policy and find a single beacon of freedom that we’ve created, maybe its time to rethink those policies.
Yep. I always note we had no wars under Reagan. We built a very strong defense and used our power to promote our interests. We defeated the soviets without conflict in that time frame. We used military power when needed, but did not pursue war. It’s a good model. Peace through strength and restraint is a good philosophy.
I pray that they're the future of the GOP...period!
Graham and McCain's dominance on foreign policy may be coming to an end.
Again, I pray that these two codgers dominance in anything to do with the GOP, is coming to an end.
Amen! Great points about Reagan. Thanks for the timely reminders ;)
Exactly. I think the world would be a very different place if his policies had been continued till today.
I think there would be a free market democratic Cuba and Venezuela. I think his border mistake would have been corrected years ago (really a congressional mistake) and Mexico well on its way to catching up with the USA and Canada. I think Russia would have become a major trading partner and many foreign companies would be seeking to build factories in America.
Well, Senators Cruz and Paul may be able to set the foreign policy for the nation, if the Establishment Republicans ever let them get out of the box.
Right now, the “Tea Party” faction is getting, at best, only tepid support from the Establishment GOP. Powerful money interests, that have no respect for the counterbalance to untrammeled progressive state growth program that has been in place since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, are actively sabotaging the efforts to rally America for the Americans.
There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of policies kept in place and entertained by the Current Regime in the White Hut, that are absolutely antithetical to what the Constitution originally stood for, the crowning of the primacy of property rights. This is one of the three self-evident rights described in the Declaration, which are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, the last of which was code for the keeping and enjoyment of property.
A widespread myth circulating and a tenant of the belief of Progressivism (in many ways allied with just about every Socialist or even Communist program ever devised) is that “property is theft”, an unusual construction of logic I fail to understand. And yet, there are some number among “the rich”, who, through either personal feelings of unworthiness or guilt, seek to decimate the ranks of those who could be called “the rich”. Very cynical on their part, as they fully expect OTHER “rich” people to give up an inordinate share of wealth, yet manage to get their own stores of the world’s wealth secured beyond the grasp of centralized authoritarian rule.
I’m talking to YOU, George Soros. If you truly believed the crapola you preach and fund in so many ways, you would simply GIVE AWAY all the acquired wealth you now hold title to, and turn it over to an “altruistic” committee, to disperse equally and widely across the face of the planet.
Diluted capital, by just giving it away, is the road to ultimate poverty for all. But let a man take his talents, and put them to service, continually taking that profit generated and reinvesting it in continued growth, then growth begins to feed upon its own success, and a vast number stand to benefit by distribution of the fruits as they are harvested. For an example from nature, look at a field of corn or an apple tree.
Why Liberals Kill
President Obama to exit Afghanistan. But their heroesfrom FDR to JFKpromoted U.S. involvement in more wars than all modern GOP presidents combined.
The neo-cons wanted war and they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. We want to take out one arab country at a time - Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran in the wings. Will they accept that or engage Israel at some point. There seems to no political leaders willing to take us from war, grinding us weaker and weaker - 'they are chicken' - 'other countries will see us as weak' - 'they're killing their own people' - they're using weapons of mass destruction - 'isolationist' - 'remember 1939' - the beat goes on.
Go Cruz, go Paul. As your ideas ascend, you are going to be branded nuts. I want you to be successful before the country crashes.
"Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. "
Dr. Savage on his program last evening, made an interesting observation ..
... Conservatives are high on Cruz and Rand Paul, yet just a few weeks ago we were high on Rubio, Lee, and a couple of others Paul( that was part of the Romney ticket,) and a couple of others, whose names escape me at the,moment, that have encouraged us to hope for conservative principles, and they by and large have joined the rest of the politicians. Dr. Savage is correct. He wants to believe in Cruz and Rant ... but what happens to them when they become part of the Washington politics? Time will tell. We’ll see ...
What does this mean? War for oil?
It means oil for war.
I’m not a Republican I’m a Conservative. If Rand Paul is the future of the Republican party I will never be a Republican...
The Libertarians see the GOP as a dead carcass and are trying to resurrect it by claiming to be conservative ,,,its been a winning strategy so far...
Cruz sounds good but I’ll reserve judgment until I’m sure he will defend this great country and has not drunk of the Libertarian cool aid..
“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”
Ronald Reagan, July 1975