Skip to comments.2016: The Battle to be Reagan's Heir
Posted on 03/12/2014 6:47:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Its on! Ostensible allies for the last couple of years, senators Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Rand Paul (R., Ky.) have commenced the battle for the unofficial title of conservative front-runner. Thats no surprise, but what is remarkable is their choice of weapons: foreign policy. For the last several years, there has been a lot of overblown hype about how the GOP, particularly the party base, is becoming isolationist. So its interesting that Cruz would seek to get to Pauls right on the issue.
The first round began in earnest less than 24 hours after Paul to no ones surprise won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll by a country mile. (Ron and Rand Paul have always overperformed in such contests, and Rand has his fathers machine working for him.)
Im a big fan of Rand Paul. He and I are good friends. I dont agree with him on foreign policy, Cruz said on ABCs This Week. I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world, and I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad. But I think there is a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did. . . . The United States has a responsibility to defend our values.
Paul responded almost immediately with an op-ed for Breitbart that was, depending on your reading, either a gentle rebuke or a not-so-passive-aggressive attack on Cruz. Some politicians, he wrote, have used this time to beat their chest. What we dont need right now is politicians who have never seen war talking tough for the sake of their political careers.
Titled Stop Warping Reagans Foreign Policy, Pauls op-ed is a clever bit of rhetorical jujitsu in which he criticizes others for using Reagans legacy while at the same time enlisting it for his own purposes. Paul offers a version of his fathers effort during the 2008 and 2012 presidential primaries to cast the Gipper as a noninterventionist who was plagued by hawks to his right.
Any analysis that casts the passionate anti-Communist invader of Grenada (without congressional approval), supporter of the Contras and Afghan mujahideen, champion of missile defense, bomber of Libya, and winner of the Cold War as a noninterventionist certainly gets points for creativity.
I dont claim to be the next Ronald Reagan nor do I attempt to disparage fellow Republicans as not being sufficiently Reaganesque, Paul wrote, even as he disparaged politicians for distorting Reagans (allegedly) real record. But I will remind anyone who thinks we will win elections by trashing previous Republican nominees or holding oneself out as some paragon in the mold of Reagan that splintering the party is not the route to victory.
This last bit was a reference to Cruzs CPAC speech in which Cruz mocked the GOPs tendency to nominate moderates: We all remember President Dole, President McCain, and President Romney.
While probably sincere, Pauls longstanding commitment to Reagans eleventh commandment Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican also serves as a shrewd attempt to inoculate himself against real vulnerability.
His father was an often vicious critic of his fellow Republicans, including Reagan. In 1987, Ron Paul left the GOP to run as a libertarian presidential candidate, in the process denouncing Reagan for massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy. Reaganomics, said Paul the Elder, was simply warmed-over Keynesianism. Rand is a very different man than his father, but his big-tent conservatism is a bit ironic given the fact he worked on his fathers campaign and is the heir to the Paul machine.
I have no idea who will win this battle. Right now its hard to see how Cruz can get past Paul. Its also hard to see how a mainstream media that unfairly turned Dole, McCain, and Romney into extremists wont make easy sport of Paul.
Last, its worth keeping in mind that no Republican since Reagan has won the nomination by first seeking to be the standard-bearer of the conservative base. Thats one aspect of the Reagan legacy both are eager to inherit.
Jonah Goldberg is the author of The Tyranny of Clichés, now on sale in paperback
Rather, continuing the legacy.
a million times more attractive take a look:
There will never be another RR, period. Besides the sheer impossibility of replacing the person, this country is very, very different than it was in 1980 or 1984. And by different, not different in a good way.
Ron Paul was anti-Reagan; considered the old star to be too much of a compromiser. How does Rand stand?
I certainly hope not. The hymns of praise she keeps singing to John McCain...to this day...eliminate her from contention for my vote for anything, forever.
I believe that Ted Cruz is Reagan’s heir. Rand Paul is Goldwater’s
“good” should be “bad”.
I don’t rust Rand Paul as far as I can throw him. I think he’s the ideological twin of his nutty father. He can’t hold a candle to Cruz as far as I’m concerned.
No way. Reagan was Goldwater's heir. Rand Paul is heir to no one but his batshit crazy old man.
Oh grow up!
LOL...because you gave no rebuttal! What a joke.
Why is it a shock that these two would choose foreign policy? They pretty much agree on everything else. What the MSM will miss is that Mr. Paul and Mr. Cruz can have an actual, intellectual disagreement and a good debate about it.
Go donate $ to your democrat Hillary Clinton
RE: I dont rust Rand Paul as far as I can throw him. I think hes the ideological twin of his nutty father.
RAND PAUL: MY FOREIGN POLICY IS THE SAME AS REAGAN’S PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH
That is one of the stupidest, most assinine and juvenile comments I've ever read on here in the 16 years I've been a Freeper. Your screen name fits!
you’re a liberal/socialist/democrat
I would say that Rand Paul shows the Reaganesqe international restraint and fiscal ideals, Cruz shows Reagan conviction and fiscal ideals, Palin shows the Reagan compassion.
Its ridiculous to try to pin all things on one man that isn’t Reagan.
stop hijacking this thread with your childish fighting you cry baby liberal/democrat
go cry to the government for some more government cheese
I’ve already scraped you off the bottom of my shoe. Go bother someone else skippy.
They'd do that if the GOP nominated the reincarnation of George Washington. It'll happen no matter what, so it cancels out as an issue for choosing one candidate over another.
Just my opinion but I really don’t care about heirs. Leaders come in all forms with their own distinctive styles. That is what makes them leaders. I love that we have Rand Paul and Ted Cruz because they are both dynamic imho and having two such candidates (possibly more if Mr. Walker jumps into this eventually) drags the debate to the right.
You are spot on...Ron Paul wrote a scathing letter attacking Reagan. Rand is NO Reagan and I really wonder how sincere he is in his praise.
I do not trust Rand Paul and won’t vote for him
You make a very cogent point. Would Reagan win in 2016? That would be very much in doubt. But there's no doubt that he would be needed more than ever.
I was a big believer in the "Reagan Miracle" of 30 years of economic expansion brought about by government and tax reform until I really started thinking about the credit bubble that popped in 2008. I think, after looking at charts like the one below, that the economic expansion was primarily fueled by expanding credit.
I hope no one thinks I'm trashing President Reagan. I'm not. I'm of the opinion that we've borrowed much of our economic prosperity.
Of the two libertarian leaning conservatives, Ted Cruz is the better choice. He is a better orator by far than Rand Paul. Cruz’s Cuban heritage will not hurt him and probably help in South Florida.
Thank you. Your points are spot on. I don’t know either, but he is needed more than ever.
Unfortunately Cankles is tying up the line!
LOL. that’s a good one. thanks for the laugh
cankles = democrat hillary clinton the socialist cretin
Our current crop of Republicans have voted time and time again to cut the military (2009, 2012, and Sequestration in 2013).
They have abandoned a strong defense.
Ronald Reagan was for the military, and there was never any doubt about that. Our enemies knew it. Our military knew it. The American people knew it.
I don't see Rand Paul or Ted Cruz coming anywhere CLOSE to where Reagan was on Defense. All I see is a head in the sand approach to the world and a weakened US military.
Lol, I’ll match my anti McCain credentials up side yours anytime. Can’t stand the guy.
That said, Sarah puts “loyalty” at the top on her”character” list. Until McCain is proven in a court of law to have been a traitor to his country, Sarah will continue to be loyal to him as she should. She owes everything she has to his one phone call to her back in 08.
Most of us understand that and love/admire Sarah. Obviously you don’t, on both counts, which is your prerogative.
Sometimes it seems Jonah can’t help but want to be in the Big Boys MSM Club.
Ain’t no fight between Rand and Cruz, even though the dem’s MSM and shite stirrers wish so.
He’s not the only Poster who may really like Sarah, but wish she would forget Juan McLame. Anytime she says anything positive about the old SOB she poops in her nest.
I don’t thing she seriously cares about being in the POTUS hotseat, especially with all the turds in the well from nobama to clean up. Whoever we get in 16 is going to catch negative press on a Biblical scale.
Allies, but also competitors — much like players in spring training who are fighting for the same roster spot.
Or Harry Browne’s.