Months ago, the isolationism of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was so extreme that I said he might as well be President Bashar Assad’s man in Washington, referring to the Syrian dictator and murderer at a time when Rand Paul was following the policy of Ron Paul of extreme non-intervention. Times have changed, or shall I say Rand Paul’s calculations have changed, so his positions have changed.
Now Sen. Paul mocks President Obama over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and vows to be a super-hawk going after ISIS. I guess when it’s time to raise campaign money for a presidential campaign, and time to court neoconservatives, and time to appeal to a GOP that does not favor extreme isolationism, the new Rand Paul now debates the old Rand Paul, while he throws under the bus the principled stand of the only true Ron Paul.
When Rand Paul suggests that Obama has created a “jihadist wonderland,” can he deny every jihadi in the world would have spent recent years cheering Rand Paul’s extremism isolationism? He not only reveals a lack of depth and commitment on national security, and reveals the kind of shallow opportunism that voters reject in politicians today, but he abandons the long legacy of the principled foreign policy of Ron Paul.
Regarding Iraq, I agreed with Ron Paul and opposed the invasion of Iraq by Bush 43, while on some other issues I disagreed with his noninterventionism. But Ron Paul, unlike Rand Paul, took a highly principled position, which I respect.
At various times Rand Paul has been against action on Syria before he was for it. He was for cutting aid to Israel before he was against it. At one point, he appeared to be for and against action against Iran at the same time. Rand Paul’s views on national security are like the old soap opera “As the World Turns.” What will Rand Paul believe tomorrow about war and peace? Who knows? In presidential politics, unlike Ron Paul, it is political calculation that determines Rand Paul’s military policies in what may be titled “As Rand Paul Turns.”
Folks, the gentleman from Kentucky is not ready to be commander-in-chief, not even close. He makes Barack Obama look like British Prime Minister Winston Churchill by comparison. And now he throws Ron Paul’s foreign policy position under the bus, which will not persuade neoconservatives or mainline Republicans that he is ready to be commander-in-chief, but may persuade many Ron Paul supporters that like father is not always like son.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.