VIDEOS – FULL SPEECHES OF CPAC SPEAKERS 2015
VIDEOS – FULL SPEECHES OF CPAC SPEAKERS 2015
Rand Paul is a man of conviction. His reputation for acting on principle is the foundation on which he has begun to build the infrastructure of a presidential campaign. It is very difficult, however, for a man of conviction to adjust his image without compromising his reputation for integrity.
In the realm of foreign policy, Senator Paul faces the challenge of dispelling perceptions that he shares the isolationist tendencies of his father, former congressman Ron Paul of Texas. He wants to convince conservative voters that he has been mislabeled and misunderstood. His approach to foreign affairs has not changed, yet Senator Paul now presents his views as applications of Ronald Reagan’s firm but cautious approach to national security.
The Achilles’ heel of this rebranding effort has been Paul’s own candor. When speaking off the cuff, he has made observations that seem to reflect the worldview of President Reagan’s left-wing and isolationist critics. In that vein, Paul suggested that the United States provoked Japan before Pearl Harbor and that Dick Cheney supported the invasion of Iraq in order to make a profit for his former employer Halliburton.
Now there is the strange case of Paul’s reading list for students, which can be found on his official Senate website. The foreign policy section of the list consists entirely of works that blame the United States for the rise of Islamic extremism while offering solutions that verge on isolationism. Most of the books also express a sharp hostility toward Israel and toward those who believe that U.S. foreign policy should serve the cause of human freedom. Reagan, to put it mildly, was a friend of Israel and advocate of freedom. (more…)
Published: August 1, 2013
WASHINGTON — A combination of early presidential maneuvering and internal policy debate is feeding yet another iteration of that media perennial: the great Republican crackup. This time it’s tea party insurgents versus get-along establishment fogies fighting principally over two things: national security and Obamacare.
Gov. Chris Christie recently challenged Sen. Rand Paul over his opposition to the National Security Agency metadata program. Paul has also tangled with Sen. John McCain and other internationalists over drone warfare, democracy promotion and, more generally, intervention abroad.
So what else is new? The return of the most venerable strain of conservative foreign policy – isolationism – was utterly predictable. GOP isolationists dominated until Pearl Harbor and then acquiesced to an activist internationalism during the Cold War because of a fierce detestation of communism.
With communism gone, the conservative coalition should have fractured long ago. This was delayed by 9/11 and the rise of radical Islam. But now, 12 years into that era – after Afghanistan and Iraq, after drone wars and the NSA revelations – the natural tension between isolationist and internationalist tendencies has resurfaced.
In fact, both parties are internally split on domestic surveillance, as reflected in the very close recent House vote on curbing the NSA. This is not civil war. It’s a healthy debate that helps recalibrate the delicate line between safety and security as conditions (threat level and surveillance technology, for example) change.
The more fundamental GOP divide is over foreign aid and other manifestations of our role as the world’s leading power. The Paulites, pining for the splendid isolation of the 19th century, want to leave the world alone on the assumption that it will then leave us alone.
Which rests on the further assumption that international stability – open sea lanes, free commerce, relative tranquility – comes naturally, like the air we breathe. If only that were true. Unfortunately, stability is not a matter of grace. It comes about only by Great Power exertion.
In the 19th century, that meant the British navy, behind whose protection America thrived. Today, alas, Britannia rules no waves. World order is maintained by American power and American will. Take that away and you don’t get tranquility. You get chaos. (more…)
VIDEO – SENATOR RAND PAUL MAY 10, 2013 – DIAGNOSTIC CODES
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: It fell to a freshman congressman, speaking at CPAC on the same day as Rand Paul, to tell some hard truths. “I know there is war weariness among the American people, just like there is war weariness among conservatives, and in this audience, no doubt,” said Tom Cotton from Yell County, Arkansas. “It’s no surprise, though, that the American people are war weary when their commander in chief is the weariest of them all.”
But, Cotton reminded his audience, “We’re fighting . . . a war against radical Islam and jihad.” He continued, “Our president often says 10 years of war are ending. Wars are not movies. They do not end. They are won or they are lost. The quickest way to end a war is to lose it.” And Cotton pointed out the obvious: “We have the manpower to win the war. We have the matériel to win the war. The question is, do we have the most essential element to combat power? Do we have the will to win the war? Our enemies certainly have that will. They question now whether we do.”
“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.
It was (well-deserved) war weariness after World War II that led to a precipitous drawdown in Europe that in turn helped make possible Stalin’s subjugation of Eastern Europe. It was understandable war weariness after Vietnam that produced the shameful abandonment of Vietnam and Cambodia and the subsequent disastrous weakness of the Carter administration. It was (somewhat inexplicable) war weariness after the Cold War that led to a conviction in the 1990s, as Haley Barbour put it just last week, trying to accommodate the Paulistas, that “We’re not the policeman of the world.”
And thus we had the failure to finish the job in Iraq in 1991, the retreat under fire from Somalia in late 1993, inaction in Rwanda in 1994, years of dithering before confronting Milosevic in the Balkans, passivity in the face of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and weak responses to al Qaeda’s attacks on U.S. embassies in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000. That decade of not policing the world ended with 9/11. (more…)
Only four Republicans crossed party lines on Tuesday to approve President Barack Obama’s defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, but no senator sparked more confusion than Kentucky’s Rand Paul, a vocal critic of Hagel who nonetheless cast his vote in favor of the former Nebraska senator.
Just hours after he had voted against a procedural measure to end debate over Hagel’s nomination, Paul offered his support for Hagel’s confirmation. Paul’s spokeswoman explained that the senator decided to support Hagel because he believes that presidents should get “some leeway” on political appointments, an opinion he has been open about in the past.
“In the run-up to tonight’s vote to confirm former Sen. Hagel as secretary of defense, Sen. Paul voted twice against cloture on the nomination, because he agreed with many of his colleagues that there were questions that needed to be answered about the president’s nominee,” Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley told Yahoo News. “As he has said before, the president should be entitled to some leeway on his political appointments. That is why Sen. Paul voted in favor of Sen. John Kerry, with whom he largely disagrees on foreign policy, to serve as secretary of state, and that is why he voted for final passage of the nomination of Sen. Hagel this evening, with whom he also disagrees on a number of issues.”
The Senate voted 58-41 to confirm Hagel, ending a long and contentious nomination process. The other Republicans who supported Hagel were Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Full Text of Sen. Rand Paul’s Tea Party Response to Obama’s State of the Union Address:
I speak to you tonight from Washington, D.C. The state of our economy is tenuous but our people remain the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.
People say America is exceptional. I agree, but it’s not the complexion of our skin or the twists in our DNA that make us unique. America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based NOT on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work.
We are in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second. The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working.
The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation.
Ronald Reagan said, government is not the answer to the problem, government is the problem.
Tonight, the President told the nation he disagrees. President Obama believes government is the solution: More government, more taxes, more debt.
What the President fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous.
What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the Wealth of Nations. (more…)