Friday, February 15, 2013

Honestly, I was really worried about how Rand Paul would vote on Chuck Hagel's Nomination

I have to say I'm really happy that Rand Paul was able to come to the right conclusion and vote to block the Chuck Hagel nomination.  Voting for Chuck Hagel, who is pretty much unabashedly anti-Israel, would have completely sabotaged all the inroads that Rand Paul has been able to make in the Jewish community and the pro-Israel evangelical community since taking his trip to Israel.  I seriously would have had second thoughts as it would have shown that Rand Paul may be more like his father than he let on.  After all, Chuck Hagel's policy prescriptions and views on the world are often indistinguishable from those of Ron Paul.  He's a blame America first, anti-Israel nutbag.  And I can see that Rand Paul really wrestled with the issue, as he also shared a lot of Chuck Hagel's non-interventionism and desire to cut Pentagon spending.  Luckily though, Hagel's incompetent defenses of past statements and desire to hide money he received from questionable sources gave Rand Paul a great out (heck he even voted to approve John Kerry after all as he believes in giving Presidents leeway) and pissed off all the right people in the process.


  1. I refuse to be pigeonholed into either "neoconservative" or "libertarian" orthodoxy, and I read stuff from both.

    On the Hagel issue, I'm with most of the Republicans here, not so much because of Hagel and Israel, but because Hagel wants to gut defense, and overall does not appear Ready for Prime Time.

    But here is the non-interventionist's explanation of Rand's vote, as a sort of counterpoint:

    "There’s a very important lesson here that opponents of neoconservatism have studiously refused to learn: in politics, the only things you can rely on—underscore “rely”—are money and votes. If you have either of those—if you have Sheldon Adelson or John Hagee–you can modify a Republican politician’s behavior, whatever his personal ideological orientation. There are no votes and no billionaires on the side of noninterventionism, not in a GOP primary. When Ron Paul voters announce that they won’t support his son in 2016, they’re not making a credible threat, because Ron Paul never had enough votes in 2008 or 2012 to get close to the GOP nomination, and there’s plenty of campaign cash to be had elsewhere than from Ron Paul’s small donors. Rand Paul doesn’t need you. He wants you—just as he wants every vote he can get—but he’s not going to choose your single vote over the votes of 200 ill-informed GOP primary voters who believe what Fox News tells them about Chuck Hagel."

  2. I'm sure there is definitely some self-interest when it comes to his Hagel vote (I saw the same article). I think though its amazing that some of these non-interventionists are so knee-jerk in favor of Hagel that they are overlooking two issues that really should kill anyone's chances for becoming Secretary of Defense:

    1) He is clearly incompetent given his performance at the hearings (that or was just lying, it's always harder to remember a lie than just say the truth). He kind of reminded me of Admiral Stockdale a little who was lost during the 1992 VP debates.

    2) There seems to be evidence that he has way too many associations with people who are linked to Iran. There is probably also evidence of financial ties, which is why he isn't disclosing his financial records that were requested by Cruz. You really want someone with that sort of conflict of interest in there?

  3. The fact that Hagel voted for Obama to begin with automatically disqualifies him for me, but, of course, the nominee is always likely to have voted for the President who nominated him.

    I think the crux of the issue for the non-interventionists (a term which perhaps gets more to the point rather than talking about the semantics of libertarians and paleocons) is that they reflexively support the man who they feel has, or will, "stand up" to the "Israeli Lobby".

    There are too many writers for that magazine (The American Conservative) that I've seen actually say they prefer Obama, be it on principle or as the lesser of two evils.

    As far as I'm concerned that is swallowing the (Communist) camel and choking on the (interventionist) gnat, and not a conservative disposition at all.

    1. I remember that in 2008, writers at Reason Magazine did the same thing. How they could thik you would have more freedom with someone like Obama vs. McCain is beyond my comprehension.

    2. "No, I don't believe he's qualified, but I don't believe we should hold up his confirmation any further,"


    3. Bob Woodward: “What are Democratic senators really thinking about the Hagel nomination? I understand some of them have actually called the White House and said, ‘Is Hagel going to withdraw, would he consider withdrawing?’ The answer is an emphatic ‘no,’ but remember John Erlichman—Nixon’s aide—used to talk about twisting slowly in the wind. The factor here is time, and there is this twisting in the wind aura to all of this. I wonder whether the Democrats are kind of looking and asking what really is the fundamental question here: Is he really the best person to be secretary of defense?” Here: