The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Ron Paul Supporters Slam Rand After Republicans Block Hagel Nomination

Posted on | February 15, 2013 | 55 Comments

Allahpundit points out that Chuck Hagel was one vote away from passing a cloture vote to be confirmed as Secretary of Defense:

But wait — what about Rand Paul? If ever there was a SecDef nominee whom the Ron Paul paleocon fan base could sort of dig, it’s a guy known for lamenting the “Israel lobby” and opposing Iran sanctions. . . .
Philip Klein, tongue in cheek, calls him today’s neocon hero.

More roundup of Paul-on-Paul conflict at The Daily Caller. After Thursday’s vote, I was riffing on the perception:

Let’s be clear: Disagreements on U.S. foreign policy certainly are acceptable. We ought to be able to debate foreign policy openly and honestly. It is not “hate” to criticize U.S. policy in the Middle East. On the other hand, the conspiratorial insinuation — the suggestion that the U.S.-Israel alliance is solely or primarily a result of clandestine machinations by “neocons” in alliance with the “Israel lobby” — is about two clicks away on the dial from Alex Jones/M.J. Rosenberg kookery. Turn that dial another click or two, and . . .

Well, there is legitimate criticism of policy and then there is something else. Figuring out where to draw the line can be difficult. One of the genuine intellectual giants of the conservative movement, Russell Kirk, remarked in a 1988 Heritage Foundation speech:

Sometimes, true, [neoconservatives] have been rash in their schemes of action, pursuing a fanciful democratic globaIism rather that the national interest of the United States; on such occasions I have tended to side with those moderate Libertarians who set their faces against foreign entanglements. And not seldom it has seemed as if some eminent Neoconservatives mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of the United States — a position they will have difficulty in maintaining, as matters drift in the Levant.

Kirk’s “Tel Aviv” remark has often been cited — it was controversial at the time, and has since become rather notorious — whereas his larger critique of “fanciful democratic globalism” is generally ignored. And while the title of Kirk’s lecture was “The Neoconservatives: An Endangered Species” (the text at the Heritage site appears to be an uncorrected scan), subsequent events showed that Necons enjoyed a hegemonic influence in GOP circles, so as to be able effectively to blackball certain of their persistent critics. Indeed, in 2007, one foreign policy expert at Heritage lost his job for too strenuously criticizing the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq.

It might be possible for conservatism as a movement to maintain a balance between the Paleos and Neos, were it not for the savage “war to the knife, knife to the hilt” blood-feud mentality that has gripped some of the combatants ever since Mel Bradford was rejected as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities back in 1981.

The persistence of such ugly intranecine hostilities, I would suggest, bodes ill for schemes of “fanciful democratic globalism.” If we can’t even broker a peace among Republican intellectuals, how shall we have peace between Israelis and Palestinians?

Well, all of this is only indirectly relevant to the fight over the Hagel nomination. The regular inside-baseball politics of the thing is rather tedious, but Jeff Goldstein manages to find something interesting in the media’s coverage of it all.

DA JOOZZ!

 

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Comments

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Do the voices in one’s head count?

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Oh heck yeah! I want to see that term hung around Rove’s ample neck. I’m not angry or anything, I’m just tired of being nice.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Nice! (Thanks)

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.ashley.58 Eric Ashley

    I think people like Conan have more respect for their ‘grievances’ than you do.

    Also Conan probably has some sort of respect for the Peace of Westphalia whereas you think that at least in regard to rogue ‘nations’ (and I’m being polite here) that Peace is garbage.

    I suspect your idea of us having an interest in certain areas is disgusting to him. We should be minding our own knitting would be his ‘tude.

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