The Other McCain

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

Jeffrey Lord vs. the Paulistas

Posted on | December 14, 2011 | 55 Comments

Driving back today from picking up my twin sons at college — today was the last day of final exams in their first semester — I heard my American Spectator colleague Jeffrey Lord on Sean Hannity’s radio show talking about his war against Ron Paul’s supporters.

It makes my head hurt to think about it, stirring unfortunate memories of internecine feuds between paleocons and neocons stretching back at least 30 years.

My own nuanced take on the situation: Beginning with the Bush 41 administration, the neocons began insisting not merely on their own dominance within the Republican Party, but started demanding that their paleocon adversaries be utterly purged from the ranks. (David Frum, among others, so insisted.) And so it was that, by the time of the Bush 43 administration, there was no one inside the “Big Tent” disposed to say a discouraging word about the prospects for a bloodless conquest of Mesopotamia while also, incidentally, using U.S. armed forces as the necessary means to introduce Pashtun tribesmen to the wonders of Western democracy, including women’s suffrage.

“Hey, Chief, can we have a brief discussion about the concept of ‘imperial overreach’ here?”

You don’t have to think Ron Paul is The Only Hope of the Republic, or be a devout disciple of Lew Rockwell, to say that maybe it would have been helpful if, circa 2002-03, some non-interventionists had been in a position to influence the decision-making process at the White House.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all in favor of kicking jihadi butt. And I’m not one of these kooks who sits around brooding about the “military-industrial complex,” “international bankers,” et cetera. But isn’t it fair to ask, three years into the Obama Age, if GOP foreign policy got a wee bit hubristic during Bush 43’s presidency?

Mine is a modest criticism, then, of neoconservative influence in U.S. foreign policy, as distinct from the all-out crusade that Jeffrey Lord seems to be pursuing against Ron Paul and the Paulistas. I’m not sure how this started, but here are some recent items by Lord at the Spectator:

Sean Hannity’s interview with Jeffrey Lord — and I only heard a few minutes of it — reminded me of all the reasons why I sometimes hate Sean Hannity, who has a tendency toward a Manichean worldview in which there are always exactly two sides to any argument:

  1. Hannity’s side, and

Having been occasionally accused of “simplistic” politics, I would assert that I am an enigmatic tapestry of layered complexity by comparison to Hanntiy’s accustomed mode of discourse.

Stipulate that Ron Paul’s supporters include legions of monomaniacal fanatics and a certain number of outright Jew-haters. Is it not possible to engage the more decent and rational Paulistas in a discourse leading toward a principled and honorable compromise, so that their energy (and profound opposition to the Welfare State) can be harnessed within a broad-based coalition aimed at defeating the common enemy, Democratic PartyLiberalism?

UPDATE: Speaking of Manichean worldviews — MSNBC compares Mitt Romney to the Ku Klux Klan.

Of course, the KKK never flip-flopped but . . . Never mind.


55 Responses to “Jeffrey Lord vs. the Paulistas”

  1. AngelaTC
    December 15th, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    “… a broad-based coalition aimed at defeating the common enemy, Democratic Party Liberalism?”

    That was probably the TEA Party until they decided to add foreign policy and social issues to their agenda.Until the GOPers  give up on the idea that the Democratic Party is the only party passing legislation that’s objectionable to the small government types, it isn’t going to happen.  

    If you want something different, you have to vote for something different. Don’t point at the status quo and say we need to work together to reach that. We already have that, and it sucks.    We’ve done it the other way for 40 years, and ya’ll have mucked it up something fierce. Spare me the wailing over the possibility of  Obama winning a second term, and give me a candidate who actually represents real change.

    And it would help if you’d quit playing the anti-semite card like the liberals play the racist card. too.

  2. AngelaTC
    December 15th, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    If you start bothering people with facts, they’ll turn on you personally.

  3. AngelaTC
    December 15th, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    I’m the resident Ron Pauler.  He is on record as saying that he does not believe the government had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks.  The Israel lobby calls him anti-semite because he wants to cut off the cash from our coffers.  

  4. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    I have to agree that he doesn’t do much to push them away or publicly disavow the loony Jew-haters. And what’s with the Newsletter thing? I agree that MOST of the “anti-semite” stuff seems to be because he wants to cut off all foreign aid including Israel

  5. Santorum Iowa Ad: ‘Join the Fight’ : The Other McCain
    December 16th, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    […] Pigpen around.”Also: Ron Paul is endorsed by Andrew Sullivan.Need we say more? While I have lamented the anti-Paul crusade, arguing for an effort “to engage the more decent and rational Paulistas” on behalf of […]