Sen. Rand Paul gave a very interesting foreign policy speech last week, laying out the case for “conservative realism.” The task of balancing small-government ideals with national security needs is one with which our country has grappled since its founding. My colleague, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, has addressed the substance of the speech. More interesting, perhaps, is the effusive praise it won from the liberal wonks at Ezra Klein’s Vox.com.
One suspects that even Sen. Paul himself would balk at such absurd hyperbole. But the speech was important, Beauchamp says, because “instead of declaring war on another country, Paul declared war on his own party. Or, at least, its entire approach to foreign policy.”
Clearly, Vox.com and its left-wing allies hope to use Sen. Paul the way that his father, retired Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), allowing himself to be used–as a weapon against Republicans in the presidential primary.
It is doubtful that Sen. Paul intends himself to be exploited that way: he has done considerable work to distance himself from his father’s views, notably on Israel, and is trying to make a run for the presidency that is serious, not symbolic.
But for the left, the differences between Sen. Paul and the Republican Party must be maintained, even at the cost of throwing Obama under the bus somewhat (note how his own slew of speeches over the past decade are suddenly deemed unimportant).
The left wants Sen. Paul to be marginalized, but not before using him to do fresh damage to the GOP brand. He should be wary of their excessive praise, whatever shape his policies take.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak