When asked Thursday about his father Ron Paul’s comments that the 9/11 attacks “blowback” for U.S. intervention in the Middle East, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul focused not on the reasons for the attacks, but rather on the American response to them.
The elder Paul said Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, that they were “blowback for decades of U.S. intervention in the Middle East.”Rand then stated the absurd:
In a radio interview Thursday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee asked the younger Paul about his father’s comments, which Paul said he had not heard until then.Rand then went on to to do a typical dance by distancing himself from blowback theory, but not completely, and then turning the question into a question of self defense, stating that the reason behind an attack is not important:
"What I would say is that, you know there are a variety of reasons and when someone attacks you it’s not so much important what they say their reasons are,” Paul said. “The most important thing is that we defend ourselves from attack. And whether or not some are motivated by our presence overseas, I think some are also motivated whether we’re there or not. So I think there’s a combination of reasons why we’re attacked."This Rand dance sidesteps the very important question his father raises "If terrorist attacks are the result of blowback, shouldn't the US stop meddling in foreign affairs, thus stopping the blowback attacks?"
Why doesn't Rand want to address this issue? Do his pollsters tell him he shouldn't?
And that is the bottom line difference between Ron and Rand. Ron speaks principle. Rand speaks what the pollsters tell him he should.
But the neocons want Rand to put even more distance between himself and his father. Here's Jennifer Rubin this morning:
When asked about the remarks Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who fancies himself as a more sophisticated version of his father, could not bring himself to condemn the remarks. Instead he responded: “What I would say is that, you know there are a variety of reasons and when someone attacks you it’s not so much important what they say their reasons are. The most important thing is that we defend ourselves from attack. And whether or not some are motivated by our presence overseas, I think some are also motivated whether we’re there or not. So I think there’s a combination of reasons why we’re attacked.”
This is grotesque, and all the proof one needs to see that the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, Rand Paul’s admirers might say, you can’t expect him to repudiate his father. This is nonsense for three reasons. First, he can repudiate the views without repudiating his father. Second, are we to have leader who can’t object to nutty things his father or others’ around him say (recall the Southern Avenger)? It is impossible to know whether he has sympathies for such extremist notions or whether he simply lacks the judgment to discern what is beyond the pale. Rand Paul sure seemed oblivious to the offensiveness of the comments. And finally, the episode, like the Southern Avenger scandal, evidenced no sign he was personally repulsed by radical views.[...]
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton who has formed a PAC and super PAC to elevate national security as a key issue for voters (and to combat the right-wing trend toward isolationism) doesn’t think Rand Paul should get away so easily. He says, “Ron Paul has made similar comments before — there is no way they can be brushed aside.” He argues the media has an obligation to put Rand Paul, a potential presidential candidate, on “the media griddle until he either repudiates Ron’s comment or not. The question is very simple: ‘Do you agree or not?’ And the answer is very simple: ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’