Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hit Piece on Rand Paul Aide: Will Rand Tell Jack to Hit the Road?

Neocon Jennifer Rubin is tweeting a link out to a hit piece on Jack Hunter,which makes it clear the neocons want Hunter out and, of course, the big question is also in the hit piece, will Rand be able to "transcend" his father:

From the Hunter assassination piece at the Washington Free Beacon:
A close aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) who co-wrote the senator’s 2011 book spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist, raising questions about whether Paul will be able to transcend the same fringe-figure associations that dogged his father’s political career.

Paul hired Jack Hunter, 39, to help write his book The Tea Party Goes to Washington during his 2010 Senate run. Hunter joined Paul’s office as his social media director in August 2012.

From 1999 to 2012, Hunter was a South Carolina radio shock jock known as the “Southern Avenger.” He has weighed in on issues such as racial pride and Hispanic immigration, and stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

During public appearances, Hunter often wore a mask on which was printed a Confederate flag.

Prior to his radio career, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”

“The League of the South is an implicitly racist group in that the idealized version of the South that they promote is one which, to use their ideology, is dominated by ‘Anglo-Celtic’ culture, which is their code word for ‘white’,” said Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research at the ADL. The ADL said it does not necessarily classify it as a hate group.
For the record, The League of the South appears to be just what it says it is, a secession movement and not racist, but, hey, who needs truth when you are trying to dirty a libertarian leaning, non-interventionist aide to a presidential candidate.

The piece continues:
In one 2004 commentary, Hunter said Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth’s heart was “in the right place.”
“Although Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth’s heart was in the right place, the Southern Avenger does regret that Lincoln’s murder automatically turned him into a martyr,” he said in 2004.
He later wrote that he “raise[s] a personal toast every May 10 to celebrate John Wilkes Booth’s birthday.” 
He also compared Lincoln to Saddam Hussein and suggested that the 16th president would have had a romantic relationship with Adolf Hitler if the two met.
Lincoln was one evil bastard, so it is easy for anyone, with knowledge of who Lincoln really was, to be sympathetic to Hunter's  take. That said, the neocons have a different view. To them, Lincoln is a saint, yet to be canonized, despite the fact that 600,000 soldiers died in the unnecessary Civil War he instigated.

The column goes on to make further innuendos that Hunter is a racist, but then gets to the heart of the matter, as far as neocons are concerned:
The Washington Monthly reported Monday that Hunter is part of a group of close aides who advise Paul on foreign policy.
Both Hunter and Paul’s office denied his involvement in foreign policy deliberations in comments to the Free Beacon.
Since becoming Paul’s social media director, Hunter has publicly vouched for the senator’s non-interventionist bona fides.[...]
Hunter has also said that Rand Paul holds the same foreign policy views as his father, Ron Paul.
“The philosophy hasn’t substantively changed [from Ron Paul to Rand Paul]. The methods and style most certainly have.”
However, a spokesperson for Paul said Hunter was not speaking for the senator.
Hunter also discussed Paul’s intention to take non-interventionism into the “mainstream” in a comment to libertarian website the Daily Paul in January.
“I see, finally, a Republican willing to take the more sane, non-interventionist message into the mainstream in a way that can stick and possibly become policy,” said Hunter.
“Ron started this whole thing,” he added. “Rand is taking it to the next level.”
Despite the above Hunter comments, Hunter can hardly be considered a friend to principled libertarians, the article goes on to point out just how soft he has been when it comes to principle versus selling out for political gain:
When libertarians and paleoconservatives balked at Paul’s remark last January that “any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States,” Hunter downplayed the comment as a “little rhetorical concession” and said the senator was “play[ing] the game.”
“For every questionable action—support for Mitt Romney, comments about the U.S.’s relationship with Israel … these things do not diminish the overall record of the most libertarian senator since the Founding era,” wrote Hunter on the Southern Avenger website. “Not making these certain diplomatic statements or gestures on occasion, also makes taking these ideas into the mainstream much, much harder. A little rhetorical concession goes a long way.”
“Some say Rand is not Ron because he is ‘willing to play them game,’” Hunter continued. “That’s exactly right. That’s the point—to play it, influence it, and win it as much as you can. The neoconservatives certainly do, to their advantage.”[...]Hunter said [sic] does not think Rand Paul is a non-interventionist when asked by the Free Beacon.
That said, the neocon's want Hunter gone. It should be noted that the editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon, where the hit piece appeared, is  Matthew Continetti, who is married to Anne Elizabeth Kristol, the daughter of neo-conservative kingpin Bill Kristol. In other words, this hit piece was a sanctioned hit.

What will happen from here? I say Rand buckles. Hunter is a goner and Rand bows once again at the feet of neocon godfather Kristol. As Rubin explained yesterday, bowing at the feet of Kristol just takes practice.


  1. I was wondering when this would emerge about Hunter. Was surprised he got this far without the smear... Rubin was holding this in her back pocket, or actually was told to write about it now. Rubin, Kristol, Goodman, ADL etc. vs. the "Anglo-Celtic" Jack Hunter... hmmmm

  2. Oddly Hunter seems to be slipping down the PJ ORourke path to neoconservativism, claiming a lot of that stuff was some sort of youthful enthusiasm that sold well. and while the free beacon piece doesn't really let him elaborate, it should be a model for what happens when you become part of the DC machine.