Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is Dick Cheney Behind the Latest Attacks on Rand Paul?

Markie Oles emails me to point out another hit piece on Rand Paul by Jennifer Rubin. He adds:
You should just call her Jennifer 'Energizer Bunny' Rubin because she just keeps going, and going, and ....
But this piece may have some new insight as to what is going on. The latest hits, and the expose on Jack Hunter, started only days before Liz Cheney, daughter of Dick Cheney, announced that she was running for the open US senate seat in Wyoming.

This is interesting because Rand and the Darth Vader don't like each other very much.

David Weigel reports in Slate:
Near the end of March 2010, as Republicans outside Kentucky realized that Rand Paul might actually become a senator, Paul’s opponent received an unexpected and important-looking endorsement.
“I’m a lifelong conservative, and I can tell the real thing when I see it,” announced Dick Cheney. “I have looked at the records of both candidates in the race, and it is clear to me that Trey Grayson is right on the issues that matter—both on fiscal responsibility and on national security.”
Paul’s campaign was half-unsurprised, half-amused. They’d seen this coming a week before, when former Cheney chief of staff Cesar Conda emailed some fellow neoconservatives and asked them to “help us get the word out about Rand Paul’s troubling and dangerous views on foreign policy.” Fun on its own, but by weighing in personally, Cheney had confirmed a white-knuckle panic among their least favorite Republicans[...]
[Paul's campaign] kept on laughing, as Paul rose from a 15-point lead before the Cheney announcement to a 23-point “Randslide” on primary night. Their hard-won confidence explains why Sen. Paul came out so early against Liz Cheney’s candidacy in Wyoming, nearly a week before she actually announced it. “I don’t know much about her or her politics, really,” he said—a totally unbelievable statement that could only be read as dismissive. That reading was rewarded yesterday, as Paul claimed that when he “heard Liz Cheney was running for Senate I wondered if she was running in her home state of Virginia.”
Reporters looking for a feud between the Cheneys and her new foe Sen. Mike Enzi have come up a little short. Enzi’s not enjoying the challenge, but he’s known the Cheneys for decades and he’s gone fly-fishing with the paterfamilias. The real “feud” is between the ascendant America-first Republicans represented by Paul, and the conservative hawks who’ve lost their leading role in the party.[...]
 In his first book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington, Paul relishes in how he humiliated the neoconservatives who came after him. “In a sense, Cheney’s aide was right,” writes Paul, referring to that gather-your-armies email from Cesar Conda. “My measured and conservative views on foreign policy, rooted in the Founding and informed by the Constitution, are indeed dangerous to neoconservative ideologues who are always anxious to find new excuses to get us involved in conflicts abroad.”
Paul isn’t leading with that attack now. He’s just making fun of Cheney for moving to the state with the easiest route to power.
Think about this.  Just days before Liz announces her Senate run, The Washington Free Beacon, Rubin, Jonah Goldberg and Bill Kristol all launched attacks on Rand. And today's hit piece by Rubin has this noteworthy sentence:
In the short run, this poses a problem for his colleagues. Does, for example, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) embrace Rand Paul’s ebullient support and campaign with him? 

Ah yes, separate Rand from helping LiIz opponent, Enzi, by dirtying Rand. Sounds like Darth Vader at the controls to me.

Rand seems to be taking all this lightly, he has thrown the few one line jabs at Liz Cheney and that's it at this point. But does Rand really want to mess with the daughter of the Darth Vader and run for president at the same time? Rand probably has pollsters telling him that the neocons aren't a major voting block, but they do have major media influence and they will beat Rand in that all important arena. Maybe it's time for Jesse Benton to cut a backroom detail and get the neocons off of Rand's back. If the hit jobs end, that is probably why. One thing, for certain, any deal cut with the Darth Vader and his marching neocon team is not going to have Rand moving in the direction of stronger libertarian positions.

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