Monday, September 16, 2013

Rand Paul Angers Jewish and Christian Republicans

So says Jennifer Rubin, even after a Rand Paul spokesman walked back Rand comments:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), after tentative steps to reach out to the pro-Israel community including a trip to Israel, has now infuriated Christian and Jewish leaders alike.

In an interview with Buzzfeed last week he declared, “There’s a big transition in the Republican Party, but also in the public. People are right about the public being war-weary. They’re right.” He later said, “I think some within the Christian community are such great defenders of the promised land and the chosen people that they think war is always the answer, maybe even preemptive war. And I think it’s hard to square the idea of a preemptive war and, to me, that overeagerness [to go to] war, with Christianity.”
His chief of staff and key adviser Doug Stafford tried to smooth things over, telling the conservative Washington Free Beacon he wasn’t directing his comments at the country’s largest pro-Zionist group, Christians United For Israel. This has not satisfied conservatives. (Although CUFI accepted the clarification its executive director David Brog told the Free Beacon the he “must disagree with the assertion that these wars were somehow linked to Israel. Israel did not want the war with Iraq, and it certainly did not ask for it. And Israel remains the only nation in the world which is fighting America’s enemies on America’s behalf so that our sons and daughters don’t have to.”)

Evangelical leader and strong Israel supporter Gary Bauer told me today, “The GOP has been the party defined in part by support for a strong national defense and a robust defense of freedom. Obama’s feckless foreign policy, which all too often has led to Isolationist success in the Middle East coupled with the perception that over time Iraq and Afghanistan wars will be inconclusive at best, has eroded traditional conservative support for confronting our enemies.” He admonished the junior Kentucky senator: “Senator Paul is ‘mining’ these discontents but his characterization of Christians as ‘anxious’ to go to war is an outrage and will hurt him.”[...]

A senior GOP leader with close ties to the Jewish community was shaken by Rand Paul’s remarks. He told me this morning, “The recent comments by Sen. Paul regarding Christian evangelicals saying they want war in the Middle East is deeply troubling on many levels. It’s factually wrong and demonstrates a lack of knowledge and naiveté on the part of Paul.” Like Bauer and Nance, he says that Paul’s remark “defames Christian conservatives, which by the way, is not smart politics for someone looking to run for president in 2016. Many conservatives are very worried about the pull on the party, led by Sen. Paul, to a neo-isolationist posture.”
In short, what sounds good to anti-military libertarians raises grave concerns about Paul’s views among significant factions of the GOP. It is one thing to criticize Obama’s foreign policy — as the three I interviewed have done; it’s quite another to go left of the president. That dog just won’t hunt among mainstream conservatives and value voters in the GOP.
I think the neocons have finally figured out that Rand does not care about them and that he is only pro-Israel for the evangelical vote. It appears, the neocons are now going to attack his mixed foreign policy policy positions by egging evangelical leaders to separate from Rand, unless he becomes a total war hawk.

I really don't get Rand's game. If you are not going to act in terms of principle and are willing to stand as a  pro-Israel hawk to get the evangelical vote, what is the upside to pissing off the neocons and apparently even the evangelicals at times? When you dance with the devil, you don't get to wander around the ballroom floor without bad consequences delivered your way.


  1. > "I think it’s hard to square the idea of a preemptive war and, to me, that overeagerness [to go to] war, with Christianity.”

    Is Rand possibly looking to take away a piece of the Christian support enjoyed by the Neocons? A lot of the Christian Right isn't as gung-ho about the Neocon agenda as they used to be but don't want to get hit with the usual sticks for complaining about Israel.

    This would be the perfect time to create a new coalition for someone with opportunistic tendencies. Rand might just fit the bill.

  2. The evangelical vote is not what it used to be. The church leaders who play politics have put too much stock into elections and such. Because Ron Paul's liberty movement, the old politics of "sit in your pew and vote how you're told" is dying.

    As it is now, it's fascinating to watch certain church leaders blame the world's sinners for America's choice in 2012, when it was them that ignored Ron Paul people. So, if I were Rand, I wouldn't worry about it. In fact, considering the economy burning, I would distance myself from the neocons, and blame them for everything that the economy is going through. He can, also, and should, blame the neocons for Christian deaths in the wars and conflicts that we caused. One would think that Rand would see this as a benefit for gaining the presidency - to dump the neocons and their literal dwindling money.

    Gary Bauer is old like dry bread and irrelevant, and he's only going to be viewed by history as a charlatan thug that got us into wars that ended up killing Christians.

  3. It would be nice if some of these idiot Christians would worship Christ instead of Israel. Idol worship sure is rampant among some of these fools these days.

    1. The Fundamentalist "Christians" are guilty of idolatry as it is with their worship of a set of books. The Zionists among them double down on that idolatry with their worship of Israel, as you rightly mentioned. They are just as guilty as the Old Testament Hebrews - willing to sacrifice their children on the altar of idols they've built up for themselves. This is why the state (especially a democratic one) is too dangerous to tolerate, as Robert Higgs said in his speech at Mises U - opportunistic politicians (like Paul the Lesser) will allow future generations to be slaughtered for the sake of a few votes.

  4. A problem we face as a movement for liberty is that nature abhors a vacuum so something always fills it. In other words, we lacked a good political replacement leader for Ron Paul, so Rand has filled the void for better or worse.

    Rand just isn't up to the task. He listens to all the wrong people. He has been the best gift the elite could have asked for, a way to divide and conqueror the liberty movement. Today it has been split down ancap - miniarchist lines. The ancaps are demoralized and inactive. The minarchists neutralized arguing for 1% spending reductions. They are no threat to the establishment. They've annoyed them over Syria but that's about it.

    The massive growth seen in early 2012 is gone. Today we are coasting on inertia coupled with an population growing weary under the strain of a burdensome government. Society is ripe for a change, but we lack leadership with a libertarian vision to capitalize on it.

    I misjudge the state of our movement you say? When was the last time you heard Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, or Rand Paul call to end the income tax and end the drug war? They're doing the opposite. When the financial crisis comes they'll push for weak plans that will have no real impact instead of using the crisis to smash large swaths of the state. They've fallen victim to the disease of "being realistic".

    The best we can hope for is the Neo-Cons to kick Rand on his ass, he realizes he's been played, and he wakes up deciding to listen to the old man. Either that or new people of integrity and principle rise to the occasion.

  5. Sigh. I'm a practicing Jew and a conservative/libertarian and I have no objection to anything Rand said. In fact, I agree with him completely. What I wouldn't do to have the beltway neocon types stop pretending to speak for me..

  6. Zionists are neither Christian or Jewish, they are Revisionist.

  7. As a libertarian and a dispensationalist, I am disappointed when Christian dispensationalists attack noninterventionism and libertarianism, and I am also disappointed with the off-handed smearing of dispensationalism that occurs amongst some libertarians, both atheist and Christian.

    Laurence M. Vance, an adjunct scholar at the Mises Institute, is a dispensationalist and a libertarian, and he said so in some of his writings. And so am I.

    Dispensationalism does not require that Israel kill Palestinians and Arabs and it certainly doesn't require conservatism, no matter what Gary Bauer, Tim LaHaye, or whatever dispensationalist says.

    1. Seems to me that most of the Christian worshipers of Israel are dispensationalists. They think: "Israel good, all Arabs bad." No thinking, no grey area just Israel is God and Arabs are the Devil himself.

      Laurence Vance is a RARE breed. Most of them are still idiots. Hell, I think he was even thrown out of his church years ago for his views on foreign policy. That should tell you something!

      Dispensationalism is a bunch of bunk though.

  8. Anyone who would tick off the Israelis has my vote.

  9. Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the States right now. As this continues, Zionism will lose its over all appeal.