I have spent much of the past year trying to convince friends that Rand Paul was not Ron Paul, not that I was going to endorse him or anybody else in GOP race for the nomination, but that I thought that Rand should be fairly evaluated based on his positions, not those on his racist, anti-Semitic father. Today that all changed: Rand Paul as a candidate is dead to me. Oh of course I will vote for him if he gets the nomination, but to be honest I really don’t believe I have much to worry about.
What was the Kentucky Senator’s offense? He broke Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment — “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.” Rand went far beyond the 11th commandment; he blamed his fellow Republicans for creating the Islamic State.
On Wednesday morning he was interviewed by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Paul was asked about a comment Lindsey Graham had made, blaming people like Paul for the rise of the Islamic State. Graham was wrong for the attack (but who really cares because his chances of winning the GOP nomination are worse than Paul’s). Instead of hitting back at Graham, Paul lashed out at a big segment of the GOP (transcript follows the video):
ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS’ job easier. They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya, because these same hawks in my party, they loved Hillary Clinton’s war. They just wanted more of it. Libya is a failed state. It’s a disaster. Iraq is a failed state or a vassal state now of Iran.
Apart from being untrue to his own Brand, Paul’s statement is he is dead wrong. The creation of the Islamic State has much more to do with Barack Obama’s premature withdrawal of troops from Iraq than with any GOP hawk. It was a stable country when our troops left, a fact that even Joe Biden acknowledged. Actually, the biggest factor in the rise of the Islamic State was Wahhabism, the radical Islamist philosophy created in Saudi Arabia and which spawned Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda as well.
One of the reasons Mitt Romney lost in 2012 was the primary period where the large crop of GOP candidates spent all their time slamming each other instead of laying out their own policies. Rand Paul’s statement to Scarborough was reminiscent of that kind of “If I can’t be president — no Republican can” type of campaign.
Thus, Paul, as I said earlier, is now dead to me. And If I could sway RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, I would urge him to ban Paul from the debates.