Rand’s choice

The confirmation of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense maybe the toughest vote Rand Paul will have taken so far as a U.S. Senator.

Paul has made no secret of his Presidential ambitions and in case there was any doubt his recent trip to Israel with several Christian Zionists in tow. He’s also been having private, unpublicized meeting with prominent neocons like Dan Senor. The reason for this is transparently political. Paul wants to, at the very least, reduce the intensity of opposition to him, such groups showed his father Ron Paul when he ran for President in 2008 and 2012.

But will Rand’s new friends influence the way he will ultimately vote on Hagel? Someone who his father probably would not have had trouble voting for if he was a Senator given the similarity of their foreign policy views and their views on the defense budget. Indeed, Rand himself has called for similar reductions in the Pentagon budget,

Some necons are calling this vote a “litmus test”. It will be interesting to see if Rand Paul feels the same way as far as 2016 is concern.

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14 thoughts on “Rand’s choice

  1. RonL

    Senator Hagel opposes any means to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon including not only military actions but also sanctions.
    In so far as this choice signals weakness to the Iranians and Israelis, it makes war more likely. As far as I am concerned, a vote for Hagel is a vote for an Israeli strike on Iran, an action which will inevitably involve the US.
    In the next few weeks we will see Hagel probably win office, and a more nationalist Israeli government. (According to current polling the second largest party is the newly formed Jewish Home which is the nationalist and religious opposition to Netanyahu.) I think there will then be a better than even chance of war by April. The only way to change those odds is for the US to signify that it means to stop Iran and cripple its economy as a way to stop a war.

  2. Savrola

    There will be no war, though there should be a law to keep old Zionists like Ron L from braying nonsense in public.

  3. RedPhillips

    Sav, Ron is not old.

    Ron, what you said sounds suspiciously like blackmail. Ultimately I don’t accept the premise that the US has a right to tell other countries what weapons they can have. We clearly don’t want Iran to have nukes and can make diplomatic efforts to stear things in that direction, but we can’t attack them to prevent it because simply keeping Iran from gaining nukes does not meet just war criteria. It would clearly fall under the category of preventive war.

  4. RedPhillips

    BTW, I am very curious to see how Rand votes on this. On difficult votes his father would often come up with libertarian justifications to vote in a way that would keep his right-wing populist supporters happy, such as his vote against NAFTA. (I’m not saying his votes were insincere, just that he had a way of finessing things that kept both his bases happy, a knack that seems to have diminished as he got older BTW.) I wonder if Rand will find some way to justify a vote against Hagel but that is different than the prevailing neocon justification.

  5. Bruce

    Does Rand Paul want to be president more than he wants to be right ???

    Can any American politician stand up to AIPAC ?

    I hope he votes for Hagel and publicly states that he agrees with Hagel that all American senators should represent American interests first and foremost !

    Why isn’t AIPAC registered as a foreign lobbyist organization.

    Should they be involved in our politics ?

  6. C Bowen

    “come up with libertarian justifications”

    Well, Murray Rothbard was advising him during the NAFTA vote–Pat Buchanan was able to say that “Mr. Libertarian is against NAFTA!” back in those days as well.

    Rand will vote pro-Hagel. Even RonL knows the only lobbies against Hagel are the Cheney-Gays and the those who wish to ally with radical Islam to topple otherwise stable regimes (Egypt, Libya, Syria, Serbia/Kosovo, Iraq.)

    Though RonL is a test case example that they are not on the same page yet and his brain hasn’t caught up.

  7. Sempronius


    There is no longer an America with interests to put first. Our only hope is as an extra-European fifth-column within a hostile anti-European polity.

  8. Kirt Higdon

    Maybe I’m being overly optimistic (an uncharacteristic sentiment for me) but I think Hagel will be confirmed and there will be no war against Iran. Netanyahu and his gang don’t look as strong as they did a few months ago and may even lose the Israeli elections. Dare we hope?

  9. Kirt Higdon

    The purpose of the original America First was to keep the US out of a foreign war and I think people believe that Hagel is more likely to be an influence in that direction than say Hillary Clinton or Susan Rice. Of course, I would rather see Ron Paul as Secretary of Defense, but that will not happen.

  10. C Bowen


    Hagel, like Scowcroft, is as good a Trilat as we are going to get, and while he will be sure to fulfill all the foreign policy goals of the Establishment, the angling is useful.

    Of course, RonL, you know Bonesman Robert Taft and Gerald Ford were America First, right?

  11. RonL

    Let’s ignore Israel and look at American interests.

    Senator Hagel believes that the US should set an example to terrorist and rogue nations by giving up our nukes. He supported co-sponsored the Global Poverty Act, which would have imposed a new “tax” on the U.S.
    requiring the country to add 0.7 percent of the gross national product to its overall spending on humanitarian aid.

    He is a 1970s leftist on foreign policy.

    C Bowen,
    The American First movement was created at Yale. Sargent Shriver, Norman Thomas, and William Regnery were also members.

  12. Kirt Higdon

    I’m all in favor of the US giving up its nuclear weapons. The only actual use of these weapons has been by the liberal progressive US regime against defenseless civilians. This same regime has since WWII made the US the world’s number one rogue nation, far ahead of any others. It’s certainly not in the interest of Americans that their country is permanently at war throughout much of the world, killing the innocent with bombs, bullets, and starvation on a daily basis.

  13. C Bowen

    “C Bowen,
    The American First movement was created at Yale. Sargent Shriver, Norman Thomas, and William Regnery were also members.”

    Tell me more!

    No wait–actually you proved my point. Veterans of Future Wars (a more dark humor predecessor to America First) was founded at Princeton.

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