Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Where the Neocons Went, Rubio Is Following

The Republican Party has admitted it has a problem. Something has to change to restore the party to a place where it might be able to get one of its own elected president.

Senator Rand Paul, R-KY., has made clear that he agrees. Paul is focusing on the “things we need to do to be competitive on the West Coast, to be competitive in New England and Illinois.”

But Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., apparently thinks the way to get the GOP back into power is to move it backward—back to the Republican Party of Dick Cheney and John Yoo. Yesterday, Rubio traveled to Paul’s home state to suggest that Paul is an “isolationist,” and that:

We can’t solve every humanitarian crisis on the planet, we can’t be involved in every dispute, every civil war and every conflict. But we also cannot retreat from the world. It’s not that America will continue to function as the world’s police officer. The problem is that like anything in the world: If you pull back from it, a vacuum will be created… The alternative to U.S. [engagement] on the global stage is chaos.

Mouthing another neoconservative slogan, Rubio pronounced—ahistorically—that “Every single time that nations have retreated from the world, every single time this nation has retreated from the world, we have paid for it in the long run. We have paid for it dearly.”

As Daniel Larison points out, it isn’t clear which “retreats” Rubio was thinking of, but a few that call into question his argument would be Vietnam, Iraq, and hopefully someday Afghanistan. Whatever “dear” costs Rubio thinks we incurred by extricating ourselves from those wars, they pale in comparison to the American corpses and squandered trillions of getting into them.

Larison also notes that “since he has been in the Senate, Rubio has made a point of getting on the more hawkish or assertive side of every foreign policy debate.” That reality—that promises he isn’t hawkish on every issue in theory, but he is in practice—seems like cold comfort.

Full article: … -rubio-calls-for-war

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