Watching Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) try to spin his foreign policy tales is like listening to a beginning violinist — it’s painful. But with practice and a teacher, the violinist can improve.
By contrast, Rand Paul gets worse with every utterance. Politico cites two tweets:
Sen. Rand Paul lashed out Monday against neoconservatives on Twitter for supporting the “military junta” in Egypt and arguing for continued monetary aid to the country, whose armed forces recently ousted the sitting president, Mohamed Morsi.
“In Egypt, governments come and go. The only thing certain is that American taxpayers will continue to be stuck with the $1.5 billion bill,” the Kentucky Republican sent out his message in two back to back tweets. “In Egypt, democratic authoritarianism is replaced with military junta. American neocons say send them more of your money.”
Let’s start with his use of the term “neoconservative.” I’d like to understand to whom he is referring. President Obama? Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry? They all supported aid to the Egyptian government. Both houses of Congress, maybe? Right now it is the president who is rebuffing calls to cut off aid. Mr. Obama is many things, but a neoconservative he is not. One suspects Paul doesn’t quite know what one is and likes to toss around the term as his father and other fringe characters do in lieu of intelligible criticism.
Besides, he’s dead wrong. Numerous conservative critics of the president (who favor a strong national security policy) have called for a cessation of aid. These include Sen. John McCain
(R-Ky.), (R-Ariz.), Robert Kagan, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and a slew of others. Indeed, on this the issue cuts across ideological and party lines.
Paul surely wants to be taken seriously. To do that, however, he needs to stop name-calling and learn something about foreign policy. In that regard, he might find he has more in common with Obama (cut defense, withdraw troops, reject meaningful assistance to the Syrians) than he does with mainstream conservatives. But that really isn’t fair; even the president understands the need for such counterterrorism tactics as drones and NSA surveillance.
In any case, like the aspiring violinist trying to get to Carnegie Hall, Rand Paul needs to practice, practice, practice.