Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ross Douthat Exemplifies the Useful Idiots That Think Sen. Rand Paul (R, Ky) has Substance

The Only Substance That Matters in Republican Circles – Vicious Opposition to President Obama

The world was treated(?) to a real filibuster recently by Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul. Based on the adulation from many, but not all, in the party one would have thought Sen. Paul had actually done something of substance.  Instead all he did was foment for about 13 hours against the Obama Administration.  But that is enough to convince the clueless, in this case people like NYT columnist Ross Douthat that there was substance. 

Mr. Douthat - Looking Confused
Officially, Paul’s filibuster was devoted to a specific question of executive power — whether there are any limits on the president’s authority to declare American citizens enemy combatants and deal out death to them. But anyone who listened (and listened, and listened) to his remarks, and put them in the context of his recent speeches and votes and bridge-building, recognized that he was after something bigger: a reorientation of conservative foreign policy thinking away from hair-trigger hawkishness and absolute deference to executive power.

Mr. Paul’s issue was the poor way in which the Administration described its policy on using drones to kill people in America.  The Administration clarified things, changed nothing and yet people like Mr. Paul declared a great victory.

The admiration for Mr. Paul had nothing to do with the policy, a fact which hawks like John McCain realized when they condemned Mr. Paul.  It had everything to do with an attack on Mr. Obama.  Republicans have now abandoned any pretense of going after the President on policy grounds, they just want unbridled attacks on Mr. Obama’s persona. 

It is not that Mr. Douthat cannot see what is going on,

And he’s exploited partisan incentives to bring his fellow Republicans around to his ideas, deliberately picking battles — from the Libya intervention to drone warfare — where a more restrained foreign policy vision doubles as a critique of the Obama White House.

He’s just happy to have a Republican, any Republican going on the attack.  Because Mr. Paul accomplished nothing except brandish his own Presidential ambitions, something Mr. Douthat no doubt missed.

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