The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison gives readers the results of a survey looking at the hawkish or dovish position of Republican candidates. Mr. Trump leads the hawk pack while Rand Paul ranks as the least hawkish.
Do you believe the survey? Does any voter really have a good handle on what Donald Trump might do in any given situation? I, for one, do not. Which is why I feel confident that Mr. Trump will not be the Republican candidate for president.
How about Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio running near the top of the hawk list? Everything I have heard Mr. Cruz say on foreign policy allows me to believe that he has little in the way of historical perspective on the subject. Cruz wants voters to believe that he is a confirmed hawk. This is no doubt the case and is why I do not want to see Cruz as the Republican nominee. As for Rubio, he leads the hawk pack. His best buddies in the senate would appear to be, at least on the surface, McCain and Graham, perhaps the two most strident hawks in the Senate. Rubio, with his Obamaish-thin presidential resume, canned-speech, campaign-trail effort and super-hawk foreign policy attitude rule him out as a credible presidential candidate.
How about Jeb? I would pay no attention to Jeb’s campaign-trail foreign policy rhetoric. The facts are these: Jeb’s father and brother both will tell you that the second Iraq war intervention was a mistake and a big one. Family friend and former national security advisor Brent Scowcroft strongly advised George W. Bush not to go after Saddam Hussein. And Scowcroft’s prescient advice was dismissed by the Bush administration and its chief war drum beaters Cheney and Rice. Jeb Bush has gotten the message and would be a lot less likely to drag America into another foreign intervention than would Trump, Rubio or Cruz.
Neocon cheerleaders like Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer will roll out the Rubio bandwagon and paint Jeb as a faltering weakling. But they know full well that Jeb has read the Scowcroft book as well as enough history to fully understand the folly of foreign entanglements.
As to Rand Paul, he has doomed his presidential run by mixing his message in order to gain the Republican nomination. Paul is the furthest thing from a hawk, but his middle-of-the-road position on foreign policy has caused many of his key supporters to jump ship. Rand Paul is done.
Now what? It is not a pretty picture for Republicans. But the Democrats are in even worse shape looking at a face-off between a pathological liar and a socialist.