On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal blaming the United States for the rise of the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, while taking shots at "interventionists" like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as "hawkish members" of the Republican Party.
Beyond that, it is unclear what Paul is trying to argue, as the op-ed is only semi-coherent. As best I can tell, he is suggesting that U.S. policymakers talking about military intervention in Syria, and then ultimately deciding against it, is a major reason why ISIS came to power. Or something. He also comes out in favor of having both foresight and hindsight.
Paul’s column invited a lot of predictable criticism, but it was also trashed by an unlikely source: the Democratic National Committee, which presumably took issue with Paul’s attack on noted war hawk Hillary Clinton. DNC National Press Secretary Michael Czin released the following statement in response to Paul’s "vision":
It’s disappointing that Rand Paul, as a Senator and a potential presidential candidate, blames America for all the problems in the world, while offering reckless ideas that would only alienate us from the global community.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Paul. Last week he criticized American policy to the president of another country on foreign soil. This week he’s blaming the Obama Administration for another nation’s civil war. That type of "blame America" rhetoric may win Paul accolades at a conference of isolationists but it does nothing to improve our standing in the world. In fact, Paul’s proposals would make America less safe and less secure.
Simply put, if Rand Paul had a foreign policy slogan, it would be – The Rand Paul Doctrine: Blame America. Retreat from the World.
For context, the statement is similar to the "blame America" attacks leveled against John Kerry by the Republican National Committee in 2004. It is also a reiteration of the hawkish foreign policy views of Hillary Clinton, the inevitable Democratic nominee in 2016. This makes liberals very sad, but there’s not a damn thing they can do about it, is there?
So what do you say, liberals? Are you Ready for Hillary?