I have to say I find this ironic!
From the L.A. Times:
Finally, there are the libertarians, which brings us to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who’s at the top of early polls of potential Republican presidential nominees. Paul has been working hard in recent months to make his positions sound closer to the party’s mainstream, which means criticizing the president and trying to sound hawkish.
But as a libertarian, he still wants to wage a minimalist foreign policy. The current situation has left him sounding a bit incoherent.
“If I were president, I wouldn’t let Vladimir Putin get away with it,” Paul announced in a column in Time magazine. What would he do? Among other steps, he’d suspend all U.S. economic aid to Ukraine, because some of the money might end up in Russia. In short, he’d destroy the Ukrainian economy in order to save it.
But the senator didn’t go as far as his far more isolationist libertarian father, who wrote in USA Today that even that much activism in Ukraine would be too much. “Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?” Ron Paul wrote. “So what?”
And that attitude may have the most resonance with the American people. A Pew Research Center poll conducted in early March, before Crimea was annexed, found that most Americans believed the United States should “not get too involved” in the conflict. That included 50% of Republicans, against only 37% who favored taking a firm stance against Russia.
I think it is really unfortunate that Rand Paul must try to placate the military-contactor lobbyists who have purchased the support of mainstream Republicans. In my opinion this need to get the approval of the mainstream Republican power structure puts him at odds with the grassroots voters. Voters know the difference between disapproving of Russia’s involvement in Crimea, and putting their sons (and daughters!) in harm’s way for that reason. They have no agreement with Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard who told CNN that “deploying ground troops … should not be ruled out.”
The conventional wisdom among all Republicans seems to be that anything we can say negative about Barack Obama should be said. But if the public doesn’t want the United States “too involved” in Ukraine, then it seems to me that the GOP is shooting itself to claim that we should be more involved.
In the meantime, has any Republican criticized the Ukraine government? I haven’t seen anyone do it yet. Have you?