Peter Beinart dismantles Rubio’s knee-jerk interventionism:
Taken together, Rubio’s statements divide the world into three parts: the utterly virtuous (us), the utterly evil (our adversaries), and the utterly feckless (everyone else). It’s not merely a cartoonish vision. It’s a cartoonish vision that was tested against reality for several years after 9/11, when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney hyped Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a new totalitarian superpower, ridiculed the UN weapons inspectors who questioned American claims about Saddam’s military arsenal, and insisted, despite the misgivings of close U.S. allies, that America could replace Saddam with a model regime.
Say what you want about Rand Paul: He’s trying to learn from the disasters of the Bush years. Rubio, the supposedly serious Republican candidate on foreign policy, is making them his template.
Read the whole thing. What I gleaned from it is how dumb Rubio is. He seems to think, for example, that almost all our foes are “totalitarian.” Seriously. Someone needs to hand him a copy of Arendt – if he has the intelligence to understand it. What you get from him are the vapors of neo-conservatism, the key component of which is total amnesia during the years 2000 – 2008, and an inability to conceive of the world as anything different from the one that existed in 1984. Dickerson questions whether Paul will be able to reorient the debate:
Rand Paul is calling for a more reasoned and fact-based discussion of foreign policy; he is asking people to assess whether the people taking hawkish positions have the standing to take those positions. This is the way we should all want to talk about foreign policy in a presidential campaign, but it bears little resemblance to the way that it is is discussed. In a campaign, the conversation is reductionist and appeals to emotion.