Antiwar Republicans, Old and New

By southernavenger

I would like to call attention to two articles currently featured at The American Conservative concerning antiwar Republicans.

There are many different political types who make up Campaign for Liberty, YAL and the Liberty movement at-large–traditional conservatives, libertarians, independents–and Justin Raimondo’s take (Raimondo is a libertarian) on Russell Kirk’s take (Kirk was a traditional conservative) on Sen. Robert A. Taft (an Old Right standard bearer adored by libertarians and conservatives alike) is a good example of this much-welcomed, ideological intermingling (yes, I know Kirk rejected ‘ideology,’ but let’s not split hairs here). This is also good history lesson for conservatives or libertarians of all stripes. Writes Raimondo:

For Taft-and Kirk, who waxes particularly eloquent when describing Taft’s disdain for crusading “democratism”-the foundational principle of a truly conservative foreign policy is a respect for the natural limits not only of American power but of human capabilities. If, as Taft averred, “socialism will not work” because “there is no man and no group of men intelligent enough to coordinate and control the infinitely numerous and complex problems involved in the production, consumption, and daily lives of one hundred and twenty million individualistic and educated people,” then the task of coordinating and controlling a global empire would be a fool’s errand. Yet it is precisely that errand on which the fools who now call themselves conservatives-or, more precisely, neoconservatives-would have us embark.

Kirk, in his later years, had a memorable run-in with that movement in a famous lecture delivered at the Heritage Foundation. As prominent neocons sat horrified in the audience, Kirk described the members of this “political sect” as “often clever, but seldom wise.”

The other article is The American Spectator’s James Antle’s anaylsis of the US Senate race in Indiana pitting antiwar Republican Congressman John Hostettler against pro-war Democrat incumbent Evan Bayh. Considering that the GOP establishment seemed to prefer that Republican Congressman Mike Pence challenge Bayh (Pence is not), Antle writes:

There are reasons the National Republican Senatorial Committee preferred Pence to Hostettler. Bayh was re-elected with 62 percent of the vote in 2004; Hostettler lost his House seat, drawing just 39 percent, in 2006. Hostettler’s independence from the party line makes him unpredictable — he was one of just six Republicans in the House to vote against authorizing the war in Iraq — and his refusal to take political action committee money frequently causes him to fare poorly at fundraising. Bayh is sitting on a $12.7 million war chest.

Some of the problems that have plagued Hostettler in the past may not be an issue this year. His Iraq war vote — perhaps an unspoken reason some Republican hawks were so interested in finding a different challenger for Bayh — could help his fundraising through Ron Paul-style “money bombs.” Hostettler’s campaign is already looking closely at Rand Paul’s surprisingly successful effort in Kentucky.

View the original article at Campaign for Liberty


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