Thursday, June 23, 2011


I don't know if we can really believe this Wall Street Journal op-ed by Club for Growth founder Stephen Moore, but it's pretty much what I've been thinking:

The Republican nomination for president is completely up for grabs, but there's a lot of agreement on who the vice presidential pick should be: Marco Rubio, the freshman senator from Florida. My contacts in the Mitt Romney camp are boasting: "Doesn't a Romney-Rubio ticket sound great?" One senior Romney advisor told me: "We think that could be a dream ticket." Operatives from the pack of other wannabes are thinking ahead to the same Rubio marriage with their candidate....

I've said previously that the Republican VP nominee isn't going to be a white male, and I think that means Rubio unless (and I think this is a remote possibility) it's South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, with Bobby Jindal (choked in his one shot at the national spotlight) and Cain, Bachmann, and Allen West (too extreme) as the real longshots.

But think about it: If the nominee picks Rubio, what does that say about the recently popular notion that the GOP is going dovish and wobbly and isolationist?

Recall what Ross Douthat wrote about Rubio a couple of days ago:

Rubio is the great neoconservative hope, the champion of a foreign policy that boldly goes abroad in search of monsters to destroy. In the Senate, he's constantly pressed for a more hawkish line against the Mideast's bad actors. His maiden Senate speech was a paean to national greatness, whose peroration invoked John F. Kennedy and insisted that America remain the "watchman on the wall of world freedom."

... Rubio has argued that we should be striking harder against Qaddafi....

... the story Rubio tells, with eloquence and passion, is ... the story of a great republic armed and righteous, with no limits on what it can accomplish in the world.

If you lurk in the right-o-sphere, you encounter a lot of people appalled at the prospect that the presidential nominee might be Jon Huntsman, or Mitt Romney. A lot of righties are horrified at the prospect of nominating a "RINO." If there were really a serious anti-interventionist, isolationist, small-government-extends-to-foreign-policy-too movement on the right, you'd hear just as much howling about the prospect that Rubio or a similar neoconservative type might be on the ticket.

But you're not hearing that. And you won't hear it. Because, apart from a handful of sincerely Paul-ish teabaggers, most on the right don't have any problem with interventionism and bellicosity, as long as it's on right-wing terms and under a right-wing Daddy. Right-wing reticence about power has an expiration date: the day the next Republican president gets sworn into office.

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