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Rand Paul preposterously likens himself to Dwight Eisenhower

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Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, has never distinguished himself as a keen student of American history.

Not long ago, for example, he tried to sell a group of black college kids a distorted account of the Democratic and Republican parties’ respective records on civil rights (see HERE).

And then, just this week, Paul flatteringly compared himself with the 34th president of the United States.

Glenn Kessler, the fact-checker for the Washington Post, has awarded Paul four Pinocchios for peddling such bunkum, as we see HERE:

It is important to learn the lessons of history. But what if the history you know is not really the history that happened?

We wondered about this as we read Sen. Rand Paul’s speech this week to the Veterans of Foreign Wars…Paul repeatedly referenced Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president, as a model for Paul’s argument for a foreign policy that drastically cuts foreign aid and minimalizes overseas entanglements…

Eisenhower, who was president from 1953 to 1961, was of course no stranger to military conflict. He served as supreme Allied commander for the invasion of Normandy during World War II.

As a military man, Eisenhower had no particular political leanings, but he ultimately declared himself as a Republican before the 1952 election. His main rival — up until the GOP convention — was Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio, known as “Mr. Republican.” Taft, in fact, in many ways would appear to be more of a model for Paul. Taft was a strict non-interventionist who opposed any involvement in World War II until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a skeptic of NATO and opposed sending U.S. soldiers to conflicts in Asia.

Some historians believe Eisenhower was motivated to become a Republican partly to thwart Taft’s foreign policy views from dominating the GOP; certainly Republicans who disliked Taft’s foreign policy views worked hard for Eisenhower. A sympathetic review of Taft’s foreign policy, “The Republican Road Not Taken,” by Colgate University Professor Michael T. Hayes, argues that “Eisenhower embraced and continued these internationalist Democratic policies [of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman] during his two terms in office.”

(Snip)

Okay, but what about foreign aid? Here again, Rand has it totally backwards.

In a study of Eisenhower’s foreign aid policies, American University Professor Jordan Tama wrote: “Foreign aid was central to Eisenhower’s grand strategy, and he considered it to be a top presidential priority.”

As Tama documents, Eisenhower, while a fiscal conservative who sought to cut overall government spending, battled Congress repeatedly to boost foreign aid because he believed it was less expensive in the long run. Initially, Eisenhower focused on military and budgetary support for other nations, but in his second term, he pushed for large increases in economic development aid.

“Eisenhower believed that the United States could get more bang for its buck in the effort to contain communism by helping to boost the capacity of other countries than by using the money for any other purpose,” Tama wrote…

We asked Tama what Eisenhower would think of Paul’s foreign policy views, and here’s how he responded:

Eisenhower would disagree vehemently with Paul on foreign aid. As president, Eisenhower often told members of Congress that if budget cuts needed to be made, cuts in any other category of spending would be wiser than cuts to foreign aid. Eisenhower favored substantial aid both to allies and to nonaligned countries in the Cold War. He would see aid to Pakistan and Egypt as a way to bolster America’s standing in those countries and make it more likely that they would side with the United States on important issues in the future.

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2 Comments

  1. Nathaniel Hamrick

    Have you even read Paul’s quotes?

    He mentioned a few particular points about Eisenhower and all were true.

    So what if he doesn’t have Eisenhower’s foreign policy? Do tell if that even matters. You can’t give him “Pinocchios” for making honest statements.

    For example, Hitler was a human. Wait a second, I recall… Pat Cunningham is also a human.

    PAT CUNNINGHAM MUST BE A MURDEROUS MONSTER LIKE HITLER

    oh, no?

    Then shut up about Rand’s honest statements. Read what he said, old man. Quit flailing your arms about like a little girl just because you’ve encountered a non-interventionist and don’t know how to slander him any longer.

    This is what I posted on that blog:

    “This blog deserves a hundred Pinocchios for using logical fallacies just to slander someone.

    “For inspiration and guidance, I often look towards America’s great military leaders.” =/= (DOES NOT EQUAL) “I am or I want to be exactly like Eisenhower in my foreign policy”.

    Why does this blog writer think that’s what it means?

    Paul doesn’t even mention foreign aid, yet this blog writer is blowing everything out of proportion and for what? Some sort of self-publicity via slander campaign.

    This blog is for those with low quality intellect at best. I’ll keep tuning in to continuously call the writer a sophist, though.”

    Which is what that writer is, a sophist. No logical reasoning, just a bunch of fallacies and crazy slander. Anyone who falls for it is a fool.

  2. The only thing proposterous is your writing, nowhere in his speech did he liken himself to Eisenhower. Your assumption that he does is dishonest and makes you look like a fool.

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