Tea Party leaders say defense spending should be on the table

Unsurprisingly, neoconservatives are resisting defense spending cuts as part of the Super Committee. If you caught the GOP debate last night, you heard Newt Gingrich demagogue this by erroneously claiming that President Barack Obama is “gutting our military.” Neoconservatives have dishonestly tried using Adam Smith to gain tea party support for spending the most on defense since World War II. But at least some tea party leaders are urging the Super Committee to consider defense spending cuts:

Groups affiliated with the conservative grassroots movement say defense cuts should be on the table as the supercommittee tries to compile at least $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts.

The pressure from Tea Party groups could put pressure on establishment Republicans named to the supercommittee, who may wish to protect the Pentagon from severe cuts.

“Nothing should be sacred, and everything needs to be evaluated and cut as much as it can be,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

Tea Party activists say defense programs should come under the same knife as any other taxpayer-funded programs, and that massive national security budgets were not exempt from their definition of “big government.”

“The liberty movement is about the fundamental limitation of government, and that doesn’t have departmental boundaries with regards to this principle,” said Chris Littleton, co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council.

Does anyone really believe this deal cuts spending?

With yesterday’s overwhelming vote in favor of the debt plan in the House, no one expects the Senate not to deliver on putting it on President Barack Obama’s desk. But given pace at the plan has been pushed through Congress, details on what it actually does are becoming clear; and I’m not talking about what media reports say. No, I’m referring to the spending cuts that won’t likely happen, as Chris Edwards notes (emphasis mine):

The “cuts” in the deal are only cuts from the CBO “baseline,” which is a Washington construct of ever-rising spending. And even these “cuts” from the baseline include $156 billion of interest savings, which are imaginary because the underlying cuts are imaginary.

No program or agency terminations are identified in the deal. None of the vast armada of federal subsidies are targeted for elimination. Old folks will continue to gorge themselves on inflated benefits paid for by young families and future generations. None of Senator Tom Coburn’s or Senator Rand Paul’s specific cuts were included.

The federal government will still run a deficit of $1 trillion next year. This deal will “cut” the 2012 budget of $3.6 trillion by just $22 billion, or less than 1 percent.

By McCain’s definition, Reagan was an isolationist

In his latest video, Jack Hunter wades into the debate taking place inside the Republican Party over foreign policy. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other neoconservatives would have us believe that those criticizing President Barack Obama’s illegal war in Libya are “isolationists” and that Ronald Reagan would be appalled by some of the candidates running for the GOP presidential nomination that are expressing these views.

Of course, those expressing restraint in foreign policy are non-interventionists, not isolationists; they don’t not believe in cutting the United States off from the world. Also, Reagan wasn’t as hawkish as neoconservatives would have us believe.

Ron Paul throws a wrench in GOP foreign policy debate

Republicans are still debating the so-called “isolationist” sentiment among their presidential field. We know how warmongers like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2008, feel about those that oppose military intervention in Libya, and there is certainly a large contingent in the GOP that support his views.

But there are some that are fighting back against McCain’s demagoguery. In his most recent column, David Harsanyi takes McCain and other neo-cons to task over use of the misapplication of the isolationist label:

Sure, some on the far right and swaths of the protectionist, union-driven left oppose international trade agreements and endlessly freaking us out about foreign influences. But isolationists? Judging from our conduct in the real world of economy, we’re anything but insular. So perhaps McCain simply meant noninterventionists—as in folks who have an unwavering ideological aversion to any and all overseas entanglement.

That can’t be it, either. Maybe, like many Americans, some in the GOP are simply grappling with wars that never end and a war that never started. And with plenty of troubles here at home, it’s not surprising that Americans have turned their attention inward.

Not One of Us - The Fall of Neoconservatism

Some months prior to Rand Paul’s primary victory in Kentucky, a familiar pair of politicians came together in support of his opponent Trey Grayson. Late endorsements by the President of 9/11, Rudy Guiliani and Dick Cheney were trotted out in an attempt to make a dent in a double digit lead that Dr. Paul had held for some months. Cesar Conda also got into the act, writing an article for the National Review the day of Cheney’s endorsement announcement. He also convened an emergency conference call and sent out a panicky email to neoconservative pundits.

These efforts had no effect whatsoever. Rand Paul not only won the primary against Grayson, but crushed his Democrat opponent in the general election.

That the effort failed is a matter of record. However, you may or may not have noticed how little this failure, achieved with the help of the two most prominent elected neoconservatives of the last decade not named Bush, has been analyzed,  much less discussed..

One of the more interesting facts about Conda’s email  was its list of recipients. A desperate cry for help, the list of neoconservative writers was a who’s who list of PNAC advisors.

Politico reported:

Tom Woods embarrases Mark Levin over Libya

In case you haven’t heard, Tom Woods and Mark Levin are debating, though on their on webpages, the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya. Woods argues that the intervention is contrary to the intent of the Founding Fathers, while Levin - ever the neo-conservative - cites prior precedent and funding for general security purposes as some sort of tacit authority for the president to go to war whenever he feels like it.

Woods, who took apart Levin’s arguments one by one, challenged the talk radio host to find one Founding Father to that supported going to war without the approval of Congress, which is clearly laid out in Article I of the Constitution. He didn’t, but he did resort to ad hominem attacks against Woods and libertarians.

After Levin posted his most recent response, Wood shot back:

So Mark Levin has responded to my challenge today. Did he find a Federalist who agrees with him that a president can launch a non-defensive war without consulting congress? I was a real sport — I let him look through the ratifying conventions of every single state, and I also let him cite public lectures or newspaper articles. Really anything at all. Did he find someone, anyone?

Happy birthday, Ronald Reagan

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” - Ronald Reagan

I’m a fan of Ronald Reagan. He wasn’t perfect. He compromised when necessary. However, he is the only president in the last several decades that understood limited government. He read Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek and Frédéric Bastiat. And despite her animosity towards him, he considered himself a disciple of Ayn Rand. He understood and embraced free trade and immigration. He was not, despite what neoconservatives tell us about his foreign policy views, Reagan was not one of them.

While he may not have been a libertarian, but he exhibited many of those tendencies. In short, Reagan was nearly everything that George W. Bush wasn’t. A defender of limited government, free markets and personal responsibility.

Here is video of the tribute to the Gipper that will be played at the Super Bowl today:

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