Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal and the Republican fratricide

Louisiana governor says Kentucky senator is unfit to be president.

AB Wire

Road to the White House

WASHINGTON, DC: Whatever has happened to Ronald Reagan’s so-called 11th Commandment?

“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican,” the actor-turned politician, who would later become the 40th president of the United States, famously said nearly half a century ago, during his campaign for governor of California.

These days, Republicans do not seem to subscribe to that Commandment, as statements from some of its presidential candidates indicate.

The trigger for the latest fratricide was a statement by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Republican hawks were responsible for the birth of ISIS, the terror group that control vast territories in Syria and Iraq.

“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS,” the senator, who has announced that he will run for president in 2016, said. “These hawks also wanted to bomb [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad, which would have made ISIS’s job even easier.”

Paul was hitting out at the positions of his party and Senate colleagues Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was the first to push back at Paul, son of former Rep. John Paul, who captured the imagination of the pacifist libertarians during the last two presidential elections.

“This is a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander-in-chief,” the Indian American, who’s widely expected to announce his candidacy next month, said in a statement. “We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position.”

By Wednesday night the conservative Wall Street Journal joined the party. “Rand Paul Created ISIS,” the headline of an editorial posted on its site stated.

“Well, okay, our headline goes too far. But the claim is about as plausible as Rand Paul’s outburst that Republican internationalists like Lindsey Graham and John McCain are responsible for the rise of the Islamic State.”

The Journal editors also had a word of advice for Paul:

Republicans who begin their campaigns assailing other Republicans rarely succeed—especially when the accusation is culpability for a would-be caliphate that uses executions, slavery, extortion, rape and general terror to enforce oppression in the Middle East and North Africa, and whose ideology inspires jihadists world-wide.

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