From Glenn Greenwald’s post linked by Michael below:
Paul, of course, is not only in favor of immediate withdrawal from Iraq, but also emphatically opposes the crux of America’s bipartisan foreign policy consensus. He reserves his greatest scorn for America’s hegemonic rule of the world through superior military force, i.e., its acting as an empire in order to prop up its entangling alliances and enduring conflicts — what George Washington lamented as “permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others.”
[…] Paul is the only serious candidate aggressively challenging America’s addiction to ruling the world through superior military force and acting as an empire — not by contesting specific policies (such as the Iraq War) but by calling into question the unexamined root premises of these policies, the ideology that is defining our role in the world. By itself, the ability of Paul’s campaign to compel a desperately needed debate over the devastation which America’s imperial rule wreaks on every level — economic, moral, security, liberty — makes his success worth applauding.
This point is more important than most people appreciate, and not just because I have hit on it before. When you watch the Democratic debates, just like the Republican debates, everybody more or less takes for granted that we have a right to throw the US military around the world without regard for anybody’s opinion but our own. On the face of it that seems silly, not only did the Bush years show that it can be a catastrophically stupid approach but we have every reason to think in advance that casually throwing the military around would cause more problems than it would solve. There is a good reason why diplomatic corps and the FBI have a frustratingly cautious approach to international operations.
Either the Democrats are too afraid to challenge the neoconservative mindset that rules Washington or they don’t actually have a problem with it. It’s hard to say which of those two options pisses me off worse. Iraq matters to people, and the further you get from the cocktail circuit bobbleheads the more viscerally the issue hits. Knowing full well that Paul will never break 10% and knowing that half of Paul’s issue stances border on the lunatic, I have a very easy time understanding where his money comes from. Literally nobody else is saying what people are hungry to hear.