Last year, then-RNC chairman Michael Steele caused a mini civil war within the Republican Party when he criticized President Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan and suggested that the United States should not be at war in that country. Leading conservatives denounced Steele’s criticism of the war, quickly silencing him.
Now, yet another Republican who criticized the war is facing the possibility of being excommunicated from the conservative movement for his dovish views. On Saturday, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) announced that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), one of the handful of congressional Republicans who voted against going to war in Iraq and a major opponent of the war in Afghanistan, would be kicked off its National Advisory Board over his dovish views.
YAF condemned Paul’s “delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement” and said that he was even more “out of touch with America’s needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration.” The group even went as far as to say that his “refusal to support our nation’s military and national security interests border on treason“:
The conservative group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) announced Saturday that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) would be expelled from the group’s National Advisory Board because of his “delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement.” “It is a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative-libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America’s needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration,” YAF’s Senior National Director Jordan Marks said in a statement.
“Rep. Paul’s refusal to support our nation’s military and national security interests border on treason, aside from his failure to uphold his oath to the United States Constitution and defend our country and citizens against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Marks continued.
It’s curious that YAF compares Paul’s opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to treason. The latest Gallup poll on the issue finds that 61 percent of Republicans want to see a speedier withdrawal of American combat troops from the Afghanistan. Between the attacks on Steele and the purging of Paul, it appears that right-wing powerbrokers are willing to attack any conservative over their increasingly minority views on war and foreign policy.