Home/Daniel Larison/The Senate Already Has Many Young Republican Hawks

The Senate Already Has Many Young Republican Hawks

Matt Purple interprets the Cheney run in Wyoming as a response to the lack of younger hawks in Congress:

Beyond Rep. Tom Cotton, the neoconservative darling who still staunchly defends the Iraq intervention, there’s little fresh blood among Republican hawks in Congress these days. So perhaps it makes sense for Liz Cheney, the daughter of one of the architects of Bush-era foreign policy, to provide a Senate counterbalance to Paul.

There may be something to this, but I’m not convinced. If this is the thinking behind Cheney’s campaign, it conveys a remarkable lack of confidence in all of the hawks that were just elected to the Senate in 2010 and 2012. Except for Paul, the most prominent Republicans elected in the last few years have distinguished themselves by trying to outdo their older colleagues in hawkish bombast. Far from filling a void, Cheney would be just one more hawkish voice in a chorus of younger proponents of hard-line policies. As tempting as it is to see Cheney’s run in terms of intra-party fights over foreign policy, the Senate isn’t lacking for very vocal Republican hawks. Whether they are haranguing Hagel for being “weak” on Iran, voting to arm the Syrian opposition, pushing for more sanctions on Iran, or railing against possible nuclear arms reductions, the younger hawks already in the Senate are quite loud and aggressive in asserting their hawkish views. Paul is already “counterbalanced” by at least forty of his Republican colleagues on most of these issues. Unless Rubio, Ayotte, Cruz, et al. have already become irrelevant, I’m not sure how much more “fresh blood” Senate GOP hawks require.

P.S. I expanded on my earlier comments on Cheney’s candidacy for Politico here.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

leave a comment

Latest Articles