While many, if not all, Republican-leaning realists have—and for good reason, considering the alternatives—decided early on to hitch their wagon to Rand Paul’s star, might there be a realist option for those on the other side of the great political divide? The putative 2016 Democratic primary lineup, dominated as it is by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, would seem at first glance to offer scant hope for realists, not least because Clinton herself seems to be completely held captive to the reigning neoconservative magical thinking on issues as diverse as Syria, Russia, the utility and rightness of the surveillance state, and the supposed threat posed to American interests by the IS group.
Astute analysts like The National Interest’s Jacob Heilbrunn
and former Council on Foreign Relations president Leslie Gelb have both
written that there are abundant signs that the neoconservatives, supreme
political opportunists that they are, have been playing footsie with
the former Secretary of State, with neoconservative-in-chief Robert
Kagan going so far as to re-brand himself as a “liberal interventionist”
in the hope of snagging a high-level appointment in what he clearly
hopes will be a third Clinton term. And why wouldn’t he? Even a cursory
look at Mrs. Clinton’s record reveals a politician only too eager to try
and turn neoconservative fantasy into actual policy.
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