Walter B. Jones is seventy-two years old, but the feisty Republican congressman representing North Carolina’s third congressional district has no plans to retire. Asked by Roll Call if he’s going to be running again, he answered “Absolutely!” and said fundraising has already started, adding: “I like to be a thorn in people’s ass.”
Yes, that’s Jones all over – a thorn in the War Party’s very vulnerable backside. He represents a district with the most military bases in the entire country, and yet this militantly anti-interventionist Republican has managed to beat back repeated challenges from within his own party.
Jones, you’ll recall, was virulently pro-war in the run up to the invasion of Iraq: when the French refused to support the war, it was he who demanded the congressional cafeteria change the French fries on their menu to “Freedom fries.” As the Iraq disaster unfolded, however, and the lies that got us into that war were revealed, he changed his tune quite dramatically from “Onward Christian Soldiers” to “Taps.” Particularly affected by the heartbreaking letters he received from families of soldiers sent to the battlefield, he answered every single one – and made his opposition to the war into a personal crusade.
The neoconservatives in the GOP establishment targeted him for political destruction but he beat back a challenge from their chosen carpetbagger, one Taylor Griffin, despite the War Party funneling over $1 million into the campaign. Griffin didn’t dare confront Jones directly on the issue of war and peace: instead, he concentrated on the ridiculous assertion that Jones is “too liberal” for the district. Yet FreedomWorks, a group that campaigns to elect Tea Party-oriented candidates, rated him the most conservative member of the North Carolina delegation: the American Conservative Union, which has been rating the conservative bona fides of members of Congress for decades, puts him in the top 25 percent. In the end, the voters didn’t buy Griffin’s propaganda, but the margin was only six points – a thin one for a 20-year veteran officeholder.
Griffin is angling for another try, and he’s sure to get support from the same pro-war types who funded his campaign last time: hedge fund manager and fanatical warhawk Paul Singer, the “Emergency Committee for Israel,” and Seth Klarman, another billionaire for endless war.
The same people are out to target likely Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, and they are raising money hand over fist. The New York Times reports:
“Though Mr. Paul will not formally announce his campaign until April, prominent Republican officials and groups are already organizing to undercut his approach. One of the party’s biggest donors, the Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, has told associates he is open to underwriting an effort to stopping Mr. Paul, should he gain traction in the primary.”
Read the rest via War Party Is Ready for 2016 by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com.