This morning, Sen. Kelly Ayotte made the pilgrimage to CPAC, the annual gathering of arch-conservative activists and elected officials. Reactions to her speech highlighted the split among GOP conservatives between hawkish neoconservatives and non-interventionist isolationists.
Labeling her a Tea Party hawk, Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollack praised Ayotte as “one of the few conservatives who is fluent in both the Tea Party’s constitutionalism and the hawkish policy prescriptions of the national security wing of the Republican Party.”
Her talk elicited a very different reaction from Jordan Bloom, associate editor for The American Conservative, a small-circulation magazine founded in opposition to the invasion of Iraq.
Bloom wrote of Ayotte’s “hypocrisy” on Benghazi and Syria. “[H]er speech shows what an incoherent publicity stunt the GOP’s hawks have made out of the murder of four American foreign service officers:”
While castigating the president for not intervening in Syria, Ayotte–who has called for arming the opposition–acknowledged that it is in part comprised of people the United States shouldn’t be associating with, let alone arming. It’s even more galling in light of the climax of her speech–a promise to get to the bottom of the Benghazi scandal.
Surely she knows that the CIA in Libya was somehow involved in the covert transfer of weapons from there to Syria. This isn’t some conspiracy theory, it was covered by the Sunday Times. If that’s news to the senator, why should she be trusted to investigate Benghazi in an honest way? It can’t be though–her speech shows what an incoherent publicity stunt the GOP’s hawks have made out of the murder of four American foreign service officers.