Foreign Policy

Rand Paul in the Senate: Only Anti-Intervention Hope?


Riffing off Rand Paul's halting of a new Senate Iranian sanctions bill (which I wrote about last week here), Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic sees the Senate as an anti-inteventionist's best hope:

I am…glad that the gentleman from Kentucky seized this opportunity to remind his colleagues and American citizens generally that the road to war ought to run through Congress, something that didn't happen the last time our president sent American combat troops to act on behalf of our foreign allies….

Those words and Paul's actions are mutually reinforcing arguments for a proposition that anti-war Obama supporters should have accepted by now: The problem with relying on a president to advance the non-interventionist agenda is that he or she is unlikely to cede power, regardless of his or her campaign rhetoric or previous critiques of executive excesses; whereas a single senator, while much less powerful than the president, can do a lot for the anti-war cause….

But watching Paul as a lonely voice against a war with Iran … and the extension of the Patriot Act … and the National Defense Authorization Act … and the War in Libya … well, the man could use more allies. The last time civil libertarians and anti-war voters advanced their agendas, it was because Congress, empowered by Vietnam and the scandals of Richard Nixon, pushed back against the institutional power that the executive branch had accrued….As Paul and former Senator Russ Feingold demonstrate, it is possible for both Republicans and Democrats to elect individuals who will champion civil liberties and oppose wars. If the post-9/11 national security state is to be reined in or rolled back that must happen more often. Obama has destroyed the illusion that anyone will do the job from the White House. 

Reason's Rand Paul archives. Paul is a character in my forthcoming book Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

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  1. I can’t believe that bastard wants to keep us out of another costly, bloody, nation-building debacle. Iran might maybe eventually someday have a nuclear weapon that they might maybe eventually someday be able to use on America if events occur that have lotto-level odds against happening! This is a clear and present danger to the warfare state. Attack! Drop this isolatio-commie into ocean and fire up the fucking drones already!

    1. That lunatic thinks his toilet and avoiding mass slaughter are more important than our abortion rights!

      1. Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
        Go ahead and cheat a friend.
        Do it in the name of Heaven, (you CHRISTFAG!)
        You can justify it in the end.
        There won’t be any trumpets blowing
        Come the judgement day,
        On the bloody morning after….
        One tin soldier rides away.

        /One Tin Derp

    2. if events occur that have lotto-level odds against happening

      Taking a lot forgranted here.

      1. Yes – the odds are likely worse than that.

        The Warmongering takeover of Objectivism baffles me entirely.

  2. But watching Paul as a lonely voice against a war with Iran … and the extension of the Patriot Act … and the National Defense Authorization Act … and the War in Libya … well, the man could use more allies.

    Hell yes. It’s sad that he’s almost entirely alone in these endeavors, but he’s that much the braver for it.

  3. BTW, anyone else get a Reed Richards vibe from that photo?

    1. “He’s retarded, Sally. You’ve seen Of Mice and Men, you know what can happen.”

      1. No, Lenny, don’t stroke her hair!

  4. Why is it that politicians punish foreign nations by not allowing goods to cross borders (embargos), yet these same assclowns claim that setting up homegrown barriers to foreign goods (protective tariffs) is the path to prosperity?

    1. The Occam’s Razor Of Politics: Assume that they are just idiots and you will most likely be correct.

      1. I assume that they’re evil idiots, you moron.

        1. U need to check yr axioms, yo. Ya premises be saggin’.

          1. You sound suspicious. I’m gonna hassle you until you beat me up, and then I’m gonna shoot you. That cool?

            1. I’m so white, I’m pink! You’ll never get away with this, Fuckeye!

      2. @SF: politician, electorate, or both?

  5. But isn’t he that crazy guy who won’t let negros sit at the lunch counter?

    1. negros? hummmm…thinkin…
      what color are you?

  6. Rand Paul – and by extension all of Kentucky – is soft on crime.

  7. All of you anti-interventionist just hate America and blame her for everything.

  8. anti-war obama supporters….now there is an oxymoron for you, with heavy emphasis on the ‘moron’ part.

    Rand Paul appears to be a genuinely good guy….as far as I can tell. On the national political scene that is stunning. btw, from the photo he appears to be a ‘hair club’ member.

    OT; Great Britain is pushing a law that allows the cops to monitor all phone calls and internet activity for everyone. They are offering no real justification for needing this power and do not want to discuss it publicly. Wow, just when I think they cant be any more totalitarian they prove me wrong. The brits have turned their country into a prison. Stupid, fucking Benthamites.

    1. I’m betting they couldn’t come up with ten guys today with the gonads of the “Battle of Britain” pilots. Hell, they’d probably welcome the Nazis on Dover Beach with flowers and a pint.

      1. Ten? Unless they have some survivors around from that battle I am betting not even one.

        I was there in the early 90’s and was startled at how sheepish they are.

        1. No, no – it’s the Scots who are “sheepish”…if ya know what I’m sayin.

          The English are more…well, no, I guess they’re “sheepish”, too. Never mind…

      2. I bet you could find them. But they’d be considered dangerous weirdos now.
        It’s really sad to see what the UK is turning into.

        1. I have met a few, but they were all ex-pats. What they had to say about their homeland would make dracula blush.

      3. Or maybe the Germans would be the ones resisting the expansion of the totalitarian British Empire.

        Hitler was a better dancer than Churchill, you know.

    2. I iz in ur iPad lookin at ur emailz

  9. i liek warz. the markits liek warz + obama. suk it bichez.

  10. OT: I think the letters to Penthouse may be a lie.

    My version, from about 10 minutes ago.

    Dear Penthouse,

    I never thought this would happen to me…I was mowing my lawn when this expensive, sporty car stops in front of my house. I walk over and inside are two sweaty high school girls tennis players wearing very short, tight skirts. They ask me a question, I answer. They drive off.

    So, yeah, I think it would need some punching up before it could be published.

    1. You just need to add


      at the end and it will be PERFECT!

      1. crap, I meant to in the version in my head.

        Dang it.

    2. I hope you gave them directions to my house.

      *peeking through the curtain at the driveway*

      1. “My friend ‘Steve’ wasn’t too good with the ladies, so when they showed up, they were even hornier than before. ‘Barbie’ had her shirt off before the door was closed behind her….”


    3. “…there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see two of the foxiest twins ever, with long brunette hair, legs that wouldn’t quit, and big tits. Whew. How does that sound?”

      “Change tits to mouth-watering scoops of flesh and have them defy gravity.”

      “Do you think they’ll know that scoops of flesh means tits? I don’t know. Doesn’t sound specific enough.”

      “Where else you gonna find scoops of flesh?”

      1. ” You know, I’ve never met anyone like you before. Usually when I meet someone new I feel awkward and shy. But with you it’s different. I can talk to you. You know what I’m thinking without my having to explain it to you in fancy terms. We speak each other’s unspoken language…fluently. I love you.”

        1. *PSSST!*

          *remember to say ‘no homo’*

        2. “You have a feel for ambiguity.”

          1. “Hi, I’m Gary Cooper, but not the Gary Cooper that’s dead.”

            1. “You know, junk food really doesn’t deserve the bad rap it gets. Take these fried pork rinds. This particular brand has one percent of the RDA… that’s “recommended daily allowance,” of riboflavin.”

              1. “Spontaneity has its time and place.”

      2. Uncle SugarFree, tell us all the story where the crazy Obamacare Dr. Giggles Guy cuts the woman’s toe and her side and then fucks the wound in her torso in front of a cheering audience while the woman writhes in pain strapped to the examination table!

        Wait, no, don’t….

        1. Every time I think the voices in my head have some bad suggestions, one of you comes along to prove they aren’t that bad.

            1. Even my voices are smart enough to know asking you for anything off your greatest hits compilation is a wretchedly poor idea. How poor an idea I didn’t really need confirmed.

    4. The local fishwrap rarely covered high school girl events until a new photographer was hired two years ago. Now the paper has a load of those events photographed in great detail for the Sports section.




      1. The Constitution? Are you serious? Are you serious?

        1. It’s like 100 years old and junk.

      2. This suicide pact we have with Iran is unconstitutional.

    2. Anna Benson, is that you?

  12. I find it odd that liberals seem to hate Rand Paul so passionately, much more so than they do the old man. Probably because he’s young and dynamic and will be a pain in their hypocritical asses for a long time to come on civil liberties issues.

    1. He’s going to be primaried by the GOP establishment in 2016, bank on it. The Tea Party is in its death throes now, so he’s going to need another counterforce to save him in that election.

      1. They tried in 2010.

        McConnell isnt really that popular in this state. Enough to always win, but he was been running against a series of losers. Paul defeated the hand picked McConnell choice in the last primary, I think he will be okay.

        1. TP was a huge force in 2010 though. Without that he may be in trouble, no?

          I’m obviously an outside observer, but is there something special about Kentuckians that makes them especially receptive to Rand’s politics?

  13. If the post-9/11 national security state is to be reined in or rolled back that must happen more often. Obama has destroyed the illusion that anyone will do the job from the White House.

    Right, because if you can’t trust Barack Obama, you can’t trust anyone.

    I mean, I’m not a devotee of “getting the right people in charge” but giving up on that route because a narcissistic power-hungry pathological liar double crossed civil libertarians is a bit premature.

    1. a narcissistic power-hungry pathological liar

      I think the issue is more that next guy will be another one, Tulpa. We seem to be selecting for them lately.

    2. nuts.

      1. double-nuts.

  14. Doesn’t surprise me.

  15. This has been bugging me for some time:

    Assuming that Iran will get the bomb, they will use it and bombing them is an effective way to counteract that – has anyone laid out some kind of business plan?

    What are our objectives?
    How are we going to achieve them?
    Will there be side-effects / repercussions?
    If yes, what are our contigency plans?
    What’s the end-game?
    How are we going to get out?

  16. lol, those dudes crack me up sometimes man!

  17. Black is beautiful

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