If You're Against War in Syria, Thank Rand Paul and Justin Amash!


Things are looking up for those of us who are against American intervention in Syria. President Obama has been cowed out of his go-it-alone cowboy bravura of just a few weeks ago and congressional authorization from either the House or the Senate is looking increasingly shaky these days.

My latest piece at The Daily Beast analyzes the leading role in this development played by libertarian Republicans Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Justin Amash. Snippets:

Paul and Amash consistently take on their own party when it comes to limiting executive power, rolling back the surveillance state and other war-on-terror excesses and redefining foreign policy.

Amash is not only conducting an exemplary districtwide listening tour on Syria, he's documenting it via his Twitter feed and the Facebook page he uses to explain all his votes and positions. Paul added an amendment to the Senate resolution on Syria that declares the president in violation of the Constitution if he launches attacks without congressional authorization. Unlike the flip-flops by Republicans who were hawks on Iraq—and in-the-GOP-tank organizations such as the Heritage Foundation—no one assumes these guys will reverse their stances on bombing Arabs the second that the Party of Lincoln regains the White House….

In…a compromised moral and political universe, characters such as Rand Paul and Justin Amash are not just rare but necessary. We need more of them. Their willingness to articulate governing principles and then legislate accordingly is the reason they are leading an ideological insurgency in the Republican Party and stoking what outlets from The Atlantic to NPR to the Post are recognizing as a "libertarian moment."

You may not agree with them on issues beyond the war, but that's the issue that is front and center right now. Neither of them is a pacifist or an isolationist. But when it comes to purely elective war—not just in Syria but wherever our mad bomber in chief wants to drop a load next—you can be certain they will be leading the opposition.

Read the whole piece (which also introduces the phrase "roll-over Republicans" to describe GOP members deferential to unconstitutional power grabs by the president and details the Quisling-level spinelessness of much of the liberal commentariat).