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).

NEXT: Blair Says Iraq Made the UK Hesitant To Intervene in Syria

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  1. “wherever our mad bomber in chief wants to drop a load next?”

  2. “If You’re Against War in Syria, Thank Rand Paul and Justin Amash!”

    I’m a big fan, Gillespie, but that’s an awful headline.

    I thought this post was going to be about how some prog journalist somewhere was blaming my opposition to Obama’s missile strikes on Rand Paula and Amash–just like they blamed my opposition to TARP on the Koch Brothers.

    Really, if neither Paul nor Amash existed, I’d still oppose direct U.S. involvement in Syria anyway.

    1. I think you’re supposed to thank them for being a loud voice in Congress.

      1. That makes more sense.

        I think the idea that we would just oppose Obama’s plan in Syria because Rand Paul told us to is so far out of Gillespie’s head, that it didn’t occur to him that someone might read it that way.

        …but that is the way most people will read it, especially our proglodyte enemies.

        1. , especially our proglodyte enemies.

          You don’t seriously expect them to think for themselves, do you? How will they maintain their connection to the collective if there’s a possibility of divergent opinion? People need leaders to show them what to believe and do so they can be free!

          1. They would be like the Tines in a Fire Upon the Deep and wonder around clueless without their connection to the collective.

      2. ^this^

        There seems to be a natural tendency around here to pick on Gillespie about anything, no matter how trivial.

        1. Eh. Lately he’s deserved it.

        2. Not me, I only pick on him on the big stuff, like contradicting the importance of Sullum’s excellent reporting during the last gun banner freak out. Otherwise, when he’s right I back him. I try not to encourage animosity between the branches of libertarianism.

        3. I’m not criticizing Gillespie.

          I’m criticizing the headline.

    2. I think you are misinterpreting the headline.

      I actually read it like that, then realized that he actually meant, if you are opposed to the war, thank Paul and Amash because they are leading the effort against it, not that you should thank them for making you be against the war.

      1. I get the headline. The fun part with a Nick G daily beast column is guessing how many times it will be re-posted at HnR.

        1. Articles are never reposted here, there’s a time space continuum loop here that you can sometimes get stuck in. Yeah, that’s it, it’s not ‘Waaah, no one commented on my story, I need to repost! It’s the fault of those damn PM links!’

  3. That title shrieks to be released from the prison of this page and then rushed off to a parallel dimension- never to be read again.

    1. Oh noes, you said shriek, why did you call it?

      1. I haven’t a singlish ideal.

  4. You anti war pussies slay me.

    We need to go to war in Syria with at least 5 Combat Brigades – it is our moral and patriotic duty. We also need to invade Somalia and Sierra Leona because there is clearly some bad stuff going on there worthy of at least 2 Brigades a piece.

    Then we can execute a phased withdrawal and mass troops on the border to invade Canada. Those smug bastards have a healthy economy and lots of oil. And they’ve had it coming for a long time now.

    1. More than five million people have died in the DR Congo conflict, and the prevalence of rape, there, is the worst in the world.…..01194.html

      How can we just stand by and do nothing? What, do you support rape or something? Well, DO ya?!

      1. Drudge is linking a story that a former Iranian leader is making it personal for the US President:

        Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Forces, Wednesday told the Assembly of Experts ? the body that chooses the supreme leader ? that “[w]e will support Syria to the end.”

        And in an unprecedented statement, a former Iranian official has warned of mass abductions and brutal killings of American citizens around the world and the rape and killing of one of Obama’s daughters should the United States attack Syria.

        1. We should take those threats seriously.

          Not against the president’s family, but I don’t see why Hezbollah wouldn’t start targeting U.S. civilians on purpose.

          …something they haven’t done, really, since 1982.

          If we’ve basically had a truce with Hezbollah since 1982, I really don’t see why throwing that away is worth whatever Obama thinks he’s going to achieve by lobbing missiles at Assad.

          I’d blame Obama for not answering those questions, but the press is in his hip pocket so deep, nobody’s even asked him that question.

          1. This is what bothers me. Hez sucks, but they’re Israel’s problem, mainly. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, is our problem. Hez is a local outfit, Al Qaeda is world criminal to our world cop. It wasn’t Hezbollah that killed 3000 Americans, and it isn’t Hezbollah that we are at war with. So why is it that we are expected to side with the faction supported by Al Qaeda against the one supported by Hezbollah?

            This whole debate basically seems like the interests of the Saudis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Israelis (take your pick) are being pitted against those of Americans in our own capital. The term “Quisling” is abused a bit, but for war supporters in this case, it seems apropos.

      2. Ahh, but see they didn’t use TEH EVUL KEMIKAL WEPPONZ.

        You can kill 5 million people and rape who know how many as long as you do it using “conventional” means. Shoot them, blow them up, stab them, beat them to death, whatever, it’s all good. But gas a couple thousand people and all of a sudden it’s a moral outrage that must be punished by us.

    2. Healthy economy my ass. Maybe out west where oil is being produced, Ontario is slowly killing off industry with high energy prices. Everywhere I look industry is shutting down. The only thing growing are windmill farms but that is because you can make a killing with 20-year government subsidies and first to market contracts.

      1. We can take Alberta and leave Ontario to the new Quebec nation.

    3. We’ll let you take Quebec without complaint. And you think California is bad…

      1. Quebec can have Ontario and the maritimes, we will take everything west of Ontario.

    4. Let’s just open the southern border and invade Mexico. Immigration problem solved cause we make all Mexicans Americans.

    5. We also need to invade Somalia and Sierra Leona because there is clearly some bad stuff going on there worthy of at least 2 Brigades a piece

      You first.

      I would also suggest Canada, if you want to do it, and avoid Syria.

      The Canadians will probably hide under a table and cry if they see you coming with a scary gun. The Syrian rebels on the other hand, might shoot back at you.

  5. I refuse to thank Rand Paul for anything. He is a white supremacist who wants babies to starve to death, so everything he says has to be wrong. [/my liberal friends]

    1. Well, then I hate Rand Paul too. I need those babies to grow up and work in my textile mills.

  6. You guy kept making fun of Kerry’s head, so I paid attention to him blathering on the morning shows. Take a good look at his right eye. In my unprofessional opinion, I think he’s had a stroke and Obama has kept it quiet.

    1. I never make fun of his head, just his face. He shall now be known as ‘Lurch the Snow Miser’.

      1. You rang?

        That’s funny!

      2. I imagine Obama has a big cord he pulls on in the White House. It makes a gong sound, and then Kerry shows up.

        You rang?


    2. I’m pretty sure he’s had permanent brain damage for a while now. It’s highly likely he was born with it.

  7. This is a test for fixing that email bug thing in reasonable. Apologies.

  8. Ah, one more test.

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