Rand Paul

Rand Paul: 'There's a big transition in the Republican Party, but also in the public'


Note red penny. Always with the red penny! |||

When President Barack Obama on Aug. 30 announced his sudden change of policy in seeking congressional authorization before bombing a mideast country, it was an implicit acknowledgment that the foreign policy universe had changed significantly since his administration made a mockery of both Congress and the English language two years ago in Libya. Neither Congress nor the public was willing this time around be treated as an afterthought. As I wrote in a column about Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) last week, "Liberty Movement politicians, and the voters supporting their efforts, have helped create the reality that Obama is grudgingly responding to."

It was unknown then who would win the battle of the Beltway: the non-interventionists, as represented most visibly by Paul, or the interventionists, headed on one flank by Obama (representing the humanitarian/Responsiblity 2 Protect left), and on the other by uber-hawk Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona). But as Brian Doherty observed yesterday, the man left standing on the side of public and congressional opinion after a tumultuous week in Washington was the unlikely opthamologist from Bowling Green.

#winning. |||

Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins, in an interview/profile pegged to this month's Syria skirmish, has declared Paul the victor:

Paul, in short, is winning. The Syria debate marked the first time since House Republicans tried to keep America out of the Kosovo conflict in 1999 that a libertarian approach to foreign policy seriously challenged the GOP's old-guard caucus of hawks. And this time, the libertarians came out on top. In this context, his McCain-mocking didn't come off as mischievously trolling for a couple headlines — it seemed a little like punching down.

The article's main takeaway is that Paul feels the foreign policy momentum is growing on his side, at the expense of neoconservatives:

"There's a big transition in the Republican Party, but also in the public. People are right about the public being war-weary. They're right."

Reason on Rand Paul here, on Syria here.

NEXT: Peter Suderman Reviews Insidious: Chapter 2

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Been done before.

    NEW LONDON, Conn. ? Faced by a cadre of critics who see U.S. leadership in the world as arrogant and bellicose, President Bush used a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday to highlight the kinder, gentler side of U.S. foreign policy and challenge other nations to follow its lead.



      1. This is quite the sandwich you’ve found yourself in.

    2. Show us on the doll where Bush touched you.

    3. Insufficient CHRISTFAG.

      Grade: D

    4. So… what… you’re admitting that Bush and Obama are sympatico on this point? This one has totally lost me.

    5. Also, more recently, by a certain Senator Obama.

    6. What’s “W” saying these days? Have people gone back to paying no att’n to him, and only (if any) to Geo. Sr.?

  2. There is a transition in the Republican party–whatever Obama says, they transition to wanting the opposite. They were bitching about him not attacking Syria, until he said he wanted to, then they changed their minds. They have not suddenly become more in tune with general public sentiment or against wars. They’ve taught their moronic primary voter base that the only thought worth having is that Obama is the devil, hence anything he is for, they are against, and that is the only calculation they are making now. The only mystery is why Obama doesn’t just come out in favor of tax cuts and deregulation.

    1. Whatever happened to all those liberals who were protesting blood for oil and all that?

      1. They’re against attacking Syria?

        1. And taking to the streets in massive numbers!

      2. Whatever happened to all those liberals who were protesting blood for oil and all that?

        From the few comments I’ve read from Slate, Salon et al, there doesn’t appear to be anyone that actually wants war with Syria.

        Even broken clocks are right twice a day.

        1. But they sure are holding the vitriol and effort back, eh?

        2. A majority of Democrats now support war with Syria. Initially they opposed it, but Dear Leader waved the pocket-watch, and they are falling in line, as predicted. When Obama leaves office, he will snap his fingers, and they will have no memory of ever supporting such an action.

    2. What’s the matter Tony? Afraid the right may take the anti-war high ground from the left?

      How you must have to twist and squirm to square the fact that “your man” is a warmonger, who is willing to kill innocent human beings rather than admit he misspoke.

      You must be so proud.

      1. Afraid the right may take the anti-war high ground from the left?

        I am very skeptical of that ever happening.

        You get an Iran war boner going, GOP will be all over that shit.

        1. The McCains and Grahams, yes – the Rand Paul and Justin Amash types, not so much.

        2. I’d bet even Iran, at this point, can’t make it stiff. People are sick and tired of war. It would need to be a direct attack on the US to get it hard again.

          Either way, my point was more that the left has lost ALL credibility as the anti-war party.

    3. Could you show us when exactly Rand Paul was bitching about Obama not attacking Syria? No, you can’t? I didn’t think so.

      1. But he’s a Republican. They’re all the exact same, right?

    4. There aren’t too many commenters here who believe the Republicans (as a whole, at least) are principled in this regard. That being said, the Democrats aren’t principled, either. Which is exactly what the libertarians’ (small l) complaint. Politics has become a big team game, and you’re solidly team blue. Whatever team blue does is either right or justified, and whatever team red does is either wrong or, maybe in a few rare instances, right for the wrong reason.

    5. Tony you are usually just a dumbass but not a troll.

      This here is Shreik level trolling.

      The point of the article was not that “republicans” have changed their positions but that “republicans” were not unified, there were 2 distinct camps among them and that the power balance between those 2 groups has flipped.

      That said even though the anti war non interventionist side now appears to have the upper hand the warboner republicans are still there and still saying the exact same things they have always said.

      1. You really don’t know the definition of a troll, do you?

        Tony posts the same stuff day after day after day, with absolutely no consideration of the points made by others and with no genuine ability for growth or even discussion.

        Tony is the worst kind of troll – the one who can easily dupe you into thinking you’re going to have a conversation with someone intelligent, even if that person disagrees with you it may still be fun, but THE CAKE IS A LIE.

        1. No I disagree, Shreik does that, Tony frequently posts original content that goes beyond mere talking point and like John is clearly posting what he personally actually believes and I have seen him evolve his view on things. He also clearly does not post solely for the purpose of stirring up shit.

          This however is just outright stupidity

          1. Cite to me ONE TIME Tony has “evolved”. It can’t be done.

            Seriously, dude, you’ve allowed yourself to be fooled. Tony is simply a more intelligent version of shrike. Tony hits the “reset button” every time he comes here.

          2. “I have seen him evolve his view on things”

            I, too, am curious to see when this occurred.

            1. It happens occasionally, but it’s because his new handler isn’t yet up to speed on his previous handlers’ musings. Once the new guy is all caught up he goes back to saying the same shit as usual.

  3. There’s a big transition in the Republican Party, but also in the public.

    Unlike politicians, human beings can look at an unbroken record of failure and recognize the need for an alternative approach.

    1. Come on just one more ME war and I know we’ll get it right. Look at all the blood and treasure we’ve spent learning about the place. We can’t let that investment go to waste. Sure we’ve failed but I just know that with just a little more war, we’ll have the place all pacified and civilized. Just one more war. I swearsies.

      1. And it won’t even be a real war, we’re not gonna send the whole army in, just the tip and just one time to see how it feels, we swear.

    2. Brooksie…

      Do I detect a hint of optimism? From you? 😉

      1. KILL IT KILL IT!!!!

  4. Interesting how the leftist attack dogs show up first to attack Paul and his successes. Very interesting.

    1. It would be interesting, except that they’re not real people.

    2. Almost as if they are paid to troll sites all day and disrupt them.

      1. Accusing them of being paid shills is the same game they play about the Kochtapus.

        I prefer to apply Hnalon’s razor and just assume they’re retarded.

        1. HEY what about me now?

    3. No it isn’t.

      1. I’d agree, except Warty busted you as a fictional construct in the morning links.

        1. The morning links are for idiots and retards, which makes it perfect for you and Warty. Saying that something happened on the morning links is like saying something happened on The Tonight Show. No one fucking cares.

          1. Of course you’d take that position, since you were passed through the fictionalizer.

          2. You’re right.

            Prolib was pretending to be in the Oort cloud and having a temper tantrum where he threatened to destroy the world.

            The fact that we all *know* he’s on Earth because he was responding to posts in seconds while the Oort cloud is many light minutes away seemed to go right over his head.

            1. Dude, I obviously have superior technology. How else could I be residing in and broadcasting from the Oort cloud? Be reasonable, man!

              1. You can’t stop the signal, Mal.

    4. They probably have “Rand Paul” and “Reason” on Google alert.

  5. Shriek AND Tony! Here we go!!!!!

    1. Weigel and Krugman, two Journolists doing the job they’re getting paid to do.

  6. I don’t even think Obama was repping the R2P left. Lefties weren’t particularly enthusiastic about this either. It wasn’t being sold as an R2P project, really, but as a “save Barack’s/America’s credibility”.

    It was a coalition of war-hawks and Obamabots. At one time not long ago, that would have been enough. I suspect that what really turned the tide here was the massive scandal overhang and looming lame duck status; apparat Dems are increasingly wary of tying themselves to a damaged and declining President, and Repubs aren’t as scared of him as they used to be.

    1. I think there is a lot of truth to this statement. Throw in the blue collar left’s hate of Obamacare, and you have a critical mass of people who don’t want to follow Obama blindly anymore.

    1. On the Buzzfeed site, that is.

  7. Show us on the doll where Bush touched you.

    Right here, in my most sensitive spot.

    *points to wallet*

  8. Semi OT: Heard on the radio today the crap about Best Korea’s nuclear reactor going back online.

    How fucked up is it that we live in a society that would rather dole out welfare than let a country produce something for itself? We’ve essentially been paying Good Korea to not produce electricity.

  9. Paul: opthamologist. Assad: opthamologist. Coincidence? I think not.

  10. No, Rand, the part you, too, are missing appears here …
    AND in the concept that between the Democrats and Republicans today, the voting-booth choices have come down to “socialism versus theocracy,” and that makes for an impossible choice for MANY Americans, myself included.

    I voted anti-socialism in the last election and lost; I voted anti-theocracy in the presidential election before that and for a while thought I’d “won.” But that feeling disappeared quickly.

    There is NO “in-between the two” any more, and per that other Reason link, I think neither side understands it.

    And the 2016 elections won’t be any better, I think.

  11. The Tea Party “is” the Republican Party. Its members are the majority. We will not be dissuaded, deluded, compromised, delayed, detoured, bought or lured away. We will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, negotiate at the table of corruption, hesitate in the presence of adversary or meander in the maze of mediocrity. We won’t give up, shut up or let up because we’re prayed up and suited up. You won’t have any problem recognizing us!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.