Sen. Rand Paul expressed support for using U.S. military power to battle ISIL, but only after receiving Congressional authorization.
After criticizing President Obama's lack of a plan for dealing with the terrorist group last Friday, Paul told the Associated Press that the correct first move is to ask Congress:
"If I were President, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily."
The Weekly Standard reported Paul's comments while linking to an older story in which Paul expressed "mixed feelings" about bombing ISIL. That story ran under the very Weekly Standard headline, "Rand Paul Not Sure If U.S. Should Bomb Genocidal Islamist Terrorists in Iraq."
One gets the sense that The Weekly Standard is pouncing on Paul's comments as if to say, See! Even this nutcase libertarian isolationist is beginning to understand! But Paul's foreign policy views have never been as extreme as his neoconservative critics claim. The decision to deploy American military might should be difficult. Government leaders should be conflicted about it. They should also obey our Constitutional dictates, which require Congress, not the president, to declare war.