Rand Paul

Rand Paul Slams Obama's 'Illegal' War on ISIS, Chides Congress


Rand Paul
Rand Paul / Facebook

Libertarian Republican Sen. Rand Paul reiterated his strong opposition to President Obama's lawless war against ISIS on Monday. He penned an op-ed for The Daily Beast accusing Obama of subverting the Constitution, the War Powers Act, and the Federalist Papers by bombing ISIS absent Congressional authorization.

Paul saved his harshest criticisms for lawmakers of both parties who only show an interest in holding the White House accountable when it is occupied by a political enemy:

Where have those Democratic protectors of the constitutional authority of Congress gone? Was it always just a partisan attack on Republican presidents?

If not, when will Democrats—who so vociferously opposed a Republican president's extraconstitutional war-making powers—stand up and oppose President Obama's unconstitutional usurpation of war-making powers?

Now that the Republicans have full power in Congress, they are responsible for upholding the Constitution and pressing Obama for proper war authorization, wrote Paul:

Conservatives have rightly decried President Obama's unconstitutional executive action on Obamacare—and his promises to do the same with immigration. With both branches of Congress now under Republican control, we should act to halt those power grabs, too.

But conservatives can't simply be angry at the president's lawlessness when they disagree with his policies. They should end their conspicuous silence about the president's usurpation of Congress' sole authority to declare war—even if (especially if) they support going after ISIS, as I do.

It should be noted that Paul does ultimately support bombing ISIS, just not without a legal justification. Is that position good enough for war-weary libertarians and other skeptics? It depends on whom you ask [UPDATE: Link corrected]. Still, Paul unarguably deserves credit for using his post-election perch to insult interventionists on both sides of the aisle. As Paul writes, "If ever there was too much bipartisanship, it would be the bipartisan acceptance of unlimited presidential war-making power."

I wonder if Democrat Hillary Clinton—Paul's likely rival in a presidential showdown—would agree.

Read the op-ed here.

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  1. This just in: Rand Paul sides with the terrorists!

    1. Why beat around the Bush?

      Fist of Etiquette|11.10.14 @ 1:37PM|#

      This just in: Rand Paul sides with the is a terrorists!

      1. “Like father like son.”

  2. I wonder if Democrat Hillary Clinton?Paul’s likely rival in a presidential showdown?would agree

    That’s not a serious question I’m sure.

    1. Likely rival…. pffft! Like he’s ever going to win the Republican nomination. He makes far too much sense and is far too much of a constitutionalist for the B-Team of statists. They’ll round up a big government republican governor or mayor from somewhere or other to run. No way the money people let them elect someone who might turn down the spending spigot.

  3. OT


    @ :30 of the vid, a porcupine fends off lion pride.

    The porcupine immediately turned to its defense mechanism ? shaking its tail and running backward into the approaching predators.

    1. You know who else shakes their tail and runs backward into approaching predators, don’t you?

  4. Did he chide Congress like this?

    Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt,
    And any thing that may not misbecome
    The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
    Thus says my king; an’ if your father’s highness
    Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
    Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his majesty,
    He’ll call you to so hot an answer of it,
    That caves and womby vaultages of France
    Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
    In second accent of his ordnance.

    1. He told them to go away, or he would taunt them a SECOND time

      1. That’s coming out of the womby vaultages, not going into them.

  5. That is some high quality alt-text.

  6. Rand Paul hates America. Film at eleven.

  7. Congress needs to step up and debate this thing and either authorize it or not. Fuck Obama if he isn’t willing to ask Congress. That is not his call. Congress is free to either authorize it or not regardless of what he thinks. It is nothing but moral cowardice and cynicism not to debate this and vote on it. Congress just wants to duck responsibility for whatever happens.

    1. That’s how we got here. Congress trying to avoid responsibility.

      1. In large part yes. Executive tyranny is a wonderful dodge for the legislature. The only good thing is that the country at large seems to still hold the President’s entire party responsible for the President’s actions.

        The country held the Republicans responsible for their anger at Bush and seems to be holding the Democrats’ responsible for their anger at Obama. You would think at some point both parties in Congress would realize that since they are going to be held responsible for the actions of any President of their party, that they have a real political interest in oversight and retraining him instead of just rubber stamping anything their party’s President wants in the name of team.

  8. I think this is exactly what Rand Paul should do to differentiate himself from Obama while maintaining whatever credibility he needs to keep with the Republicans who pick their nominee.

    It’s hard for establishment Republicans to fault someone like Rand Paul for defending the Constitution–especially since the progressives have made a fetish out of delegitimizing the Constitution.

    He might have added that Obama lied about how he wasn’t going to put troops on the ground to fight ISIS, too, but other than that, he’s doing a bang up job with this article.

    Every time I think I want to crawl back into my principled non-voter shell, Rand Paul writes, says, or does something to pull me back out again. He’d be so good for this country, it’s hard to imagine that him winning is actually possible.

    1. It also will differentiate him from Hillary. Hillary supported the bombing of Libya and wanted to go into Syria without going to Congress. She is going to have to defend not going to Congress. I can’t see how the contrast between a candidate who says “no war without Congressional approval” and one who says “war whenever the hell the President deems it necessary” wouldn’t work to Paul’s favor.

      1. He had my vote when he said “That’s just the point! I don’t need my government to tell me how to buy a toilet!”

        It is a pretty sad commentary when a senator can earn singular distinction by claiming that it is not the federal government’s place to dictate toilet choices to the people. Somehow I really doubt that Madison had to explain to anyone in his cabinet that it is not the place of the government to choose bathroom fixtures for private individuals. But that’s where we are now.

    2. The other thing is that the country has had two Presidents in a row now who are going to leave office very unpopular. I think that would make the country more ready to listen to an argument against the expansion of Presidential power.

  9. Where have those Democratic protectors of the constitutional authority of Congress gone? Was it always just a partisan attack on Republican presidents?


  10. I wonder if Democrat Hillary Clinton?Paul’s likely rival in a presidential showdown?would agree.

    “What difference at this point does it make?”

  11. Libertarian Republican

    Um, no. I object. He’s not a “libertarian” Rethug. He’s Rethug who’s less repugnant than most, and wants to be more constitutional. But he still supports “GO GET ISIS!” Not so “libertarian”.


    1. In the land of the blind….

  12. Rand Paul has that kind of double speak that bothers me

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