Rand Paul

Rand Paul: Blame 'Hawks in Our Party' for Creating ISIS

Calling out Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton

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Rand Paul
Morning Joe

On MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday, Joe Scarborough asked Sen. Rand Paul to respond to Sen. Lindsey Graham's contention that a restrained U.S. foreign policy has aided and abetted ISIS. Paul turned the question on its head, laying the blame for ISIS at the feet of Republican and Democratic war hawks:

ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad which would have made ISIS's job even easier. They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because the same hawks in my party loved Hillary Clinton's war in Libya, they just wanted more of it. But Libya is a failed state and a disaster, Iraq really is a failed state or a vassal state now of Iran, so everything they've talked about in foreign policy they've been wrong about for 20 years and yet they somehow have the gall to keeping saying and pointing figures otherwise.

It's a great clip. Paul is at his best when he's pointing out the absurdities of the neoconservative line on Iraq, ISIS, Syria, and Libya.

Nevertheless, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie echoed some of Graham's criticisms of Paul during a Fox and Friends appearance on Wednesday, according to Politico:

The Republican presidential hopeful blasted the likes of Lee and Paul for supporting viewpoints similar to those of Edward Snowden, who Paul called a criminal.

"He's a criminal and he's hiding in Russia, and he's lecturing to us about the evils of authoritarian government while he lives under the protective umbrella of Vladimir Putin?" Christie asked. "That's who Mike Lee and Rand Paul are siding with? With Edward Snowden? Hey, come on."

The governor also blasted President Barack Obama's strategy in the Middle East, with particular emphasis on the Islamic State and Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.

"If a President Christie had drawn a red line in Syria," he said, the United States would have taken out Assad as promised.

Graham is likely to join the 2016 GOP race, and Christie might as well. There will be no shortage of Republican candidates making the ridiculous argument that things would be better in the Middle East if only the U.S. would commit even more resources in service of ill-defined goals and untrustworthy allies. Paul should keep calling them out, and remain unflinching in his counter-criticism. While public opinion remains supportive of some kind of military action against ISIS (as does Paul), more people than ever now admit the Iraq War was a costly error. That goes for antiwar liberals, disillusioned independents, and even conservative Republican primary voters. A successful Paul presidential campaign needs to court all these people, and distinguishing himself from the insanity of Christie and Graham is a great way for Paul to do that.

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  1. Oh, snap. If only he had held up that selfie McCain took with ISIS leaders.

    1. Technically, they were leaders of the Northern Storm Brigade. Some press accounts describe the NSB as being enemies of ISIS, but it’s doubtful that the NSB and their allies would be willing or able to challenge ISIS. The NSB is also implicated in smuggling, kidnapping and extortion along the Syrian/Turkish border. They have controlled the Azaz border crossing, which is where McCain held his jaunty photo op. It’s also where Steven Sotloff (remember him? American journalist?) was kidnapped, making the NSB the leading suspects in his kidnapping and subsequent selling to ISIS.

  2. So waging war against ISIS’s enemies is the definition of grown-up, sane foreign policy?

    And the reason we’re seeing such disasters in the Middle East and Libya is because of the sinister pacifist lobby?

    And these guys pretend to be against marijuana, but they’re obviously smoking so really strong stuff.

    1. I don’t understand how you think you know better than Christie. Look at his argument:

      “Hey, come on.”

      1. Ooh, I am refuted!

    2. There are many Hawks who believe this. Even among the GOP voters who right now view Iraq as a costly mistake. They don’t view it a mistake because it was ill conceived. They view it a mistake because Obama abandoned it or because we didn’t win hard enough- and we didn’t win hard enough because pacifists back home made it difficult to wage the type of war they wanted to fight.

      This is why I see Robby’s article as the typical wishful thinking of Libertarians.

      Many people supported the war, and are invested in that decision. Their natural bias is not to admit this mistake, but to blame others.

      Rand should be careful of deriding Hawks’ past mistakes, as it brings up the same emotional defense that people get when people say all the world’s problems are caused by America. They don’t want to believe it and will glom on to Christie, et al because those hawks give them a reason to deny their own past mistakes.

      Paul is doing good though, because he is personalizing it specifically on Graham, not saying “All you hawks out there”. He needs to work harder to say, “Look, short of dropping 400,000 troops in Iraq, we have no option. These bombings are making things worse, and I don’t believe an invasion is justified. So those Hawks can continue to play the ‘just do something card’ but the grown ups realize when a problem is unsolvable at the price we are willing to pay”.

      1. It is fair to say “we tried, but it didn’t work.”

        It is also fair to say “we tried, but someone didn’t follow through, so it didn’t work.”

        But, anyone making that second argument should also accept that ‘lack of follow through from subsequent administrations’ is always within the realm of possibilities, so really should be taken into consideration before taking any lasting action.

        Unfortunately that sort of paleoconservatism is simply not in vogue anywhere within the beltway.

  3. Tying all his primary opponents to Hillary has to be good for his cause.

    1. Yes, Brett, and something I mentioned yesterday. Getting Hillary’s supporters to realize that her views and policies are little different than those of the “Republican hawks” will create wondrous levels of cognitive dissonance.

      If Paul and his high profile supporters can keep showing the similarities between Clinton and the majority of the Republican candidates they will not only help Paul’s chances, but help the U.S. public see how “establishment” candidates and politicians are in reality very similar.

      1. Getting Hillary’s supporters to realize that her views and policies are little different than those of the “Republican hawks” will create wondrous levels of cognitive dissonance.

        No it won’t, because they are mostly voting for Hillary because VAGINA and TEAM.

        1. Well, their minds were wiped clean long ago. Now all they contain is pure programming. And the current program is just that. Team Vagina.

        2. I’ll try to remember to share my observations as the campaign “season” evolves.
          There are a few individuals I know who self-identify as liberal and/or Democrat with whom I can carry on intelligent conversations.
          These are the ones I would prefer to not suffer the shocks to their minds I mentioned above.

          However, the “rabid in my face” or vicious online types of people I don’t have much empathy for.

        3. Well, a handful of them might change their mind. These folks in Manhattan that Weigel talked to at a Rand Paul bookstore event.

          Probably not enough of them, but it would be interesting to see a realignment. The neocons would leap to support Hillary.

          1. “The neocons would leap to support Hillary.”

            I agree, John.
            Senator McCain has already said he would do so if fiorced to choose between Clinton and Paul.

            1. We simply cannot have that sort of clarity in American politics.

          2. I’ve been told repeatedly on this forum that there is no such thing as neocons.

        4. They still think Hillary has a vagina?

      2. Bringing progs to realization of fact? Has it ever been done? Is it even theoretically possible?

        1. It happened for about 36 hours after the Berlin Wall came down, but then the narrative changed to Wrong Top Men Fucked It Up.

  4. Time to go on the offensive.

    “These clowns want to help ISIS [show beheading photo] by fighting ISIS’s enemies. [picture of a guy facepalming]. And they supported Hillary Clinton’s wars in Libya and Syria which did precisely that.

    “If you like Hillary, you’ll *love* Christie and Graham.

    Rand Paul – for a foreign policy which isn’t retarded.”

    1. Perfect. Run it during the Super Bowl.

  5. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.netcash9.com

    1. Hey, come on.

      1. hahahaha

  6. “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.”

    -George Washington farewell address 1796

    1. And then Thomas jefferson had to go kick some Muslim ass on the Barbary Coast. Morocco was the first country to recognize the US as a sovereign nation and made sure everyone kept their hands off US merchant vessels. Then they won and all bets were off. Jefferson saw that coming a mile away.

      1. I thought France was the first, not Morocco.

    2. Hey, come on. That was, like, a hundred years ago.

      1. Little known historical truth: At that time a number of white US citizens were captured from ships and became slaves owned by black African Muslims. Perhaps if you can prove descent from one of them, you could sue someone for reparations. But whom? Libya? Al Sharpton?

  7. “If a President Christie had drawn a red line in Syria,” he said, the United States would have taken out Assad as promised.

    I say that big talk’s worth doodly-squat.

    1. +1 reckon so…

    2. the United States would have taken out Assad as promised.

      And then what? F that ahole

      1. Revel in the chaos.

    3. also acceptable:

      I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.

      1. Fill your hand you sum-bitch!

      2. Also I really enjoyed the Cohen bros. version.

        1. It’s hard for a Jeff Bridges move to not be good.

          1. He was horrible. The original was better.

            1. You have no taste.

              1. The novel is 10x better than either movie.

  8. There will be no shortage of Republican candidates making the ridiculous argument that things would be better in the Middle East if only the U.S. would commit even more resources in service of ill-defined goals and untrustworthy allies. Paul should keep calling them out, and remain unflinching in his counter-criticism.

    Agreed, and he should demand specifics from the “arrgghh get tuff” crowd. Those people keep insisting that they’re not interested in putting large numbers of ground troops back into the region, but I don’t believe them especially as they remain maddeningly vague about what they would do instead.

    1. The problem is that a lot of the hawks DO have answers. I listened to one of these guys talk about options on one of the Sunday news shows. The argument, including details, was pretty compelling.

      But that’s because as long as you throw in things like “precision strikes” and “special operations action teams” people quickly get into a realm of detail that they are not competent to judge. Some retired officer can snow people over with detailed plans that make you think they have thought this through enough to be credible. And when you point to the past track record, they will quickly get into details about how the tactics used were not the right ones and how they recommended using plan B instead of the Plan A that we ultimately went with.

      These armchair generals have thought a lot about this- more than you or I. If you let them get into the details, they will win just by sounding credible enough to get 5-10% of the public to go along with them. You’ve got to keep it high level. Pointing out their past mistakes is still important, because it keeps them defending their record rather than advocating for new sabre rattling. But they will not fail to meet the challenge you set for them.

      1. I heard that too, and I disagree that saying things like “precision strikes” and “special operations action teams” constitutes a detailed plan. They should be obliged to explain exactly how these “fixes” would work and what they would do if they don’t work. I imagine that they’ll refuse to answer but a good journalist (assuming that such a creature still exists) would at least try to get a straight answer out of them.

  9. The war hawks among the Republican primary voters are split among five different candidates.

    For the rest of the Republican primary voters, Rand Paul’s like, “All your base are belong to us”.

    That probably means Rand Paul can make a dominating play for Republican women.

    Rand Paul’s strategy won’t work as well as the Republican field whittles down, but the campaign is always a game of perseverance anyway. The others are going to have problems distinguishing themselves from the rest of the field. Not Rand Paul.

    This all works well for Rand Paul. Being denounced by war hawks–in an overly crowded field like this–is probably a good thing for Rand Paul.

    Rand Paul is differentiated from the field because he’s against bad wars? Republicans can buy into that. They might do better for themselves going after him on Aqua Buddha.

    1. I think that Republican women are the ones who want to kill all the bad people. Soccer moms.

      1. There are certainly Republican women war hawks, but “security mom” never caught on because it’s just not a significant portion of the population–not even among Republicans.

        If they were an insignificant bloc during the 2004 election (post-9/11, on the heels of the Iraq invasion), why would they be significant in 2016?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soccer_mom #Security_mom

    2. In some ways this reminds me of Goldwater in 1964 where he was the only conservative in the race and a succession of “moderates” ran to keep the nomination away. Couldn’t do it
      (by the way, the LP’s Vicki Kirkland, a delegate from South Carolina, cast the vote to put
      Goldwater over the top at the 1964 convention) but it was a pyrrhic victory as the “moderates” left the GOP in droves to vote for the corrupt war-monger LBJ in the general election. I think Rand
      Paul can win the nomination but will get killed by Hillary in the general.

      1. Hillary doesn’t have q chance against anyone not named Bush. Every time she opens her maw people realize why they hate her all over again.

      2. You think Hillary can win an election that’s not in the most liberal state in the country?

      3. She’s not going to beat anyone. She may not even win the nomination, despite the tepid competition within her party. But I think Paul is her worst possible opponent, as he’s going to appeal much more to moderates than she does.

        1. When it comes down to it, I think the weakest opponent for Clinton is probably Bush.

          If they give swing voters the choice between another Clinton or another Bush, I think they’ll likely break for another Clinton.

        2. It is difficult to say what would happen in a Clinton v. Paul matchup. There would be serious realignment. The polls show it as possibly the strongest GOP matchup, but it would involve a lot of jumping ship on both sides.

          Remember that there are anti-libertarian “moderates” too– Huckabee voters. For the same reason, a Huckabee nomination (ugh) would also cause some reshuffling. I’d definitely know libertarian leaners who would vote Clinton over Huckabee (and a lot more who never vote LP who would consider it.)

        3. The Dems rarely nominate the person who is the frontrunner at this point. They love drama too much. Warren will probably be the candidate.

      4. There are peculiarities to Hillary that probably defy general rules.

        She’s demonstrably corrupt–and it’s pathological. It’s not something she did once.

        It’s an ongoing thing. She’s still taking donations from foreign governments!

        I hope Rand Paul wins the nomination, but I think it’s unlikely. I’d give him a 25% chance. I think he’ll win New Hampshire, and if he can place in the top 3 in Iowa, then his chances will improve dramatically.

        1. I want Rand to win, but if I had to bet I would bet Walker comes out on top.

      5. I’m not so sure Hillary would win in the general against Paul. While I’m too young to remember LBJ, I’ve seen/read enough to figure he had charisma and a folksy charm. Bill had those things in spades but Hillary has absolutely zero of either one.

        I’ve always heard that Americans will elect the presidential candidate who they would most like to have come to a backyard barbeque. It’s part of the reason why people like Dukakis and Kerry did not win.

        1. LBJ also had the “let’s finish the work that St. Kennedy started” thing going on.

          1. This is true. People also tend to forget that he was actually an incumbent. Incumbents usually have a bit of an advantage.

      6. I think it’s the exact opposite. I like Paul’s chances in the General better than the Primary. He’s going to turn out one hell of a youth vote to get the nomination. Way, way better than Ron’s.

      7. Well, if he can tie Hillary to his primary opponents, and manages to somehow win the Republican nomination, then I don’t see how he’s hurting.
        He hasn’t moved to the right to get the nomination, all the ads that he ran tying his opponent and Hillary together as war mongers have done damage to Hillary, and he’s got a great chance to capture the millennials by being seen as new and genuinely different.
        Just my two cents.
        But my early bet is that Scott Walker wins the nomination.

    3. The war hawks among the Republican primary voters are split among five different candidates.

      Unfortunately, those hawks will quickly jump ship to whichever candidate looks to win. Right now they are split 5 ways, but in three or four months it will be 2 or 3.

      This is the problem with the Religious and Hawk voting blocks. They are voters whose primary concern is Abortion/Gay Marriage or an aggressive foreign policy. And they will all coalesce around candidates that serve these issues. Rand will need to figure out how to make Leviathan government or the economy the main issue in the polls. He can probably convince some among those two groups to shift their priorities, and that is how he wins.

  10. Christie’s complaints about authoritarianism in Russia just sound like jealousy.

    1. All I wanted to do was shut down traffic on a bridge to get back at one of my political enemies, and they treat me like I invaded Chechnya or something!

      If I were the czar of Russia, you know what I’d do?

      Christie is also probably jealous of Putin’s shirtless physique.

      1. Christie is also probably jealous of Putin’s shirtless physique.

        I laughed.

  11. “If a President Christie had drawn a red line in Syria,” he said, the United States would have taken out Assad as promised.”

    Meaning Christie would be the most utterly predictable commander we could ask for. I’m sure enemies of the US would not find a way to game such a person…

  12. Rand Paul was on a new TDS with Jon Stewart last night. JS gave him extra time too.

    1. How did it go? Any thoughts?

      1. Jon tried his best to zing him…I think Rand Paul did alright and finished strong.

        1. I think he held back somewhat because he slightly likes him. His slams on him only come when he’s tried to become “Rand Paul: Generic Republican” in spells basically. And mocking the Grimes limerick.

      2. Jon tried the “gotcha” question of the religious exemption from giving service to gay weddings (saying something like “do you want questionnaires before service on whether you’re an adulterer?”) But Rand handled it well, even ended the interview by tying that question back into the Patriot Act, which Stewart toasted him with their coffee mugs for.

  13. Is that a slap at McCain? It is, isn’t it?

    Good.

    1. Now, having rtfa, I see Christie made himself look like an idiot.

      More good.

  14. You had me until you said he needs to get votes from anti-war liberals. Liberals hate Paul more than any other GOP candidate. They hate Libertarians way more than they hate Republicans.

    1. Libertarians are worse than Republicans because they support people being able to live their lives without asking permission and obeying orders. Not only that, but libertarians want justice to be blind, as opposed to social justice which judges who a person is rather than what a person does.

      Liberty and justice for all. It doesn’t get any worse than that.

      1. Exactly. Even look at issues where liberals and libertarians “agree.” The way they achieve the goal is opposite. I don’t know a single libertarian who wants to give more money to Planned Parenthood or LGBTQ causes…

        1. I think it’s a mistake to downplay the potential convergence between libertarians and liberals (as opposed to progressives) on issues such as free speech and civil liberties..

          1. What convergence? Libertarians would solve problems created by government by repealing laws, while liberals and progressives always want the solution to be more laws.

            1. See, this is where Bo’s critiques have some validity.

              You’re making the same mistake that critics of libertarianism often make when they pronounce us just a weird offshoot of conservatism.
              Know thy enemy. If you can’t see the difference between liberals and progressives, then you don’t really know the enemy.

              1. Except that the left is too committed to statism. Can some of them be pealed away on civil liberties issues? Sure. But a left-libertarian alliance is a Red Queen’s race.

                1. I disagree. Allies (and potential converts) can be found on both left and right. And Paul will need the center-left (among many, many others) if he has any chance of winning the general.

                  1. I just don’t see how the left could ever support less funding for abortion, lower taxes, no affirmative action, a restrained foreign policy, gun rights, any other issue of individual freedom.

                    1. I think it is a mistake to think of it as a monolithic “the left.” That’s the same mistake many leftists make when railing against “the right.”

                  2. It’s alright to engage in temporary alliances on individual issues but it’s best not to get too excited about it. The alliance won’t be based on common principles so they’ll cheerfully slit our throats any time. And they’ll be the first to bail out if the going gets tough because the needs of their Party are paramount to them.

                    1. Just to be clear, EES, are you talking about the Dems or the Reps? (I think it applies to both.)

                    2. are you talking about the Dems or the Reps? (I think it applies to both)

                      Absolutely to both. I’ve been watching this issue since I became a libertarian in the ’80s, and I’ve seen libertarians get fucked over by both parties on both local and national levels. Again, that doesn’t mean that one never allies with them but it’s best to understand that while our interests may at times converge, our principles don’t.

                  3. People who are coming to believe that government is the opposite of a solution will like Paul. But catering at all to people who want an unlimited state is pointless. If they like his message, great. Otherwise, why try to appeal to people who are philosophically opposed to what his politics are?

                    1. Otherwise, why try to appeal to people who are philosophically opposed to what his politics are?

                      I don’t necessarily disagree with you, Pro Lib, but couldn’t you apply that to the right as well?

                    2. I mostly do. There is some asymmetry, since Paul is a Republican running for his party’s nomination, but I still think he should dispense with the catering to the statist fucks in his party, too.

              2. See, this is where Bo’s critiques have some validity.

                Sorry, but you’re not going to get anywhere with me by invoking that piece of shit.

            2. I think there’s more than one type of liberal. Not all of them have actually studied the underpinnings of progressive thinking, with its default statist position. I think many of them simply have an idealistic belief in fairness and doing the right thing. They hate conservatives because they think conservatives don’t like blacks, gays, and illegal immigrants and conservatives want to limit women’s abortion rights and help corporations that pollute the environment. Of course they think government must remedy these evils, because they can’t conceive otherwise.

              They are so stuck in thinking there are only two choices out there: Team Blue and Team Red. They don’t consider rejecting both teams. To the extent they even know what a libertarian is, they just assume we are just particularly hard-core conservatives.

              1. I think a lot of ground could be gained towards sanity just getting people to really get snarky about the parties and refusing to be members of either. If 80% of voters were independent, that would change things.

                1. Exactly.

          2. And a mistake not to try to drive a wedge between liberals and progressives, who are no more monolithic than are conservatives and libertarians.

            1. Can you give an example of a single liberal who is not a progressive?

              1. The liberals in the ACLU, which opposes progressive “campaign finance reform”? That’s just off the top of my head.

                1. I would have agreed with you 15 years ago. The ACLU talks a good game until you get down to details with em. They want to be popular in the beltway just like Sandra Day O’Connor, or Anthony Kennedy, or any of the other people who started out freedom minded and then got guilted into becoming progressive.

                  1. Yes — but they still want to believe that they believe. Let’s help them — force them — to abandon their hypocrisy.

                    1. But how??? I have a friend who thinks he’s a socialist but wants the government to leave him alone. How do you fix that much retard?

                    2. in reply to this:

                      Can you give an example of a single liberal who is not a progressive?

                    3. “You can’t fix stupid.”
                      – Ron White

                    4. Maybe your friend is an anarcho-socialist.

                    5. Ususally the state fixes it, when they point a gun at him. Of course, it may be too late at that point.

                    6. Let’s help them — force them — to abandon their hypocrisy.

                      Their hypocrisy comes from the fact that they don’t think. They emote. They don’t arrive at conclusions through reason. Rather they use reason to justify what they feel. So pointing out their hypocrisy will only elicit an emotional reaction, since that’s how they arrived at their hypocritical stances. And that’s not going to get you anywhere, since you can’t reason someone out of something they arrived at by emotion.

                    7. Their hypocrisy comes from the fact that they don’t think. They emote

                      Once again, while it may be comforting to think of the other side as a unthinking, unreasoning monolithic army marching in lock-step (which “both” sides tend to do), I believe that reality is much less black-and-white. Which provides an opportunity to appeal to those (perhaps, admittedly, a minority) who still value principles and reason.

                    8. Once again, while it may be comforting to think of the other side as a unthinking, unreasoning monolithic army marching in lock-step (which “both” sides tend to do), I believe that reality is much less black-and-white. Which provides an opportunity to appeal to those (perhaps, admittedly, a minority) who still value principles and reason.

                      I’m just going on personal experience here. At best I’ve been able to, one on one, get some liberals/progressives to see principled reason over emotion. But the next day they’re back to their groupthink as if the conversation never happened. I’ve since given up. I see no point. You can lead a liberal/progressive to rationality, but you can’t make them think.

                    9. Your experience seems to be more limited than mine. And your mileage may vary.

              2. I am, you dumbass. I want no gun laws, lower taxes, lower spending, no morality laws, legal drugs, secularism, no wars, and no campaign finance laws.

                1. PB. I don’t understand how that is liberal. Help me to understand.

                  1. PB. I don’t understand how that is liberal. Help me to understand.

                    I am a classic liberal.

                    Pro-business, pro free trade, pro balanced budget.

                    I think Bill Clinton was a damn good president – despite his AW ban and DADT. They all have flaws.

                    there is a classic liberal blog – http://www.outsidethebeltway.c….._politics/

                    1. PB. Classical liberal and libertarian, as far as I know, are the same thing. This feels semantic. You can’t be a classical liberal and support BO. Unless you’re retarded…

                    2. Unless you’re retarded…

                      I think you’re on to something.

                    3. Unless you’re retarded…

                      Shriek is not sentient, briannnn. It’s merely unthinkingly making comments that its pathetically limited neural net weights as being likely to garner a response.

                      Like a conversation with Eliza the computer therapist, interacting with it is rarely a productive use of one’s time.

                    4. I only support Obama over the Big Gov, Big War, Big Gawd GOPers.

                      I realize Obama is Big Gov.

                      Like Meat Loaf said “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”.

                    5. He also said he’d do anything for love…except “that.”

                2. And shreek somehow thinks those goals can be achieved by sucking Obama’s cock.

                3. I am, you a dumbass.

                  ftfy

                4. And yet, like most liberal/progressives, you then mindlessly pull the lever for Chocolate Nixon, who is for more gun laws, higher taxes and spending, attended a wacko church for 20 plus years, went after MJ dispensaries in California, engages in Kinetic Military Action, wants to use the tax code to push his version of morality, and supports campaign finance reform. You’ll do the same in 2016 for Hillary.

              3. Dude, there is a lonnnng list of former liberals who became libertarians. Many of them post articles and comments here.

                You have to understand that in certain areas and especially under a certain age, “liberal” is the default and it’s nothing more than show.

          3. I think it’s a mistake to downplay the potential convergence between libertarians and liberals (as opposed to progressives) on issues such as free speech and civil liberties..

            Not really. Genuine liberals (as opposed to progressives) are a dwindling portion of the ranks of the left.

            1. Genuine liberals (as opposed to progressives) are a dwindling portion of the ranks of the left.

              Probably true – due to gerrymandering. And rational GOPers are going away too. Think a William Weld would get elected nationally today?

              No way.

              1. Kind of a silly thing to say on a thread about a libertarian Republican whose got a very good shot at the party’s nomination, don’t you think?

                1. Rand Paul panders to the crazy aborto-freak Israel Armageddon nuts. A person I admire – Barry Goldwater, would tell them to fuck off.

                  1. If I recall correctly, you were here saying, maybe a couple of weeks ago, that you didn’t have a problem with Dr. Paul, only the GOP would never elect him.

                    Switching the narrative early, I see.

                    1. Rand Paul is the best GOPer in the race no question. I hope he wins the nomination.

                      I think Brian Schweitzer is better. Hillary? No.

              2. And yet you vote for Chocolate Nixon who supports the Voting Rights Act, which mandates that you gerrymander districts to create more polarized, incumbent protected districts. And like a good drone, you’ll pull the lever for Hillary in 2016.

            2. Well, it’s worth a try. Just telling them all that they are stupid and wrong isn’t a good way to convince people. And that’s what you have to do. Libertarians will probably get more support from conservatives, but you are going to need to convince some liberals too if you want to get anywhere. There are plenty of anti-libertarian conservatives out there.

          4. The problem is that, now that it is ascendent, the American variety of phony liberal does not genuinely value the right of free speech. They are instead in what Salmon Rushdie calls “the but brigade”. (As in “I strongly believe in freedom of speech, but ….”)

          5. There is no convergence between libertarians and liberals on issues such as free speech and civil liberties. Liberals are against both.

            But that is a losing proposition in the US so liberals have to make the right noises. And they do–while using their power to subvert both. SSM, as enacted currently, in a leftist fashion, is a huge expansion of the regulatory and litiginous state–instead of an extension of liberty to those who were denied it.

            The problem is that Republicans–according to their precepts and ideals–are, for all practical intents and purposes, libertarians.

            They fail at being such because the prudery of the left detached itself from religion leaving religious progressives–otherwise known as ‘social conservatives’ floundering. Republicans, who defend faith, allowed them in–and with them, all the nanny state idiocies they support as well as the unabashed hatred for sexual deviancy the open left is now forced to hide. Eating such a huge group of authoritarians left Republicans far to the left of the stance outlined in their precepts.

            1. I’ve seen this more of this attempt (mostly by Libertarians) to redefine all forms of statism as Left/Liberal/Progressive. It seems a silly attempt by those seeking to redefine “Conservative” to mean “Everything I like”.

              1. Since libertarians are neccessarily individualist, and statism is neccessarily collectivist, and leftist/liberals/progressives tend towards collecectivism, I think it’s pretty obvious.

                And who cares what ‘conservatives’ do?

                1. The Nolan Chart would disagree with your assertation.

        2. I think you are generalizing way too much about the left and liberals. Many regulars on here started out as some kind of left-liberal. A lot of people don’t really think through all the consequences of their statism and can be convinced over time by libertarian arguments. I think that there are a good number of liberals who could be swayed and who do genuinely care about civil rights. Most people don’t really think about politics a lot and aren’t really so attached to the policies that the true believers favor.

          1. I used to be a leftist. Then one day I was musing about putting birth control into the water supply and then requiring a parenting license for the antidote. Seemed like a good way to prevent stupids from reproducing. Then I thought about who would make the decision and why. I realized that well-intentioned policies could have horrific results, and at that point started down the road to being a libertarian. But it wasn’t because of anything anyone said to me. It was like the joke about how many shrinks it takes to screw in a light bulb (none, it has to want to change).

            1. That’s kind of how I started. Though I’ve always had an anarchist streak in me. I came to be more of a libertarian through interest in drug policy. I had decided that it was wrong to criminalize drugs. And eventually realized that for the same reasons it is wrong to use government to force any kind of social change. And it goes from there. The other big change in my thinking was realizing that collective “choices” aren’t real things so when someone argues that as a society we should choose to provide healthcare to everyone (for example) they are full of shit and what is happening is that one small group of people is forcing everyone to follow their choice, backed up with violence if necessary.

              1. Why if necessary? It’s back up with violence. Period.

              2. My own story is similar. I was a leftist/liberal as a kid (up through college) with an anarchist streak and then moved toward conservatism as a young adult taxpayer because I got taken in by Team Red’s talk about personal responsibility, cutting spending, and getting government out of the way. But it was just that: talk.

                In action, both parties disgust me equally with their signaling/posturing on the one hand, and their warmongering and domestic spying on the other. Apart from meaningless side issues like gay weddings, there is really not a dime’s worth of difference between them. For the politicians, it’s all about expanding their power, rewarding their cronies, and of course their Top Men making choices for everyone else. For the regular folks, it’s all about social signaling and supporting your team no matter what.

            2. And to touch on your frequent point about emoting versus thinking, I think that a lot of people don’t realize that is what they do. People are really good at convincing themselves that what they believe makes a lot of sense. The social pressure to say the right things and show that you are the right kind of person is probably the biggest barrier to getting people to examine their political beliefs.

              1. I think that a lot of people don’t realize that is what they do

                I agree. I’ve been able to occasionally get people to see that they’re having an emotional reaction rather than a rational response.

                The social pressure to say the right things and show that you are the right kind of person is probably the biggest barrier to getting people to examine their political beliefs.

                And the very next day they’re back to groupthink out of fear of becoming unpopular.

    2. Yeah, as the election approaches, we’ll see fewer articles about how he’s a Fresh New Republican Voice, and more articles about how he’s a Dangerous Fanatic who wants to cook and eat minority babies.

      1. Yep. They love him as a troublemaker for the GOP and hate him as a politician or, egad, a potential president.

  15. It is kind of shocking how Republicans continue to double down on Syria regime change, even with the benefit of knowing ISIS was the most powerful militant group in the country and that the “moderate” rebels were, at best, much less powerful than advertised.

    Should Obama have proclaimed his “red line”? No, it was a stupid proclamation and made him look weak when he didn’t follow through. But it’s probably safe to say that taking out or severely weakening Assad would have allowed ISIS to march all the way to the Mediterranean and the Golan Heights practically unhindered.

  16. “restrained U.S. foreign policy”

    Jesus fucking christ, how many billions are we showering on the middle east?

    1. Oh, you said “on.” I was wondering why we were showering people in the Middle East. And why billions were visiting for this showering program.

      1. It is just exasperating that an influential politician can get away with such a whopper and there is only one presidential candidate that will call him on the bullshit.

        1. It’s the world we live in. How is Hillary Clinton listed as the second most powerful woman in the world with a straight face?

          1. I dunno. I think you have to be pretty powerful to preside over a state department that assassinates the legitimate leader of a sovereign nation and have nary a person even suggest that you should be tried at the Hague.

            1. But she no longer has that power.

            2. Legitimate?

              1. There can be no serious debate over whether Gaddafi was the legitimate leader of Libya. He was; end of story.

          2. How is Hillary Clinton listed as the second most powerful woman in the world with a straight face?

            Yeah, she is clearly THE most powerful woman in the world. Frau Merkel? Please.

      2. We’re fighting terrorism with cleanliness.

        1. they hate us because we’re clean.

    2. “restrained U.S. foreign policy”

      Jesus fucking christ, how many billions are we showering on the middle east?

      Here is the thing, and it’s going to be interesting. Iraq, Afghanistan and middle eastern policy in general has been an abysmal failure for the past 23 years. Everybody knows it. It’s irrefutable. What we’ve been doing has not only NOT worked, but has made the situation worse than had we done nothing. Some of it was unavoidable because, oil. But now oil isn’t an issue anymore and there are truly other alternatives.

      For YEARS, politicians on both sides have been loath to point out the abysmal failures that are Iraq and Afghanistan AND are more than willing to double-down. Why? BECAUSE ALL THESE SHITBAGS VOTED FOR THESE POLICIES! They own them.

      Until now.

      Rand can have the entire system against him (R&D) and sit back and throw these failures in the establishment’s face one after another. One great big I TOLD YOU SO. And the establishment doesn’t have a leg to stand on. It hasn’t happened before, simply because no one like Paul has ever had this kind of pulpit to preach from. But he’s a no-shit contender and the obvious alternative to the status quo.

      He may not win, but it’s going to be one hell of a show (and a net plus for liberty).

      1. I totally agree, except for the 23 years part. I’d say the failures go further back to at least post-WWII, when it was still mostly Britain getting mired in the region.

        Between the lunatic jhadists and the evil secular dictators, and between the shia and sunnis, there can be no other region that better exemplifies why any rational, modern country should stay the fuck away. If they want to sell their oil, or olives, or olive oil — fine. We can trade. But get involved in their affairs? No fucking way. No thank you. These are people who actually believe exposed women’s hair has magic powers and that virgins await guys in heaven. (Seriously, if heaven is going to be a sexual free-for-all, wouldn’t you want an experienced chick???) Modern minds can’t communicate with Dark Age thinkers who have yet to experience the Renaissance and Enlightenment that happened centuries ago in Europe.

        1. I would go back further, to the first World War. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire was the original sin, IMHO.

  17. “If a President Christie had drawn a red line in Syria,” he said, the United States would have taken out Assad as promised.

    Yeah, you fucking abject moron! And ISIS would have total fucking control of Syria. That’s a real winner there.

    This fat moron should be called on his ridiculous bullshit.

    First of all, Chubby, you don’t have any “firsthand experience fighting terrorism”. You were a fucking lawyer prosecuting open and shut cases. That doesn’t make you Jack Fucking Bauer. Second of all, if you can’t enunciate a geostrategy that is comprised of anything more than whacking your needle dick on the table, take this as an opportunity to shut the fuck up.

  18. I think it is a mistake to think of it as a monolithic “the left.”

    Now you’re just being silly.

  19. It should be James Clapper who has to hide out in Russia for violating the Fourth Amendment and lying to Congress and the American people about it.

    1. ^THIS^

      How is this fucker not in prison?

  20. Dana Milbank is trolling concerned for Rand Paul. Apparently, the latest polls show him at 7%, compared to 13% in 2013. Sure, the polls are extremely fluid and another recent poll has him at 11%, but narrative.

    1. The poll was 2 to 1 land line over cell.

      Of course Paul didn’t do as well.

    2. I had the exact same thought about Milbank. His motive here is so transparent: make the case that Rand is losing steam because he dared to “move left” (a fallacy in itself) on cultural and defense issues, thereby angering the rubes and hicks in the base who only care about stopping the gays and bombing the browns. Never mind that the base is actually moving quite significantly towards Rand on NSA, criminal justice, cronyism and security, the elite narrative must forever be the ignorance of Republican voters.

      I that vein, the Daily Show last night was absurd. Stewart spent a a minute on NSA and then ten minutes on RFRA and gay marriage. Nothing on the economy, healthcare, the abundance of lawsuits and court rulings saying the Obama administration is a festival of illegalities…. just the gays.

      Proggie groupthink has moved past offensive and dangerous to downright parody. Stewart should be embarrassed by that interview but instead he will bask in praise all week. Again, the motivation for this is obvious: signal to the clapping seals that Rand is anathema bc of his thoughtcrimes regarding the currently en vogue victim class.

  21. Rand is mostly right but he is wrong if he thinks ISIS or something like it would not exist in Syria if not for the Iraq liberation. Assad did far more than America to create ISIS by releasing tons of jihadist scum in the early days of the revolution and nakedly coordinating with ISIS. Even if ISIS didn’t come to be these people and the foreigners coming in would just join Nusra or something. Same stuff different bag.

    1. Can we just say there’s plenty of blame to go around?

      1. Nah. It is much easier to blame the other guy for fucking it up.

    2. Possibly, but they wouldn’t be using American Military Equipment handed to them by the Iraqi’s.

      1. Or sold to them by Hillary.

    3. Yeah, but ty then we could sit on the sidelines and watch Assad and ISIS kill each other. Or Saddam and ISIS kill each other. But not both.
      No way that ISIS could have gained so much territory without the power vacuum that we created.

  22. Not sure if the hawks created ISIS, but they sure enabled it. Likewise Al Qaeda.

    1. I blame Thomas Jefferson. If only he hadn’t invaded Tripoli.

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  24. Expecting hawks, whether Republican or Democrat, to take responsibility for failed foreign wars or interventions is like expecting spenders, whether Republican or Democrat, to take responsibility for failed fiscal policies. In fact, the single characteristic both parties possess is their unwillingness to be held accountable for their failures.

    Look shiny things!!!!111!!!!

  25. OT: Where are the Reason stories regarding Obama’s latest Executive order?

    http://thehill.com/policy/ener…..-waterways

  26. And I thought that Rand Paul wanted to be President…..silly me.

    going to be really difficult to win the nomination much less the general election without the conservative, pro military wing of the party.

    Furthermore, conservative policies didn’t create ISIS, ISIS created ISIS, just like Al Qaeda created Al Qaeda. Its as stupid as saying that anyone created the Nazi party besides of course the Nazi party.
    If anyone is to blame for ISIS’s ascendancy in the region, it is the policies of the President in charge during time it happened namely Obama. Obama inherited a pacified Iraq that was moving toward democracy. In a move that went against all military advice, he pulled out all the U.S. troops which allowed Islamic radicalism to take hold. You do remember the we went to war in Iraq and the subsequent occupation was to prevent Al Qaeda from establishing a base there…. well that is exactly what Obama permitted to happen.

    Blaming Bush for ISIS is not going to make you more liked by liberals but what it will do is piss off conservatives who correctly understand this a historical revisionism that is entirely illogical. At the trajectory that Bush administration’s policies when he left office ISIS’s ascendancy in Iraq would have been an impossibility because of the residual security forces. Obama eliminated that environment and left one of chaos.

    1. Shorter Jeff: “Shut up and parrot Team Red’s talking points Rand”

    2. Jeffery — You say, “going to be really difficult to win the nomination much less the general election without the conservative, pro military wing of the party.”

      It will be impossible for any GOP candidate to win the election without the Libertarian wing of the party.

      Let’s face it, the party is so fractured we will never see another republican president in our lifetime.

      IT’S ALL OVER FOLKS! And the socialists have won.

  27. Amazing these pro military industrial complex idiots can’t see their policies over the last 20 years is a failure. They hate it when anyone wan’t to bring up the reason we’re in this mess from our policies of interventionism over the last 50 years. But hey, it’s gotta work sometime right, besides, what’s wrong with “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?”

    1. Uh. Jefferson had a problem with Islam. This did not start 20, or 50, or even 200 years ago. It started 1400 years ago.

      So far as we know the only workable solution is “to the shores of Tripoli”.

  28. I blame Islam. Just as I blamed Communism for the problems it caused. And of course National Socialism.

    1. Right. Because we have no agency in how we respond to them.

  29. I have had a hard time coming to grips with RP as a true Libertarian option. I haven’t voted outside the LP in 19 years. This is the sort of thing that was starting to sway me. I was Literally saying to myself this morning after watching this that I might just vote for this guy. And then this quote dropped from his pedestal (pulpit) in Chicago this morning: “There is crime going on all across America. It is not a racial thing, it is a spiritual problem,” Good one Paul, you nearly had me. Now go cowtow to the sheep who want to hear all about spirituality in their candidates.

  30. I’m sorry but this is absurd and an attempt by Paul to distance himself from the Democrats as well as the “Hawks” in his own party. Libertarians are supposed to understand the concept of personal responsibility. No one is responsible for ISIS rising or the actions of ISIS other then ISIS themselves. It isn’t as if Sunni and Shiite weren’t killing eachother for centuries before the U.S. became involved and it isn’t as if the idea of a caliphate is new and placed into the minds of ISIS by GOP ‘hawks’! These people are doing exactly what their religions forefathers did in the 7th century. They are following their holy book to the letter and attempting to set up an Islamic empire. No political party or individual is responsible for that. Once again the only people responsible for, the barbarism, zealotry, irrationality, and violence caused by ISIS, IS ISIS!!!!! Stop attempting to use these barborous morons for political gain and recognize them for what they are, a threat to free society all over the world.

  31. I’m sorry but this is absurd and an attempt by Paul to distance himself from the Democrats as well as the “Hawks” in his own party. Libertarians are supposed to understand the concept of personal responsibility. No one is responsible for ISIS rising or the actions of ISIS other then ISIS themselves. It isn’t as if Sunni and Shiite weren’t killing eachother for centuries before the U.S. became involved and it isn’t as if the idea of a caliphate is new and placed into the minds of ISIS by GOP ‘hawks’! These people are doing exactly what their religions forefathers did in the 7th century. They are following their holy book to the letter and attempting to set up an Islamic empire. No political party or individual is responsible for that. Once again the only people responsible for, the barbarism, zealotry, irrationality, and violence caused by ISIS, IS ISIS!!!!! Stop attempting to use these barborous morons for political gain and recognize them for what they are, a threat to free society all over the world.

    1. Malk — You say, “No one is responsible for ISIS rising or the actions of ISIS other then ISIS themselves.”

      Have you lost your mind? If W Bush had not taken us into a needless war, destroying the country of Iraq in the process, there would be no ISIS. Bush is responsible for ISIS.

      As W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell said of Bush’s actions in Iraq, “If you break it, you own it.”

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