Rand Paul Opposes Iran Deal, David Frum Declares His Candidacy Dead (Again)

Mindless anti-libertarianism


Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore

Sen. Rand Paul opposes the current version of the Iran nuclear agreement. He explains on Twitter:

The proposed agreement with Iran is unacceptable and I will vote against the agreement. ½

The deal is bad because 1) sanctions relief precedes evidence of compliance 2) Iran is left with significant nuclear capacity 2/2

It also lifts the ban on selling advanced weapons to Iran. Better to keep the interim agreement in place instead of accepting a bad deal.

Earlier today, The Atlantic's David Frum declared Paul's candidacy finished irrespective of whatever position the libertarian-leaning senator takes on the Iran deal:

In the middle of Obama's tenure, Rand Paul achieved for himself a standing within the GOP that eluded his father by focusing less on international security and much more on domestic surveillance. So long as as Congress was debating NSA and TSA, rather than Russia and Iran, Paul found a considerable constituency inside the party for his distinctive ideology. Now the spotlight shifts to Iran, Russia, and nuclear proliferation. Paul will either find himself isolated with the old Ron Paul constituency—or he'll have to find some nimble way to jump to the "anti" side of the Iran deal. (Perhaps he will emphasize the slight to Congress it represents?) If he opts for the latter approach, however, he becomes just another Republican voice among many competing to voice their opposition, and one less powerful and credible than, for example, Ted Cruz will be.

Frum is a deluded anti-libertarian who hates Paul almost as much as he loves warmongering and marijuana prohibition and spying on American citizens. He is cheering—loudly—for Paul to fail, and is constantly predicting that the Paul campaign is on the verge of capsizing in troubled waters. So it's really no surprise that he thinks there's nothing Paul could do to put himself in okay political shape with respect to the nuclear deal. There's never anything Paul can do, in the eyes of Frum. The entire country is always poised to reject libertarianism in all its incarnations.

This isn't true, of course. And anyway, Paul opposes the deal. He will have plenty of opportunities to explain to the American people—Republican primary voters, among them—why his rejection of the deal is consistent with his own national security principles, and why a more restrained foreign policy approach consistent with his libertarian-leaning views would actually make the country safer. In a Republican field that pits him against extremists like Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum, there's no reason to automatically assume that Paul will fail to make a comparatively appealing case.

For more on the Iran deal—which Reason's Shikha Dalmia has hailed as "the worst option, except for all the others"—go here.