Rand Paul

Rand Paul Wants to End the Draft and Force Congress to Vote on Authorizing War

Libertarian-ish senator plans to introduce "The Muhammad Ali Voluntary Service Act" and force Congress to vote on Authorization of Use of Military Force.

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Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — the erstwhile "most interesting man in politics" — has laid fairly low since being one of the first high-profile candidates to drop out of the presidential race in February. But in the past few weeks he has made his presence known on two issues near to the hearts of libertarians: ending Selective Service (a.k.a. "the draft") and forcing Congress to resume its duty and actually vote on the use of military force. 

Paul had previously introduced an amendment into the National Defense Authorization Act which would effectively end Selective Service, but he has rebranded his efforts in the wake of Muhammad Ali's death in the form of stand-alone legislation which he has dubbed "The Muhammad Ali Voluntary Service Act."

According to the Washington Post, Paul told reporters this past Monday, "I agree with Muhammad Ali…If the war's worth fighting, people will volunteer. When we were attacked on 9/11, and when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, they almost had to slow it down, there were so many people coming in." 

In addition, CN2 quotes Paul as saying, "You know, the criminal justice system I say now has a racial justice disparity, selective service had a racial disparity, because a lot of rich white kids either got a deferment or went to college or got out of the draft. I'm opposed to Selective Service." The penalty for avoiding Selective Service is "imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of not more than $250,000."

Also this week, Paul revisited his intention to force his colleagues in Congress to do one of their most important jobs — one which they have simply refused to do for years — and vote on a new Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) to replace the ones voted on in 2001 and 2003, which are still being used to justify military actions in any number of countries we are not at war with. 

At a ceremony honoring World War II veterans and commemorating the anniversary of D-Day, the Courier-Journal reports Paul as saying that everyone knew the war against the Axis Powers would end, but with regards to what used to be known as the Global War on Terror, there is no nation-state to defeat and no definition of victory. Paul reportedly said, "This is a war that will never end. How long will there be radical Islam and people will attack us through terrorism? A hundred or a thousand years? I have no idea. It could go on a long time. That's why it has to be limited and narrow." He added, "It's always important to put a name and face to war," Paul said. "There is too much eagerness for war. There needs to be more of an argument in the opposite direction, that it should be a last resort."

Seemingly taking aim at the hawks in his own party as well as President Obama (who has been at war for his entire presidency), Breitbart News quotes Paul as saying, "I think there is a certain amount of weakness that invites war and I would say in many ways [Obama] hasn't definitively had a foreign policy that gives direction or purpose. And so it seems to list one way or another, and I think that actually weakness causes more wars sometimes."

Paul used the intervention in Libya — which Obama has called the "worst mistake" of his presidency (but which Hillary Clinton still refers to as "smart power") — as an example of why Congress must consider and take ownership of military interventions. Per Breitbart News

I think the first thing we should do is, that Congress should vote on whether we should be there or not. There should be an authorization from Congress. The second thing though, is we should be aware of the unintended consequences of intervention. I think our intervention in Libya backfired and has made it less safe in Libya, has given ISIS a foothold in Libya. 

Below you can watch a 2015 Reason TV interview with Paul, in which he talks with Reason's Matt Welch about his opposition to the Patriot Act, GOP hawks, Edward Snowden, and more.

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  1. He wants to end draft registration. Nixon ended the draft over 40 years ago.

    1. 1. He is not mistaken when he conflates SS with the draft – that’s what SS is *for*. If we ever start doing institutional slavery again the SS registration is what will be used to target the best slaves. Its functionally identical to a gun registration.

      2. *However* – he isn’t helping his case when says things like ‘. . . selective service had a racial disparity, because a lot of rich white kids either got a deferment or went to college . . .’ because SS does not have a racial disparity – no one has gotten out of SS registration through a deferment for any reason. At that point he’s gone beyond conflating the two to confusing the two.

      1. SS is still not the draft. It is just the machinery that would allow the draft to come back. He is not ending the draft. He would be making it harder for the draft to return.

        1. But you can still be prosecuted for failing to register just like the draft, as Reagan’s administration did after Reagan flip flopped his opposition to it once he was elected. Rot in hell, Ronnie.

          1. Funny enough I got tagged on a security clearance renewal because I never registered for SS. I joined the MC at 17, so didn’t think I needed to.

            So yeah, 27 year old SSgt me signed up for SS while on active duty.

        2. And a gun registry is not gun confiscation – it just makes it easier to implement.

      2. And understand as well, getting rid of SS, would not prevent a future Congress from bringing it back if they thought a draft might be necessary.

        1. Thinks of all the jobs we could create…

          1. World War II solved the depression you know.

            1. Well, I think Hillary is our best chance for WW3, so things are looking up, the future is so bright, you’ll need atomic radiation shades!

              1. [buys lead futures]

              2. Will their name have to be changed to Timbuk4?

            2. So we can solve the current poor economy by dropping bombs on Chicago?

              1. Can’t hurt to try?

            3. “World War II solved the depression you know.”

              It did not. I get depressed everyday with the thought of the Donald or Hildebeast running the country.

            4. “…when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, they almost had to slow it down, there were so many people coming in.”
              For a while, maybe, but SS was used to draft 10 million 18-35 year-olds during WW2.
              A presentation I heard stated there were even more issues of young men avoiding the draft during the second world war than in the Vietnam era.

      3. It is literally ‘selective service’, you register (or else) for what branch of the military you want to go into should the draft be instituted.

        He might be conflating the two but he isn’t wrong because they are inextricably intertwined. Plus, this is what he said…

        …because a lot of rich white kids either got a deferment or went to college or got out of the draft.

        So while he did say Selective Service had a racial disparity, the reason why was because they had a harder time actually getting out of the draft. Is he wrong?

        1. So long as there are voluntary and costly ways to avoid being drafted, the wealthy will always have an advantage in that. That minorities are disproportionately less-than represented in the ranks of the wealthy doesn’t make the disparity racial.
          Is there a “racial disparity” in being a millionaire?
          Then we should stop anyone from becoming one, unless we can be sure enough minorities are included?
          This is the kind of sick thinking that has infected this nation, and almost no other, since the “civil rights” era.

    2. Better to take registration away from them too.

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  2. This man should run for president!

    1. No one likes a person who stands up for their rights. They want someone who will put the boot on their face.

      1. Look, we’re like dogs. Attention is attention.

        Amirite?

        1. So you like to eat your own shit?

      2. No one likes a person who stands up for their rights. They want someone who will put the boot on their enemy’s face.

        fixed

    2. Rand needs a stylist. He looks like an inmate with that shirt.

      1. I think it matches the hyperlinks nicely.

          1. I have been told it is the, “New Black.”

  3. Is this coincidence or is there an attempt to “conspire” with the LP ? 🙂

    1. Its like a SuperPAC – where there is absolutely no collusion between a candidate and the SuperPAC but the PAC keeps doing things in the candidates best interests.

      In this case Ryan has his own principles and here they align with the LP. But that’s mainly because both Ryan and the LP are libertarianish so of course sometimes they’ll do things that synergize with each other. Ryan is a Republican but he has not particular loyalty to the *party* so he doesn’t feel any particular obligation to toe the line for the upcoming election.

      1. You mean Rand — Paul Ryan being called “libertarian” at this juncture might be a sign that Ragnarok is coming.

        Well, faster than it already is.

        1. Yar – Rand, not Ryan.

        2. Actually, prior to being Beltway-ized, Paul Ryan read and appreciated Ayn Rand (not exactly libertarian, but whatever) and was about smaller government and the individual etc. It only leads me to believe that the whole USG apparatus is on its own course at this point. It’s headed straight over the cliff, all that is in doubt is the speed at which we reach it. The only other element is how ignorant people are as to the distance to cover to the cliff. Ryan held/holds personal beliefs different than he admits to, and he then compromises what he admits to for political expediency.

          I’ve noted these three layers in most politicians I know – what they really believe, what they’ll admit to, and how much they compromise from there. Again, it illustrates just how governance today is so far removed from the individual that even those that are directly part of the system don’t have much of a real imprint on what gets accomplished. But it further illustrates that most don’t join to actually have an impact, they’re in it for whatever power and personally inuring benefits they can get from the “industry”.

  4. This story is like deja vu.

    1. Yeah, I was looking for my comment, couldn’t find it, and then the penny dropped- they’re plagiarizing each other to fill HyR space.

  5. “The Muhammad Ali Voluntary Service Act.”

    Does Ryan not realize that all intelligent people are now obligated to oppose this bill? Never vote for a bill that is named after a person or forms an acronym – they’re bad law. And I wouldn’t change that stance to make an exception here.

    1. Ali is from Kentucky. Rand Paul is their senator.

  6. Does this story seem like deja vu to you?

  7. For a draft, you need a list. All SS is is a list.

    I have an honorable discharge. And it fucking irks me that I still have to answer the question of whether I signed up for SS when applying for jobs and shit.

    Oh, and if men have to sign up, women should have to sign up. If nothing else but to service the men.

    1. If nothing else but to service the men.

      Is there another reason?

      1. This is why there are no female libertarians and why Postrel hates us

    2. Comfort women for the win!

  8. I have a discharge ‘for the convenience of the government’. For smoking pot.in 1979. It’s a longer story than that, but that’s the jist of it. I still have the paperwork.

    1. You should roll a big fattie with it.

    2. Well, when they legalize pot, you go to the top of the list.

    3. I know of a guy who got booted for pot, got back in and made E-10.

  9. a lot of rich white kids either got a deferment or went to college or got out of the draft.

    Rich had nothing to do with it. Intelligent kids got out of the draft. My number was 5- FIVE!- and I still managed to evade despite being exactly the opposite of rich (the Jew Gold had not yet arrived).

    1. During the Vietnam war you could get a college deferment. This was the ‘rich kids’ way out. Poor kids couldn’t afford going to college even though is a fraction of the cost it is today. They could but they didn’t. Then, if you attended graduate school, you defer it even longer. I am not sure why the US has such a bloated college academia sector, but the draft is a probable factor.

      1. There were cheaper and easier ways out. College was nice for the rich kids, but us poors had to be a bit craftier.

        1. BTW, community college deferred you as well, and that was damn cheap.

      2. All you gotta do is tap them kneecaps just right, amirighoramiright?

    2. If I convert, do I get Jew gold too? If so, how much? My maternal great grandfather was Jewish.

      1. Nope, tribal membership is matrilineal. Great grandfather doesn’t cut it (so to speak).

        1. He could always convert, right?

          1. Converts don’t get anything – they have to give a little bit!

            Helps cut down on the false conversions.

            1. Not even a free trip to Israel if you’re a youngin???

  10. “But there’s an old saying in libertarianism, too: organizing them is like herding cats.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..right.html

    1. she used to work for weiner. also, would,

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..-rant.html

      1. Don’t stick it in crazy stupid.

        1. Oh, and I suppose the war on sex trafficking can’t be all that important, if we have high-priced hookers bragging about their exploits to the foreign press.

        2. You’re saying there’s a difference?

    2. I wonder…with all this contemptuous talk about “purity tests,” do you think the LP would, all for the sake of pragmatism of not-being-fanatics, nominate a candidate who wants to raise the income tax? That’s the closest analogy I can think of to expanding the scope of the Civil Rights Act to add sexual orientation and “gender identity” to the traditional list of race, sex, religion and national origin.

      If the LP nominated a tax-raiser, would the candidate’s supporters sneer at critics as being “purity obsessed?”

      Would they say that the income-tax train already left the station, and it’s pointless to bicker about how high the tax is once you’ve conceded the principle of income taxation, and that anyone why should we care about a bunch of fat cats with yachts?

      1. *anyway* why should we care etc.

      2. Not exactly the same thing. Raising taxes reduces freedom.
        Adding protected classes increases it for some people. (Not the strategy libertarians should prefer, of course.)

        1. Seriously?

          Raising taxes “increases freedom” for the people who end up with the money, that would be just as sensible as what you said.

          1. And why not stipulate that some of the tax money goes to pay courts to adjudicate contracts, and pay soldiers to defend the borders, and the other night-watchman functions some libertarians would allow the government.

            That “increases freedom” too, doesn’t it?

        2. Adding protected classes lowers freedom for others far more than it raises it for the protected class. In aggregate protected classes lower overall freedom more than increasing taxes does.

      3. People don’t vote “for” candidates. They vote “against” them. If I have 3 candidates. One is ok on 20% of the issues, one is ok on 40% and the 3rd is ok on 60% (not meant to represent actual figures), who do I vote for? Especially considering I know the 60% guy won’t win but he might push the arguments closer toward liberty on those issues he is right on. I know conservatives are super butt hurt over gay wedding cakes, and even though I agree with them it’s not like we have Freedom of Association now. I certainly have other issues with him as well and who knows maybe I’ll stay home, but in no universe do I vote for Clinton or Trump in less of course they want to pay me $500K.

  11. But that would make it hard for Hillary to wage war if she’s elected!

  12. Damn

    “In February, hackers stole $81m (?56m) from Bangladesh’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36473912

    1. Getting the money was probably the easy part. Getting away with it will be more difficult.

      1. Especially if meddling kids have anything to do with it.

  13. Not sure why you run Rand Paul stories. Isn’t he pro-life? That is icky. I want to hear more about Weld, who is the true voice of the party.

    1. Babies got rights too. Squatters rights!

      1. Babies we don’t feel like killing get Mexican ass sex with bongs

      2. Babies we don’t feel like killing get Mexican ass sex with bongs

    2. Weld would look awfully good as an independent presidential candidate, next to Trump-Clinton.

      Johnson-Weld is getting overlooked because Johnson isn’t well known, and the LP label has negative cachet.

    3. Because he’s Rand MotherFucking Paul, that’s why.

    1. I somehow think these three cops are the only “good” ones on the force. Gotta get rid of them.

  14. “consumer spending at “Food Services and Drinking Places” … was greater than grocery store sales … in April for the third straight month,”

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/

    1. This is why tipping is bad and should be abolished.

      /Salon think piece

  15. The draft, another FYTW invisible ink exception to the plain language in the constitution (well, the 13th Amendment).

    Not to mention the other exception, road work (Butler v. Perry)! Viva corv?e!

  16. Ask of this is great, but how about if we stand down now? From the very beginning of the country through WWII, there was a small standing army, which was then built up during time of war, then reduced to its small size again once the war was over.
    We first starting keeping a large standing army because of the Cold War. The Cold War is over; the USSR in the dustbin of history, where it belongs.
    If you don’t have a large standing army, it is difficult to go adventuring.

  17. Rand >>>> Johnson

  18. If you are an XY male who identifies as female, can you skip registering for selective service?

    This is bound to come up soon, and it might force this into becoming a national debate in which they either make EVERYONE register, or (let us hope) NOBODY register.

    1. Congress is in the process of expanding SS registration to women.

      1. I’m sure they’ll make exemptions for mommies.

      2. So far it has just gotten passed by the House armed services committee. No guarantee that it will pass. Besides, I have to hold out hope that someone will say “how about we get rid of SS altogether.

  19. While he’s at it, maybe Rand Paul can introduce legislation to reauthorize the War Powers Act and the Fourth Amendment.

    Wait, they’re still the law of the land?

    1. No, they have been relegated to the “suggestions of the land.”

  20. Paul used the intervention in Libya ? which Obama has called the “worst mistake” of his presidency (but?which Hillary Clinton still refers to as “smart power”)

    Uhh, I’m pretty sure Obama only said that the aftermath of the intervention in Libya was the problem. And that failing to plan for it was the worst mistake of his presidency, but not the intervention itself.

    That would require admitting a giant fuck-up which was essentially replicating a George W. Bush mistake, which Obama could never do.

    1. I thought his worst mistake was to fail to use shorter words when explaining to the benighted people how wonderful his administration was?

      1. Nah, in his view that’s not a terrible mistake of his. It’s the people’s mistake for being too dumb to comprehend his wonderfulness.

      2. He tried to use as many as he could. Um um um uh uh uh um yeah um it it it it behoves us to um um to um…..

    2. Failing to plan for the aftermath of an invasion……Hmmmm, where have we heard of this happening before?

  21. Seemingly taking aim at the hawks in his own party

    If only he’d done that a few months ago…

  22. Unless Rand’s bill is passed, the next time you read about Ali being drafted, this is what it will mean.

  23. “Rand Paul Wants to End the Draft and Force Congress to Vote on Authorizing War”

    And yet the dominant preferences of the gaggle of fuckwits that call themselves Americans have chosen a commie, a fascist and…probably another fascist as their preferred president. What a bunch of weak, spineless herd animals. They are going to get exactly the government they deserve and drag all of the rest of us with them.

    As if I didn’t already hate them enough for electing that shitweasel Obama.

    Fuck it, I am going to get drunk and go to bed.

    1. Waaay ahead of you, dude.

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  26. Isn’t there a new rule ryan is trying to get passed that will essentially stop any bill coming to a vote that he doesn’t like? I forgot what it was.

  27. I fucking weep that Rand Paul isn’t the republican nominee. Actual ideas to improve the U.S., right up there folks.

    Not like I’m surprised though.

    The current selection of candidates… its just plain insulting.

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  32. SORRY! We do need the draft and make it work that all have to give at least 2 yr even women now? What we owe to our own country that all give their time for our military. Already been devastated the past few years per big cut backs. The Morale is horrible go to bases Media who are so afraid to talk on our military WHY? Get the facts on food stamps for enlisted WHY? Who is going to fight I would ask Rand? There are going to be wars maybe we can hope not the type like an Iraq. If anything we should have stood up to help Syria look at how devastated they the citizens are now millions scattered over Europe. Not even their young men have stayed to fight. Do we want this in our future do not think so. But our President I voted for sits by WHY? Now we just say oh let these people come here we can take care of them? Now we get a young man born here of some kind of Muslim possible belief shoot up a gay bar? So it goes not going to change the beliefs just because these people move here? Thousands of years of what they are programmed for. Look at the women in Saudi for one. We accept this from these Govt. as okay? WHY? No, unless Rand can come up with a better way to get people today into our military do away with draft is not a way to handle this? .

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