Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rand Paul and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Found Something They Can Agree On

Both the libertarian-leaning Republican and the democratic socialist want Trump to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

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Ron Sachs—CNP/Sipa USA/Newscom; JEENAH MOON/REUTERS/Newscom

Regular Reason readers are no doubt familiar with the policies espoused by both democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) and libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.). To put it bluntly, they are about as far apart on the political spectrum as two people can be.

But the two politicians "have found common ground" (as the Associated Press put it) on the issue of U.S. involvement in Syria. Paul and Ocasio-Cortez were two of 12 congressional lawmakers to sign a letter to President Donald Trump praising him for his stance on Syria and encouraging him to withdraw U.S. troops from the country soon.

"We write in bipartisan support of your announcement of the start of a 'deliberate withdrawal' of U.S. military forces in Syria, and we welcome the completion of this process within the next six months," the letter reads. "It is long past time to rein in the use of force that goes beyond congressional authorization, and we look forward to pursuing this longstanding bipartisan objective with your Administration."

It's been more than three months since Trump posted a message to Twitter explaining why he planned on withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. His reasoning was simple (and valid): With the Islamic State group defeated, there is no longer any reason for American soldiers to stay.

As Reason's Christian Britschgi and others have pointed out, Trump's stance on this issue has earned him bipartisan criticism, especially from within his own administration. This may be why the timetable for the troop withdrawal was extended from 30 days, to four months, to some undetermined future date.

The letter from Paul and Ocasio-Cortez notes that Congress never authorized the president to send soldiers to Syria, and asks the Trump administration to place "an increased focus on diplomacy to ensure minimal disruption and prevent needless loss of life."

"Finally, we hope this will serve as a model for ending hostilities in the future—in particular, as you and your administration seek a political solution to our involvement in Afghanistan," the letter concludes.

Aside from Paul and Ocasio-Cortez, the other signatories include Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah), Reps. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), Andy Biggs (R–Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (R–S.C.), Paul Gosar (R–Ariz.), Ro Khanna (D–Calif.), Ted Lieu (D–Calif.), Thomas Massie (R–Ky.), Ilhan Omar (D–Minn.), and Bill Posey (R–Fla).

They're absolutely right. As Reason's Robby Soave has argued, there's just no good justification for U.S. troops to be in Syria. ISIS has largely been defeated. Keeping U.S. troops there will not protect Americans from terror attacks. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to authorize military intervention, and in this case, it has not.

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51 responses to “Rand Paul and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Found Something They Can Agree On

  1. I’m happy to have the support. Would she mind getting some of her rabid base and fellow Democrats on board?

    1. She signed a letter praising Trump’s position. She’s just making sure her fellow dems will support whoever is running against her the next time.

      1. She’s an Assad toady!

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  2. Let’s start writing the fanfic!

    1. SugarFree ain’t coming back, man.

  3. No matter what angle you look at them, you can always see the crazy in those eyes.

    1. I know! His beady little eyes. It’s like staring into the abyss

  4. Except AOC thinks Syria is a province of Canada.

    1. She thinks Leppo Marx is the one from Syria.

        1. It’s what you pee with…no, wait…that’s a dikfur.

          1. very laugh much mirth

      1. She just heard Marx and instinctively agreed to whatever it was.

    2. a province
      A city, and it’s called Toronto.

  5. Wow. I knew she couldn’t always be wrong about everything. Eventually she had to get something right, even if it might be by accident.

    1. A clock running backward is right once a week!

    2. I was opposed to the Iraq war. I was initially delighted to find that many on the Left agreed with me.

      Then I heard them speak, and was no longer delighted. Their arguments were either blatantly partisan or painfully dimwitted. So I’d like to hear what AOC specifically has to say about this issue before I toast her for her position.

      1. before I toast her for her position.

        I gave the exact same toast at my aunt’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s wedding.

      2. What are *bad* reasons to be against the Iraq war?

        1. Saddam was a pretty cool guy who paid me to oppose it?

          1. The French reason.

  6. “The letter from Paul and Ocasio-Cortez notes that Congress never authorized the president to send soldiers to Syria”

    Obama’s legacy is executive overreach leading to failure. Reason staff should still feel ashamed to have supported such a loser.

    And AOC is signing a letter requesting Orange Hitler pull out of wars that Brown Jesus got us into? And He will comply? Worst Hitler ever.

  7. I bet both of their neighbors would like to jump on top of them… for different reasons, obviously.

  8. The difference is that Rand Paul has taken the anti-war position for years and they sent a stooge to assault him from behind and break his ribs.

    She risks nothing like that for taking the same position.

    1. The butthurt is strong in you.

  9. one of the “not yum” pics

      1. That was funny.

  10. But we need to stand strong in Syria so that our Military Industrial Complex can continue to reap billion$ in mass murder of innocent civilians and other anti-American activities.
    ~ signed by every other Senator and Congressman who have no balls.

  11. 1. Good reporting. I have not seen this anywhere else.
    2. I expect folks like Paul and AOC will team up again.
    3. I have wonder why Gabbard, Warren, etc. didn’t sign on.
    4. The comment section is just awful. Per usual.

  12. A lot of the radical progressives are strongly antiwar. It’s to the point where there’s a big fight brewing among democrats about whether they should be reflexively pro-Israel or not.

    I’m thrilled that it’s finally becoming acceptable to criticize Israel in at least one of the major parties.

    1. maybe kinda sort of. There’s still a large cohort of people who want to blur the lines between legitimate criticism of what appears to be an apartheid state and antisemitism.

      1. Like Bramblyspam.
        The tip-off was where he said “criticize Israel” and not criticize Israeli policies or actions.

        Also, the Palestinians are the ones who want an apartheid state of their own even more. That’s why they didn’t join with the Israeli Arabs, Druze and Bedouin in becoming Israeli.
        An apartheid state a la South Africa is a bad analogy for the Levant’s uniquely fucked up situation.

  13. My “What If” machine is blaming nearly every violent death in the Middle East and nearly every terrorist-related death everywhere else (including 9/11 of course) after 1948 on the creation of Israel. Clearly this machine is anti-Semitic.

    1. So it’s the UK’s fault?

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  16. To put it bluntly, they are about as far apart on the political spectrum as two people can be.

    I guess Reason writers are no longer familiar with the longstanding libertarian position that politics is not a one-dimensional “spectrum”. The libertarian and the progressive might agree on a bunch of “personal freedom” things.

    Here’s a website to help you:
    https://www.theadvocates.org/

  17. The best approach is to cut the military budget and then decide how best to spend the money. I think protecting Kurds and Jews is a good use of the money for now. I’d rather not spend a dime fighting drug wars.

  18. The Republicans who aren’t willing to reduce the military budget are the real problem. It isn’t people who see some value in defending free people from dictators.

  19. Trump is a good example the con game Republicans are playing. Trump claims he wants troops out of Syria but his motive isn’t so much to save money to spend on healthcare it’s too spend the money on some other war of some other sort.

  20. Trump is a good example the con game Republicans are playing. Trump claims he wants troops out of Syria but his motive isn’t so much to save money to spend on healthcare it’s too spend the money on some other war of some other sort.

    1. I’ve heard Trump advocate for new and interesting ways to fuck up healthcare, but I’m gonna need a citation on the new war thingie.

  21. For AOC this goes into the category that even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

  22. Trump is a good example the con game Republicans are playing. Trump claims he wants troops out of Syria but his motive isn’t so much to save money to spend on healthcare it’s too spend the money on some other war of some other sort.

  23. She probably just wants to provide them with healthcare and basic income instead. UBI, NOT BOMBS!

  24. I don’t know why more of you can’t see this is a good thing. I was happy when Trump proposed this, and other military withdrawels to follow, and was sad when the pushback was so strong that he effectively gave up. We have been in Afghanistan since 2011! And in Iraq since 2013 or 2014? And in Syria for… we need to start withdrawing our troops. And yes Syria will go to hell, but it already has, and Iraq will probably collapse again, we never should have got rid of Saddam. And Afghanistan will go back to the Taliban. We never punished the real architects of 9/11, the militant Saudis, but have spent almost 20 years in the Middle East theatre which always turns into a total shit show. Let’s bring em home.

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