We’re all familiar with his attempt to outflank Hillary Clinton to her left by characterizing her as a hawk, both on Meet the Press, August 24, and in The Wall Street Journal, August 28.
Back in June, Rand Paul had serious reservations about air-strikes against ISIS forces in Iraq.
What would airstrikes accomplish? We know that Iran is aiding the Iraqi government against ISIS. Do we want to, in effect, become Iran’s air force? What’s in this for Iran? Why should we choose a side, and if we do, who are we really helping?
But on Tuesday, after news broke about a second beheading of an American journalist by ISIS terrorists, Rand Paul said:
In an emailed comment… Paul elaborated by saying: “If I were President, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.”
That brings us to Wednesday when Paul said this to Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel:
“So I also think that Turks really should be enjoined in this. And I do think that there can be a role for America. But I would rather see the president come to a joint session of Congress, [ask] for permission, and if he gets it, I still would like to see the ground troops and the battles being fought by those who live there. We can give both technological as well as air support. That could be the decisive factor in this.”
Okay, sure, it’s not a complete reversal from Tuesday, but it’s a significant backpedal from seeking authorization for the U.S. to “destroy ISIS militarily.” Instead of doing all the destroying, Rand Paul would essentially hang back and let Iraq and Turkey do most of the ground fighting. That said, it’s a massive reversal from his opposition to air-strikes back in June. (I hasten to note that my criticism of Paul is based solely on his total lack of core values and increasingly hilarious roster of flip-flops. The U.S. strategy on ISIS is a separate conversation.)
Of course Cesca is correct on this, there's really no other way to characterize Paul's Superman-level leaps from the "hands off" camp to the "I could talk Iran into doing it for us!" camp. It's also a deeply silly position to all of a sudden start pushing Iran as the solution to the Islamic State problem when Republicans screamed bloody murder at even using diplomacy with Iran in regards to enriching uranium. Now all of a sudden Republicans want to trust Iran's military to bail us out so that we don't have to send in ground troops? That's the big plan?
Who does he think he's fooling with this? Republican primary voters who will flay him leading up to 2016? General election voters who will laugh him out of the room? He knows he's in trouble, so he took to TIME Magazine Thursday to "clarify" his position.
This administration’s dereliction of duty has both sins of action and inaction, which is what happens when you are flailing around wildly, without careful strategic thinking.
And while my predisposition is to less intervention, I do support intervention when our vital interests are threatened.
If I had been in President Obama’s shoes, I would have acted more decisively and strongly against ISIS. I would have called Congress back into session—even during recess.
This is what President Obama should have done. He should have been prepared with a strategic vision, a plan for victory and extricating ourselves. He should have asked for authorization for military action and would have, no doubt, received it.
So no, liberals who think Rand Paul is somehow "anti-war". He's just another GOP warmonger. And if you notice above, it means he's flip-flopped again just this week.
It would be hysterical if it weren't so frightening to consider him as President.