Last week conservatives lost their mind over the “friendly fire” from Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul on the topic of ISIS. Speaking with MSNBC’s token (and artificial) right-winger Joe Scarborough, he responded to a question asked in the spirit of Lindsey Graham. It was a baited trap that garnered sound bites for the mainstream media to frame what Paul said as discord among the ranks.[twitter-follow username=”R_R_Rye”]
Now people on the right are up in arms at the traitor in their midst. Bear in mind who Senator Graham is. It cannot be expressed enough:
But hold on, maybe it’s unfair to judge Lindsey Graham on that one quote. We need to compare it with the body of his efforts in office.
Did conservatives pay him back in kind with giving him a dose of the “gotcha” politics usually reserved for the opposing side?
Given the heat of the moment and the time constraints of a TV interview, was the verbatim quote the entirety of Paul’s opinion on the subject, or was he alluding to the much larger picture? That the hawks of the Republican party have been using a strategy for decades of attempting to manipulate the conflicts in the world through arms and aid, and it seems to always come back to haunt us.
A more appropriate summary of Rand Paul’s opinion on the matter, those he’s calling out aside, is to simply stop sending guns and money overseas. The recipients either turn against us, the arms end up in the hands of the enemy when we elect a president like Obama and he abandons them, or some combination of the two.
Tonight the Patriot Act expires if it is not renewed, and Senator Paul has vowed to run out the clock on it. He’s provided succinct arguments for why it is illegal, unconstitutional, and ineffective. Those in favor of keeping it are seemingly just flabbergasted that anyone would propose taking away power from the government. Specifics on its value to the security of the nation are always scant.
They’re selling out liberty, because who knows who’ll be in power in the future, in exchange for a sense of “peace of mind” that no power on Earth can truthfully provide. The ugly truth is that if liberty is always our first and foremost moral and if we have to turn away from that to fight our enemies, then they have already won.
Last year at CPAC Rand Paul opened his speech with this:
Imagine with me for a moment, imagine a time when liberty is again spread from coast to coast. Imagine a time when our great country is again governed by the Constitution. Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty. You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans. I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.
Unless he’s a total fraud (he is still a politician after all), it seems his loyalties lie with the Constitution before the Republican party. If only the same could be said about more Republicans and conservatives.
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