Rand Paul’s Big Fight

Paul says McCain is “too personal,” and America is ready to come home.

Robert Costa
National Review Online

…Paul thinks his more senior colleagues miss the point of his efforts. He doesn’t see his filibuster as grandstanding, or his politics as out of the mainstream. Rather, he says, he speaks for a growing coalition of conservatives and independents who have grown weary of war and an increasingly powerful executive branch.

It is nothing less than a fight for the soul of the GOP on foreign policy. Beyond his mild distaste for how some Republicans are countering his arguments, the Kentucky senator thinks the broader discussion is both healthy and necessary. Paul doesn’t want his filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination for director of the Central Intelligence Agency to be remembered as a random moment, but as the beginning of his push to shift the party.

Paul’s filibuster of Brennan was based on a specific issue — the White House’s drone policy — and he says that made a difference. As much as he is eager to make a case for a new GOP foreign policy on several fronts, he predicts that his fight, and any victories, will be incremental. “There will be a place for people in the party who believe in a less aggressive foreign policy,” he says. “There are all different nuances about what, exactly, we will debate. Like with the drone program, a large percentage of the party and the American people agree that in America, you do get a lawyer, you do get due process — other than the Wall Street Journal and a couple people.” (The Journal ran a harshly critical editorial on his filibuster last week.)

By highlighting somewhat narrow issues over the coming months and years, Paul thinks he can force the party to confront the details of its calcified, Bush-shaped positions on everything from executive power to foreign aid. “We took the [Brennan] nomination and talked about the issue instead of the nomination,” he says. That approach, he hopes, will make the media more focused on policy. Part of the GOP’s problem, as he sees it, is an inability to get the press away from writing about Republicans being “petty,” even if they are raising valid concerns. For example, Paul feels the party mishandled its messaging after Obama tapped Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon. He saw in the Brennan nomination a ripe opportunity to reframe the Republican critique of Obama’s policies. “They weren’t able to do that with [the Hagel nomination],” he says. “I tried to make it more about a principle than Brennan.”

As he reflects, Paul says his real quarrel isn’t with McCain, but with the “John Yoo faction” of the GOP. Yoo, a former official in the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration (and NRO contributor), is an advocate of what Paul calls an “imperial presidency,” especially on national security…

Read the entire article at National Review Online.


H/T Senator Paul on Facebook:


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Related: Rand Paul: The ‘Old Guard’ Attacking Me Means I’m Winning




Also, McCain: Founders Prohibited Defense Of America’s Borders

Senator McCain has no problem with Obama waging an illegal war without the constitutionally-required approval from Congress. Yet, he thinks the Founders wanted to prohibit the military from protecting America’s borders from foreign invasion and colonization and that they enshrined this in the Constitution!!


Update: For the GOP There’s the Right Way and the Establishment Way


Update 2Obama Tells Republicans Behind Closed Doors: “You Need Me”…

…As told by McCarthy,Obama then said that if Republicans are going to get entitlement reform, “You need me.” As McCarthy walked away, the congressman thought: “He’s still a law professor. He’d rather lecture you and put a red mark on your paper than talk to you.”…





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