Start A Petition

Listen to Rand Paul

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Rand Paul, national security, Anwar al-Awlaki, Fareed Zakaria, American Civil Liberties Union, Edward Snowden, Patriot Act )

- 1478 days ago -
The real problem appears to be that Paul is trying to force Republicans and many Democrats to defend what has become a lazy, smug consensus in favor of an ever expanding national security state.


We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Sheryl G (359)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 8:35 am
It turns out that Republicans in Washington are united on one issue: their hatred of Rand Paul. John McCain says that he is “the worst possible candidate . . . on the most important issue.” Marco Rubio opines that “he has no idea what he’s talking about.” Lindsey Graham concludes that it would be “devastating” for the party to nominate him. Conservative commentators are even more vicious and ad hominem.

The obsession with Paul is striking. In a Post op-ed last summer, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry mentioned Paul 10 times. I cannot recall an instance in recent decades when so much vitriol has been directed against a leading political figure by his own party.

The attacks are almost entirely focused on Paul’s foreign policy, which is routinely characterized as dangerous and isolationist. In fact, the real problem appears to be that Paul is trying to force Republicans and many Democrats to defend what has become a lazy, smug consensus in favor of an ever-expanding national security state.

I have read Paul’s proposals and speeches on foreign policy. There are some bloopers, odd comments and rhetorical broadsides, but for the most part his views are intellectually serious and well within a tradition of what he (correctly) calls conservative realism. They are also politically courageous.

Paul has taken positions and cited authorities that are deeply unpopular with his own party. Yes, of course, he craves publicity and engages in stunts. What politician doesn’t? But what makes his opponents most uncomfortable is the substance, not the style.

Take the most recent example: his opposition to the blanket extension of the Patriot Act, which has resulted in some modest restraint on the vast expansion of government powers since 9/11. (The new checks and balances are close to ones recommended by a panel put together by the Obama administration.)

In defending his position, Paul notes— correctly — that we would not even know of the existence of this system of metadata collection if not for Edward Snowden’s revelations, that the FBI has been unable to cite a single terrorist plot disrupted by it and that the special courts in place have few checks and little transparency.

He cites, glowingly, the 1979 dissenting opinion regarding the dangers of government collection of phone records by Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan, the Supreme Court’s two most prominent liberals of the past half-century.

Or consider Paul’s views on lifting the embargo on Cuba, on which he writes: “The supporters of the embargo . . . fall strangely silent when asked how trade with Cuba is so different than trade with Russia or China or Vietnam.” This is not a path to primary voters’ hearts in Florida.

He has raised uncomfortable questions that no other politician dares raise about Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda leader who was killed in a car on a road in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike. Paul has pointed out that since Awlaki was a U.S. citizen, this action creates an extraordinary legal precedent — that the president of the United States can execute a U.S. citizen without trial. He cites approvingly the American Civil Liberties Union, which, he writes, has pointed out that “in modern history, a presidential order to kill an American citizen away from a battlefield is unprecedented.”

In the Middle East, Paul has called for caution before the next military intervention, suggesting that it is worth learning some lessons from the past decade. U.S. military interventions, he has argued, have destabilized countries and led to perverse consequences. “As secular dictators fell in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, and now Syria, radical jihadists exploited the vacuum,” he has noted.

In Afghanistan, he said, President Obama added 50,000 troops to the U.S. force and spent an additional $120 billion on the effort with little effect. Afghanistan today is by some measures as dangerous as ever — after 14 years of continuous U.S. military intervention and $1 trillion spent, by one estimate. Surely this is worth pondering?

I don’t agree with Rand Paul on many things, including foreign policy. I think some of his positions on civil rights are historically blind, cruel and dangerous. But in the arena of national security, he has time and again raised important, inconvenient questions, only to have them ruled out of order and to be told that he is a crank, far outside the mainstream.

In fact, it would be useful and important for Republicans — and Democrats — to stop the name-calling and actually discuss and debate his ideas.

Kathleen M (208)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 8:47 am
Interesting points; Rand Paul's foreign policy ideas are worthy of serious discussion. However, his stance on most other issues is revolting. Still think he's a flaming, boneheaded idiot! Thanks for sharing, Dandelion.

Past Member (0)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 8:50 am
Lol Kathleen.
I can't top that comment.
Thank you Dandelion.
Like I would be swayed by John McCain's opinion on anything.

Sue H (7)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 8:56 am
"Conservative Realism" with a little too much manic to suit me.

Winn Adams (179)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 11:21 am
He is A blight on America.

Arielle S (313)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 11:26 am
It is interesting how quickly and completely the GOP can turn on one of their own just because he happens to make a sensible comment now and then....

Patrick Donovan (344)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 12:15 pm
Thank you Kathleen, Sue, & Arielle for your comments & Dandelion for the article.

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 1:30 pm
I am glad that his voice is speaking out on the Patriot Act and our Foreign Policy that has us in war after war. I am not pleased on much of what he said, but on this I agree. Unlike the other boneheads of the GOP who seem to not have anything positive to offer, at least he does in these areas. I think that is why he is so disliked by the GOP he can at least make sense in some area.

roxy H (350)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 3:35 pm
i will be back with some "laws" and extremes of Rand Pauls to discuss.. right now I have on face book a campaign and have started it here.. He is directly working with the Koch Brothers to take down the EPA and the ESA in America. Rand Paul is and ALEC member and a serious threat to our freedoms and all of rights. Last thing anyone needs is to be "listening to Rand Paul"

Animae C (509)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 4:45 pm
Thanx Dandelion

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 5:16 pm
Roxy, I'm in no way a fan of Rand Paul.....believe fan.

However, in this one ARTICLE......of limited scope........He speaks on a couple of MAJOR issues that frankly the two Parties are FAILING us in.

If he can CAUSE a conversation that is long overdue....then I don't care who brings this topic to the table, even if it's the devil himself. This NEEDS to be discussed.

We can thank Rand Paul that he delayed things so that the Patriot Act expired!

Now I'm all for calling them out when they are wrong......but in this case he was very much correct, and for that I'm grateful.

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 5:19 pm


jan b (5)
Monday June 8, 2015, 7:05 am
THIS IS NOT AN ARTICLE WORTH ANYTHING ------The National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance programs—leaked earlier this month by an ex-CIA employee—has helped stopped more than 50 “potential terrorist events” since the Sept. 11 attacks, according to government officials. SHhhhhhh don't spread that information---we are on a quest to weaken our security.....( eye roll)
The many articles on the web suggesting the opposite is why we shall never win the war on the propaganda against the Islamic State. Brilliantly done with lies or distorted info ---they even managed to have our security compromised. Americans truly believe that out of the trillions of phone/e-mails they are being specifically spied upon by the busy security personnel tracking terrorists. WOW what a stretch of imagination that takes.

OH MY GOD.... Snowden is a hero now ---- for stealing thousands of documents and running to Russia with them. I give up on this country I really do to have any common sense at all.

Sheryl G (359)
Tuesday June 9, 2015, 7:25 am
Jan...."The many articles on the web suggesting the opposite is why we shall never win the war on the propaganda against the Islamic State."

And you don't think that you are reading propaganda in that we have to be in a war against anyone? Let alone the Islamic State.

Have you ever questioned Jan, why is it we are always in a war. Always a bad guy, like the peasants in the mess we got into in Vietnam, or the bombings of Cambodia where we left that Country in such a mess that Pol Pot came in and created the killing fields.
US Ambassador Feels Shame After Cambodia Pull Out 40 Years Later

Why if it hadn't been for whistle blower Daniel Ellsberg joining in we would of been in Vietnam a lot longer and more lives would of been shed over a bunch of lies, just like in Iraq, thank goodness for the offering of Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, another who shed some light onto what was going on.

And if it wasn't for Snowden, you'd not know that YOUR Country was spying on you and throwing that right of yours away. And he wasn't wanting to go to Russia, it wasn't where he was aiming for, it is where he got stuck so wasn't actually a choice. He should be allowed home, Snowden was telling the truth, unlike Clapper who did lie under oat and is still here in the USA.

I agree, this Country is in a mess but not the way you are viewing it. But keep drinking the kool aid as they are having you believe that fascism is wonderful and that your enemy is some religion. When a Nation has built its economy on a war machine, it will always find a war, and a reason to go to war, and in doing so someone is in fact made the enemy.

Just follow the money. Suggest you look at.
Fear Inc Explore the $57 Million Network Fueling Islamophobia in The United State

Talk about propaganda.....climb out from under those fumes my dear.

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday June 9, 2015, 10:42 am
It is more than time that we actually get some politicians who are interested to work for us, and not against us.
Thanks for sharing Dandelion.

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday June 9, 2015, 11:23 am
I fully agree with Dandelion - AND Mr Paul on that! Saw it live on GPS from Fareed and wondered myself..but then, we know of course that this station like most others is there for right-wing propaganda. Even if in this case it was a worthy presentation.

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday June 9, 2015, 3:28 pm
Noted. Thanks, Dandelion.
I am glad to see him speak out on these issues; and I do agree with the specifics in this article. He sets himself apart from the other Republicans in the GOP "Clown Car" to the Presidential election. And, I hope he continues to keep these issues in the forefront. The American public needs to have this conversation. I can't say I agree with him on other issues.....nope.

Arild Warud (174)
Wednesday June 10, 2015, 5:59 am
Well even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 11, 2015, 5:24 am
Rand Paul "blights up my life", but let's hope that those who respect something about him, listen to his views on foreign policy. Snowden is a hero and there's much to respect there. I like Arild's remark in re Rand Paul--that even a broken watch is correct twice a day. I enjoyed the info in your remarks Dandelion and noted this with thanks to you.

Gina Caracci (219)
Sunday August 2, 2015, 12:03 pm


Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday January 3, 2016, 2:25 pm
With regards to this current crop of Republicans, it's rather like saying, which is the least damaging form of cancer. . . ?

They're all pretty bad. . .
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in US Politics & Gov't

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.