You, Sir, Are an Extremist

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

That Tea Party extremist nut Rand Paul is at it again. First, he was the only U.S. Senator to openly speak out against renewal of the PATRIOT Act. Then he promised that it should it become necessary, he’d wage a filibuster to block SOPA. He raised holy hell about the NDAA.

Now the winger is trying to prevent a war with Iran or Syria.

Presidents of both parties, over the past several decades, have shown a willingness to interpret Senate resolutions in the broadest imaginable way when it comes to war, whether it’s to launch a 10-year land-war in Southeast Asia or Afghanistan, to torture detainees picked up in foreign countries or to eavesdrop without a warrant on American citizens.

This time around, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to make sure there are no misunderstandings.

The Senate is debating legislation that would impose strict sanctions on Iran, including penalizing U.S. companies whose subsidiaries have ties to the country.

The bill, S. Res. 380, would not explicitly allow war with Iran. But Paul, who has been a critic of U.S. involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, doesn’t want to take any chances. His amendment would make clear that nothing in the bill “shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of use of force against Iran or Syria.”

A single senator can wield serious influence in the Senate simply by refusing to go along, and Paul is willing to use it. In late March, Paul blocked the bipartisan Iran sanctions bill from coming to a vote, demanding consideration of his amendment. The House has already approved a version of the legislation. Moving forward would require coming to an agreement with Paul so that he lifts his objection, or getting 60 votes to bypass him, which would chew up several days of limited Senate floor time.

So far, only one Democrat, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), has expressed interest in signing on as a cosponsor . . .

Fortunately, seasoned Washington veterans are around to tamp down Paul’s nutty crusades.

The effort to rally votes simply to clarify that the bill does not authorize war has been a frustrating one for Paul. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, warned that the amendment wasn’t “helpful” at the moment.

“I just don’t think it would be helpful right now, frankly, to have that kind of a debate when you’re in the middle of negotiations, when you’re trying to send a bunch of other different kinds of messages, and when you don’t want to confuse the ability to bring people to the table and act in good faith,” he said. “When you start talking about war debate and strength debate, it’s a whole different climate. I don’t think it’s necessary.”

Thank goodness the Senate was full of people like Kerry back when Bush was in office, and not people like Paul. I mean, there may have actually been some debate over the PATRIOT Act. Or some attempt to be specific about what that authorization of war on terrorism did and didn’t allow the president to do.

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28 Responses to “You, Sir, Are an Extremist”

  1. #1 |  Dyspeptic Curmudgeon | 

    Your blogging software is missing a ttf file: font sarcastic. And probably font ironic italic too.

  2. #2 |  Aresen | 

    It appears that most of the US Senate now believes that “War is the Natural State of Affairs Between Nations.”*

    *(I forget who said that originally. Possibly Sun Tzu?.)

  3. #3 |  ScS | 

    Holding a rational position on one issue does not preclude holding extremist views on others.

  4. #4 |  Difster | 

    There’s going to be more than a few of your non-regular readers who are not going to understand the sarcasm.

  5. #5 |  perlhaqr | 

    Fuck John Kerry.

  6. #6 |  Comrade Dread | 

    I’m not opposed to Rand Paul because of his non-interventionist views. I wholeheartedly agree with and support them.

    It’s his Austrian economics with a dash of Objectivist thought with which I have a problem.

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    Anyone not a liberal is an extremist in the eyes of your modern day Democrat. Anyone not a conservative is a socialist in the eyes of your modern day Republican.

  8. #8 |  John Jenkins | 

    @ #2 It was Kant, but Hobbes sort of said it first (Hobbes said men, Kant said men and nations).

  9. #9 |  Aresen | 

    @ John Jenkins

    Thanks.

    Although from what I remember of Sun Tzu, he expressed something very similar, and that was long before either Hobbes or Kant.

  10. #10 |  boonie | 

    We did have somebody who opposed the PATRIOT act when Bush was in office. His name was Russ Feingold. I don’t recall him getting a lot of love from Libertarians.

  11. #11 |  StrangeOne | 

    #5 Not to be confrontational about it, but I’ve always found such criticisms of Libertarian-ish politicians to be lacking.

    To me its an issue of priorities. Even if you believe that Austrian economics would be disastrous for the nation, the economic impact is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of our military adventurism. Add to that the human and civil rights loses that are directly attributed to the War on Terror and it becomes a no contest for me. Any politician who seriously supports ending the war on terror, and ending America’s interventionist military projects, deserves to be supported in spite of their craziness on all other issues.

    They can always be kicked out of office after the fact, that’s the beauty of elections. It’s infuriating, that in this country where liberals and conservatives wax poetic about big issues that they have no intention of ever doing anything about, to see politicians who clearly do care about the big issues get dismissed on trifling matters.

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    We did have somebody who opposed the PATRIOT act when Bush was in office. His name was Russ Feingold. I don’t recall him getting a lot of love from Libertarians.

    Then you weren’t paying attention.

  13. #13 |  jmcross | 

    Congress certainly doesn’t want to limit the CNC’s options when we are so close to the goal. When they roll up Iran there will be one member of THE AXIS OF EVIL standing. And we all know the Korean War never ended, right? No need for Congress to do anything, just let it happen.

  14. #14 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ StrangeOne,

    Couldn’t have said it better.

  15. #15 |  Luther | 

    He is an extremist nut because he thinks a zygote is a person and wants to make that the law of the land. Can agree with ton of things he supports but some of his positions are just nutty. Someone best describe the Pauls as a delicious cake with a spoonful shit in it.

  16. #16 |  boonie | 

    @ #12 : Touché

  17. #17 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    perlhaqr,

    Y’all f*ck him. I’m picky about what I touch with that part of my anatomy. That said, yes, Kerry is a stupid, opportunistic hack with a superiority complex the origins of which baffle me.

    When he was running for President my Liberal in-laws were aghast that I wanted nothing to do with him. I told them that all he had had to do to disarm my distrust was to open his campaign (EARLY!) by issuing a statement saying something along the lines of “When I came back from Vietnam I was a very angry young man, and did some things that better judgement might have kept me from doing.” No details. No long drawn-out explanations. Just enough mea-culpa to indicate that he was at least AWARE that there were problems with running as a hawk with his anti-war extremism in his past (testifying in front of Congress in the company of people who could be proven to be frauds strikes me as extreme). His apparent lack of awareness that he had a problem disqualified his to be President, as far as I was concerned.

  18. #18 |  SP | 

    John “I was in Vietnam” Kerry is a douche bag and an opportunist. Evidently, JK db. esq. isn’t up on his debating skills in “the great deliberating body in the world” and would rather not have the inconvenience of having to logically defend his indefensible positions. The two houses of the legislative branch and the entire executive branch are filled with self-serving, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting, self-licking parasites. I pray for the day when the people rise up and throw these parasites not only out of office, but out of the country. There is no place in America for a professional political class or a political aristocracy.

  19. #19 |  SP | 

    John “I was in Vietnam” Kerry is a douche bag and an opportunist. Evidently, JK db. esq. isn’t up on his debating skills in “the greatest deliberative body in the world” and would rather not have the inconvenience of having to logically defend his indefensible positions. The two houses of the legislative branch and the entire executive branch are filled with self-serving, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting, self-licking parasites. I pray for the day when the people rise up and throw these parasites not only out of office, but out of the country. There is no place in America for a professional political class or a political aristocracy.

  20. #20 |  kaiser Socsi | 

    Rand Paul is dealing with the truth that we are in real trouble. This is not radicle or extreamist; it is just common since.
    But if you are a a head in the sand extreamist socialist with communist tendencies, I can see your point.

  21. #21 |  Cam | 

    I’m going to make an assumption you wrote this article with tongue-n-cheek simply because no one could “get it” so absolutely and completely backwards as this article represents. With that said, I thank God every day for men like Rand and Ron Paul and Jim DeMint that have felt the call to add a rational brain to a body of brain dead lunatics. If we had many more like them in the two political whore houses called the House and Senate, we would not be on this self inflicted path to hell as a country. To put it bluntly, these men are the treatment for the deadly cancer that is killing this country and we won’t survive as a country unless we put more like these wonderful people in the two marble whore houses to clean up the mess…nuff said.

  22. #22 |  KJJ Strang | 

    Luther and SP;

    Excellent posts. Looks like this blog is worth looking at from time to time.

  23. #23 |  michael | 

    a voice in the silence of insanity in the forest does not get heard very well

  24. #24 |  Jim | 

    @ 15 so Luther, that ‘zygote’, what is it, then, a frog? There are folks like you who think ‘infants’ aren’t persons either, and thus equally eligible for state-sanctioned, and possibly state-subsidized, exterminations. Who’s the extremist nut?

  25. #25 |  Goldbug36 | 

    Yeah, Luther, you used to be a zygote .. maybe your thought processes are still in zygote stage? I love Rand Paul; he’s the only Senate member who addresses the insanity that is about to bring our country down. Folks, you better stop this “partisan” bickering, join together and fight to regain our rights before they are lost forever. This is not a Dem-Pub, R-D, red-blue problem; it is a global takeover and a matter of our survival.

  26. #26 |  Andrew Roth | 

    I’m uncomfortable with Rand Paul’s economic rhetoric, but he’s exactly what we need on civil liberties and geopolitics, so on the whole I’m impressed with him. Tom Coburn is another senator who has pleasantly surprised me: kind of a wingnut on sex (teen lesbianism in Southeast Oklahoma high schools? Bitch, please!), but a much-needed voice of courage and scruples on government oversight and civil liberties.

    What I remember best about Rand Paul’s senatorial campaign is that Jack Conway made my skin crawl. I was really worried that Conway’s disingenuous good ol’ boy shtick would get him over the top. It was very much like George W. Bush’s version, just less ridiculous and more devious. To Kentucky’s credit, his combination of asshat schmoozing and appeals to religious bigotry failed. Apparently not very many Kentuckians fell for his farcical implication that Rand Paul was a Buddhist on account of his Aquabuddha prank. The ad would have been funnier had it not been a craven attempt to inflame sectarian bigotry in a part of the country with large numbers of Christians who conflated their politics with their religion.

    One of the reasons that Jack Conway freaked me out was that my alma mater was infested with his type. I recognized him from the student senate. These shysters were exactly the ones who wormed their way into “leadership” positions in student government and Greek Life. They slapped their fellows on the back one moment, then talked shit about them behind their back the next. To explain Jack Conway in terms that a rural Kentuckian would understand, he’s the sort who would chat you up about your tobacco crop and the upcoming church play, then get you to sign a deceptive contract deeding him your farm and go home to tell his buddies about what a dupe you were.

    It is a terrible idea to reward the ambition of these people. They’re a threat to everyone around them and should be completely marginalized by their peers. An occasional whipping might not be a bad idea, either.

  27. #27 |  Luther | 

    @Jim @ Goldbug36 Calling a single cell or a few hundred cells a person is idiotic. No rational person can justify it. The ramifications to our society of defining personhood at conception outweighs any of reasonable stances he might have on other civil liberties. You used to be a zygote is a weak defense of this stance. Part of you used to be in your dads ball sack. Let’s make masturbation illegal.

  28. #28 |  Tu Wog | 

    In the months and/or years that are PRE-One World Government, the HAVES continue to spread (what they consider to be) the virtues of the New World Order. Ushering in the vice like control of peoples everywhere
    (HAVES maintaining their individual status quo for a job well done)

    Where the problem arises is when the MINORITY (with an IQ higher than a peanut butter sandwich) realizes that the propaganda/criteria is completely and unequivocally against the psyche of a FREE and autonomous peoples.

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