What is it called when a president considers doing something that, before he was elected, spoke out very concisely against doing, and then a member of the opposing party uses it against the president once he’s in office?
I don’t know if there is a specific word. Well, while I think about that, here’s the situation:
On Wednesday morning, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul proposed an amendment (which can be read in full by clicking here) that would have tied any military action in Syria to a vote before Congress.
And how did he do so? Well, with words from 2007 Barack Obama, writes Mediaite‘s Andrew Kirell.
“While arguing against any potential use of force by the Bush administration against the Iranian regime, then-Senator Obama asserted that ‘The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.’
Using that pre-presidential quote as the groundwork, Paul’s amendment then declares that ‘It is the sense of Congress that if this authorization fails to pass Congress, the President would be in violation of the Constitution if he were to use military force against the Government of Syria.’”
That’s a pretty strong argument, I must say. And one that, you think, Obama would certainly support, considering he’s the one who said it.
There is an unfortunate ending to this, however. Paul’s amendment was defeated by a 14-4 vote, writes Lucy McCalmont of Politico:
“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday rejected an amendment proposed by Sen. Rand Paul that would make the Congressional authorization on Syria action a binding vote.
While the Senate’s committee did approve the resolution granting President Barack Obama the authority to strike Syria, Paul’s amendment lost in a 14-4 vote, according to the senator’s website.”
So that’s an unfortunate turn. But hey, I came up with a good word for that situation I described up top: We can call it a Rand Maneuver.
Now we need to come up with a word for when nobody else seems to support it.
Photograph Courtesy of Beth Rankin, via Flickr Creative Commons
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