Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s unofficial response to President Obama’s recent Syria speech has drawn reactions from almost everyone, oftentimes coming with a round of applause as Paul advocates for a war-weary America.
But we haven’t seen much of a breakdown or comparison between Paul’s and Obama’s speeches. Brian Doherty of Reason.com takes the time to break down Paul’s argument and line it up against Obama’s. It’s an interesting look at rhetoric vs rhetoric, a battle in which Paul seems to do well in.
“Paul’s opposition seemed measured, certainly not a full-blooded call against reckless U.S. imperial adventuring or the foolishness of trying to manage the planet. He’d vote against a Syrian war if given the opportunity, sure, but sounded more like tough guy than peacenik by saying that if war happens, the president shouldn’t be hamstrung in fighting to total victory, a point laid out in a letter from Paul to his colleagues this week.”
Doherty thinks that Paul’s strong and vocal opposition to a military strike in Syria could have repercussions beyond the immediate, as Americans seem to be sick of involving their own country in other nations’ disputes. A recent poll from FreedomWorks showed that Paul’s philosophical beliefs – libertarian, fiscally conservative, socially liberal – are growing within Republican voters. And that the old-school style of intervening in (or more bluntly, going to war in) other countries is shrinking.
Some people have made the criticism that the Republican Party is getting upset because there’s a Democrat in the White House. And when a GOP member takes over, the right-leaning politicians will be less likely to fervently fight against an interventionist foreign policy. Paul doesn’t seem to have that problem – he’ll call out anybody he doesn’t agree with. And Doherty writes that sticking to Paul’s philosophy may be the winning one.
“But this week’s dueling presentations from president and senator on the politics and policy of warmaking made for a debate that the American people have not been permitted to have on foreign policy for decades. The Republican Party just needs to remember that they can run against the foreign policy of managing the world now, since they can blame it on Obama—and it is politically safe and even smart for them to run on a foreign policy true to the Constitution and dedicated to actual American defense.”
Keep that in mind, GOP.
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, via Flickr Creative Commons
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