Last night Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sean Hannity’s TV show, to make it clear he believes ISIS has declared war on America. The Senator was clearly irritated at being portrayed as an “isolationist.” He made plain that he believes the President should seek constitutional authority before dealing with ISIS.
I’ve been critical of the Senator for what I termed his “Obama-Lite” approach to U.S. foreign policy. He is right — he is not an isolationist. And certainly saying presidents should get — as did George W. Bush in Iraq — the support of Congress before an intervention is correct.
Now comes this article from Richard Epstein over at the Hoover Institution titled “Rand Paul’s Fatal Pacifism.” Mr. Epstein is a self-described “limited government libertarian” and has been so throughout his “professional life.” So it is striking to see his description of the Senator not as an isolationist but rather as a “pacifist,” taking him on directly for the Senator’s quite repeated stance on Iraq.
Epstein concludes his piece by saying this:
The American people may be weary of war. But they will become wearier still from the chaos that will follow if we neglect to fight the forces of death and destruction. Senator Paul’s position is inexcusable. It renders him unfit to serve as President of the United States should he be eyeing the 2016 candidacy. Our commander-in-chief cannot be a bystander in world affairs. He has to have the courage to lead and rally a nation in times of trouble, lest the liberties that we all cherish perish by government indifference and inaction.
The piece is very thoughtful not to mention provocative. It is one more sign that as 2016 nears, the debate over Senator Paul’s foreign policy beliefs is going to ratchet up. It’s worth a read.
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