Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was chosen by his colleagues to deliver the Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s speech last night. Given Sen. Paul’s libertarian leanings, it was a bold choice – one that, according to Glenn, made the Republicans “look like they are actually sane.”
“Last night, if you happened to be watching the president’s speech, the guy who gave the rebuttal to the speech – and I think it was so interesting because it makes the Republicans look like they’re actually sane. And I don’t think they are,” Glenn said. “They just needed the best guy on this – and he is a guy who leans strong libertarian and is consistent in that viewpoint. Senator Rand Paul is the guy who gave the rebuttal for the President’s speech, and he’s with us now.”
Glenn found many frustrating inconsistencies throughout the President’s address, and he asked Sen. Paul to share what he felt was the most important take away.
“Well, what he didn’t say and what he should have said is that on the anniversary of 9/11, we should remember who attacked us, Al‑Qaeda, and we certainly shouldn’t go into a civil war and be allies with Al‑Qaeda,” Sen. Paul said. “Anything we do to destabilize Assad over there is going to reward Al‑Qaeda… It is an awful thing, you know, the gassing and to watch those horrific videos of people dying from gas. But, you know, it’s also an awful thing to see Islamic rebels cutting the heart and liver out of a soldier and eating them on television or beheading or killing priests or, you know, raising Christian villages over there. So there’s a lot of atrocity going on, on both sides, and just no clear cut, you know, friend of America in the civil war.”
The moral and humanitarian issues in Syria are clear, but there has been a lack of a “clear and present” danger to the U.S. and the lack of an obvious objective.
“Well, we have so many false analogies floating around, another one is that if we don’t do something about chemical weapons that North Korea will think that they can use chemical weapons with impunity,” Sen. Paul said. “So this isn’t a toleration of anybody gassing anybody. It’s just an acknowledgment that we are not sure who the good guys are or who’s the least bad guy in the Syrian civil war… I’ve said the message from 9/11 is: We will never, ever tolerate someone attacking our country or our American interests around the world. And I think that’s what the message of 9/11 should be. But the President’s credibility may be on the line over the Syrian Civil War, but America’s credibility and what America will do when attacked, I think, should be very certain to the rest of the world.”
Despite reports that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) is coaching President Obama on how sell U.S. military intervention in Syria to Congress and to the public, Sen. Paul said he felt confident addressing the American people last night because the American people are (by and large) on his side.
“You know, I think the American people are with us on this. It’s not only the right thing to do. The Republican Party is going to become a major national force again in elections and win presidential elections if we become the party of a… Constitutional foreign policy, where we go to war when we are attacked, we go to war when we have to, and we go to war to win but we don’t fight for stalemate. And that’s what we were at one point in time,” Sen. Paul said. “When we become that party and the Democrats become the party of being involved in every civil war around the world, you’re going to see a realignment in American politics.”
“I don’t think that anybody wants to become a Republican, quite frankly,” Glenn said.
“Easy, Glenn,” Sen. Paul quipped. “I’m tryin’. I’m tryin’ here.”
“Senator Rand Paul, I am glad that you are in Congress, one of the real good guys in the Senate, and one of the people that I think will give us a shot of saving the Republic,” Glenn concluded. “Much to the President’s shock last night, we’re not a Constitutional Democracy. We’re a Republic. But maybe you could explain it.”