Rand's most ill advised stand yet
Sen. Rand Paul loves the Constitution so much that he is willing to put it in jeopardy by opposing President Trump's emergency measures declaration. Paul's libertarian streak has emerged yet again — at a fortuitous time for Democrats hoping to import more voters and a calamitous time for conservatives desperate for a big victory on immigration.
"I can't vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress. We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn't authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it's a dangerous thing," Paul said while addressing a Southern Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner.
The above quote illustrates the problem with Paul's constitutionalist line of thinking. While Paul is concerned about proper procedure, his liberal enemies are advancing toward their next goal. While Paul is willing to surrender authority because of concerns over technicalities, the Democrats rush headlong into the next extra-constitutional power-grab that pushes the U.S. Republic closer and closer to dissolution. Paul's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" shtick is getting old, and his principles are not usually worth defending.
The principles of libertarians and Beltway "conservatives" always seem to conveniently align with those of big business and corporate capital. This is because of a well financed network of intellectual think-tanks, activist training, lobbying programs, and university infiltration that quietly peddles influence to enforce neoliberal globalist norms among the right. The Koch brothers, for example, are libertarians who use their vast resources to prevent popular trade and immigration reforms from being supported by Republicans in Congress.
This is the real emergency in Congress that is threatening our democracy. It is not Trump's emergency declaration, anything involving the Russians, or whatever is the left's latest concocted outrage of the moment. The most pressing emergency is corporate special interests controlling both political parties to enrich their coffers. Paul, in making his supposedly principled stand, enables the swamp unwittingly by blocking Trump from securing the border. It is no coincidence that moderate GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Thom Tillis (N.C.), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) are standing with Rand to stop Trump's emergency measures.
Paul was a trailblazer of the vanguard movement that was a precursor to modern right-wing populism, the Tea Party Movement. Tea Party activists certainly cried out about the national debt, deficit spending, constitutional infringements, high taxes, central bank inflation, and so forth. The awareness they raised on those issues makes the movement historically significant, but other than that, it did not really accomplish much in tangible terms. This is because when it comes time to deliver, ideologues like Paul will devise excuses and rationalizations not to act.
The sole individual who is actually making progress toward solving any these problems is President Donald Trump. While not a natural conservative by any stretch of the imagination, Trump's pragmatic solution-focused approach to leadership is getting astounding results and unifying the GOP in a way that nobody could have conceived. Trump is showing Republicans that while it may be nice to have esoteric principles, it is the achievements that matter and that will ultimately save America. Ideas are fine, but only bold action will set them forth in society.
Paul, particularly in terms of foreign policy, has worked with Trump in a more effective manner than anyone. He should understand by now that it is best to trust the President's judgment, but old habits die hard. The stubborn libertarian streak within Paul is causing him to lose political clout and stall a massive victory for the president. This ill advised stand, which will not prevent Democrats from abusing power in the future, will only sabotage Paul's ability to preach liberty to Trump's populist base. He would be wise to put country first, over any misplaced fidelity to pro-corporate principles, and change his position to support Trump's emergency measures.