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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is notorious for being a principled voice for limited constitutional government. Even better, he amuses us with how swiftly he induces tantrums among the political establishments flunkies.
Aside from President Donald Trump, its Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is usually the face of evil for liberals. But on Tuesday night, an NBC News story, based on two anonymous McConnell-linked sources, redirected the ire squarely on Paul.
What did the libertarian ophthalmologist-turned-politician do to deserve this? He did his job.
Paul proposed an amendment to the coronavirus bill being rushed through the Senate after passing the House 363-40. For those keeping track, libertarian-leaning Republican Thomas Massie didnt vote, and libertarian-leaning Independent Congressman Justin Amash voted present.
Pauls amendment, according to NBC News reporter Julie Tsirkin, was officially summarized as: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require a social security number for the purposes of the child tax credit, to provide the President the authority to transfer funds as necessary and to terminate United States military operations and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.
Twitter is littered with righteous indignation constantly, but Tuesday night, it was mostly directed at Paul. And it was mostly thanks to the NBC News story poorly co-written by Tsirkin.
Before getting into the catty tone of the article, lets consider the actual concerns people have with Pauls amendment.
First, isnt there a national emergency going on? Now isnt the time for nitpicking whats legal under the Constitution or how Congress appropriates funds. Theres no time for delay, were led to believe.
The answer to this critique is short, because there simply is no delay in voting beyond a few minutes just because an amendment is proposed. All of this drama is just political theatre, with McConnell aides directing the show.
Second, and perhaps more reasonably, it may be asked what the war in Afghanistan has to do with this coronavirus. That almost begs the question though. Why is Congress leaping to this hot new political commodity known as a coronavirus when theyve skirted their true duties for so long?
Beyond the deadly Afghanistan misadventure being a drain on financial resources, its worth investigating how human resources are wasting away, mired down in that desert. In Syria, most of the U.S. troops are from the South Carolina National Guard. Might be nice to have them here!
Here Paul is doing the job all the other senators are supposed to be doing. Unfortunately for him, it doesnt fit into the narrative most comfortable for the political and media elites.
As a result, we end up with junior high school level journalism weaponized against patriotic dissent.
Paul is notorious for forcing votes on amendments he knows will not pass, the NBC News story goes.
It concluded in a similar fashion: He even briefly caused the government to shut down in 2018, using a procedural tactic to block the Senate from meeting the deadline to keep the government open because he objected to the price tag.
Both of these statements are lies, though the authors probably believe them. Its a sure sign of the deep divisions in the country.
Whether its the 9/11 Victims bill, the Ukrainegate impeachment failure, or foreign aid, Paul consistently upsets the right people by doing the right thing. This doesnt mean Paul is perfect, but it does mean Americans should appreciate his special role in Washington, DC.
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