Rand Paul’s Senate Vote Rolls Back the Warfare State

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Congress Capitol building

Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) reminded Congress that in matters of war, they have the authority and the responsibility to speak for the American people. Most Senators were not too happy about the reminder, which came in the form of a forced vote on whether to allow a vote on his amendment to repeal the Afghanistan and Iraq war resolutions of 2001 and 2002.

It wasn’t easy. Sen. Paul had to jump through hoops just to get a vote on whether to have a vote.

That is how bad it is in Congress! Not only does Congress refuse to rein in presidents who treat Constitutional constraints on their war authority as mere suggestions rather than as the law of the land, Congress doesn’t even want to be reminded that they alone have war authority.

Congress doesn’t even want to vote on whether to vote on war!

In the end, Sen. Paul did not back down and he got his vote. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that nearly 40 percent of the Senate voted with Rand to allow a vote on repealing authority for the two longest wars in US history. I expected less than a dozen “no” votes on tabling the amendment and was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Last week, Rand said, “I don’t think that anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty believes that these authorizations from 16 years ago and 14 years ago … authorized war in seven different countries.”

Are more Senators starting to see the wars his way? We can only hope so. As polls continue to demonstrate, the American people have grown tired of our interventionist foreign policy, which burns through trillions of dollars while making the world a more dangerous place rather than a safer place.

Some might argue that losing the vote was a defeat. I would disagree. For the first time in years we saw US Senators on the Senate Floor debating whether the president should have authority to take the US to war anywhere he pleases. Even with just the small number of votes I thought we might have gotten on the matter, that alone would have been a great victory. But getting almost 40 percent of the Senate to vote our way? I call that a very good start!

The first step toward rebalancing the separation of powers is for Congress to re-assert its authority and responsibility for declaring war. To this point, Congress has preferred to transfer its war responsibility to the president.

The second step, once Congress understands its obligations, is to convince our representatives that war was not designed to be the first choice in foreign policy, but rather to be the last resort when we are under attack or when a direct attack is imminent!

Just because Congress decides to approve the use of force does not mean that the war is just, justified, or wise. Congress is just as susceptible to war propaganda as the rest of America and unfortunately it is dominated by the false opinion that if you are not enthusiastic about US military solutions to disputes overseas then you are not being tough enough. In fact, it takes far more strength to exercise restraint in the face of the constant war propaganda and disinformation coming from the media and the neocons.

We have achieved a small victory last week, thanks to Senator Paul. But we still have a lot of work to do! We must keep the pressure on and convert more to the cause of peace and prosperity!

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Contributed by The Ron Paul Institute of ronpaulinstitute.org.

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is a project of Dr. Paul’s Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (F.R.E.E.), founded in the 1970s as an educational organization. The Institute continues and expands Dr. Paul’s lifetime of public advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home. The Institute mobilizes colleagues and collaborators of Dr. Paul’s to participate in a broad coalition to educate and advocate for fundamental changes in our foreign and domestic policy.

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  • tonye

    Who voted how?

  • Phil_Ossifer

    More clickbait headlines. Rand Paul’s “vote” didn’t roll back anything. 40% of the Senate is a long way from the 66% needed to stop our open-ended military adventurism abroad. The defense industry needs perpetual war so they can be guaranteed perpetual profits…and a lot of Senators get heavy “campaign contributions” (bribes) from the defense industry. If this vote had even a remote chance of affecting the status quo it wouldn’t have been allowed to happen.

    • NonYo Business

      Just a chance for the author to whine about whoever the current president may be. Like it matters.

  • John C Carleton

    Ron Paul, spent a good part of his life, in Sodom and Gomorrah on the Potomac, saying again and again, The Emperor Has No Cloths!

    Nobody cared then, except about the same handful of Americans who care now.

    Most Americans are cowards, who refuse to look at the truth, and could care less that the pedophilic Uncle Sugar, is still running around with his saggy butt flapping in the breezes of Washington DC, attacking and murdering children.

  • darkhorse

    Let us not forget that Congress, as all of DC, works for Israel, as indeed, Rand Paul. Remember the pics of Rand at the Wailing Wall with his yarmulka on?? I SURE DO!!!

  • RandyJ/ProudSurvivor

    These wars are more than just a pipeline of perpetual profit for their purveyors of mayhem. They are a persistent, endless bloodletting-a veritable blood sacrifice in perpetuity-for the occultists who now ply their sickening rituals through the misuse of government powers. Every day, the blood of soldiers and innocents stains the landscape of humanity, breathing life and power into the aims of the sick minded individuals who feed off the suffering of others.

  • refrock

    WHY did Congress fund all of Obama’s funding of the “moderate rebels” who became isis? THEY funded all of his many give-aways! WHY? They could have stopped his insane spending…WHY didn’t they? They moaned and whined, but funded him

  • refrock

    I much agree, that the wars have drug on far too long, and are wearing out our military and their families! But, have the people who have vowed to destroy other cultures, including the US, decided it’s over? What to do about them? Resist, appease, ignore?

  • Cracker122049

    Mindless babble that will go nowhere. Its so sheep will have something to talk about even if it don’t mean squat!

  • Mike

    And today they wanted to add 700 billion to the military budget.

  • SP_88

    It’s a nice “feel good” headline, but it doesn’t mean shit. The congressmen who voted against perpetual war were simply giving a symbolic gesture, and hollow gesture, to make the simpletons think that they are on their side. They are not.
    And these congressmen know damn well that this vote wasn’t going to change anything.
    It’s the same thing as when they all voted to repeal Obamacare when they knew they didn’t have the votes. And when they finally did have the votes, suddenly they changed their minds, and in the end, we are still stuck with Obamacare.
    And we will still be stuck with perpetual war for the foreseeable future too. Nothing will ever change.

  • Country Codger

    If you want to understand why weird, crazy, unexplained things happen in Congress like, TARP ((Martial law in the streets if you don’t vote for it)), Obamacare ((Gotta vote for it to see what is in it)) and other such anomalies please read the following article: ((Otherwise, just go back to sleep)) https://codgerville.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/american-dictatorship/

  • ron17571

    I just imagine a time traveling ww2 soldier,Seeing our weapons that we have and then being told we have a war lasting? 17 years? i lost count. I still believe that if there was a draft that public pressure would keep us out of future wars. Some people did learn about vietnam and how stupid it was.