Senator Rand Paul may have the reputation of being a coalition builder who will work with all sides when possible, but he can also be problematic to his own party’s mainstream as well. The Trump Administration is beginning to take shape as the transition team led by Vice President-Elect Mike Pence starts appointing people to jobs. Two jobs are down, with Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus being named White House Chief of Staff and Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon being named chief strategist and senior counselor.
Many more jobs have yet to be filled, however.
One of these positions is Secretary of State, an important position that will be important to shaping foreign policy. Whoever secures the post will be responsible for interacting with other nations and helping form relationships.
There is a lot on the line and, for this reason, the recently-reelected United States Senator from Kentucky opposes the top two names for the position.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton are considered the heavy favorites. Both also are hawkish Republicans who favor the larger scope of government America saw under the Bush Administration.
The main point for Senator Paul’s opposition to Giuliani and Bolton? The Iraq War.
Reading into the Kentucky Senator’s words further, it isn’t just the Iraq War itself. Most agree at this point the invasion was an enormous mistake. However noble the act of removing a dictator from power is, the subsequent destabilization of the region worsened the Middle East. Saddam Hussein had a more firm grip on his country, whereas Iraq has since fallen apart after his removal from power.
Rudy Giuliani’s support of the invasion of Iraq when running for President in 2008 while Bush was still President can somewhat be understood. The same can be said for John Bolton thinking it was a good idea while being Bush’s man to the United Nations.
But all these years later?
After the discredited weapons of mass destruction, the discredited propaganda campaigns, and the lasting negative impact on the region, how could anyone still think the invasion was a good idea? It’s a question for Giuliani and Bolton both.
But this is the point Senator Paul makes. It’s not so much that they made mistakes in the past, but that they haven’t learned from them. Giuliani and Bolton both initially supported the war for potentially noble causes, such as freeing people from oppression and combating evil. In the years since, though, the region has grown worse. And these two men still think this was a good idea.
In any government position, it’s important to be able to make sound decisions and learn from mistakes. Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton both appear to have an inability to do so. As Senator Rand Paul notes, an unrepentant support of this awful conflict discredits them both.
Senator Paul is correct to refuse voting for either individual. The Donald Trump Administration can do better for Secretary of State.