In his Thursday column in the Washington Times, Rand Paul (R-KY), in his eagerness to continue an already disproven attack on President Obama, hyperbolically accused the president of a “staggering abuse of power” and acting as though “we no longer have a Constitution.”
Paul claimed Thursday that his drone filibuster “was about the limits of power” (it was not, of course; it was about grandstanding). I guess though that Paul would know about the abuse of power, since he is using his own to smear a president with what has already been proven to be Republican-manufactured lies.
Yet, according to Paul, Obama has “failed the test of power” because,
From the cover-up in Benghazi to letting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) target the Tea Party to First and Fourth Amendment violations in obtaining records from the press, Mr. Obama has shown disregard for the Bill of Rights and his responsibilities as commander in chief.
But the actual facts reveal a president who has performed superbly and with integrity as commander in chief. On the other hand, Rand Paul has failed the test of honesty and integrity. Rather than admit Thursday that his talking points were no long relevant – since we all know that Republicans altered White House emails to make the president appear guilty of a cover-up – Paul pretended the doctored emails were valid:
The handling of the tragedy in Benghazi continues to raise more questions than it produces answers. The White House‘s original story, that no one was told to “stand down” on the night of the attack, was contradicted last week by Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens‘ deputy, Gregory Hicks. Mr. Hicks testified that he spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the night of the attack and that a special-forces unit was stopped from deploying.
When you consider Republicans like Paul have been ignoring every fact which comes to light in order to ask more irrelevant questions, I suppose Paul has a point. But the continued questions and lack of answers are due to a Republican unwillingness to admit they manufactured the scandal in the first place.
The problem for Paul, you see, is that his charge is not true. In other words, it is what people in the ethics business call a lie, and what the Bible calls (and condemns) “false witness.”
You see, it is already known, because of Hicks’ own testimony, that Hilary Clinton had nothing to do with stopping the unit’s deployment to Benghazi, but rather, as Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch writes, “that the order [to stand down] came from Special Operations Command Africa, not the State Department or anyone in the Obama administration…”
If Paul doesn’t know this, it is because, like Boehner and facts he doesn’t know, he does not wish to know it. I can watch the testimony and if I can watch it, Paul certainly can. Here, let me throw him a rope:
And it would be just a tad more honesty than Paul could bear to admit that, in any event, the four Americans he and his fellow Republicans pretend to be so upset about, were already dead by this time. The special forces team, because its training does not include resurrection, could not save already dead people, but they could assist and protect the living in Tripoli, and that is exactly what they did.
Certainly, Paul could see this. He simply chooses not to. The facts have already disproven his “scandal” several times over. He cannot afford facts. Neither could Fox News nor Sean Hannity nor Steve Doucy, who all ignored the little detail that Obama did not order anyone to stand down. The literal last thing any Republican wants here is the truth.
Back in the days before he became a senator, Paul called for a “modern day revolution.” It is unclear what this revolution has been about for Paul other than as a revolution in his own fortunes; it certainly hasn’t been about anything virtuous, like say, honesty, or integrity.
I suppose it is possible the former ophthalmologist is simply myopic, but I would argue that it is a self-imposed myopia, where seeing truths that are inconvenient to his ideology simply cannot be permitted. It’s a neat trick, and not one, I would surmise, he learned in medical school, but rather from his conservative authoritarian father, who has been pretending to be a libertarian for years.
There has, in fact, been a staggering abuse of power, but it has been a uniquely Republican abuse, as Paul and other Republican politicians do all in their power to use their positions of power to destroy not only the president, but the Democratic front-runner for the next election. In the course of their inquisition, they have used everything but facts, employing every under-handed trick that Capitol Hill has to offer. The one thing they have not used is fact.
Paul dishonestly claimed Thursday that “the lengths to which Mr. Obama has gone to circumvent the Constitution are staggering” but what is actually staggering are the lengths to which Mr. Paul has gone to circumvent the truth.
Paul is right about one thing. He concludes that “With great power comes great responsibility,” and that “Power corrupts. Absolutely.” He would know: he is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Homeland Security committees, after all, and has behaved in a most irresponsible manner in being complicit in a manufactured scandal created by manufactured “facts.” Shame on you, Mr. Paul. Shame on all of you.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.