Unlike the rest of the Republican Party that has already tucked tail and fallen in behind Donald Trump, Rand Paul is planning on four years of principled opposition. The Kentucky Senator has already announced that he’ll be sticking to his principles when it comes time to confirm President Trump’s nominees for his new administration. Most importantly, Rand Paul will be playing a critical role in determining the foreign policy of the upcoming term. Rand Paul recently announced that he’ll block the nomination of famed neo-conservative talking head John Bolton for Deputy Secretary of State. According to the Senator, it’s an “automatic no”.
After a long career as bureaucratic State Department furniture, John Bolton was named U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. by President Bush as a recess appointment in 2005. About a year later he resigned, knowing the incoming Democratic majority wouldn’t confirm him, and found a place on Fox News as an administration puppet. It was from there Bolton reinvented himself as some sort of “foreign policy expert”. Bolton was one of the leading pundits who supported the Iraq War. He’s supported every other foreign policy misadventure since then as well. When you look in the dictionary under neo-conservative chicken hawk there’s a big picture of Bolton’s trademark mustache.
Rand Paul is the natural enemy of interventionists like John Bolton who refuse to learn from foreign policy mistakes. As he explains in the interview above, “John Bolton doesn’t get it”. He doesn’t agree with Donald Trump and his Secretary of Defense who said that the Iraq War was a “strategic mistake”. Bolton still thinks that regime change can work and that the Iraq War was a good thing. Bolton is almost as in denial as the Democratic Party is about why they lost the Presidential election. That ignorance is why Rand Paul will oppose John Bolton’s nomination to any post in the Trump administration.
I am a no on John Bolton for ANY position in the State Departement and will work to defeat his nomination to any post.
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 11, 2016
It’s not just that John Bolton is wrong about the past, it’s that he wants to make the same mistakes again in the future. Bolton is one of only a few Republicans who wants the United States to instigate regime change in Iran. He still hasn’t learned how destabilizing toppling dictatorships is from the past failures in Iraq and Libya. As Rand Paul says, that’s an incredibly “naive understanding of the world”. Someone like that should “get nowhere close to the State Department”.
That’s why Rand Paul will “do anything” to prevent John Bolton from getting “any position” in the Trump administration. He isn’t going to just rubber stamp Trump’s nominees because there happens to be an R next to his name. Rand Paul is going to stand up for his limited government principles. It’s nice to know that we’ll be able to count on Rand Paul over the next four years.