What You Missed By Not Watching Rand Paul’s Response to Obama’s Speech on Syria

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PBS

10:05 p.m.: Before he speaks, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has already proved one thing: he can get from a Fox television studio to his Capitol Hill office quicker than you can bake brownies. Those just tuning in don’t know that this is actually Paul’s second rebuttal of the evening, following an appearance on Fox News immediately after Obama’s address.

10:06 p.m.: In the first 20 seconds, Paul delivers a polite salutation, a reminder that it’s been 12 years since 9/11 attacks and a statement that Obama wants the U.S. “to be allies with al Qaeda.” He does not explain which actions, exactly, amount to the world’s worst friend request.

10:06 p.m.: Paul takes an uncomfortable swallow, immediately conjuring the image of another Republican Senator who recently had a dry mouth during a certain rebuttal—and creating a second layer of tension. Will this be a third Watergate?

10:06 p.m.: Paul says that just because Obama has threatened force in Syria, that doesn’t mean the U.S. has to follow through. “I would argue that America’s credibility does not reside in one man,” he says, much like a political party’s credibility does not reside in one member. The GOP did not invite Paul to make this address. He is speaking as “a concerned Senator.”

10:07 p.m.: Paul swallows.

10:07 p.m.: It has taken just over a minute for Paul to mention the Gipper. He says that Reagan’s defense secretary made two crucial points about getting involved in the Middle East: Americans must support any involvement and, “most importantly, our mission must be to win.” But there is no clear mission in Syria, he says, so winning isn’t possible. He swallows.

10:07 p.m.: The Senator criticizes the notion of “unbelievably small” military action (a bumbled phrase used earlier in the week by John Kerry), saying something that size wouldn’t be effective anyway—much like an unbelievably small bottle of Poland Spring. He swallows and embarks on a series of rhetorical questions about whether a U.S. strike would make things more or less likely, such as Israel being attacked or Assad losing control of chemical weapons.

10:08 p.m.: Paul answers his questions in one fell swoop: “Just about any bad outcome you can imagine is made more likely by the U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.” He takes another hard swallow.

10:09 p.m.: Speaking about the possibility for diplomacy to succeed, Paul wonders aloud whether Russia and Syria can be trusted to turn over all Syria’s chemical weapons to the international community. He cocks his head dubiously. He then quotes a mantra Obama also used in multiple interviews on his media supertour the day before: We must trust but verify.

10:09 p.m.: “Some will say that only the threat of force brought Russia and Syria to the negotiating table,” Paul says. He’s talking about Obama, who said something like that on Monday and Tuesday night, arguing that the threat was “in part” responsible for the diplomatic option. Paul also takes credit.

10:10 p.m.: “Will diplomacy win the day?” Paul asks. “No one can tell for certain.” Any viewer listening closely would have known that answer was coming. Seconds before, Paul just said “one thing is for certain”—that “the chance for diplomacy would not have occurred without strong voices against an immediate bombing campaign.”

10:10: Paul lauds the President for seeking congressional approval before a military strike. But he says he’ll still vote against any authorization. He swallows and discusses the writings of James Madison on the subject of checks and balances.

10:10 p.m.: Quoting a line from an open letter he released earlier in the week opposing military intervention, he says he will not send “my son, your son or anyone’s daughter” to war without a more compelling justification than what Obama has given. Whether he would send your dentist’s son is not clarified.

10:11 p.m.: Paul closes with an invocation, just like Obama did, but rather than request a blessing, he asks for guidance: “May God help us to make the wise decision here,” he says, and presumably sprints toward the nearest garden hose.

10:12 p.m.: Those watching Fox News see the feed break away from Paul and back to host Greta Van Susteren. Seemingly perplexed by what has just occurred, she turns to guest Karl Rove for answers. “I’m just curious, Karl, if you know, I suspect that he elected to make that response?” she says. “He was not chosen by his party or by the leadership to do this? And we just, we elected to take the speech?” Rove responds.

51 comments
lemieuxm
lemieuxm

You have an odd fascination with Rand Paul swallowing.  Your sarcastic, mocking tone does not refute any points Mr. Paul made, or failed to make, depending on your point of view.

Libtards-UNITE
Libtards-UNITE

Time and Sports Illustrated.  2 desperate publications doing anything for attention.

LenSimpson
LenSimpson

Optimism might be defined as making the same mistake over and over again , each time hoping for a better outcome.

History repeats itself daily.

ahandout
ahandout

What you missed from not reading Time magazine:  Liberal stupidity passed off as journalism.  No wonder Time is a dying rag.

zorlio
zorlio

This is what passes by as journalism???  I've seen Facebook posts that have more substance than this.

I wasn't sure if I'm reading on a TIME website or on an IMDB message board.  We GET it; he SWALLOWED and needed WATER.


mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Rand Paul is Ron Paul but without the principles of his convictions. An empty weather vane of a man with no ideas and no plans beyond getting in front of a national spotlight.

jrawlings99
jrawlings99

When you have no idea what your talking about you swallow and then do your best to fake it and play President. A 5th grader has more brains then this idiot.  He said in an interview he agreed with Assad that Syria did not use gas and Obama was lying.  Well that proved wrong but Assad was pleased with even the US support he received.  What is sad is Rand does not even know where Syria is on the map.  But many see him as the next President.

majordomo
majordomo

So, I guess if you can't say anything bad, then just complain about swallowing?   How long before they count the number of respirations per minute. 

Stand_With_Rand
Stand_With_Rand

Pathetic.  Not one piece of substantial information in this obvious attack.....I'll go back to reading equally informative Miley Cyrus interview.

Libertyformeandmine
Libertyformeandmine

Rand Paul made a lot of sense.  I watched the video of the rebuttal, and I was impressed by Dr Paul.


He expressed my sentiments exactly.


Keep up the good work, Dr Paul.


mit26chell
mit26chell

The fact that a 'journalist' writes a piece like this making a mockery of one of the few remaining anti-war voices the people actually have in this congress because he, god forbid, swallows while he speaks (gasp!) is despicable. What a complete hack job article. Dr Paul did great, IMO, and whether you agree or disagree with him (according to polling over 70% of the country is with him on this issue), at least you know where he stands.

FormerTimeReader
FormerTimeReader

I didn't get to hear Rand Paul speak last night so opened this article to see what he had to say. I disagree with Rand Paul's take on this and believe many on the right are willing to see our country embarrassed if it means handing the President a defeat. At least the disagreement from the left is principled.

But what I really can't believe is what Time Magazine has reduced itself to. This article reads like it was written by a 6th grade bully.  I'm embarrassed for you Katy. Mostly because you're a hack, but also because you're attempting humor and you're not funny either.


JohnVandertow
JohnVandertow

there was no confusion on where Paul stands to the commenter who was confused...he is saying not to attack Assad but he can be punished the same way Sadam was, with the international community support he could be tried for war crimes... what's the confusing, where do you stand , we should bomb Syria and open up a world of pain for ourselves...???? i think it's just sad the liberals who agree with paul but bash him because of this left vs right nonsense game the media brainwashed people into...

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

Before instant communication - the internet, live TV, etc. the B-team politicians, publications and pundits had a "cooling off" period to think through what they had to say and to let events unfold. Now we get this kind of instant-potatoes critique on everything from Miley Cyrus to the President's NCAA basketball picks to bombing Syria. Everyone jockeys for position to be the fastest to flap their lips while not engaging their brains. Fox is now all over Obama (imagine that) for actually entertaining the notion of not bombing because of Syrian and Russian overtures.  This is insulting of course, because overtures should only come from the good ol' USA. And our boy Rand here is desperately trying to be in the right no matter which way this turns out. As if we care. Ah, for the good old days. When we could just turn to the sports section.

allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

It seems that Rand Paul is clairvoyant, giving his response to speech yet delivered.

It would also appear that he is confused. He apposes a strike, but says that Assad should be put to death. How does this brilliant man hope to achieve both goals without military intervention; send in some local swat team?

Seriously the state of American politics is as low as it can get.

keverich1
keverich1

Don't you have anything better to do than mock one of the few sane people left in the US Congress? 

 Sen. Paul does not want Obama to start a new major war in the Middle East, and he is doing everything in his power to prevent it from happening. This includes going to Fox, other TV stations to try and galvanise the public opinion against Obama's war.


Sorry, but pres. Obama really is the bad guy here.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Why do GOP need to rebut a question of I hope a global community figuring out what to do in the case of authoritarians using terrible weapons of mass death?

This isn't the state of the union address. This is a complex question of what do we do as the strongest military power when someone breach a fundamental threshold that has remained fairly sealed since world war 1. Yes - Saddam used it, but unlike conventional warfare these type of weapons are rarely used and most people including authoritarians knows not to use them.

What do GOP feel like they need to politicize an event that should be a defining moment in how we as a whole react towards something like this? Forget the man in the office - he didn't use these weapons. What we need now is to figure out how to go forward before chemical weapons become a common place standard in each conflict.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

Rand Paul looks like the future face of the GOP.  He embodies its current approach:

Don't make any sense, but criticize anyway: if you throw enough (ahem) nonsense at the wall, some of it may stick ... 

and if it doesn't we in the Republican party can always go back to refusing to confirm judges, refusing to fund the federal government, refusing to raise the debt limit, refusing to acknowledge that this was the Bush recession, refusing to accept responsibility for anything, refusing to do anything, refusing ...

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

“He was not chosen by his party or by the leadership to do this? And we just, we elected to take the speech?” Rove responds.

You made him, you own him FNC.



jmac
jmac

@mantisdragon91 He's a spinning dervish.   He so wants to have an opinion, but he get's his opinion muddled with his other nine opinions which contract each other.  Then he denies he said this or that, then repeats it exactly.  He makes Gingrich sound sane.  

Libtards-UNITE
Libtards-UNITE

@jrawlings99 Obama seems to be gulping and swallowing a lot lately.  It's tough when you are trying to lead a team when you have never played the game before.   

fitty_three
fitty_three

Note to readers:

He is referring to his need to swallow, which does indeed make a lot of sense.

Thank you. That is all.

Stand_With_Rand
Stand_With_Rand

@FormerTimeReader You disagree because you are programmed to....don't lie about it.   You are right up there with people who still defend Bush and Cheney.

 Dr. Paul isn't a career politician like Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc. 

 When he attacks liberal policy he's stupid.

 When he attacks republican policy he's crazy.

Apparently his hair is extremely important.

Also very important, Aqua Buddah.

 Oh and my favorite.....he criticizes Obama therefore...HE'S A RACIST OMG OMG!

You don't disagree with him, you've just chosen a "team" and just like those that follow sports, you will defend any member of your "team" no matter what, and insult any member of the other "team" no matter what.

Baaaaah.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@outsider2011

Agree, thanks Katy. Michael Scherer should be proud of you for your handling of this format. As for those complaining about this coming off as an ad hominem, well, duh, that's exactly what this is. Ad Hominem is usually a fallacy because it attacks the messenger, not the message, and in most debates the facts are what matter, not who delivers them.

...with one major exception - in court during trials, quite often the character of the witness is often challenged ("When you can't argue the facts, argue the character," etc.). And thus here, Rand Paul's character IS relevant to his arguments and positions, and most of all, to whether he is best qualified to be President instead of Hillary. Oh yeah, and if he didn't plan to run, would he be seeking out so much media attention right now?

mit26chell
mit26chell

@allthingsinaname There are other ways to bring a dictator to justice than dropping bombs on innocent civilians. I mean give me a break, lol

Jon_in_AZ
Jon_in_AZ

@keverich1 Saying "Obama really is the bad guy here" seems an exaggeration to me.  If he bombs Syria, I'll agree with you, but if he accomplishes the goal of removing chemical weapons from Syria without bombing, then he's a good guy. 

parksj1
parksj1

@keverich1 Agreed.  This is was poorly written.  All the mocking takes away from the seriousness of the issue.  Comes off as a bad ad hominem attack as well, @katysteinmetz.

mit26chell
mit26chell

@MrObvious This was one senator speaking who represents an overwhelming majority of the country on this issue. Syria poses no threat to the United States, therefore, the war would be illegal under international law.

keverich1
keverich1

@MrObvious 

 We can discuss this issue once the invasion of Syria is permanently off the table. Until then, stopping Obama should be a priority.

parksj1
parksj1

@MrObvious 1) This wasn't the GOP as a whole speaking.  It was one Senator who represents a portion of the GOP.  This response wasn't sanctioned by the GOP.  

2) This isn't about figuring out what to do about chemical weapons as a whole.  Not for the President or Rand Paul.  This is about what to do about Syria.  That's the discussion.  Obama didn't put forth a plan to deal with chemical weapons either.

MarkFrederick
MarkFrederick

@keverich1 

How? He was boxed into this with neo-cons on one side chanting the he's a moooslum, or Paulits as interventionist.. Then he's threatened with impeachment if he acts without consent, and then weak for not just pulling the trigger. The right has NO interest in policy foreign or domestic, only in the politics of bringing down this President ,and have obstructed everythig that has come down the pike. POst 9/11 Paul would have been labled a traitor for even questioning the White House. As we were pelted with "in a time of war" BS at every turn, its now a douv]ble standard. From a historical viewpoint, using gas in the battlefield without accountability is a War crime. And there needs to be a threat of force to back up the talk. Rand Paul is an opportunist, no hero.  

mit26chell
mit26chell

@DavidStrayer Made complete, logical sense to me and I'm fully with him on this issue. Actually I fully support him when it comes to foreign policy, period. He's a non-interventionist and also a realist.

LeahPetersen
LeahPetersen

@DavidStrayer Looking for sense in the verbal diarrhea of politics today is like trying to find a flower in a pile of manure. Sure, it might be there, but was it really worth wading through all that sh!t?

parksj1
parksj1

@DavidStrayerIf his speech didn't make sense to you, please don't confuse that with his speech not making sense to anyone.  Sorry if you had trouble following it.  I'm sure most of us didn't.

Either agree or disagree about the points, but don't act like a very straightforward stance against attacking Syria was throwing "nonsense at the wall."

parksj1
parksj1

@Paul,nnto Karl Rove is the past of the GOP.  Rand is the future.  I'm sure he hates it, but the truth hurts sometimes.

I agree on a certain level that Fox News played a role in getting the Tea Party off the ground and Paul supports the Tea Party.  But Fox News has never loved the Paul family.  Ron and Rand are not afraid to disagree publicly with the party line, and Fox News toes that line whenever Rove et al tell them to.  Fox regularly tries to undermine Rand Paul, just like they did his father.

Stand_With_Rand
Stand_With_Rand

@StanleyCupp @Stand_With_Rand No thanks...I'm not an idiot like the people who go to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, or FOX News.


Only sheeple do this, as they have so heavily vested in their "side" that they don't care WHO it is or WHAT they stand for....they because they are programmed to attack anything with an (R) or (D) next to their name.

cent-fan
cent-fan

@deconstructiva @outsider2011  Well it should be interesting.  Either the wingbats will go for a McCain, Romney, or even a Christie let's-get-someone-in-the-WH-first choice or since they'll be fighting a Democrat-to-be-named-later they might figure a pure reactionary two-tongued ideologue is just what the US is hungry for after all that Obama thought and consideration.  In any scenario though Rand is an also ran(d).

allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

@mit26chell @allthingsinaname I am all ears. All I hear from the right is political posturing, no solutions, points to be made, mudslinging, nothing constructive.

So give me something other than there are other things we could do, and in the mean time we will watch as the regime continues to kill it's own innocent civilian. I am not LOL because it is not a silly joke.

PS can you name a dictator that was brought to justice with out some outside intervention?

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Actually, there are so many mouths running in the GOTP but saying so little that no one knows who speaks for anything.  Paul spoke on both sides of the isse but since he is a Libertarian, they really don't take a stand on anything!  He just seems to be someone who likes to find a TV camera.

mit26chell
mit26chell

@MarkFrederick @keverich1 Rand Paul has been talking about these types of constitutional issues well before Obama was even known to be the nominee, so, not true in his case. He is a principled constitutionalist.

keverich1
keverich1

@MarkFrederick

The way you present this situation makes Obama look very weak, being constantly pushed around by outside forces. And I suppose there is truth to that. lol

 Obama made a terrible call on Syria and now he needs to be forced to back off from this idiocy. 

Preventing a new American war in the Middle East is much more important than salvaging Obama's reputation.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

You get your news from "Entertainment Tonight" or  ESPN?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@keverich1 @MarkFrederick

Again - lets step away from the man since 'wingers always get stuck on the man, contorting their pov to whatever seems 180 degrees contra him.

Under (insert any president here) this would've been a no brainer. The problem here isn't what 'wingers think Obama did wrong or right - it's what we as a whole do when we're faced with this? Apparently some rather see it as an opportunity to politicize the event - hamstring the president from acting and ridiculing him for not doing a carrier landing with a packed scrotch. 

Yet he's not the one that used the weapon; put this in context. Conventional weapons have killed 100k from the start of the civil war. Lots of bombs and bullets. 

This 1 event killed hundreds. Thousands hurt in the attacks so far and 1400 dead.

2 attacks that we know of.

Attacking Obama for an event someone else did is not a solution. Doing nothing is not a solution. 

Preventing a new American war in the Middle East is much more important than salvaging Obama's reputation.

Chemical weapons exist all over the world. They're dirt cheap to make.