Rand Paul Spanks John Kerry: Say You’re Going to Obey the Constitution

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee grilled Secretary of State John Kerry over the United States using military strikes against Syria. Among the most lively and heated debates that took place that day was between Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kerry, in which Paul exhorted Kerry to obey the Constitution, rather than find a way around it.

Paul expressed concern that Barack Obama would begin military strikes with or without Congress’ approval. He then called on Kerry to obey the Constitution.

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“Make me proud today, Secretary Kerry,” the Kentucky senator said. “Stand up for us and say you’re going to obey the Constitution, and if we vote you down — which is unlikely, by the way — you would go with what the people say through their Congress and you wouldn’t go forward with a war that your Congress votes against.”

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Paul also asked Kerry to be more specific about what the Obama administration plans to do if the Congress votes not to intervene.

“I don’t know what the decision is,” Kerry answered, “but I’ll tell you this, it ought to make you proud because he still has the Constitutional authority and he would be in keeping with the Constitution.

Kerry didn’t elaborate on just how Obama could be in keeping with the Constitution by violating it.

Of course, Paul didn’t just respond in disagreement, but cited the founding fathers. In particular James Madison.

“Madison was very explicit when he wrote the Federalist Papers,” Paul said. “He wrote that … the Constitution supposes what history demonstrates. That the executive is the branch most likely to go to war and therefore the Constitution vested that power on the Congress.”

“It’s explicit and runs throughout all of Madison’s writings,” he continued. “This power is a congressional power and is not an executive power.”

Kerry in his pompous and arrogant fashion wouldn’t even give Paul the courtesy of looking at him while he was speaking to him.

“If we do not say that the Constitution applies, if we do not say explicitly that we will abide by this vote,” the senator chided, “you’re making a joke of us. You’re making us into theater, and so we play Constitutional theater for the president.”

“If this real, you will abide by the verdict of Congress,” Paul said.

“Senator,” Kerry retorted, “I assure you there’s nothing meaningless and there’s everything real.”

“Only if you adhere to what we vote on,” Paul responded. “Only if our vote makes a difference.”

“And I will leave to the man who was elected to be the President of the United States the responsibility for telling you what his decision is if and when that moment came,” Kerry said. “But the president intends to win this vote, and he’s not going to make prior announcements.”

For the next 6 minutes or so, Paul and Kerry dueled on what exactly the White House would or would not do and the merits of proposed intervention in Syria.

Clearly, the Obama administration couldn’t care less what the Constitution actually says, or the iron fetters it places upon them. They are merely looking for a way around it, not seeking to uphold or abide by it. This is clear in Kerry’s answer. If they were looking to obey the Constitution, he would have given a definitive answer.

On Wednesday, the Senate Panel voted to authorize limited U.S. military strikes in Syria.

The measure includes new language saying U.S. policy is to “change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria” in a way that brings about negotiated settlement of conflict, leading to a democratic government in Syria. In other words, it will set up a pro-Qatari/Saudi coalition government that will permit the passage of natural gas pipelines under Syria, through Turkey and into Europe, breaking Gazpromia’s marginal energy monopoly over the broke continent. Sounds familiar? It should. This will be nothing more than a puppet government, and we see how well we’ve done with that in the Middle East, haven’t we?

Vote breakdown: 10 Yes; 7 No; 1 Present. Present? Seriously? In case you were wondering, here’s a list of the vote.

Edward Markey (D-MA) voting “present.”

Voting for the resolution:

Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)

Jean Shaheen (D-NH)

Chris Coons (D-DE)

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Bob Corker (R-TN)

John McCain (R-AZ)

Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Voting against the resolution:

Tom Udall (D-NM)

Chris Murphy (D-CT)

James Risch (R-ID)

Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Ron Johnson (R-WI)

John Barasso (R-WY)

Rand Paul (R-KY)

Contact your representatives and burn up the phone, fax lines and emails in Washington telling them that we have no business in Syria and to vote against military strikes there.

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