Rand Paul and John McCain were adversaries. On March 15, 2017, they had quite the scuffle in the Senate, when the topic of Montenegro being admitted to NATO came up. That was captured on C-Span and you can read part of that transcript below. But first, take a look at the hogwash that Rand Paul is spewing on right-wing media. The man is not only a liar and a sophist, his misrepresentation of conditions in a war zone is criminal. (Fast forward to :50 to hear the Ukraine material.)
ICYMI: Last night I joined @Newsmax to discuss the Ukraine funding holding our federal government hostage. We cannot continue business as usual. We cannot keep putting the needs of other countries above our own. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the American economy. pic.twitter.com/6fzGpycZvF
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) September 28, 2023
“Paying government workers” is not the way he’s making it sound. The country is at war. The workers who are getting “paid” — as if money for food and shelter is trivial — are the ones keeping the Ukraine war effort afloat. The man is either shockingly naive and uninformed or he’s a liar. Possible all three. Here’s another one.
I’m sympathetic to Ukraine but at the same time, it’s irresponsible to think about their country before I think about my country. I will oppose any effort to hold the federal government hostage for Ukraine funding. Full interview: https://t.co/zxJrCZVTBS pic.twitter.com/jQnHNotssW
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) September 21, 2023
The man is a lying sack of $hit. Which is what John McCain told him, back in the day, when the topic under discussion was Montenegro joining NATO and Paul objected. Here are excerpts from C-Span.
“You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin… trying to dismember this small country which has already been the subject of an attempted coup.” McCain continued: “If they object, they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin and I do not say that lightly.”
“I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any rationale for the action he has just taken. That is really remarkable, that a senator blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number—perhaps 98, at least, of his colleagues—would come to the floor and object and walk away. “The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is he has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians. “So I repeat again, the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”
“Senator McCain believes that the person who benefits the most from Congress’s failure to ratify Montenegro’s ascension to NATO is Vladimir Putin, whose government has sought to destroy the NATO alliance, erode confidence in America’s commitments to its allies, overthrow the duly-elected government of Montenegro, and undermine democratic institutions throughout Europe.”
Rand Paul replied: “Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan),” he told The Daily Beast.“In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO. It is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”
In a meeting with The Washington Post‘s editorial board, Donald Trump suggested NATO has outlived its usefulness and is a waste of money. According to the Post, the Republican frontrunner questioned the United States’ involvement in the intergovernmental military alliance, charging that some U.S. allies are “not doing anything.” He alleged that “we’re doing all the lifting” on Ukraine while other European powers remain silent. “Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war with Russia?” he added. Ultimately, he reportedly concluded, NATO will need to be diminished in coming years: “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” he said. “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”
Rand Paul went on NBC the following morning, saying that it was “over the top” to call somebody a traitor. Paul also said, “I think he makes a really, really strong case for term limits. I think maybe he’s past his prime, maybe he’s gotten unhinged.” Then it got ugly when Paul referenced a Mother Jones article rating each country McCain has wanted to attack with between 1 to 5 “Angry McCains.” The Arizona senator’s “foreign policy would greatly endanger the United States and overextend us,” Paul added.
Paul said in essence that McCain was a senile warmonger. No, McCain was somebody who understood the realities of war and who also understood what dictators were about. And McCain understood that Nikita Khrushchev was spot on when he said, in 1956, “We will take you over without firing a shot.”
If Ukraine falls, Poland will be next and Putin will seek to take over Europe. The United States and NATO can’t sit by and watch that happen. Rand Paul is a traitor, as John McCain depicted him to be. Democracy can only work when people of integrity run for office and we are seeing the worst people in our culture get elected to office.