Liz Cheney Trashes Rand Paul, but Her Argument is Garbage

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Today, Rep. Liz Cheney, whose aspirations in the House are sky high, decided it’d be a good idea to publicly take to Twitter and trash Sen. Rand Paul. This came after Paul held up the passage of a defense authorization bill that continues to perpetrate numerous conflicts around the globe.

Instead of presenting a real argument for why those conflicts should continue, Cheney went with this childish nonsense.

Rand Paul is actually six inches taller than Cheney, not that it matters. That kind of petty jab is expected from someone in GOP leadership who can’t see past their own nose to make an actual, forward looking argument for why the war in Afghanistan should continue into a 21st year or whether we should continue operating in Syria (among other deployments). As per our usual agreement, people like Cheney see being at war as the default. They don’t believe they even need to make a real case to the American people for keeping up their chosen excursions. Those conflicts are expected to just continue into perpetuity, and if someone like Rand Paul steps up and says this is getting ridiculous, he’s ridiculed as wanting to keep money from the soldiers. It’s low-brow, misleading virtue signaling you’d expect from a Democrat, not someone who wants to be Speaker of the House one day.

Cheney knows the real issue here is not hazard pay for the troops, but she’s built in the mold of Bush’s Republican party. Mumbling about patriotism and “fighting them over there” is still considered a salient argument in her mind.

If Cheney wants these wars to continue to be funded, she should take the podium and explain exactly what the strategic interest is at this point, what actually constitutes a victory, and what measures need to be met before we leave. Her father may have gotten away with promoting foreign conflicts with impunity, but it’s not 2004 anymore. This is not Bush’s party anymore.

Trump’s foreign policy focused on doing things that actually make sense. Does it make sense to stay in Afghanistan or Syria longer? If it does, it shouldn’t be hard to articulate why. Yet, Cheney never does. Instead, she continually takes shots at anyone who dares to suggest we not enter a third decade of war over a 3rd world country that simply does not have the capacity to threaten the United States anymore. The Taliban are not international terrorists. They are local fundamentalist tyrants. That’s bad, but it’s not a reason for perpetual conflict and draining of the national treasury to fund said conflict.

If Cheney wants buy in, go earn buy in, but Republicans are not going to accept a return to the status quo. Trump ushered in a new way of thinking on this front, and it brought about the most foreign policy success we’ve seen in decades. That should be built on, including fully ending the war in Afghanistan. If Cheney wants to fight against that, she shouldn’t have much of a future in leadership.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)