Paul (R-Kentucky) is holding up the National Defense Authorization Act, “blaming America, and delaying hazardous duty pay to hundreds of thousands of our service members and their families. Inexcusable,” Cheney (R-Wyoming) tweeted on Thursday above a video of Paul’s speech in the Senate.
“Rand and I do have one thing in common, though. We’re both 5’2” tall,” she added.
Rand and I do have one thing in common, though. We’re both 5’2” tall. https://t.co/l0XebRLW3Q
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) December 10, 2020
Cheney is Wyoming’s sole representative in the House, and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, widely considered the grey eminence of the George W. Bush administration and the chief architect of its ‘War on Terror.’ US troops have been in Afghanistan since October 2001, and Cheney inserted an amendment into the NDAA that would mandate congressional approval for their withdrawal.
Paul, whose father Ron was one of the few voices opposing the ‘War on Terror’ during his tenure in Congress, called Cheney out for hypocrisy, having once argued for unified and unlimited executive power – as long as it’s only to start and prosecute wars.
Shouldn’t we call out hypocrisy? Shouldn’t someone stand up and expose this rank demagoguery? https://t.co/9bHbFDWhfJ
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 10, 2020
“Which is it? Are you for this unlimited power of the president to commence and execute war,” but against it “if the president chooses to end a war?” Paul said on the Senate floor. He called out the “hypocrisy” and “rank demagoguery” of people who argued that – not just Cheney, though she authored the contested amendment, but also several fellow senators like Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).
He even quoted the late Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) as someone who believed there shouldn’t be 535 commanders in chief – referring to the number of members of Congress – before arguing that Cheney’s amendment does just that.
Cheney’s resort to schoolyard insults hasn’t fared too well on Twitter, with most of the responses favoring Paul.
— 𝕮𝖗𝖎𝖙𝖎𝖈𝖆𝖑 𝕿𝖍𝖎𝖓𝖐𝖊𝖗 (@CritiqueOfAll) December 10, 2020
She had used the same playbook during their epic Twitter battle in September 2019, when she called the Kentucky senator a “big loser” for his failed 2016 presidential bid, and accused him of loyalty to “Terrorists First, America Second.”
Paul shot back by calling Cheney and her father “part of the foreign policy swamp” seeking to undermine President Donald Trump, bringing up her praise for the ousted national security adviser and fellow neoconservative John Bolton.
Arguing that the terrorist threat has been largely crushed with the demise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) caliphate and that US energy independence means the Middle East is no longer as important, Trump has sought to withdraw the remaining troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, over bipartisan objections from the Washington establishment.
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