One would wonder how the same party, the Republicans, could contain both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Rand Paul. The two honorable senators are in the midst of a feud that started when Paul objected to a resolution that would allow Montenegro, a tiny country in the former Yugoslavia, to join NATO. McCain shot back that apparently Paul was working for Russian President #Vladimir Putin. Paul returned with an implication that the octogenarian McCain had gone unhinged and was an argument for term limits.
The fact of the matter is that the two men represent different ways of looking at the world. McCain is a traditional internationalist, a man who is for opposing rogue regimes such as Russia. Buttressing the NATO alliance by admitting new members to it is one way of doing so. Paul, on the other hand, is an isolationist who thinks that strengthening NATO will just antagonize the Russian bear, which makes him something of an appeaser as well.
Another question that some journalists are asking aren’t these two men, especially McCain, violating Rule 19 under which Sen Elizabeth Warren got slapped down and thus earned eternal fame for having “persisted?” It is one thing to say that Sen Paul’s opposition to strengthening NATO is wrong, but quite another to suggest that he is in the pay of Putin. It is also one thing to say that McCain sometimes has anger management issues; this has been known for decades. Calling him “unhinged” may be a little much.
History shows us that McCain’s approach to the world is the one most likely to keep the peace by demonstrating to Russia’s Vladimir Putin that his imperialist adventures will only strengthen the coalition against him. #Rand Paul, like his father Ron Paul before him, is following the Neville Chamberlain approach to dealing with dictators. He believes that if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. Otherwise, the risk of war and all that implies is too great to tolerate. The problem is that people like Putin do not stop until they are stopped. That makes a worse war down the line inevitable if we follow Paul’s approach. #John McCain