‘“The most important” part of Rand Paul’s assessment of “questions of war,” the Kentucky senator told The Daily Beast this fall, is “how you go to war.” Now he’s putting that assessment into action with a plan to introduce a declaration of war against ISIS in the Senate next month.
The move is part of Paul’s ongoing campaign to position himself as a foreign-policy heavyweight ahead of the Republican presidential primaries, when he is expected to mount a campaign for the nomination. But it may simply be dismissed as a tit-for-tat gesture as Republicans complain of executive overreach in the aftermath of President Obama’s executive order on immigration.
As Obama is hit with charges of overstepping his power, Paul’s resolution could be perceived as an attempt to strike back in another conflict: the now 200-year-old war between the executive and legislative branches of government. The senator’s resolution would turn on its head the traditional process by which presidents lead the United States into conflict and Congress says, “Sure, why not?”’