I’m done grumbling about how President Obama is empowering America’s enemies. After all, it is not just Obama. When it comes to abetting the Muslim Brotherhood, Republicans are right there with him.
Not all of them, of course. This week, for example, Senator Rand Paul proposed an amendment that would have prohibited our government from transferring F-16 aircraft and Abrams tanks to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government. This lunatic plan is not just an Obama initiative. It is also a GOP brainstorm — of a piece with 2011’s Libya debacle, in which Republican leaders cheered as Obama, upon consulting with the Arab League, ignored Congress and levied war on behalf of the very jihadists who, quite predictably, have since raided Qaddafi’s arsenal, besieged northern Africa, and massacred Americans in Benghazi.
A few weeks back, the John McCain & Lindsey Graham roadshow made its way to Brotherhood Central in Cairo, with newcomer Kelly Ayotte in tow. Senator Ayotte appears to have filled the void created by Joe Lieberman’s retirement — after all, when you have Republicans, who needs another Democrat? The former trio is best remembered for its Tripoli triumph of late 2009, when the three kicked back in the Qaddafi compound and toasted our newly cozy relations with the dictator. The bipartisan solons then winged their way home in time to second the Obama State Department’s increase in funding for the Libyan dictator’s regime. After all, they reasoned, Qaddafi was our hedge against Libya’s jihadists. As is their wont, though, the solons soon dazzled us with a 180, suddenly deciding that what we really needed to do was back Libya’s jihadists in their war against Qaddafi. The rest, as they say in Mali, is history.
So the GOP brain trust now brings this Midas touch to Egypt, rallying behind Obama’s cozy relations with the new “Islamic democracy.” That would be the Brotherhood’s rapidly unraveling sharia basket case, into which our own bankrupt government has so far sunk nearly 3 billion U.S.-taxpayer dollars, with more billions soon to come through U.S.-backed IMF loans and, yes, sophisticated U.S. weaponry. Any moment now, as it was in turbulent Libya, the ground in Egypt is certain to shift, or crater. When it does, who knows whose side the senators will have us on . . . and who knows what American enemies may be wielding that U.S. weaponry?
Senator Paul, by contrast, has three ideas that seem positively batty to the McCain gang. First, he thinks that American foreign policy ought to be premised on American national interests, not on the shifting notions of “global stability” popular at the Wilson School and the Council on Foreign Relations. Second, he suggests that when we give aid and arms to anti-American Islamists, bad things tend to happen to America. Finally, Paul believes the foundation of American foreign policy is, of all quaint things, the United States Constitution. The Framers gave Congress not merely the authority but the duty to thwart executive excess. On the international stage, that primarily means the power of the purse, which enables the people’s representatives to defund such madness as the arming of Islamic supremacists.
So Senator Paul tried to stop weapons transfer. His amendment, however, was defeated 79–19, because 23 Republican senators opted to follow the lead of McCain, Graham, and Ayotte. They joined all Senate Democrats (and a couple of nominal “independents” who are, in effect, Democrats) in voting to “table” the Paul Amendment. “Tabling” is a bit of procedural chicanery, allowing senators to defeat Paul’s amendment yet pretend to the folks back home that they didn’t actually vote “against” it.