Kentucky's junior senator, Rand Paul is known for his non-interventionist stance with regards to international affairs. However, the latest appalling Trump nomination for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, C.E.O. of Exxon-Mobil, is not problematic to Paul, just yet. Apparently, conflating business interests over the interests of the State is not that big a deal to Baby Paul. More concerning is Trump's pick for Undersecretary or Assistant Secretary of State, neocon warmonger John Bolton.
ABC's This Week had Paul on to discuss the conflicts affiliated with both Tillerson and Bolton. Surprisingly enough, being a buddy of Vladimir Putin with a direct financial stake in U.S. energy policy as S.O.S. is not as troubling to the Republican senator as the assistant of that critical cabinet appointment.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How about this likely pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson... You're sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Do you have any concerns?
PAUL: I don't know about Tillerson, but I do know that John Bolton doesn't get it. He still believes in regime change. He's still a big cheerleader for the Iraq war. He's promoted a nuclear attack by Israel on Iran. He wants to do regime change in Iran. So, I think John Bolton is so far out of it and has such a naive understanding of the world. If he were to be the assistant or the undersecretary for Tillerson, I'm an out "automatic no" on Bolton. He should get nowhere close to the State Department if anybody with the same world view is in charge.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, automatic no on Bolton as Deputy Secretary of S tate...But open mind on Tillerson? What about Mr. Tillerson's ties to Vladimir Putin?
PAUL: I don't know that yet. And to me the most important question is are you an advocate for the Iraq War? Do you think that was a good idea? Do you think regime change? Because see these questions keep recurring. You know, Bolton was an advocate for regime change in Libya, so was Hillary Clinton actually. And Donald Trump said it was a mistake. I agree it was a mistake to do regime change in Libya. We became more endangered and actually worse people took over afterwards.
I also think regime change in Syria is a bad idea. And that's an ongoing question. It's one of the things I like about Donald Trump, one of the reasons I endorsed him is he thinks regime change is a mistake. But John Bolton thinks completely the opposite. They are diametric opposites. So I'll do anything to try to prevent John Bolton from getting any position, because I think his world view is naive.
Certainly, Paul's objection to Bolton is well-justified and surprisingly rational for a Republican. However, the bigger problem is that he's fine with our government being run by people who will profit from public office and simultaneously destroy our fragile environment. I suppose we should rejoice anytime a Republican holds a rational position, as these days, that is rare.