January 9, 2020

At least two Republicans are furious with the Trump Administration's refusal to include any specific information or details on the "imminent threat" justifying the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani.

Only Trump's loyal sycophants are pretending to buy the White House rationale.

On Wednesday, Wolf Blitzer asked Rand Paul about the 'Gang of Gight' briefing he was part of, that caused his and Sen. Mike Lee's, "angry reaction."

Paul said, "Well, it's an insult to the Constitution."

The Constitution said the power to declare war was to be given to Congress. They specifically did not give that power to the president.

In the briefing and in public, this administration has argued that the vote to topple Saddam Hussein in 2002 now gives them blanket permission for military action in Iraq. The idea that when Congress voted to go after Saddam Hussein in 2002, they also authorized military force against an Iranian general 18 years later, is absurd on its face.

Later in the interview Wolf asked Sen. Paul to respond to the vicious attacks his colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham made about his patriotism.

"I think it's sad when people have this fake sort of drape of patriotism, and anybody that disagrees with them is not a patriot." said Paul.

He continued, "He believes in this unitary theory of the executive, that presidents can do whatever they want. The only way you can stop them is by defunding a war. That's not what our founding fathers said. It's not what the Constitution says. And he insults the Constitution, our founding fathers and what we do stand for in this republic by making light of it and accusing people of lacking patriotism."

"I think that's a low, gutter type of response."

On topic and worth the click: Marcy Wheeler at Emptywheel, "The Republican Party is no Longer the Party of Personal Responsibility."

....Trump doesn’t like the humiliation of hearing advice he doesn’t like, and so he didn’t brief the Gang of Eight beforehand.

He owns this decision, and all its consequences, because he chose to make the decision without following the norm that would allow him to share the blame.

But that raises the stakes for him to find scapegoats. It’s a feedback loop, where his refusal to listen to competent advice increases the likelihood of stupid decision and his defensiveness about admitting all that, thereby raising the stakes on having scapegoats still further.

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