There was a conspicuous absentee in the chorus of shrieking among Republican presidential candidates the minute the Iran nuclear deal was announced yesterday, and it’s exactly who you’d expect: Rand Paul. His earlier attacks on Obama over the negotiations involved the role of Congress in approving the suspension of sanctions. With that issue out of the way via an agreement between Obama and Republican senators, there was some legitimate doubt about where Paul would come down on the deal itself.
But even though in 2012 Paul’s father famously defended Iran’s hostile attitude towards the U.S. on CIA meddling in that country’s political system back in the 1950s, his son is running what he hopes will be a viable presidential campaign, and so, inevitably, you got this statement via Twitter:
The deal is bad because 1) sanctions relief precedes evidence of compliance
2) Iran is left with significant nuclear capacity 2/2
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 14, 2015
He tossed out a few other tweets along those same lines before his Twitter account devoted itself to about 500 tweets (I’m exaggerating, but not by that much) about the Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Sale Video (more about that later). Paul is always going to have his conservative critics on foreign policy issues, but there’s no reason to doubt he’s a serious and consistent antichoice zealot. All in all, not a good day for the Kool Kids case for supporting Rand Paul.