81 votes

UPDATE 3: Rand Paul Explains NDAA Vote & Justin Amash Responds


I have noticed that many are confused by my vote for NDAA. Please allow me to explain.

First, we should be clear about what the bill is. NDAA is the yearly defense authorization bill. It’s primary function is to specify which programs can and can't be funded within the Pentagon and throughout the military. It is not the bill that spends the money—that comes later in an appropriations bill.

Because I think we should spend less, I will offer amendments to cut spending. I will likely vote against the final spending bill. This wasn't it.

This bill also isn’t about indefinite detention. This year's bill did not contain the authorization for indefinite detention.

That provision was in last year's NDAA bill.

The bill this year contained the amendment I supported which sharply limited the detention power, and eliminated it entirely for American citizens in the US. While it is only a partial victory, it was a big victory. Particularly compared to what passed last year. Even so, I will continue to fight to protect anyone who could possibly be indefinitely detained.

I would never vote for any bill, anywhere, that I believed enhanced the government's power to abridge your rights and detain people. This goes against every principle I hold dear and the Constitution I took an oath to uphold and protect.

Government power and the many associated abuses have been piling up for years. We will not win all our liberties back at once. But we did win one battle this year, and we should be pleased that we did while also realizing the fight is really just getting started.

I hope you will keep fighting alongside me.



Justin Amash's response via Facebook:

Senator Rand Paul is correct in his description of the 2013 NDAA. It's the 2012 NDAA (not 2013) that authorizes indefinite detention without charge or trial. There's much more to be done to protect our rights and undo the harm of the 2012 NDAA (which doesn't expire), but thanks to the efforts of United States Senator Mike Lee and Sen. Paul, we are making significant progress in (re-)advancing the principle that all people in the United States have a constitutionally protected right to full due process.


From my Oklahoman friend of Liberty QFish of the Liberty Live Stream Team:

I asked him this question: "Would the Feinstein-Lee amendment that Sen. Paul voted for be sufficient for this 2013 NDAA? I know you had come out against this amendment initially, so was curious what you would say about that?"

Rep. Amash answered with: "Qadoshyah, I believe we need more than the Feinstein amendment. I understand their logic, but I disagree that it is sufficient because I have a different interpretation of the 2012 NDAA. They still made significant progress in advancing the cause and putting some protections in law."


Here's my thought process on this in pictures: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=502351526465633&set=...


FYI - Check out my website if you're looking for an awesome, inexpensive, and perfect Christmas gift or stocking-stuffer for all Ron Paul Liberty-lovers! I had them made and should be getting them next week according to the manufacturer!

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Politics is all about

Politics is all about compromise. If you're not willing to ever compromise, then you probably shouldn't be involved in politics.

If you compromise

I don't want you representing me or my party.

It is up to ALL of us to hold them ACCOUNTABLE. Got it? Good.

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

SteveMT's picture

Tell that one to Ron Paul! lol

No offense, but why do we like Ron Paul so much? He is uncompromising.


Like when Dr. Paul endorsed Newt Gingrich and John Boehner for Speaker of the House right?

Eric Hoffer

SteveMT's picture

Uncompromising in terms of his voting record.

Ron Paul would not have voted for this bill, IMO. I believe that he also learned from this past endorsement of both these trash people, which is why he endorsed no one for president in this election.

Ron Paul is more

Ron Paul is more uncompromising than Rand, but he's also endorsed people in the past (though not for presidency, unless you count Reagan, who turned out to be not as good as expected), including this year, that are far from libertarian purists

I wouldn't say that Ron NEVER

I wouldn't say that Ron NEVER compromised, but he usually didn't. That was an attractive quality that he had. However, he also had three failed Presidential runs, and Rand has learned from that. He's learned what he has to do differently to avoid Ron's mistakes. Those who are so critical of Rand simply want to repeat the failures of the past. We won't ever return to liberty in this country if we can't get someone in the White House who will work to reduce federal power.

Enjoy your second coming

of Ronald Raygun then

SteveMT's picture

In other words, "the end justifies the means."

Niccolò Machiavelli sure thought so.

And those who have followed his advice

...have been beating the hell out of us for a 100 years, haven't they?

Just tell me, is that a fact or not? I'm not interested in hearing about the immorality of compromise. Just tell me: is it a fact or not that politicians who compromise are more successful in achieving their ultimate objectives than politicians who don't?

Take Ron Paul for example. Politically, he was an almost complete failure, as he himself would and has recently acknowledged. He passed virtually no legislation in 30 years. Why? Because he was "Doctor No." That's not a black mark on Dr. Paul, because political success was not his goal. His goal was to educate people and build a movement. And he did exactly the right thing to accomplish that goal.

But eventually all that educating and movement-building has to be translated into political power, right? If not, this is all pointless. Political power, aka actually making law, is Rand's goal. Hence he is not playing "Doctor No," he's playing politics. He is, as you say, justifying the means (sometimes voting for bills that are contrary to his and our principles) by the ends (building a coalition in the Senate to accomplish things legislatively, and/or some day winning the Presidency and all the influence that comes with it).

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."


Ron Paul voted per the Constitution, as should all parties, democrat, libertarian and republican. The reason that he did not pass legislation was because establishment does not vote per the Constitution. Fault is with the politicians, but mostly falls on the people for not holding our representatives accountable. Then come lobbyists.

This movement grew at least 4 times, even more, since 2007. This is where we are succeeding. It may take time, but there is an entire youth generation before our very eyes. It is Ron Pauls desire, as well as OURS, to educate and bring on board the values of honesty and principle.

Let us not worry too much about a president at this point and time. Let the good Doctor, and us, continue to work. In time, we will have conservative Liberty minded people at local and state, and that will make electing a president a little easier in the future.

We must not lose sight of what this movement stands for. The youth can easily be swayed. We must NOT let them sway to the side of compromised values and principles, or yet another entire generation will be lost.

It is not easy work. But they do not call it work for nothing.

Lastly, Rand is a big boy. He is not going to quit politics because his feeling are hurt. When he does right, he should be commended. When he does wrong, hold his feet to the fire. This should be true of ALL politicians. People who leave their establishment and brought into this movement will find comfort knowing that we stand for something different, and that is honesty and integrity.

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

In my opinion...

...the vast majority of people who can be educated have been educated. Our base is not going to grow much more. Now is the time to use what support we have to win some real political victories. That means our candidates need to find a way to appeal to the masses of voters. That means we need to understand when they do, and not abandon them because we can't distinguish between the reality of their libertarian beliefs and the appearances they put on to attract sheep-votes.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Who Said ALL Compromise?

Compromise is indeed necessary on certain issues.

Fundamental principles, issues of liberty and issues surrounding government taking extra-constitutional actions, are not among those acceptable compromises, unless of course one believes that the ends justify the means.

One takes an Oath to support and defend the Constitution when one is elected, enters the military or becomes a Peace Officer. There is zero room or excuse for compromise on upholding that Oath and protecting and defending that Constitution.

It really is as simple as that.

Down Votes on The Above Statement?????

Unbelievable, albeit not surprising around here.

I don't believe that Rand has

I don't believe that Rand has ever voted to violate the Constitution.

Maybe, Maybe Not, But...

...he has openly endorsed, supported and joined with those who have and who will continue to do so.

A distinction without a difference, as I see it.

Also, Ron has endorsed anti

Also, Ron has endorsed anti Constitutional candidates like Lamar Smith and Michele Bachmann.


..and that was just as unacceptable and inexcusable in my eyes.

And your point is?

Trying to justify ill acts by referencing other ill acts?

Well, you still supported

Well, you still supported Ron, didn't you? I don't know why you would choose to not support Rand because of an endorsement if Ron didn't lose your support because of his endorsements.

Making Assumptions Again...

I supported the 'message' espoused by Dr. Paul.

I never was much on putting faith or stock in 'a man'. But hey, that's just me.

Speaking of a distinction without a difference...


"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

No, it's a CLEAR difference.

No, it's a CLEAR difference. An endorsement is meaningless. In the world of politics, it's simply a formality. If you're going to work within a political party, you have to show some support for your party and endorse your party's nominee. Otherwise, you'll just be seen as a fringe player within your party, and you won't have a future. If you aren't willing to work within the Republican Party and have some support for your party, then you should advocate that liberty candidates run as independent candidates. As long as they run as Republicans, they have to do the things (like endorsements) that are simply a formality.

Yep, It is a Clear Difference Indeed...

...between how YOU see things as being acceptable and 'within' one's principles vs. how I do.

I guess that I will just continue to do what I do and to stand on fundamental principles and not rationalize and/or justify the 'actions' and 'endorsements' of those who do not.

And so it continues...

No Doubt About It

In my assessment...

It is simply a clear case of 'compromise on fundamental principles', regardless of the support that compromise provides directly and exactly to what is destroying the Constitution and destroying liberty.

The end justifies the means, right?

There is nothing new about it at all.

Dr. Paul shut up and accepted taking a quiet fall and Lil' Rand compromised his principles (if he actually has strongly held fundamental-liberty principles) so that Lil' Rand could cozy up to the establishment right-wing of the Globalist-Collectivist Party and position himself for a POTUS run later on.

Problem is, at least for a principled man, that that compromise and that 'cozening' has and will continue to taint him and he will not be trusted by those who are not adoring and excuse-making members of the "Cult of Paul/Cult of Rand'.

A man either has and holds to fundamental principles, or he does not.

It really is that simple...except for the 'Cult of Rand' faithful who will seek to rationalize and justify non-liberty actions and advocacy and claim some 'complex strategy' is afoot.

Yeah, right.

SteveMT's picture

The fact that we are now at "Update3" is my problem.

Is anyone seeing what I'm seeing? If it takes three updates to explain this NDAA vote to a bunch of Ron Paul supporters, "Houston we have a problem."


It takes 3 updates because Rand cares about letting people know what he actually believes.

Update #3 is for numbskulls like you who are unreasonable and keep expecting him to be exactly like his father.

"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul

SteveMT's picture

Yup. That is too much to ask for,...consistency.

Attacking me doesn't change reality.


Yep. It saddens me, and I'm a Ron Paul supporter. I want to see a debate between the Judge, Amash, and Rand on sanctions and the role of govt in foreign relations.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Amash and Rand both support

Amash and Rand both support sanctions. I'm not sure about the Judge.