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The Seven Republicans Who Were Right About Iraq

Only six congressmen and one U.S. senator on the Republican side voted against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq in 2002. That legislation enabled the Bush administration to launch a war at any time. The House members who got it right were Ron Paul, John Duncan, Amo Houghton, John Hostettler, Jim Leach, and Connie Morella. The lone senator was Lincoln Chaffee.

Only Duncan is still in Congress. For all the success the antiwar right seems to have had, it’s worth remembering that very few of the liberty-movement Republicans now serving have been tested to the degree those seven were. The Republican non-interventionist caucus has had to be rebuilt, and what it looks like today is quite different from what it was in 2002. Certainly it’s more philosophically unified. About half of the original AUFM “no” votes were moderates representing blue states or blue districts. For the most part, they’ve been replaced in office by Democrats.

Huffington Post reporters Jennifer Bendery and Sabrina Siddiqui interviewed the five who would go on the record about their thoughts on the war’s tenth anniversary.


about the author

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Review, and Editor-at-Large of The American Conservative. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, The Spectator, The National Interest, Reason, and many other publications. Outside of journalism he has worked as internet communications coordinator for the Ron Paul 2008 presidential campaign and as senior editor of ISI Books. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied classics. Follow him on Twitter.

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