Rand Paul Shows Some Charm, for Festivus Grievance Airings and Against the Drug War and Peter King

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pre-working on that human touch stuff said to be so important to presidential candidates in these here modern times, as he uses his Twitter account for an alternately serious and comic "airing of the grievances" for Festivus, the invented holiday from Seinfeld.

He's pissed at bipartisan compromise that always adds up to more spending; at Senate policies that stifle debate; Federal Reserve policy that harms the poor and savers; at politicians who only selectively support the Bill of Rights; at D.C. parking restrictions and at people (like some of his staff) who tell him not to wear turtlenecks on TV.

A nice spinoff from the Twittering has been Paul engaging his Senate colleague Cory Booker from New Jersey for not retweeting him enough, giving Paul an opportunity to hype his own efforts at drug war reform, including mandatory minimum sentencing reform and industrial hemp legalization.

Late last week, one of Paul's presumptive opponents in a very likely presidential run in 2016, New York Rep. Peter King, helped remind Americans why it might be nice having a Rand Paul on their side by saying Paul has disgraced his office for such un-American acts as calling out National Intelligence director James Clapper for deliberately lying to a Senate committee.

This is exactly the kind of fight Paul can likely expect, from GOP primary opponents likely of greater importance than the hapless King. It was a mitzvah from King to get Paul primed for it. Paul running in Republican primaries will be in part a fight over tribal identity politics with the security state that mentally imprison too many Republicans, contrasting that ugly impulse with an actual wide-range belief in limited, constitutional government that respects Americans rights.

I am afraid it might be a harder fight than Paul expects, but look forward to watching the melee.

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  • UnCivilServant||

    Well, if an alien endorces him and a terrorist denounces him...

    I still have to reserve judgement.

    On one hand, he's not the ambulatory adipose tumor from the jersey wastes. On the other, he's too libertarian.

  • Ted S.||

    "Mr. King, you've spent much of your career as a bagman and cheerleader for Southern Irish terrorists, working for their interests ahead of those of your constituents or the United States. Why should we listen to anything a traitor like you has to say on any policy issue?"

  • kinnath||

    kinnath's grandfather's grandfather was born in what is now Northern Ireland. I have no love for the continued English occupation of that chunk of the island.

    But that doesn't change the fact that the NRA is a terrorist organization and anyone that supports it is fucking evil

  • Acosmist||

    The citizens of Norther Ireland seem happy about it.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Not really, they just, understandably, are somewhat wary of the current available alternatives. Inertia does have a certain attractiveness.

  • kinnath||

    Off the top of my head. Large factions of both catholic and protestant citizens of N. Ireland drove the political process towards peace in the 90s and the 00s. The IRA then focused their activities on robbing banks and other criminal activities.

  • Tonio||

    Typo, kinnath?

  • kinnath||

    I don't see one

  • kinnath||

    Now I see it. Oops

  • UnCivilServant||

    To be fair, I didn't see that either, and in context read IRA.

  • kinnath||

    But that doesn't change the fact that the N IRA is a terrorist organization and anyone that supports it is fucking evil

    Even proof reading doesn't help some days.

  • Ted S.||

    On my mom's side, grandma's ancestors came from Ireland. I got enough of the NINA victim-complex and anti-English stuff that if there's one group I feel bigoted towards, it's the Irish. (Well, Irish-Americans really.)

    And the more I became a fan of old movies, the more I noticed Hollywood's retch-inducing doe-eyed view of Irish immigrants as lovable singing cops.

  • Brett L||

    Weren't many of Jimmy Cagney's gangsters Irish toughs? I agree, nobody spins more bullshit about the Old Country, but I don't think Hollywood was particularly kind to the Irish immigrants of the early 20th century, either.

  • wwhorton||

    I wish Peter King had played with plastic bags as a child.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Does anyone outside of NY and NJ not think Peter King is a retarded asshole?

  • Ted S.||

    The Beltway folks seem to think he's a respectable Republican.

  • Brett L||

    Oh, well in that case...

  • Tonio||

    And I wish someone with a bully pulpit would call out King as Ted S just did.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I think that's the same alien that landed his flying saucer on the White House lawn and had a meeting with G.H. W. Bush. It was on the front page of the Enquirer.

  • ||

    Too bad the WWN is defunct. I always got such a kick out of it, especially the Alien Endorses So-and-So.

  • ||

    and at people (like some of his staff) who tell him not to wear turtlenecks on TV.

    Rand didn't invent the turtleneck

  • Brett L||

    How much is a gill?

  • Marshall Gill||

    I can let you have the 8 year old for oh, a couple hundred bucks.

  • ||

    "Your women. I want to buy your women. The little girl, your daughters...sell them to me. Sell me your children!"

  • ||

    Aren't all holidays "invented"?

  • Mike M.||

    All of them except for Arbor Day.

  • Brett L||

    The solstice isn't invented, traditions around the solstice are.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You can kinda say the same thing about the 4th of July.

  • kinnath||

    Rand's face appears on a nearly-daily basis over at Salon. Usually paired with Richard Nixon or some other "disgraced" Republican(s). I am really amazed the leftwing has become so obsessed with destroying Rand this early in the 2016 race.

  • ||

    He's articulate and clean, so they're terrified that Joe Biden will accidentally endorse him for President.

  • Brett L||

    "Nobody likes going to the optometrist to have their braces tightened, amirite?"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And he only speaks with a redneck dialect when he wants to.

  • ||

    Okay, that made me literally laugh out loud. Thanks Epi.

  • tarran||

    You can "compromise" with a Rockefeller Republican to grow the state. The Taft guys on the other hand...

  • Rasilio||

    That is because if he manages to get through the primaries with the nomination and his message mostly in tact he is a real threat not just to win the Presidency but to permanently steal some of their core constituencies away from them by highlighting just how hollow some of the Democrat positions are.

    A Paul campaign, even if he ultimately loses could cause serious long term damage to the Democrat party

  • kinnath||

    The ironic part is the Republican National Committee is doing everything in its power to stop Rand from succeeding in the Iowa Caucuses.

  • wwhorton||

    They think, I'm sure, that Chris Christie was sent from on high to lead the Republicans back to Zion. He's a big-government Republican who won't pose any risk to the establishment but can look like a "moderate" enough to get the fence-sitters to vote for him. For the people whose ideal president is somebody who can take charge and run things without the constituency having to worry its pretty little head, Christie is great. Bonus because he's a "no-nonsense" guy from Jersey who probably isn't afraid to send the US military over to the sandbox and kick a little cameljockey ass if need be.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Looks like he's not a moderate eater.

  • Rasilio||

    That's because the Republican establishment fears him even more than the Democrat establishment.

    Where Paul could rip parts off the Democrat party he could completely destroy the Republican party, at least in it's current configuration.

    Really the risk for BOTH parties establishments of a Paul candidacy is that he would be the first major candidate since Goldwater who did not fit neatly into the duopoly establishment and was willing to buck the existing rules of the game. This coming at a time when Americans are sick and tired of both parties to a degree not seen since the 1880's.

    Thanks to changes in technology there isn't too much risk of a viable 3rd party rising up but a candidate like Paul could easily trigger massive political realignment on a scale never before experienced in American politics and while the result may end up with a 2 party system with parties named Republican and Democrat they will look totally different than they do today and their current establishment power brokers are all but guaranteed to be on the outside looking in.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I think this about hits the nail on the head. The Republican establishment isn't really at war with the Democratic establishment. As far as they're concerned, the whole Jesus thing and the whole limited government thing are just bright shiny objects they pull out around election season to get differing groups of rubes all riled up. As long as they're on the government gravy train (and that includes crony opportunities and the entire culture of the political mandarinate), they're happy to take the role of junior partner. The last thing they want is a true believer actually coming in and trying to enact what they view as the bullshit they tell their base.

  • CE||

    There's no irony there. They've always tried to stop him.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    They see him as a threat capable of pulling some voters away from the Ds, so they need to ingrain the Rand-derangement syndrome before people find out he's anti-drone, pro-drug reform, etc.

  • wwhorton||

    Well, I think Rand is a viable alternative for Republicans who don't trust Christie or Cruz, and aren't willing to back a Huckabee. He can win the primary if he can fight off the "a moderate like Christie has the best chance of winning" trope and really emphasize his Tea Party roots while giving a couple shout-outs to the "religious right". And if he gets out of the primary, suddenly he becomes the Republican that independents can vote for. He can bill himself as someone who is deeply principled without being constrained overmuch by ideology. He'll compromise, but not too much. I think, quite frankly, that the Progressives don't have a good answer for a Rand Paul coming hot on the heels of the Obama disasteradministration, and he scares the bejeezus out of them.

  • prolefeed||

    Yeah, but the Republican party turned their back on the libertarian wing after the Goldwater presidential asskicking back in the 60s, and that wing is still not very influential.

  • kinnath||

    It's worse than that. Ron Paul's people basically took over the state apparatus in Iowa during the 2012 campaign. The RNC is now doing everything it can to prevent Paul's people from putting a "Paulian" candidate on the ballot for Senator in 2014. And if memory serves, they are also actively pursuing legal means to unseat the state hierarchy.

    If you actually care about Rand's 2016 campaign, you should be paying close attention to what happens in Iowa between now and then.

  • Ted S.||

    I didn't know Aqua Buddha celebrated Festivus.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I am afraid it might be a harder fight than Paul expects

    Considering the treatment his father received, I am guessing that Rand knows what he is up against.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Rand should make nice to Peter King by publicly offering to send 1 $1,000 donation to the IRA in King's name.

  • UnCivilServant||

    That would move him from the "maybe" column to the "No" column. I can't stomach material aid to terrorists, even if it is as an act of condemnation/contrition with one who has done so in the past.

  • prolefeed||

    Paul running in Republican primaries will be in part a fight over tribal identity politics with the security state that imprison too many Republicans

    I'm gonna guess that the people thrown in jail skew heavily Democratic. Was this supposed to mean metaphorical mental imprisonment in ideology?

  • Brian Doherty||

    Yes, it was meant metaphorically but I see it would be easy to misread. I added the word "mental"

  • paranoid android||

    Late last week, one of Paul's presumptive opponents in a very likely presidential run in 2016, New York Rep. Peter King,

    And here I was worried I'd have to wait a couple cycles to see the GOP put forth candidates that could match the sheer absurdity of the field in 2012.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Don't worry, Shmuckabee is considering another run!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Honestly, if Peter King winds up the voice of the anti-libertarian neo-con wing of the Republicans in the primary, I'll have to assume that God Almighty is a libertarian. Because Peter King as a foil would be a sign of divine intervention in favor of a libertarian candidate.

  • ||

    Well the greys may have backed Rand Paul but I am still going with who ever the blues endorse.

  • CE||

    We already know who the candidate of the lizard people will be!

  • CE||

    So he's a godless Festivusian, as well as an Aqua-Buddhist?

    There goes Iowa...

  • gaoxiaen||

    After Romney, an Aqua-Buddhist Festivusian would be an improvement.

  • Chesty Puller USMC||

    The GOP has itself to blame for dissention within its party. When Repubs gained a majority in both houses of Congress in 1994 they could have ushered in an era of economic freedom as they promised with their so-called Contract With America. Instead, they reverted to the same bullshit that Dems had perfected in the 60's (maybe even back to the 40's).Now, we have RINOS like King and McCain calling libertarians "wacko birds". As far as I'm concerned, Rand Paul at least voices the concerns that those of us who actually work for a living have long endorsed: economic freedom. That means identifying the internal enemies of personal liberty such as the IRS, the Federal Reserve and the EPA. Paul watched his father endure the name calling and other derisions from people who consider themselves "enlightened progressives", so he will be up to the task. Even if he has to run as an independent after the party apparatus finds a way to endorse their choice (McCain? Really?!). But, the paradigm is shifting, however slowly, as the younger crowd begins to see the blunder that is Obama - and good ol' boy party politics) erode their hopes of even a mediocre existence.

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