Truthdig: "Who's Afraid of Rand Paul?"


Lefty-journalist warhorse Robert Scheer cheers last night's Randslide:

Count me as one lefty liberal who is not the least bit unhappy with the victory by Rand Paul in Kentucky's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Not because it might make it easier for some Democratic Party hack to win in the general, but rather because he seems to be a principled libertarian in the mold of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and we need more of that impulse in the Congress. What's wrong with cutting back big government that mostly exists to serve the interests of big corporations? Surely it would be better if that challenge came from populist progressives of the left, in the Bernie Sanders mold, but this is Kentucky we're talking about.

Rand Paul, like his dad, is worthy of praise for standing in opposition to the Wall Street bailout, which will come to be marked as the greatest swindle in U.S. history and which was, as he noted on his website, an unconstitutional redistribution of income in favor of the undeserving rich […]

Heresy, I know, but it is only thanks to Ron Paul, the father and hopefully the mentor of the potential Kentucky senator, that we got a congressional mandate to audit the Fed's role in the banking bailout. How bad could it be to have another irascible Paul in the Congress?  

Whole thing here.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan has a rich sampling of reaction here (thanks to reader Ray Eckhart for the tip).

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  1. but this is Kentucky we're talking about

    Knee-jerk reaction: what an elitist piece of shit.

    1. For sure. Only states south of Kentucky can mock Kentucky. We mock because we love. Or because we hate the Wildcats.

      1. Or our cousins are prettier

    2. I like the realism of Scheer's POV. I've never been able to figure out Naomi Klein's animus towards libertarians like Milton Friedman. Sure, the guy was *pro-business*, but on a host of issues, medical marijuana, gay marriage, etc, I'd think that from a strategic perspective Klein would be cheering on libertarians in the hopes of mitigating or thwarting the legislation of social conservatives.

      1. The heart of liberalism is confiscation. Everything else is just pandering that makes the confiscation popular.

        1. And hatred of the opposition, broadly defined.

      2. Both sides of the left-right spectrum have a vested interest in keeping those who don't fit on that spectrum hidden from public view. To those who select either choice or control on an issue, based on the laundry list of approved positions for each side of the spectrum, those of us who prefer choice on EVERY issue must be scary indeed.

      3. I'm starting to suspect that other than a very small portion of conservatives, that "social conservative" is really just a kind way to refer to corrupted conservative, drunk on power. The few social conservatives I know are very cautious about how much of their social agenda should be in the hands of the feds. They still readily concede to points about separation of power between state and federal, as well as recognize that much of the social programs currently in place are unconstitutional.

        So, the only "social conservatives" I see as opposition, are those in power. Those who, just like liberals, are willing to take my money and rights in order to push their social agenda. They are ones that most of the rest of us, call RINO's.

        1. Not sure I'd agree with this statement. I don't think repubs/conservatives consider 'social conservatives' as RINO's. Case in point - Rick Santorum. There are still people that clamor for his great conservative issues, and I don't think anyone would apply the RINO label to him. You could also place Cheney or Gingrich in this category as well.

          I hear the RINO label applied more frequently to people that AREN'T social conservatives. I've heard many people say that about Ron Paul.

      4. You are making the mistake of assuming that Naomi Klein is some kind of "liberal". She is not. She's an authoritarian Marxist.

        This is a woman who cheers on Huga Chavez and Fidel Castro, and had kind words for Muqtada Al Sadr. Liberal she is NOT.

    3. Maybe he was just pointing out that it's a red state? He said "populist progressives", not "intellectual giants" or something snarky like that.

    4. It's "elitist" to concede that the Kentucky electorate is highly unlikely to send a progressive like Bernie Sanders to the Senate?

      How about "realistic" instead?

  2. Randslide...

    And is this "lefty" journalist from Htrae? (Bizzaro World)

    I kind of like him from this.

  3. The inability of a socialist to get elected in Kentucky is a feature, not a bug.

    1. ...unless you're a socialist

    2. The feature appears to be buggy. Yarmuth! got elected.

      1. That's why the rest of the state hates Louisville.

  4. Excellent. Too bad most 'team blue' sycophants can't have such moments of lucidity.

  5. I'd think that from a strategic perspective Klein would be cheering on libertarians in the hopes of mitigating or thwarting the legislation of social conservatives.

    1) Feminists are undercover social conservatives. No exceptions.

    B) Supporting libertarians has no strategic value to someone who is, above all, anti-libertarian.

    1. 1) Feminists are undercover social conservatives. No exceptions.

      Checking for irony, facetiousness, sarcasm, parody. Strangely, none is detected.

    2. Cents =/= Sense

    3. Are you SURE that feminists are undercover social conservatives? I know enough of both to feel certain that your statement surely cannot be accurate.

      1. Do you know them under the covers?

  6. Not because it might make it easier for some Democratic Party hack to win in the general, but rather because he seems to be a principled libertarian in the mold of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and we need more of that impulse in the Congress. What's wrong with cutting back big government that mostly exists to serve the interests of big corporations?

    Be careful what you wish for.
    He is willing to address the unsustainability of entitlement programs like social security, medicare and Obamacare. He also correctly thinks we spaend way too much on defense. You know, where the fucking spending is. I hate ag subsidies and corporate tax breaks as much as anyone, but this man understands what the real problem is - the unfunded wefare state.

    1. The negative effects of ag subsidies and targeted tax breaks are mostly in the deadweight loss, misallocation, and other "invisible" costs. You're certainly right that the unfunded entitlements are overall a worse problem, and are much, much worse from a budgetary perspective.

      I only offer a small note of caution that focusing on the budgetary numbers themselves can make insidious regulation appear costless when it is not. The same sort of logic that makes a military draft look "cheaper" because the lost productivity is invisible to bean counters.

      Of course, I'm sure you realize this already.

      1. One of the worst unspoken effects of the WoD is the lost productivity. Admittedly, it's nowhere near as bad as the brutality non-violent offenders have to face due to the insanity of the WoD. However, imagine what 300,000-500,000 people producing something worthwhile could add to our economy. Imagine if all the prison guards keeping them in prison were doing something productive. Imagine if all of the cops busting kids for joints were putting away actual criminals...

        1. Exactly, that's another good example.

        2. I'm from Florida, the only difference between the guards and the guarded is the guards haven't been caught yet. So that part of the argument may be a wash.

          1. You're obviously not in Osceola county. They caught the guards there...

            1. "Ain't no lookbooks in Osceola."

    2. I'm funding it as fast as I can!

  7. Yglesias thinks Rand is a "lunatic". Meanwhile the man old fatty matty ball washes daily thinks he is legally entitled to assassinate american citizens.

    delong, krugman, klein, and yglesias make me wonder about my non-coercion principles.

    1. When the "elites" label Rand Paul a "lunatic", I like him even more! It'll be a nice day, if this guy sees the Senate!

    2. He's not exactly civil liberties friendly. He opposes civilian trials and Constitutional protections on Gitmo detainees and "enemy combatants" and thinks that visa should be denied to anyone that visits hostile nations. So a Brit that goes on a trip to Syria would be barred from entering the US.

      Last I checked most of the Constitutions applied to persons, not merely citizens.

      1. that's nice. yglesias still ball washed a man who thinks he has the power to assassinate american citizens while Rand articulated nothing close to that psycho. yet in fatty matty's telling Rand is the lunatic.

        1. Yglesias isn't all to friendly to civil liberties when it's his side trampling all over them.

  8. David Frum is such a disingenuous asshole:

    Rand Paul's victory in the Kentucky Republican primary is obviously a depressing event for those who support strong national defense and rational conservative politics.

    Rational conservative politics? This from the man who wants to remake the GOP to be more like the Democrats with all the social spending and handouts. I'm not sure if he's upset because this is another roadblock to the welfare state or because he thinks that supporting a welfare state is the only way to win and he wants his team to win.

    1. David Frum: twice the wars (where I'm rooting for the troops on the side lines) but with all the social spending.

      Yep, that is one sick son of a bitch who in a sane world would black listed and thrown out on the streets.

      1. Don't be throwing your shit on us.

      2. And don't forget that Frum wanted to throw "unpatriotic conservatives" out of the GOP for opposing war, but then shrieked about Republicans finally deciding that his sorts of policies were disastrous.

    2. I like events that are depressing for David Frum. Like pulling his grandmother's intestines out with a fork and feeding them to Mr. T with a spoon.

    3. Rand Paul's victory makes David Frum depressed?

      I have always thought scadenfreude was ignoble, but I confess that I like it now.

      1. Uh, schadenfreude.

        1. Scadenfreude, eh? Tell us all about your exciting new fetish, Cato.

      2. Though you may have spelled it incorrectly, I love that you used the word "schadenfreude"; it's not used often enough! (And don't hate on me for pointing out that you spelled it incorrectly, it's not meant as a criticism, just as a way of properly spelling it in my post without seeming pretentious.)

        1. not used enough?

          it has been the fucking word of the year on the internets. (aside from "fucking" itself, of course)

          oh yeah, your boy got hammered tonight by rachel maddow. he's an authoritarian just like his pops. sr. hates the seperation of church and state. he want da gubmint to tell you how to pray.

          some leaders you guys got.

  9. I think all the "Rand is not like his father" people are going to be a little shocked when he actually gets into the Senate.

    As far as I can tell, he's a master at parsing his answers to give conservatives a way to misinterpret what he's saying - just like his dad is.

    For example, many have trumpeted the fact that his position on Guantanamo differs from Ron's, because he "supports military commissions". But if you actually read what he said about it, he says he supports military commissions for "enemies caught on the battlefield". Very, very few terror detainees are actually caught on battlefields. This is a way of sounding like you're for military commissions when you actually aren't. This is the classic Paul method of answering some a-hole's question.

    1. As far as I can tell, he's a master at parsing his answers to give conservatives voters a way to misinterpret what he's saying - just like his dad any successful politician is.

      You can't win an election without getting the votes of people who disagree with each other (and hence you) on at least some issues.

    2. I think you're the one who might end up disappointed. While there's no doubt that Rand Paul will end up a much more libertarian Senator than we have seen in years, he's not going to be a kamikaze.

      Remember: he's a politician from Kentucky. Unless he pulls a Chris Christie and says "I'm gonna govern like a one-termer" (which makes no sense in the Senate, since nobody governs and a first-term Senator doesn't have much pull or influence to get shit done anyway), he's going to tack to the prevailing winds of the Bluegrass State.

      1. Speaking of which:

        Chris Christie. Fuck yeah.

    3. He's not being disingenuous at all though. Gitmo supporters always refer to those held there "enemies caught on the battlefield" even though, as you note, most are not. If anything, it's the run-of-the-mill conservatives who are being sneaky with that phrase.

    4. I think he is way better at it (giving technically true answers that allow conservatives to parse the "right" answer out of it) than his dad is. I hope we aren't the ones that get surprised though once he starts voting though.

    5. It sounds like he learned some lessons from Obama. Good to know a non-scumbag can use them.

  10. Lefty-journalist warhorse Robert Scheer cheers last night's Randslide

    Meanwhile, Beltwayrians are not that happy:


    It was interesting watching last night's reporting of election returns on MSNBC. Chris "I'm-going-to-do-everything-I-can-to-make-this [Obama]-presidency-work" Matthews bore the kind of pained expression one might expect had someone come into the studio and strangled his pet cat while he was on the air. It may finally have sunk into the collective mindset of the MSNBC crowd that the main reason Obama was elected to the presidency was that he was not George W. Bush; that most Americans were not providing a mandate for a Neo-Bolshevist-Mercantilism. With so many of the incumbent culprits ? be they Republicans or Democrats ? not even being able to get through their parties' primaries, I suspect we may soon witness a torrent of quickly-called press conferences by incumbents still facing primaries. After decades of listening to candidates from both parties promising to "get the government off your backs," Boobus may finally be waking up to the realization that the primaries ? not the general elections ? may be the most effective way of unloading these plutocratic mountebanks.

    Butler Shaffer.

  11. Who the hell is this John Marshall guy from TPM? He clearly dislikes Paul, calling him in article after article "unlikeable" and "messianic." I know the site is a blog and not some big time paper, but I've seen better coverage of candidates in high school newspapers. Unlikeable? That's the best he's got? But what can you expect from someone who got their feelings hurt when Paul made anti-statist remarks in his nomination acceptance speech and thinks the everybody-runs-their-own-lives approach to politics of Ron Paul is "draconian and often ugly politics."

    1. Oops, Josh Marshall, I mean.

    2. Marshall has his opinion. Let him enforce it.

      1. I hate you and all, but that was amusing. Faggot.

    3. How can you not know who Joshua Micah Hezekiah Obadiah Marshall is? Why, he's only the most influential left-wing blogger of them all! BOW DOWN BEFORE HIS HACKISH GLORY.

      Seriously, I've been reading TPM on and off since BEFORE 9/11 (Jesus Christ, almost a decade). He has never once -- not even once -- departed from the hilariously hackish "everything's good news for the Democrats!" line. Not once. Not even when they got pasted in 2002 and 2004. Until Marc Ambinder set up his own pair of customized kneepads, there was no more well-known (or less respected) Democratic Establishment Suck-up.

    4. Yeah, I met him and I like him ... so he's not unlikeable.

  12. What's wrong with cutting back big government that mostly exists to serve the interests of big corporations?

    An excellent question; perhaps you should ask your President, when next you see him.

  13. Sullivan's collection of quotes is pretty good. I especially liked Josh Marshall's from Talking Points Memo:

    "[Rand Paul] came off to me as arrogant, bellicose and even a little messianic in his demeanor. "

    Not the Rand Paul acceptance speech that I remember watching.

  14. arrogant, bellicose and even a little messianic

    Obama? Is that you?

    1. No that's 'messianic, arrogant, and even a little bellicose'

  15. I was pretty excited about Rand Paul's victory right up until the moment I realized I was on the same side of the issue as Andrew Sullivan.

    1. On the bright side, you're on the other side of the issue from David Frum, Dick Cheney, Josh Marshall, and Matt Ygelsias.

      1. If I could find a way to bottle and sell Matt Yglesias' tears, I would make a killing selling it online to Reasonoids and intellectual right-wingers.

        I think I'm gonna go sucker-punch him tomorrow night and steal his girlfriend to get a headstart on the project.

    2. Don't let it get you down, dude. I have the same feeling whenever I end up on the same side as John. Politics makes strange bedfellows, after all.

  16. Christ, a leftist supporting smaller governemnt and condemning redistribution of wealth. Will someone please explain to these people the definition of Left and Right?

  17. Remember, folks, at the end of the day he's still a politician. Maybe a better class of politician, but a politician nonetheless. He will end up disappointing you.

    1. I'm not sure what your proposing here? Since not voting won't make the politicians go away it seems we're best off supporting those who piss us off least.

      1. Epi is a political nihilist, except without the cute ferret and cushy pornstar job.

        1. "No, Tulpa, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of."

        2. Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it's an ethos.


    2. I'm already feeling disappointed.

  18. Anything that angers David Frum, Dick Cheney and David Horowitz is a great thing.

  19. "he seems to be a principled libertarian in the mold of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, "


    this would be the person who endorsed the constitution party twaddlenock?

  20. How nice that Scheer could join us from Pyongyang for this improtant news event!

  21. According the MSNBC, Rand Paul hates handicap people.

    One liberal I just sparred with said Rand would also completely wipe out all public school systems as a Senator. That's impressive.

    1. Yeah, considering in his interview with the left wing courier-journal he pointed out that as much as he would like to get rid of the DofEd, he couldnt get it to a vote as a senator. However, he could get ending NCLB to a vote.

      They tried hard to get a "crazy" position out of him but he was too realistic about what was possible, while making people like me happy by mentioning what he would like.

    2. Brian Defferding|5.19.10 @ 2:04PM|#
      "According the MSNBC, Rand Paul hates handicap people."

      And according to Olberman, nobody can disprove it!

  22. If libertarians didn't exist, liberals would have to create us just to have someone to projection upon.

    1. If spellcheckers didn't exist, NutraSweet would have to create one just to have something to blame his grammatical--but not spelling--fuckups on.

      1. I haz a sad.

  23. "...a principled libertarian in the mold of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas."

    Gee, the Ron Paul who published a racist newsletter for years? Quite a mold. Very principled.

    1. To be fair, being "principled" doesn't automatically make you a good person; just means you stick to your principles whatever they may be.

      1. But that's exactly the point, he didn't stick to his newsletter. Though, one should be as cautious to say that he actually read his newsletter (I doubt many real politicians do that) - I wouldn't for that matter 😉

    2. Doritos Recipe

      Open a bag of Doritos.

      Pull out a handful. For a classier presentation, pour into a bowl.

      1. Send him to law school and he thinks he's all classy, using bowls and shit.

    3. Max|5.19.10 @ 2:24PM|#
      "...a principled libertarian in the mold of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas."
      Gee, the Ron Paul who published a racist newsletter for years? Quite a mold. Very principled."

      Max properly deserves and gets my piss most of the time, but Max is right here.
      Paul let this stuff:
      go out over his signature.
      If he was playing to the voters, he was a knave.
      If it was 'real', he was a fool.
      Either way, I never heard an apology.

  24. but rather because he seems to be a principled libertarian in the mold of his father

    Not even remotely close, but still the best we could hope for out of Kentucky, I guess.

    1. the best we could hope for out of Kentucky

      Fuck you and fuck Robert Scheer.

      And what great libertarianish senator has your state given us (yeah, he's not a senator yet, but at least we have a chance)?

      1. Well now you're asking for a bit much. What great libertarianish Senator has there been in my lifetime from any state?

        1. Barry Goldwater?


          1. Wow, he was still around until I was 7. Didn't remember that he lasted that long.

  25. It is fun to see liberals and conservatives go apeshit over this result (whatever it actually means in the real world); not that I agree with Rand across the board or anything.

  26. Send him to law school and he thinks he's all classy, using bowls and shit.

    Hey, those Wellesley undergrads aren't going to impress themselves!

    Oh, wait. . . .

  27. While he likes Rand Paul's opposition to the bailout (as do I), I would imagine that Scheer would have a much different view of Paul's position on civil rights.

    It's clear that a Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) would vote, if possible, to repeal any civil rights legislation that forced private businesses to refrain from racial discrimination. In other words, if a restaurant wanted to put up a "No Blacks" sign in the front window, Paul feels there should be no law against that. While he clearly has no intention of actively trying to make us party like it's 1959 again, his worldview would not only allow for it, but would require him to support it.

    Rand Paul's embarrassing devotion to strict libertarian dogma will undo his candidacy. When asked about his position on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Paul looks like a Scientologist being asked about Xenu -- he can't be straightforward in his support for the dogma (because it's freakin' insane!), so he ends up being evasive and hostile...


    It's a lose-lose: Despite his efforts at evasion, everyone watching can tell that Rand Paul would do nothing as a Senator to stop lunch-counter segregation. So he fails at concealing his true beliefs, and looks ashamed of them to boot.

  28. Rand Paul is not a pure Libertarian. Libertarians believe in open borders where anyone can come and go freely. Rand Paul sounds like the governor of arizona when it comes to immigration.

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