Michael Tracey, an editorial intern at The Nation, takes to the pages of Britain's left-wing daily to sing the praises of Ron Paul's son. Excerpt:
The American left has often been quick to dismiss the incoming class of conservative legislators as half-baked lunatics. But lost in that unbridled contempt is any acknowledgment of the potential of a certain Republican senator-elect from Kentucky to act as a sorely-needed boon to progressive causes. You'd hardly know it from all the handwringing, but Rand Paul – much maligned as the Tea Party's crazed kingpin – has actually opposed both the Iraq war and the Patriot Act with admirable consistency, denounced corporate welfare, questioned the premise of federal drug policy, called for meaningful cuts to defense spending, chastised his own party for supporting torture, and generally advocated a platform that is structured to impede the unwarranted exertion of government power. Once upon a time, that was the kind of thing progressives stood for.
Those on the left who reflexively conflate the Paul brand of libertarianism – embodied most robustly by his father Ron – with the aims of cynical theocrats like Sarah Palin or Jim DeMint not only abdicate any pretence of intellectual responsibility; they deprive themselves of a powerful ally. There's a reason why Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican establishment were spooked by the idea of Rand Paul in a GOP senate primary. He'll be a thorn in their sides for years to come and, along the way, likely foster a few schisms within an otherwise absurdly uniform caucus. This must be a positive development.
An anti-war Republican holding his party accountable and shaking things up in an institution mostly known for its insufferable stagnation? I fail to see the problem, especially when the alternative was the loathsome Blue Dog Jack Conway, who ran an ad suggesting Paul was not qualified for office on the grounds that he failed to demonstrate a sufficiently fervent worship of Christ.
Whole thing, including links aplenty, and the statement that "Paul the elder has done far more to advance and defend what I could consider progressive causes than your average milquetoast Democrat," here. Reason on Rand Paul here.