Rand Paul, the "Great No-Compromiser"?


Newly seated Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, on the Senate floor, pisses, refreshingly, on the grave of his 19th century predecessor Henry Clay, "the Great Compromiser," slamming him on compromising on the extension of slavery.

Sen. Paul also praises the great libertarian abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and Henry Clay's more abolitionist cousin Cassius. (The great Cassius Clay fight with the Turner Boys is also colorfully retold.)

While admitting that no current issue rises to the level of moral significance of slavery, he still thinks too much compromising over government debt is a dangerously bad idea. "We can cut money from the military," he says, while also calling on Democrats to cut domestic spending. Merely freezing domestic spending is not enough, and "will do nothing to avoid a crisis."

"As long as I sit at Henry Clay's desk I will remember his lifelong desire to forge agreement," Paul said, but will also remember Cassius's refusal "to forsake the life of any human simply to find agreement." Is it just a moral jumble to conflate compromise over slavery to compromise over government spending? Will the inevitable political compromises of a senator come back to haunt Sen. Paul? (He could have done more to stress the very serious and widespread societal damage that can result from a government collapsing under the weight of debt and its discontents, or attempts to inflate out of debt.) Regardless, this was interesting stuff to hear from the Senate floor.

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