Weekly Standard Finds Daylight Between the Pauls


If only he repudiates the Birchers!

Matthew Continetti has an interesting and respectful cover profile out on Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The gist of Continetti's thesis:

As founder of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, he is perhaps more associated with the movement than any other freshman Republican. He has led opposition to renewal of the Patriot Act, quoted Ayn Rand from his seat on the energy committee, called for $500 billion in cuts in discretionary spending this year, said that to believe in a "right" to health care "means you believe in slavery," and released a plan to balance the budget in five years. Not exactly a shrinking violet.

Yet Paul has a cool and pragmatic streak. He has a talent for networking, coalition building, and political maneuvering that—maybe you've noticed—many in the Tea Party and Ron Paul troop lack. While the substance of his positions is barely distinguishable from his father's, and his goal of "constitutional government" is entirely in accord with the Tea Party, Paul avoids the fiery jeremiads and utopian demands of his allies. He's willing to talk to and work with people who disagree with him. (Ron Paul's office did not respond to my requests for an interview.) He realizes that tearing the federal government apart is impracticable. "I'm for incremental change," he told me. […]

Funny penny

Whereas Ron Paul is a lone wolf, Rand has quickly developed working relationships with several other senators. Nor is his circle limited to conservative stalwarts like Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah. He's collaborated with Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. "Rand is incredibly practical and principled," Graham told me. "I have found him to be very engaged in trying to build coalitions. He is much more than just saying 'No.'" […]

For two years now Rand Paul has walked a tightrope between a particular strain of libertarian ideology and an agenda with broad appeal. So far he's avoided the temptations of both the fringe and the GOP establishment. The rewards will be great if he can keep his balance. Indeed, he could turn out to be one of the most important conservative statesmen in decades.

Lots of fresh quotes in there from Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty, and a telling little closing anecdote about choosing the right political magazines in life. Read the whole thing. My June cover essay on Paul here. interview below.

NEXT: Gary Johnson: "Everything We Do Has an Unintended Consequence"

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  1. Rand seems like a much more serious politician than his father. I could see him actually being President some day.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. Rand Paul is nothing more than a politician.

      1. Right! I hate assholes who author budget proposals that would run a surplus within 5 years. Any serious leadership would require balancing the budget in 60 years, no less….

    2. Someday? He needs to run now.

      Yes, yes, he’s only been in the Senate for less than a year but given how weak the field for the GOP is right now that’s not as much of a stretch.

      1. Right, blow his wad now. That seems wise.

        1. Wow, low blow. Attacking my medical problems now.

      2. I’d also much prefer that he spends his full first term in the Senate so that when he does run, he has a record upon which those of us with libertarian inclinations can truly judge his record and determine if he really is the broadly principled libertarian fusionist we’ve been looking for.

        1. Until then, we’ll get another term of Obama or (if we’re lucky) four years of Romney or T-Paw with Rand not being able to run till 2020.

          1. Romney or T-Paw will be lambs to the slaughter for Obama. Quite frankly, the more and more I look at the GOP field, the less and less I think anyone can beat Obama.

            Of the candidates remaining: Newt has too high unfavorables; Romney can’t win his own base because of Romneycare and therefore unable to attack Obama on that; Huntsman is unknown; Palin has high unfavorables and would be a dream to run against because she motivates such animosity on the left’s base; Cain has never held elected office; Santorum has never met a gay man he didn’t want to burn at the stake (but secretly wanted to be penetrated by him); Ron Paul could never win a general but would do wonders to reassert the classical liberal position in the GOP; Johnson could never win the nomination because he talks like a fag and his shit’s all retarded.

            The drop out of Daniels and Huckabee combined with the lack of running by Christie, Paul Ryan, etc. tells me that the GOP is conceding 2012 to Obama (who will likely select a new VP this cycle because I don’t think Biden is their ideal 2016 candidate). The GOP has its dream slate of candidates ready for 2016 when the shit is really hitting the fan. Christie, Rubio, Rand, and Paul Ryan are all potentially solid candidates, especially after letting this current administration fuck shit up even worse for another four years.

            1. I think you have analyzed the situation pretty well. I think the GOP should therefore focus on trying to win the Senate and hold the House.

              The problem is, I don’t think it’s possible to repeal ObamaCare with Obama still in the White House, but they have to do it now before it’s too late, even if he wins reelection.

            2. Quite frankly, the more and more I look at the GOP field, the less and less I think anyone can beat Obama.

              Yeah, because taking an economy that was headed for the ditch and driving it off a cliff instead makes any candidate virtually unbeatable.

              1. The question isn’t whether he “should” be beaten. It’s a matter of whether anyone can.

                Republicans are going to have to do a major education job of the public on why reform of entitlements is necessary, or else they will lose. Plus, they have to give up their warmongering ways. Plus, people may not trust Republican presidents in general after the Bush experience.

      3. Hey, Obama did it.

      4. Yes, yes, he’s only been in the Senate for less than a year but given how weak the field for the GOP is right now that’s not as much of a stretch.

        You know who else was a Senator for a short time before running for President?

      5. Shit, Obama (but I repeat myself) was only a Senator for 4.5 years before becoming President. When you look at it that way, the two years that Rand would have in the Senate between election and inauguration as President don’t seem so short.

        Although if we’re going to look at it that way, the guy who really needs to be running—because he’d win handily—is Chris Christie.

        1. Christie can only run if there’s a significant deadlock of some sort – maybe a 3 way rough tie between Romney, Pawlenty and Palin where it’s clear that 2/3rds of the party will be dissapointed with one of the three. Let’s hope that’s exactly what happens.

      6. Get serious, Tulpa. Who’s going to vote for a one term Senator just because they like his rhetoric and are sick of the idiocy of the ruling party and establishment in general?

    3. Rand seems like a much more serious politician than his father.

      I think you are confusing effective with serious.

      In either case Ron has been an elected Representative in the house for a pretty damn long time.

  2. Too bad he’s a racist for disagreeing with some sections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    1. Yeah, and his dad too!

      1. Let the Paul’s character assassinations commence in 3, 2, 1….

        1. He asked for it when he brought it up! (giggles)

          1. If you were even remotely attractive you would ask for it too.

        2. Why bother with a discussion of principles when it is so much easier to make personal attacks that stir up emotions?

          You get more effective results if you stir up emotions, because, unlike principles, emotions do not require any thought.

          Thought is hard.

          Much better to go with emotions.

    2. Don’t worry. If Ron Paul gets the Republican nomination, I’ll bring his racism up (along with his plan to ship all our industrial sector jobs overseas) every day until the general election.

      1. Nonsense.

  3. Yet Paul has a cool and pragmatic streak. He has a talent for networking, coalition building, and political maneuvering…

    Everyone knows that pragmatic is code for sell-out.

    1. I thought it was code for not ramming his foot into his mouth at every opprotunity like his father. Ron has an amazing ability to start out with a position I agree with and by the time he is finished talking, I’m convinced he is insane or retarded.

      Rand can take the same position and not screw it up.

      1. This is funny, but kind of true. To me, it’s more like when Ron says something new about the Fed or Israel or monetary policy, or whatever, I initially think, “Oh, my God, he’s too far out there!” But, after I think about it for a while, he makes a lot more sense. The problem is, the general public also is slow on the uptake to Ron Paul’s ideas. It takes a couple of election cycles with him running to become a true fan.

        1. Ah yes, the voter impression of style over substance. Ron’s very practical behind the scenes (when he’s securing the pork for his district), but voters only see the excited, shrill Paul when he’s fighting in public.

          What voters really want is Michael Douglas and goddamnit Hollywood has promised us.

  4. You know who else was “pragmatic”…

    1. woody allen?

  5. “The Weekly Standard” The magazine of choice for bible thumping warmongers!

  6. I might be wrong, but I’d get prepared for some pretty lame “Rand Paul Wears a Toupee” jokes from Bill Maher when Rand finally gets around to running for president.

    1. Or does Bill have the balls to call an ophthalmologist a retard?

      1. Bill Maher will call anyone who doesn’t tow the left’s lion a retard.

      2. Bill Maher calls the whole medical profession retarded on a pretty regular basis.

        Bill thinks people use to live 100s of years before all the “pollution” or whatever.

        Oh yeah and Bill thinks modern medicine is bullshit yet Bush is the Antichrist for not funding stem cell research.

        1. He’s also the second person most named when asked if they know any libertarians.

          The most named person being ‘libertaria what?’.

    2. Do you mean he has jokes that aren’t pretty lame?

  7. Here’s hoping he sits out the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. How perfect would it be for an eye doctor to run in 2020?

    1. He could still run in 2020 if he ran in 2016, and certainly would if he won.

      1. But there is one essential problem: in order to run in 2016, he’d basically be giving up his seat in the senate because he surely can’t run both campaigns simultaneously. His only option for running in 2016 is if there is an obvious change of winds in the republican party between now and then that removes what I call the libertarian impediment.

        His choice is 2012 or 2020. If he is smart, he’ll wait.

    2. Vote for the Opthamologist with a 2020 vision!

  8. According to a story I saw over the weekend, Huntsman likes to ride dirt bikes. That puts him head and shoulders above the throng of midgets cluttering the terrain.

    If I see him with a 1911 under his arm, I’ll swoon.

    1. I climbed Mount Everest, dude.

      Midget my ass.

  9. Uh, Ron Paul is not a lone wolf. He also “has a talent for networking, coalition building, and political maneuvering,” even though this author has seemingly never noticed.

    1. Somehow I never noticed either.

    2. except that he networks with alex jones.

  10. For two years now Rand Paul has walked a tightrope between a particular strain of libertarian ideology and an agenda with broad appeal.


    He just took office this year…less then 6 months ago.

    Was he walking the tightrope at his clinic before that?

    1. In order to win the election in very socially conservative KY, he had to walk that thin line.

      1. My complaint was not that he walked or walks a tight line…my complaint was to the duration of time he was supposed to walk it.

  11. I wondered why my eye exam seemed to awkward.

    1. ^ was supposed to have been “so awkward”.

  12. I climbed Mount Everest, dude.

    BFD, envirotourista.

  13. I love the crazy looking guy with the “End the Fed” sign with gold in his hand. Here we go again with the “were against all monoplies accept the bankster one.” or “You must be crazy if you want the freedom to make contract with what ever the seller and buyer choose”. Rand sponsored in the Senate the “audit the fed” bill as well as the “competing currencies” bill. He holds the same poistion as his father when it comes to honest money.The cover is misleading. Both Pauls also use Rothbard’s strategy of practical gradualism without hiding their principled beliefs. The only difference between father and son is that Rand is more articulate. I said it on one of these threads before, the Paul family has made libertarianism more mainstream using the Rothbard strategy than at any point in my lifetime. Koch brothers pushed Rothbard out mainly over the waterdown libertarianism strategy that the Koch brothers wanted to use. They should write “Rothbard was right” a hundred times on the CATO website and here.

  14. Why is it that, no matter when hearing the establishment on the right or left, anything other than this bloated, unaffordable government is branded utopian? I mean, the world is a complex place, but i know WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS!

    This is the reason to realize that the right and the left, the Republicans and the Democrats, are virtually indistinguishable on issues of real substance. No matter the campaign promises, the rhetoric, or even single-party government- fundamentals never change!

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