Ron Paul

(Rand) Paul '16!


Business Insider with more on what people in and out of the Paul world have been guessing for a year or so now: that a Rand Paul presidential run in 2016 is seemingly in the works, with Rand visits to the vital early caucus state of Iowa.

And as I've noted elsewhere, Rand is showing a more sophisticated sense of needed alliance-building within the existing GOP culture and power structures than his father has shown:

Later this month Rand will return to Iowa — without his father — to deliver the keynote speech at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalitions spring rally — the most obvious indication yet that Sen. Paul has his own presidential ambitions.

"He loves Iowa," Sen. Paul's communications director Moira Bagley told Business Insider. "He's been out there so much, with his dad's campaign, so he's really comfortable and really happy with the people out in Iowa, and especially the evangelical groups."

In fact, Sen. Paul's overture to Iowa's social conservatives is evidence of a budding romance between the Kentucky Republican and evangelical leaders, most of whom have never been particularly taken with the elder Paul.  

Business Insider has learned that Sen. Paul has even been approached about a possible trip to Israel with Christian activist David Lane, a conservative kingmaker whose "Pastor Policy Briefings" helped launch Mike Huckabee's political star in 2008.

"Rand Paul is going to inherit his dad's political assets — he's going to be very formidable," Lane told Business Insider. "Structurally, there is something that is happening inside the state Republican parties that will have to be death with politically."

Lane added that the Paul message of fiscal conservatism and limited government dovetail with that of social conservatives, who increasingly see the federal debt as one of the country's biggest moral ills.

It's true and I've said it before–Christian conservatives should have been able to love Ron Paul more than they did, and I suspect for reasons of Rand's rhetorical skills, the rise of Paulite influence in the GOP and the truths of Paul's warnings about the costs of profligate government come home to roost, they will be more receptive to the Paul message in 2016 than they were in 2012.

Past Reason items on Rand Paul:

*Jim Antle on his Senate campaign from our May 2010 issue;

*Matt Welch on his book The Tea Party Goes to Washington from our June 2011 issue'

*Me from March on his surprising-to-some solidity on non-interventionist foreign policy.

My forthcoming book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired, discusses Rand as well.

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  1. […]have to be death with politically.

    Part of me hopes this is [sic] rather than a typo.

  2. Does anyone else here think Doherty has a thing for the Pauls or is it just me?

    Ron and Rand Paul are Top. Men.

    1. Didn’t he write a book about it, or something?

      1. He edited in a mention of the book. God bless you, Doherty.

        1. Man’s gotta eat…

    2. Ron and Rand Paul are Top. Men.

      Unless you really think that all people are interchangeable and no one individual can make a difference, this criticism is vacuous nonsense.

      1. this criticism is vacuous nonsense

        Right, because unlike the Top. Men. that anyone else would pick, these guys are actually the right ones for the job. You know, Top. Men.

        I think it’s vacuous nonsense to call a criticism that you don’t agree with vacuous nonsense. I happen to think that Ron and Rand Paul may very well be the best suited to run this current government at this current time. That doesn’t mean I like the government the way it’s currently structured.

        1. Also, the only Top. Man. that I would trust to run the government correctly is me.

        2. Like I said, if you think people are totally interchangeable, that’s your own ideology getting in the way of reality, and it’s your own problem.

          I happen to think that Ron and Rand Paul may very well be the best suited to run this current government at this current time.

          How does that square with your sarcastic-ass “Top. Men.” criticism? Do you think repeating “Top. Men.” over and over again offers substance, or is it a bumper-sticker way so you don’t have to think and actually consider the pros and cons of each candidate?

          1. Are you honestly trying to tell me that other people around here using the sarcastic-ass “Top. Men.” criticism are right because they’re right? Because Libertarian Top. Men. are actually the ones who really, truly could do it right?

            I think that anyone who is not me would not, and is under no obligation to, look after my best interests. Don’t get all pissy at me because I “attacked” your golden boys. My ideology is getting in the way of your reality, and that’s your problem.

            1. So, yes, you are saying that all politicians are exactly the same and it makes absolutely no difference who you elect. That’s the only way this “Top.Men.” criticism of yours works.

              The Pauls aren’t my “golden boys” – ask anyone around here – but what I am saying is that conceptually your criticism makes no sense unless you think they aren’t any better than the ‘rest of them’, and that’s basically setting your brain on cruise control so you don’t actually have to labor to think. It’s laziness.

              1. and that’s basically setting your brain on cruise control so you don’t actually have to labor to think. It’s laziness.

                So even though I have thought about it and reached my conclusions, the fact that they don’t agree with yours means I haven’t thought about it. In other words, if I don’t think like you think then I’m doing it wrong or not at all.

                I like your style Randian, it’s too bad you’re an idiot.

                1. Just say “yes, I think all politicians are completely equal” and be done with it already!

                  1. I don’t think all politicians are completely equal, I think some are less worthless than others.

                    Now, you should just say “anyone who doesn’t think like me is doing it wrong” and be done with it. I’ve been able to come to that conclusion pretty easily from your arguments but since we’re calling for outright admissions here, it’s your turn.

  3. I’m not buying that the SoCons are going to come around. They had a taste of power under Bush II and they aren’t going to settle for being second tier issues behind fiscal reform. Santorum is the perfect example of that.

    1. I’m not buying that the SoCons are going to come around.

      Me neither. If Romney loses, they will be convinced that Santorum would have won, and will be even more obstreperous and obdurate next time around.

      They simply aren’t libertarian-oriented. Like TEAM players, they oppose government only when it is used to pursue the other TEAM’s goals, but lurv them some government to pursue their own goals.

  4. Of course, for Rand to run in 2016 means Romney needs to lose in 2012. Romney winning would be a death-knell for libertarians on a national scale for the next decade.

    1. You sure? It might turn the GOP towards libertarians in the next 4 years.

      1. If the strategy of nominating a “moderate” like Romney proves electorally successful, it will be seen as the way forward as opposed to going back to the GOP’s (supposedly more libertarian) roots. IMO anyway.

        1. That is to say among the percentage of the Party that holds “power” over “principle”, which if we’re being honest is probably the majority among partisans on both sides.

        2. Agreed, a Romney win also likely means that 8yrs from now where likely to see another Dem in the White House or a President Rubio or Portman. The GOP is definitely not going libertarian under a pro-NDAA, pro-drug war, pro-TARP Republican President. Heck, if that was the case then Romney wouldn’t be the Presumptive nominee today because the party would’ve gone libertarian after Bush.

        3. Depends how bad the economy crashes and burns under Romney.

          1. If that’s the case then it’s 08 all over again, another Dem victory. Unless of course, Senator Paul challenges Romney for the nomination in 16. And I would be all for that scenario.

            1. Me too but Rand really hasn’t shown the willingness to buck the GOP establishment to that degree. It seems he was largely brought into the fold after meeting with Mcconnell following his primary victory.

              1. You mean like blocking bills that McConnell favors?

                1. That’s different than running against a sitting President from his own party. Especially one that Rand has already stated his willingness to support this time around.

              2. Yeah, a man can dream though.

                You see the wishful thinking here is that Romney will be so weak politically in 2016 that his party sends him packing in favor of someone else. Of course historically that rarely ever happens. Unless he’s at Truman level approval ratings, and by then we’d hope he’d step aside. And even if Romney were to lose the nomination the GOP since they control the White House and perhaps Congress, (2014 plays into this), then they’ll get the blame for the economic crisis. That’s just how American politics works in a two party system. So unfortunately for us, the only way we’ll see a President Rand Paul in 2017 is if the President he’s replacing on January 20th is Barack Obama.

                1. I agree that is the most likely outcome.

                  Rand runs in 2016 if Obama wins and 2020 if Romeny wins (with a 2016 primary challenge that fails to position himself as notRomney in 2020).

                  1. That is badly worded. The primary challenge fails, not the positioning.

                    1. Hm, I think a primary challenge to Romney in 2016 is a bad idea, depending on the exact circumstances, similar to what a Ron Paul independent run would be like in 2012. It would make the GOP seethe with hatred.

                    2. It would make the GOP seethe with hatred.

                      A few GOP insiders. 95% of the GOP wouldnt care, its just someone running. Especially considering Romney is not really very popular with most of the GOP, even today. Wait 4 years, it will be less so.

                    3. Needs moar COMMA.

                    4. You’re just jealous of my comma-nter powers.

              3. Are you stupid? Or just a troll?

          2. If the economy crashes and burns under Romney, will he blame Bush too?

      2. You sure? It might turn the GOP towards libertarians in the next 4 years.

        I can’t see any way in the world that’s possible. Romney winning would mean Team Red 24/7 for four years pushing right into the 2016 election, no matter what. Just look at what a disaster Obama has been, but Team Blue is going like gangbusters, no matter how many times he betrays them.

  5. “Structurally, there is something that is happening inside the state Republican parties that will have to be death with politically.”

    Death? Freudian slip perhaps? It seems apt.

  6. There is no case to be made for social conservatism as a political endeavor, even from a Christian perspective. SoCons seem to think that God wants our obedience, but the Bible says that, more than anything else, God wants our faith. Obedience may follow from faith, but faith will never follow from obedience, especially when that obedience is compelled with violence (i.e., by government). I’ve had some success with this SoCons with this line of argument IRL. Does anybody else have any other ideas?

    1. you cannot argue with most SoCons or followers of any other faith, for that matter, for a simple reason: religion, by definition, is exclusionary. You are either in or out. SoCons believe the Bible has supremacy over the Constitution; their actions and policy positions belie any belief in small govt.

      While they may have a point re: the moral character of the country, that is not something that can be legislated. Two things separate man from other living things: a conscience and free will. No other creature conceptualizes right and wrong, and we have drafted laws regarding such. Too many laws, but that is a different argument. The SoCons would submit that God, rather than man, is the final arbiter so any justice would have to wait till an afterlife, which only the devout believe in anyway. But that’s just me.

      1. I know that I’m not really arguing with you on this . . . just trying to flesh out where this argument might go, so with that in mind . . .

        The thing is, I am Christian, and I agree that the Bible has supremacy not only over the Constitution but also every other letter of law that we have. The Constitution and laws are worldly things. The Bible makes clear that this world is not going to be a sweet and easy place to follow Christ, and nowhere does it suggest that using government to make it so is an appropriate ambition for a Christian. The very fact that God is the final arbiter of justice and that those things are only resolved in the afterlife is exactly why the law and government are irrelevant tools to the Christian mission.

        1. “their actions and policy positions belie any belief in small govt”

          This doesn’t have to be true. For example, it’s quite possible to believe that adultry is bad and a sin, and to also believe that it’s no business of the government to regulate it.

          1. I think JJ is making a TrueScotsman argument that those people arent SoCons.

            I believe most of the things that SoCons believe, but I dont think there should be laws enforcing it. Does that make me a SoCon? Depends who you ask. I think JeopardyJackson would say no.

            1. I’d count myself with you, robc. I am not arguing that those people aren’t SoCons. I am making an observation that there is no Biblical foundation for the SoCon’s position that the moral dictates laid out in the Bible should be imposed by government or by any other manner of force.

              More generally, I’m trying to find out if anyone here has had any success with any line of argument with SoCons to get them to give up using government to impose their vision on others. Like I said earlier, I have met some SoCons that were receptive to the argument that I am laying out here.

      2. “SoCons believe the Bible has supremacy over the Constitution;”

        If only. I don’t see why it implies statism, though. If anything, I would imagine the belief that you owe greater allegiance to something higher than secular law (represented, typically, by your conscience) is fairly anti-statist.

  7. Every time people bitch about Bush II and socons I refer them to Kitzmiller vs. Dover, which was the case that once and for all ended any chance of creationism/Intelligent design ever infecting a federal decision over evolution in the classrooms.

    Judge John E Jones III, a lutheran conservative appointed by Bush presided over the trial and in his decision he wrote the single most damning account of why ID is not science and thus does not belong in a classroom to ever grace the court system.

    I’m not convinced that this decision would have been any better had it been a liberal judge presiding.

    I’m not defending socons at all, but I’m not as afraid of them as I am of liberal over reach.

  8. Lane added that the Paul message of fiscal conservatism and limited government dovetail with that of social conservative

    if Lane believes that, then he delusional. SoCons are the same in substance from liberals; the only difference is in the the aspects of one’s life that they seek to control.

    1. Lane added that the Paul message of fiscal conservatism in the form of cutting spending on Dem priorities in favor of spending on Repub priorities and limited government as applied to Dem priorities, not Repub priorities dovetail with that of social conservative

      Misplaced your decoder ring, wareagle?

  9. …and I’ve said it before–Christian conservatives should have been able to love Ron Paul more than they did, …

    It does not compute to Christian (i.e.: social) conservatives, since way too many of them cannot get beyond his non-interventionist foreign policy. It would prevent them from waging their war against Islam, which oddly enough runs counter to Jesus Christ’s teachings.

  10. Not that this will happen. But reading this, I thought of Romney getting the nomination, and Johnson going with Rand Paul as a running mate. Wonder what percentage of the vote they’d get.

  11. Personally I’m not in love with Rand’s stance regarding the warfare state. I’ll take a wait and see approach on him.

    I think Rand and some people propping him might be disappointed if they think all the support his father got will go directly to him.

  12. Rand won Kentucky, so he is able to attract the SoCons. It would be fun to see him executive order and signing statement the hell out of the Federal government his first months in office. Let the statists squeal like stuck pigs when a small government guy starts using them to roll back the reach of the Feds.

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