Rand Paul as Willie Nelson

The redneck/hippie coalition lives.


From Peter Weber in The Week, here's a lede after my own heart:

Rand Paul has managed to pull a Willie Nelson. In songwriter Bruce Robison's playfully deifying telling, Nelson moved to Austin from Nashville in the 1970s and, "like a miracle," gave "all the rednecks and hippies from New York City down to Mississippi" something to cheer about, side by side. The list of senators who stepped onto the Senate floor to help the Kentucky Republican keep up his nearly 13-hour, old-timey talking filibuster about President Obama's drone policy didn't include senators from New York or Mississippi, but it did encompass Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) among a supporting cast of Tea Party and establishment Republicans. The groups of people cheering him on outside the Senate defied the idea of an America polarized along strict partisan lines.

When Reason selected 35 heroes of freedom back in 2003, both Willie and Rand's father Ron made the cut. (Full disclosure: So did Dennis Rodman. Discuss.)

Bonus link: "The Hippie and the Redneck Can Be Friends."

Bonus video: This is for Lawrence O'Donnell.