Rand Paul

Rand Paul Speaks to CPAC, Defends Filibuster, Constitution: "Liberty Needs to be the Backbone of the GOP"


Washington Post from the scene at CPAC with a summation of Rand Paul's talk there today–which I understand from twitter had at least one reference to not arresting non-violent drug users (a wan declaration that evades a whole lot about what's wrong with drug war enforcement):

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hit back at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during his speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, suggesting McCain's GOP is "stale and moss-covered."

Paul didn't actually mention McCain by name, but the reference was clear to everyone in the crowd after McCain last week labeled Paul and other members of the new generation of conservative Republicans "wacko birds."

"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered," Paul said. "I don't think we need to name any names here, do we?"

Paul also offered an extensive defense of his 13-hour filibuster last week….

"To those who would dismiss this debate as frivolous, I say tell that to the heroic young men and women who have sacrificed their limbs and lives," Paul said. "Tell it to Sergeant J.D. Williams … who sacrificed himself to save his fellow soldiers. Tell J.D., who lost both legs and an arm; tell him his sacrifice was great but that we had to suspend the Bill of Rights he fought for.

"Yes, the filibuster was about drones, but also about much more. Do we have a Bill of Rights or not? Do we have a Constitution or not and will we defend it?"…

Paul argued that the Republican Party needs to refocus itself on liberty.

"The Republican Party has to change, by going forward to the classical and timeless ideas enshrined in our Constitution," he said. "When we understand that that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then we will become the dominant national party again."

Twitter also strongly implies that Paul's reception was far heartier and more enthusiastic from the crowd than was Marco Rubio of Florida who spoke before him–a good sign for the Party's future.

I wrote yesterday on the 3 Problems Paul must face moving his political career and cause forward.

UPDATE: According to this on-scene report, much of the crowd stood through the whole talk in filibuster solidarity.

He plays the "resentment of those who hate us" card in attacking foreign aid (on Egypt specifically). Well, however you get people hating foreign aid, I guess.

Talks about the younger generation–"Facebook generation"–as being all for being left alone, individual liberty, and against putting nonviolent drug users in jail; and "hell no!" against crony capitalist bailouts.

And here's the video [Updated for better, more complete version]:

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  1. I heard the he entered the stage to the sound of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and left to the music of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.

    1. What, no Don’t Tread On Me?

    2. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper is a great song.

      1. But it dosn’t set *quite* the right mood.

  2. “There are millions of Americans, young and old, native and immigrant, black, white and brown, who simply seek to live free, to practice a religion, free to choose where their kids go to school, free to choose their own health care, free to keep the fruits of their labor, free to live without government constantly being on their back.”

    Hypothetically, probably right. Practically…I don’t know

    1. 2 millions is 1/150 of the US population. It probably reaches that threshold.

      1. There are more Americans in prison than that.

        1. Pretty sure most of them want to be free.

        2. Those crime rates don’t go down by themselves.

    2. I think he’s right, in a fantasy sense. Most people *would* rather not have to deal with governments, but government intrudes so much into our daily lives that we do have to deal with them. If governments did not have the authority to dick with us, people would find better things to do with their time.

      But right now, it’s often more profitable to influence government than run a better business.

      1. Watch what happens when you start either lowering or eliminating their checks.

        Americans are “freedom-loving” in the same farcical sense that politicians “serve the public” after attaining electoral office.

  3. the bigger change is with the American mindset which has become so expectant of big govt that it refuses to see fedzilla as this sclerotic beast incapable of doing anything well or efficiently. Dems are gonna be Dems; it will always be Momma State with them. Repubs have forgotten the small govt walk and no one really believes their talk of it. Rand’s challenge goes beyond CPAC or the GOP base to the broader electorate.

    1. This is what I’ve been saying for years. The challenge of the Movement now is a cultural one. We need to change the minds of people who view the government as an active good or at worst a passive necessary evil.

      Balko does Galt’s work in that regard, and the more we can show the inefficacy, inefficiency, and downright perfidy of the government at every level. Then we can start to focus on actual policy and politics.

      It’s nice that Rand is tilting at windmills and raising the libertarian(ish) position profile. But it ain’t gonna accomplish much on the Senate floor at this point.

      1. Balko does Galt’s work in that regard, and the more we can show the inefficacy, inefficiency, and downright perfidy of the government at every level. Then we can start to focus on actual policy and politics.

        Unfortunately, Balko is doing Galt’s work at the Huffington Post where every time he brings up the evils of the government, the mouth breathing scum who read HuffPo assume that, if it weren’t for evil Republicans, the Democrats could make government run so smoothly that those problems would go away.

        I think my favorite was when Balko wrote an article about police militarization in Mississippi and how it’s hurting citizens down there, and instead of deciding ‘police militarization is bad’ the HuffPo commenters learned the lesson ‘I hate southerners.’

  4. “stale and moss-covered.”

    That’s a polite way of saying it.

    1. “stale and moss-covered.”

      is a euphemism for

      “Can’t get it up”

    2. This is a mixed metaphor.

      Have you ever seen a rock that’s stale?
      A piece of bread that’s moss-covered?

      Rand Paul is raping me in the ear. Again.

      1. So this would be ok:

        The GOP is stale……
        The GOP is moss covered…..

        pick nits much?

  5. “He plays the “resentment of those who hate us” card in attacking foreign aid (on Egypt specifically). Well, however you get people hating foreign aid, I guess.”

    The funny thing, of course, is that “cutting foreign aid” (even though it is less than 1% of the budget) is ALREADY the thing MOST Americans are happy to cut. Granted, despite this, and despite the huge deficit, it’s never really cut. So maybe he’s making an argument the thrust of which is to actually cut it.

    1. The frogs will never cut foreign aid, its what keeps them alive on their over 50% of their time in office overseas.
      It keeps the Secret Service job easier and humping the local whores.
      The pols will never get rid of the sugar daddy coating they enojy while galavanting about the globe.

    2. Low hanging fruit and good politics, sort of like giving examples of how to keep the White House tours going. He has 3+ years to coerce support for his message and there’s no need to rush that. So far, it’s methodical pro-liberty messaging that doesn’t sting like an accusation. Brilliant, IMO

      1. Yeah, I can’t wait how it’s going to play when we start, you know, firing people en masse because the defense contract for their useless weapons system has been canceled…


    Damn you Rand Paul.

    1. A friend and I both said the same thing about his filibuster: that might be the first time in memory where, for a few minutes at least, I might have been positive about the job performance of Congress.

  7. Props to the guy that yelled out “Don’t drone me, bro”

  8. Don’t have time to watch right now – does he mention foreign policy at all?

    1. Other than foreign aid, no, and I think wise not to have that altercation right now.

  9. Recently rediscoved this Rand Paul on Libya video in response to POTUS on the eve of the intervention in 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrrV_Txg47Q

    How right he turned out to be! President Obama and the Neo-con? Well: http://abcnews.go.com/Internat…..d-18718939

    Notice the constitutional themes that supported his filibuster are presaged in the Libya response and how hewing to the Constitution too would have saved us from the mess in Libya.

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