Rand Paul

Rand Paul's Hipster Outreach Mofo Party Plan

|

Via Dan Foster of NRO and James Poulos of Forbes comes word of Sen. Rand Paul's recent trip to New Hampshire to spread a much-needed message of inclusion to Republicans. As this appearance and recent showings in Iowa and elsewhere attest, Paul is openly testing the waters for a presidential run in 2016.

From the USA Today account of the Kentucky Republican's spiel:

"The main thing is not to talk about me so much but about how to grow the party," the senator told a press conference before the dinner.

And that is what he focused on at the podium.

"We need to be like the rest of America," Paul told the gathering. "We need to grow bigger. If you want to be the party of white people, we're winning all the white vote."

"But we're a diverse nation," he said, to a crowd that was almost entirely white. "We're going to win when we look like America. We need to be white, we need to be brown, we need to be black, we need to with tattoos, without tattoos, with pony tails, without pony tails, with beards, without."

More here.

While I've been critical of some of Paul's recent comments to an audience of Christian conservatives in Iowa, there's little question in my mind that he is potentially the most transformative national politician on the scene. Between his glorious filibuster, his foreign policy speech at Heritage, his dialogue with students at historically black colleges such as Howard in D.C. and Simmons in Louisville, and his great "free minds and free markets" speech at CPAC, no figure in either party is laying down a generally consistent and principled case for libertarian policies at the federal level.

That he is openly exhorting the Republican party to open itself up to tattoo-wearing, ponytail-rocking, multi-ethnic folks is all to the good. As I noted after Glenn Beck's September 2010 rally, the crowd there looked like the America that shops at Walmart—and that's not a dig. Tattoos, piercings, and skulls are worn with American flag pins and shirts and ultra-casual fashions everywhere. If the GOP can't embrace not just the ethnicizing of America but the gothicizing and ZZ-Topification of America, it's done.

Forbes

On a political and ideological level, the Rand Pauls and Justin Amashes and Tom Massies of the Republican Party are at their most powerful when they envision a federal government that does less in economic and social life. They are not nihilists but radical decentralists who think that classical liberal and libertarian ideals are all about creating a basic framework in which different people and groups can peaceably get on with the business of living the good life as they define it (this of course was precisely the message that underwrote Ron Paul's immense appeal, especially among younger people). The ideal America under such a plan is one in which people are constantly running their own experiments in living and learning and adapting from one another. Top-down controls and uniform appearance in style and skin are equally incompatible in such a world. 

Forbes' Poulos makes some very interesting and funny points about what he dubs semi-ironically as Rand Paul's "crash hipster outreach project." Read the whole thing, but here's the conclusion, which speaks to how a looser, more explicitly libertarian GOP is a legitimately interesting undertaking:

…it's not very surprising to me that the hipster outreach pitch is being made by the son of the guy whose most ardent supporters are still unironically calling for a Love Revolution. You can laugh at the "Paultards" all you want, but I tell you this: America could use a lot more citizens calling unironically for a radical infusion of love into our public dealings. And if Republicans don't figure out how to get on board with that project, they'll find that in short order they're feeling very little love indeed.

Democrats and their partisans in the press have been digging the intra-party fighting among Republicans of late—the Angry Birds vs. the Wacko Birds dust-up between establishment pols and the more-libertarian wing of the GOP. That's understandable, because it plays into a comforting narrative of the Party of Lincoln as practically about to go out of business. I prefer to read the in-fighting as a sign that the Republican Party still might have a future (especially if it embraces a libertarian outlook). And at the very least, at the Republicans are talking about what they stand for in a meaningful way. What is the Democrats' game plan after Obama, who has been just a big disaster for his party as George W. Bush was for his? Who are the next generation of Democratic leaders, either in statehouses or at the national level? The GOP may not be particularly vital, but compared to the Democrats, you can easily pick out a dozen figures who have a pulse and are under 60 years old. You turn to the Democrats and there's nobody that comes to mind.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

90 responses to “Rand Paul's Hipster Outreach Mofo Party Plan

  1. If he gets endorsed by fake mustaches I am not voting for him.

    1. You’ll do as you’re told.

      1. Abby. I can see what your saying… Billy`s st0ry is exceptional, last tuesday I bought a gorgeous Infiniti when I got my check for $7928 this-past/five weeks and-just over, 10 grand this past month. it’s definitly the coolest job I have ever had. I began this five months/ago and pretty much immediately startad earning at least $70 per-hour. I use the details on this website…. grand4.com
        (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

        1. (And afterwards, click on “Allow changes to my security preferences” to take full advantage of the offer)

    2. “I liked Rand BEFORE he got popular, but now he’s just sold out.”

      In other words, you’ll pull a hipster maneuver over endorsement by libertarian hipsters? How ironic.

    3. or fake glasses like NBA posers were doing for a period.

      1. Fake glasses are acceptable as long as they’re attached spring loaded eyeballs and a rubber penis nose.

  2. “no figure in either party is laying down a generally consistent and principled case for libertarian policies at the federal level.”

    Rand Paul is anything but consistent.

    1. someone talking about liberty scares you. Got it. Maybe he should start claiming to know nothing about anything like POTUS does.

      1. Just the opposite. He’s vocally opposed drug legalization. His fielding of questions at Howard was embarrassing, with statements like “it’s not like I’m against student loans” and “I believe in a government that spends what it takes in.” He wouldn’t defend himself on Rachel Maddow’s or at Howard when questioned about whether he his against the portion of the Civil Rights Act that basically bans private acts of discrimination. He is either 1) not a libertarian or 2) too much of pussy to defend libertarian views. I think it’s the latter, which makes him worse in my mind because he essentially plays along with the media demonizing of libertarian viewpoints and tries to dodge certain questions.

        http://www.dailypaul.com/28160…..of-liberty

        1. Or he is the flip side of Obama: lying his ass off about his true beliefs so he can get his hands on the power to smash the State.

          That’s the only way political change happens: someone lies their way into power and then does what they secretly wanted to do all along.

          1. I certainly hope so, but I am becoming increasingly skeptical of that. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is one of the better politicians we have in the federal government (I like Justin Amash and Mike Lee better), and I used to think that I would support Rand as an imperfect step in the right direction, but I am very uncomfortable with the fact that too often he doesn’t even attempt to defend the principles of liberty and even cedes to his opponent, practically bowing to them.

            1. I mean Ron tried telling the truth to people for decades. Didn’t work.

              The only way is to get to the Oval Office, and then tear down the whole temple from the inside.

              1. I don’t find it difficult to hold my own libertarian beliefs and support a liberty leaning Republican, especially against a field that will contain Chris Christy and, then if one makes it that far, Hillary Clinton. Yes, I tire of choosing the lesser evil and not voting for someone that reflects my opinions on liberty, however, I’m willing to back anyone that may disable at least some of the Federal State.

              2. One thing that turned me into a Ron Paul booster was that he told the truth as he saw it regardless of who he was talking to. Whether I agree with what he says or not, I have to respect that integrity.

                Can we trust Rand if he chooses to say one thing and do something different – even if you agree with that different thing? And how long do you plan on believing that: “any minute now, he’s going to take of the socon mask and be a libertarian!”

                1. Is he more or less libertarian leaning that the rest of the likely field? And the alternative that may have an actual shot of doing something even remotely libertarian is who?

                  Perhaps I’m buying into a new false choice, that’s a fair argument.

            2. He’s in the top one percent of Senators, so that’s a good start.

          2. Or he is the flip side of Obama: lying his ass off about his true beliefs so he can get his hands on the power to smash the State act just like every other politician.

          3. someone lies their way into power and then does what they secretly wanted to do all along.

            OR one runs a campaign of education, and convinces voters that their best interests lie elsewhere. This is a long term effort, but if you can pull it off, you end up with a movement.

            1. His dad did that. He’s trying a different strategy.

          4. “That’s the only way political change happens: someone lies their way into power and then does what they secretly wanted to do all along.”

            I disagree. After 30 years (I voted for Ed Clark in 1980) I’ve come to believe that political change comes from the bottom up, not from the top down. Lew Rockwell is right when he says that the state operates with the consent of the governed.

        2. He is either 1) not a libertarian or 2) too much of pussy to defend libertarian views. I think it’s the latter…

          Or it could be something much simpler: he wants to actually win the presidency some day, and like it or not, any argument that he makes against the CRA’s ban on private discrimination will be spun by the left-tard media as “OMGZ, RAND PAUL HATEZ TEH BLACKS!!11!!!” Hell, that’s pretty much what they tried to do in 2010, and he’s lucky it didn’t cost him the election then. And he was “only” running for Senator. When/ if he runs for prez in 2016 it will only get worse.

          Like it or not, but pretty much anyone who actually wants to WIN a presidential election can’t express full on libertarian ideas and win.

          1. I’ve had success with framing it the other way around:

            “Do you agree that a gay bar should be allowed to prohibit straight people?”

            “Do you agree that a black barbershop should be allowed to refuse service to whites?”

            “Do you believe that female only gyms should be allowed to operate?”

          2. I hear you. I just bothers me that we basically just give the libtards “OMGZ, RAND PAUL HATEZ TEH BLACKS” instead of standing up to them and making a principled argument to the contrary. I think all of this cowering in fear is hurting the cause and ceding victory to the other side. I’m also not so ready to give up on humanity to believe that just because some MSNBC libtard cries “racism” as a form of argument, that that necessarily means everyone will just buy it. I understand the flip side, and I certainly hope that Rand Paul works out like everyone else is saying.

            1. Sheep bleat. It’s what they do.

              If he gets elected, at the very worst case scenario he won’t create any new giant federal programs. He might even be able to make things a bit better.

              1. There are considerably worse case scenarios, starting with getting into office and pulling a Bush “humble foreign policy” or Obama “most transparent EVAH” turnabout, thus discrediting actual libertarians by association.

                Not saying that would happen, but “very worst case scenario” doesn’t mean what you think it does.

                1. If you seriously believe Rand Paul might pull a George Bush when it comes to foreign policy you haven’t paid any attention to his speeches or writings.

            2. “I just bothers me that we basically just give the libtards “OMGZ, RAND PAUL HATEZ TEH BLACKS” instead of standing up to them and making a principled argument to the contrary.”

              The job of a politician is not to make a good argument, but to do the best possible policy.

          3. Like it or not, but pretty much anyone who actually wants to WIN a presidential election can’t express full on libertarian ideas and win.

            Yet.

            But, that should be the goal.

            1. Reagan sounded a lot like a Libertarian. Unfortunately he didn’t govern like one.

              1. In defense of the Gipper, the reality is you still have Congress to deal with. I think he did alright, considering.

                Libertarian leanings, perhaps, which is better than nothing.

                1. His predecessors provide a sliding scale on which he looks like an ancap.

                  1. As do his successors, actually.

            2. I agree. But what better advertisement for libertarianism than a boom created by moving just modestly in that direction?

              1. Exactly. And all the left had was “Reagan caused homelessness!”

          4. Well said Loki!

        3. it’s not like I’m against student loans

          Whats wrong with student loans?

          Its government backed student loans that are the problem, not student loans.

          1. Government backed student loans is what he was referring to. He was answering a question from a student saying that he wanted a government that would give him student loans.

            1. America’s socialist education system has produced generations of dumb asses.

              Rand could have explained to the kid that student loans, however well intentioned, only have the result of increasing tuition, leaving kids worse off than they otherwise would have been.

              And the kid would have heard “I hate edumacation, especially for N****ers!11!”

              The only way to effect real change is by subterfuge and then let the positive results speak for themselves.

              1. Exactly. Hell, a four year moratorium on stupid regulations would create a boom economy. Which they can’t fucking argue against.

        4. It’s called “trying to not scare away off the conservatives”.

        5. So, because he’s only willing to go 20 degrees in favor of freedom, rather than 65 degrees, we shouldn’t favor him, even though everyone else is talking going 65 degrees in favor of less freedom.

          1. Let me see if I can clarify. Even if Rand Paul is guilty of all of the pro-statist, big government stuff he’s tagged with, that would still make him, hands down, the most libertarian president in my lifetime. Bar none. In fact, he’d probably wind up the most libertarian president since Coolidge.
            That would produce a boom. That would bring libertarianism into the public discourse with something other than a sneer.

    2. Consistent or not, he’s the closest thing to a Libertarian there is that has a chance to become President so you Libertarians need to wake up and support him.

  3. If the GOP can’t embrace not just the ethnicizing of America but the gothicizing and ZZ-Topification of America, it’s done.

    My guess is there are too many dog-in-the-manger types in the upper echelons who would rather see the Republican Party go the way of the Whigs than allow those mongrels a seat at the table.

    1. They’re Nihilists Donny.

      1. Shut the fuck up, Donny.

        1. It really ties the room together.

      2. Fair!? Who’s the fucking nihilist here

  4. Rand Paul is anything but consistent.

    I find some of his recent statements to be disappointing, but I don’t confuse “agrees with me on everything” with “consistent”.

    1. Principally consistent, then. He doesn’t offer a “consistent and principled case for libertarian policies” like Gillespie was suggesting.

  5. “What is the Democrats’ game plan after Obama, who has been just a big disaster for his party as George W. Bush was for his? Who are the next generation of Democratic leaders, either in statehouses or at the national level?”

    Martin O’Malley. He left Baltimore a smoking ruin (impressive, considering how bad it was when he got there) and he’s shat all over the civil liberties (not to mention economy) of Maryland as governor. His administrations are noteworthy for not only the amount of graft and nepotism that have infused them, but the degree to which no one seemed to care. He’s the kind of guy who could only get elected in Maryland. But, hey, he has an irish rock band and plays guitar, so there’s that.

    You’re welcome.

    1. PS. If you don’t know who he is:

      http://tinyurl.com/nd9q3z4 (National Review)

      http://tinyurl.com/p5dkupa (Wikipedia)

      Google him, and tremble.

      1. If you just didn’t use tinyurl you wouldn’t have to tell us what the site was.

      2. He appears to have already been anointed by several publications (and to some degree his own party) as the next “one”

    2. There’s also Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts. He’s got the massive spending, government control of everything, and tax the crap out of anyone with any money until you chase them the hell away thing totally down pat. Not to mention he presides over a warren of corrupt bureaucats and career pols. So, he’d be the perfect successor to Obamao! Plus, he’s also black, so anyone who opposed any of his policies would still be accused of mere racism.

      1. Patrick is a moonbat. After the bombings, he had the audacity to claim the bombers had a right to privacy. Also, dude is a typical liberal when it comes to crime and defends the EBT mess costing the state millions. Google ‘Annie Doukhan.’

        So yeah, he’s a natural fit.

        But hey, Massa. voters are soooo educated and they sure love their liberal masters. They get what they deserve and doesn’t seem to matter one bit.

  6. You turn to the Democrats and there’s nobody that comes to mind.

    Hillary 2016, because we need a woman president, and Rand Paul is a kooky libertarian. Unfortunately that will be enough for alot of people.

    1. No way. She makes my late grandmother look young and vital.

    2. If Hillary runs for President in 2016, the GOP will use her connection to the Bengazi scandal to destroy her. Surely she’s smart enough to realize that and bow out gracefully.

      1. Smart enough? Probably, but she’s more than egotistical enough to override her gut instinct. No doubt she feels she was robbed in 2008, and 2016 will finally be her turn.

      2. regardless of IF it should destroy her, it won’t. not by then. she might not run for other reasons -part of me think she’s just tired with it all- but politically that’s a minor annoyance rather than something damaging come 2016.

    3. There also seems to be a strong group inside the Dems who are pushing for Elizabeth (?) Warren from Mass. They seem to be the “we want a woman president but we hate the Clintons” wing of the party.

  7. If Rand has to lie to get elected can he still be an effective leader for change? I know President Obama has broken many promises but he gets cover from the press. If Rand tries to end the WOD after saying he is against legalization won’t he be torn apart by those he lied to and the media?

    1. Fuck ’em. The left has won because they ram shit through and never every back down.

      Get it done.

      1. Also, they’ve convinced the entirety of non-white Americans that all Euro-descended U.S. citizens are pretty much in the Klan.

        1. …and that racist or prejudicial behavior against them is ‘not the same’ as what blacks endured.

          50 shades of racism – apparently.

    2. No, because he’ll never have the Legislative support to get it donme.

  8. Cory Booker has a pulse, but other than him, I am coming up blank

    1. I don’t know, there’s a semi-libertarian movement afoot in Team Blue too — Polis, Wyden, Udall, etc., that actually seem to take civil liberties seriously. Will they actually take on more of a leadership role? If the Democrats’ fall is seen as due to their hypocrisy on these issues (with drones and AP-gate and Holder’s WOD and so on), it could happen, I guess.

  9. … with vestigial tails, without vestigial tails.

    … with conjoined twins, without conjoined twins.

    Etc.

  10. Rand Paul is a tool. Rand Paul is a pig. Rand Paul is the GOP Obama. The sooner you figure that out the better off you are.

    1. Wow…what a well argued point that was.

  11. It’s not about not dissing people’s looks, Rand. It’s about not busting them for weed. Or does your federalism stop there?

    1. Your preening is insufferable.

      It’s about “spreading the wealth around.” You were alive and non-deaf in 2008, right?

      1. P.S. – I am second to no man in my love of dope and my hatred of the Drug War.

        1. I’m not a lover of dope but I still hate the drug war. I don’t see the two things as related. Were all those who wanted to repeal Prohibition alcoholics? I’m sure they weren’t, although the pro-Prohibition forces probably believed they were.

  12. He is either 1) not a libertarian or 2) too much of pussy to defend libertarian views.

    Last I looked he had an “R” tagged to him not an “L”. He is attempting to pull the Republican Party in a libertarian direction. I suppose he’ll be a total failure if he doesn’t convert 100% of them into Libertarian Party purists, overnight, huh?

    I know most people can’t play a long game, they want what they want and they fucking want it NOW. Grow up child, the world doesn’t work that way.

    1. Noone said anything about expecting a libertarian utopia now. However, if the movement is going to gain any traction, then attacks on the principles of liberty should be defended with confidence. Otherwise, it is simply assumed by the public that he is backing off because he knows he’s wrong, and the other side wins. Backing away from an argument because you’re scared of how you might be portrayed only hurts the cause. It doesn’t help it, not even in the long run.

  13. The way I see it, Rand Paul is at the very least closer to the Libertarian position. The arguments I heard to support Romney in ’12 were asinine. An argument to support Rand can at least hold some water. In the primaries, why not? If he makes it through that, I’d say in states that are a given to the Dems should vote for the Libertarian candidate. There are states that will be closer, and in these states (you know who you are) the arguments to vote for Rand should be entertained.
    I’m not sure how I really feel about Rand. I honestly really liked Ron, especially for his total honesty in his views. They were articulated and defended well. Rand seems a little off in that regard, but I don’t like to make it a comparison. They are different people.

  14. like Christopher implied I’m alarmed that anybody can earn $7398 in a few weeks on the computer. did you see this site link… http://www.up444.com

  15. Well how can Rand (or anyone) be for smaller government and then find a way to please evangelicals? I don’t see how it can happen since evangelicals are sure firm supporters of big government and theocracy.

    1. Tell them what they want to hear, then do whatever you want when you’re in office under the assumption/reality that 95% of voters don’t pay attention to anything other than rhetoric and charisma.

      Obama killed an American child and got re-elected, for God’s sake. I think Rand can get away with kissing a little Christian ass and convincing those Nascar-loving, waterbed-sleeping bacon eaters that he’s one of them.

  16. my roomate’s step-sister makes $65 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 9 months but last month her pay check was $21459 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site… http://www.Taz1.com

  17. Funny, I was just listening to that album in the car yesterday. Ah, the Special Secret Song still makes me smile.

    Yes, I’m old. I still call them “albums.”

  18. Grabbing my guitar to get ZZtopified!

    BTW try playing “Jesus Just Left Chicago” over any of Obama’s vile teleprompter spew, whether it’s about the IRS or the tornado. It works.

  19. I’ve got a working theory on presidential politics, but I’m not quite convinced of it yet. Can someone tell me if/where I’m going wrong?

    The basis of my theory is that Bush was the best thing to happen to the Dem party, and that Obama is the best thing to happen to the Rep party. IOW, it seems that the average pol should like it better when the opposition in in the Whitehouse.

    Am I right or wrong here? Because as much as I like my theory, it seems that if you believe what they say (sic) the pols truly do want to have “their” guy in the Whitehouse. Comments?

    1. I think it depends on your perspective. I’m assuming you’re talking about the legislative branch. In that case, if you’re particularly seeking some legislative goal, you want your guy in the White House. If you’re seeking to keep your seat, you’re probably better off with the other party.

  20. The ideal America under such a plan is one in which people are constantly running their own experiments in living and learning and adapting from one another.

    Pretty much this. I prefer my hipsters to serve me my coffee and maybe run a stand at my farmer’s market. If they would stay the hell out of the rest of my business, I’d have no problem with them. But neither they nor anyone else actually does stay out of my business, and therein lies the problem.

  21. my best friend’s sister-in-law makes $67 an hour on the internet. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her payment was $21287 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more… http://www.Taz1.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.