Rand Paul Shows Some Charm, for Festivus Grievance Airings and Against the Drug War and Peter King


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pre-working on that human touch stuff said to be so important to presidential candidates in these here modern times, as he uses his Twitter account for an alternately serious and comic "airing of the grievances" for Festivus, the invented holiday from Seinfeld.

He's pissed at bipartisan compromise that always adds up to more spending; at Senate policies that stifle debate; Federal Reserve policy that harms the poor and savers; at politicians who only selectively support the Bill of Rights; at D.C. parking restrictions and at people (like some of his staff) who tell him not to wear turtlenecks on TV.

A nice spinoff from the Twittering has been Paul engaging his Senate colleague Cory Booker from New Jersey for not retweeting him enough, giving Paul an opportunity to hype his own efforts at drug war reform, including mandatory minimum sentencing reform and industrial hemp legalization.

Late last week, one of Paul's presumptive opponents in a very likely presidential run in 2016, New York Rep. Peter King, helped remind Americans why it might be nice having a Rand Paul on their side by saying Paul has disgraced his office for such un-American acts as calling out National Intelligence director James Clapper for deliberately lying to a Senate committee.

This is exactly the kind of fight Paul can likely expect, from GOP primary opponents likely of greater importance than the hapless King. It was a mitzvah from King to get Paul primed for it. Paul running in Republican primaries will be in part a fight over tribal identity politics with the security state that mentally imprison too many Republicans, contrasting that ugly impulse with an actual wide-range belief in limited, constitutional government that respects Americans rights.

I am afraid it might be a harder fight than Paul expects, but look forward to watching the melee.