Rand Paul

Rand Paul in Berkeley

It doesn't roll as trippingly off the tongue as "Ted Cruz in Takoma Park," but...


This week in left/right/libertarian convergence: Sen. Rand Paul visits Berkeley. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Jennifer Rubin chimes in to suggest that Paul is insufficiently Reaganesque on the issue of People's Park.
Berkeley Barb

Cheered by a youthful audience in one of the country's most liberal enclaves, Sen. Rand Paul—one of the Republican Party's leading contenders for the White House in 2016—delivered a scathing rebuke to the U.S. intelligence community Wednesday, calling it "drunk with power."

"I don't know about you, but I'm worried," the Kentucky senator told 400 people who filled a hall at UC Berkeley's International House. "If the CIA is spying on Congress, who exactly can or will stop them?"

Paul's comments come one week after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of illegal computer searches intended to hinder her Intelligence Committee's probe of alleged U.S. torture of terrorism suspects.

Paul said Feinstein's allegations had shaken Washington. "I look into the eyes of senators and I think I see real fear," he said. "I think I perceive fear of an intelligence community drunk with power, unrepentant and uninclined to relinquish power."

He said he had told Feinstein, "'Great speech, everybody is talking about it.' I hope she will stand up, not let the CIA push her around, not let the NSA push her around."

For more coverage, read the San Jose Mercury News here and the Washington Post here. At different points in his speech, the papers report, Paul said the GOP should expand its tent on social issues, called for a new Church Committee to investigate the national security state, threw in a reference to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and suggested, in a line that I suspect we'll be hearing more about, that it's "ironic that the first African-American president has without compunction allowed this vast exercise of raw power by the NSA," given the government's surveillance of the civil rights movement.

Update: Here's a video of the talk:

NEXT: Isn't it Ironic: Government Surveillance Version (with Remy)

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  1. So, who’s got the video of this talk?


    1. Youtube – search term “rand paul berkeley”

    2. So, who’s got the video of this talk?

      I just added it!

      1. Customer service!

      2. Wow, the squirrelz actually allowed it!

  2. Nothing is inhibiting these agencies. Nothing. The heads are as corrupt and self-serving as the bureaucracies they lead. The various committees all look like yes machines hiding behind mists of confidentiality. I wonder if these select, special, and standing committees were originally designed to usurp the will of the people. To condense power if you will and to deflect under the guise of secrecy the machinations of decades of unchecked corruption.

  3. NSA knows who the Senators are having sex with, where they are having it, the positions they like and what infections they’ve contracted. NSA for the win.

    1. Where do you think I get my information? Did you think I was just making all that nightmarish stuff up?

      1. Frankly, yes. But I always respected you.

      2. I…I…am somewhat disappointed and a little relieved.

  4. The I-house, eh? I lived on that block. I wish there was someone like Rand Paul when I went there…

  5. I got invited to that talk, but the thought of an hour drive and the madness of Berkeley turned me off. Plus, unlike the kids at that theme park I have to work for a living.

  6. Who’s the nine year-old introducing Rand?

    1. His introduction orphan?

      1. No, I’ve seen his regular introduction orphan. This one looks different.

  7. Whenever I meet a young Berkeley grad, I always go, “Ahh?!…. Robert McNamara’s Old School. How nice.”

    It was funny the first few times I did it because the kids were smart enough to grok the implied irony.

    The last 2 went, “Macna-who?”

    1. I’m surprised any remember or know. But McNamara’s on their side now. So it’s all good.

      1. McNamara was a Democrat, so even if he did really horrible, bad, evil things, it was okay because his intentions were good. It wasn’t like he was Nixon.

        1. McNamara was a Republican.

          1. He was both. He changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in the late 70s. Having said that, he did server on the cabinet of two Democratic presidents, so it’s easy to see how people would associate him with that party, during the Viet Nam war era.

      2. Well… right now he’s been dead for five years.

  8. I tried to go but had a doctor’s appointment. Stupid recurrent atrial flutter…:(

  9. Rand Paul’s continued efforts to build his brand and prepare his campaign are impressive. Linking the NSA surveillance and his efforts to right it to the civil rights movement is a brilliant tonic for his problems regarding the Civil Rights Act.

    1. +or- the percentage change of the minority vote that a candidate Paul would actually receive in a general election?

  10. The Senator’s speech in Berkeley was not a bit of retail politicking, so true purpose noted.

    But of the 400 people in the room, in a hypothetical Clinton | Paul contest how many will (after much internal deliberation…surely) end up voting for Mrs Clinton?

    275 or so?
    Paul would get about 50?
    With balance going to either the Libertarian candidate or more likely the Green candidate.

    1. I don’t know. The one who says “NO MORE WAR” wins, as far as I can see. Of course we all know that he or she upon winning the election would immediately attack 3 or 4 small countries, but claim you can’t technically call that war because….well because, that’s why….because he or she didn’t get Congressional approval first, which makes it a mission, not a war. But….that is besides the point.

  11. Ron Paul said it, “It’s none of our business!”
    The Libertarian creed is; if YOU (an individual human) want to go and fight for the rebels, or the established govt. go ahead.
    If YOU want to send them money, go ahead.
    Don’t use my tax-money to invade other countries–it is THEIR business to make changes, or emigrate somewhere else.

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