Rand Paul

Rand Paul Gaining on Hillary, Losing Among Tea Party Voters


More of this split-screen, please. |||

The Louisville Courier-Journal writes up a new Marist poll of interest:

First, the good news for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: he is gaining on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 presidential match-up.

Now, the bad news: Paul is behind some other contenders in support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and his standing in the tea-party wing of the Republican Party has eroded considerably. […]

Clinton leads former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 48 percent to 41 percent, tops New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 47 percent to 41 percent, and has a 48 percent to 42 percent advantage over Paul.

A Marist Poll in April showed Clinton with a 14-point lead over Paul, an 11-point lead over Christie and a 16-point lead over Bush. […]

Among tea-party Republicans, Paul enjoyed 20 percent support in Marist's April poll. Now, that has plunged to 7 percent. The new tea party leader is Cruz, at 15 percent, up from 6 percent in April.

Assessing these numbers, the Washington Post's Aaron Blake concludes that "It's time to stop calling Rand Paul a tea partier." Excerpt:

They're slowly catching up. |||

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is the most interesting man (or woman) in the Republican Party today. He is known as a staunch conservative on fiscal issues, but he's working with Democrats on criminal sentencing reform. He woos religious conservatives in Iowa, but he also flirts with a more libertarian stance on social issues. And as unrest continues in Ferguson, Paul said something no other Republicans are saying: That the "militarization" of police is harmful to African Americans. […]

While Paul is certainly aligned with the tea party on a lot of stuff, the label doesn't describe him as well as it does someone like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). An op-ed Paul wrote Thursday in Time magazine was just the latest example of that. The things Paul said in it are not the kind of things you would expect from a tea partier. […]

The trouble with Paul is that no well-known labels seem to fit him well. While his dad, Ron Paul, is a pretty straight-line libertarian, that's not really who the younger Paul is. He's not an establishment Republican, a neo-conservative, an arch-conservative or a moderate Republican.

We still don't know what label would be better than "tea party," but it's becoming clearer and clearer that this label doesn't really fit. Maybe he's just a Rand Paul Republican.

While I agree with Blake that the term "Tea Party" is largely amorphous these days, it may be premature to banish the author of The Tea Party Goes to Washington from the descriptor just yet. As I suggested in my June 2011 cover essay, "The Most Interesting Man in the Senate," part of Paul's project is to shape and define the Tea Party as being essentially anti-interventionist, in all senses of the term. That project is obviously ongoing, though he's arguably further along than he was three years ago, despite that recent poll-slippage. (I would also roughly sort the Tea Party blob into two camps: ideological [like Paul] and comportmental [like Ted Cruz].)

As for the best definition of Rand Paul's politics, I'd just go with something like "pragmatic libertarian Republican." With "pragmatic" indicating that–unlike his dad–he's actually running for president to win, and looking for legislative solutions within the constraints of modern Washington, as opposed to operating on a more consistently philosophical/symbolic level. The "Republican" modifier also meaning that, just like all the other GOP members of the "Liberty Movement," Paul is strongly anti-abortion and personally conservative, while de-emphasizing (on every issue except abortion) the federal government's role in acting on those beliefs.

Watch Nick Gillespie's recent interview with Rand Paul below the jump:

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  1. …and his standing in the tea-party wing of the Republican Party has eroded considerably.

    Yes, the nebulous tea party name needs to go away. It’s become a lightning rod for so much bad policy, both from characterizations from the press and from those self-identifying. (I don’t know which came first.)

    1. This label is fucked up compared to it’s general/(maybe) original connotation if Rand Paul isn’t absolutely killing it with that group of votres.

      1. Hardcore so-cons have taken to calling themselves tea-partiers.

    2. Also, Rand bailed on a Fundie-Nut gathering in Iowa this past week. He has to cater to them to win the GOP nomination.

  2. How in the fucking fuck can Hillary, with her record such as it is, be leading anybody? We really are doomed.

    1. It would be useful if all of these polls also asked respondents to fill out a short, factual quiz about the news of the past year. Include sports, pop culture, etc., not just politics.

      The point wouldn’t be to snicker at how poorly informed some people might be, but just to let us know what people are paying attention to. Because I wouldn’t be at all shocked if most people’s image of Hillary Clinton is a bit…dated.

      1. It would be useful if all of these polls also asked respondents to fill out a short, factual quiz about the news of the past year.

        No, it wouldn’t. The uninformed get a vote just like anyone else.

        1. He seems to be implying the value would be determining how to make people better informed for the future.

          1. Not even that, necessarily. I’m just curious.

    2. National polls are irrelevant because of the electoral college. If you look at swing-state polling it is much closer to a dead heat.

  3. Howzabout Rand is a “non-vomit inducing Republican”? That is distinctive enough, yes? And exclusive enough (thrown in folks like Amash in there too).

  4. Given how many libertarians I know who have dropped out of the “tea party” since last year, it isn’t surprising that RP’s support has dropped among self-identified tea partiers. The big hang up TPers have with him is almost solely with his non-interventionist foreign policy. Odd, isn’t it, that the only thing TPers think that big government is efficient at is “killing ’em there before they come here.”

    1. I don’t think civil liberties at home are too high on their list of concerns either.

      Also they are very anti-illegal immigrant and they hate Rand because even though he calls for a secure border he doesn’t think it is feasible to round up and deport millions.

  5. I doubt Paul is helped by the fact that every major talk show host hates his guts.

    1. *I doubt Paul is helped by the fact that every major talk show host hates his guts.*

      They hate all Republicans’ guts. What’s new?

  6. Rand Paul Republican

    How about just Rand Paul? I get why everyone feels the need to slap a label on just about everything, but it annoys the hell out of me. Just treat people as individuals.

    1. Well, he is a member of the Republican party.

  7. OT, but the politicization of absolutely every aspect of your life is getting disgustingly worse, with new a new app called BuyPartisan. Anyone using that app who claims that politics is about anything more than signaling can just fuck right off.

    1. It’s super annoying with dating millenials. Even if we agree on politics I still don’t want to talk to my girlfriend about it. That’s what I have the internet for.

      1. Correct. You should bore your date to death by talking about homebrew.

        1. Of the two, my wife and I talked much more about the latter during are dating phase.

          Of course, she isnt a millenial.

          1. s/are/our/

            My fucked up KY accent causes that, in case anyone wonders. Those are homophones in my dialect.

            I mistype them for each other way too fucking often.

            But at least I dont screw up lose and loose.

            1. I spent a few years in Atlanta and Chattanooga, so I recognize the are/our homophone when it occurs.

            2. ” Those are homophones in my dialect.”

              Look, whatever your phones want to do in the privacy of your brain is nobody’s business but theirs.

      2. You did online dating a little bit, right Auric?

        Did you list your political views? I’m on the fence about whether I should or not. On one hand, it might turn a lot of girls off because the media has been bad mouthing libertarians so much.

        On the other hand, there might be that one libertarian girl out there and the idea of having coffee with another libertarian might just seal the deal.

        1. Put your views on there unless you want to end up with some ignorant, overbearing, high-maintenance, liberal leech-woman.

          1. You are a credit to Libertarians everywhere! No wonder women flock to us!!!

    2. Don’t be so cynical; that’s app is genius. The money that comes from those companies and goes to politicians originated in our pockets. Isn’t it pro-democratic (small d) to increase the information available about such things?

      1. When John Kerry was running for president, my dad made my family stop buying Heinz ketchup.

        I’m not against do that, but it was uncomfortable how much politics had seeped into my life that I was selecting my ketchup brand based on it.

      2. “Tony|8.15.14 @ 11:26AM|#

        Don’t be so cynical; that’s app is genius.

        me too make smart Tony-talk some day

  8. But people keep ensuring me that the Tea Party is sincerely libertarian and totally not just a bunch of authoritarian socons pretending to be libertarians!

    1. I think it started off as based somewhat on libertarian principles until Sean Hannity ran to the front of the parade.

      1. Astute observation there. I hate to admit it too.

      2. Sadly, this.

      3. The Tea Party was always phony. The Democrats took over congress in 2006, and as 2007 went by, the big government conservatives wanted to go back to the old “tax and spend liberal” playbook, but completely lacked the credibility to do so after six years of “Compassionate Conservatism” and “The Unitary Executive”. Especially after Obama won the election, it was always a way for the usual suspects to put on a new hat and a fake mustache and pretend they had appeared out of nowhere and were absolutely appalled by everything what had happened before.

        Sure there were some actual libertarians around, but they were always just useful idiots who fell for the con.

        This was obvious to me almost immediately. If they were sincerely libertarian, they’d have gone to people who by that point had spent nearly a decade criticizing the republicans for their big spending ways and been “You’re right, we should have listened to you!”

        Instead most of the Tea Partiers either ignored pre-2007 libertarians or openly reviled them. Why? Because if you pointed out that people have been for smaller government for the long time, the public might question of why all the Tea Partiers only started caring about after the Democrats took over.

        1. I didn’t say they were true libertarians. I said they were somewhat based upon libertarian principles. Even if they didn’t know it.

          1. I have some sympathy with any group that opposes federal spending.

        2. This was obvious to me almost immediately.

          No, you just made this up immediately because you are a team blue concern troll.

      4. “I think it started off as based somewhat on libertarian principles until Sean Hannity ran to the front of the parade.”

        THIS. That’s the best description of the movement I’ve yet seen. I identified as Tea Party about 2009/2010, but not anymore. Tea Party now means having to be a so-con. Which I am not.

        BTW How someone like Sarah Palin is considered Tea Party (originally as it was seeming to me in 2009) is beyond me. She ran with McCain FFS Having to choose between McCain and Obama after dealing with idiot Bush was just a bridge too far for many of the original Tea Partiers.

        1. She as a fundamentally left-wing governor.

        2. *She ran with McCain FFS Having to choose between McCain and Obama after dealing with idiot Bush was just a bridge too far for many of the original Tea Partiers.*

          Ummmm, the Tea Party didn’t start until after the election. And there’s no way in hell that any “tea partier” would’ve chosen Obama over McCain.

          1. The Tea Party tax protests were April 2009 IIRC, so after the election. The problem was having to vote for McCain. Obama was a no-go obviously.

      5. Or was it Dick Armey who wrecked it?

    2. I may be True Scotsmaning it here, but it is.

      The authoritarians arent Tea Partiers, even if they say they are.

      While some disagree, the modern “tea party” began with the tea party moneybomb that Ron Paul did in December 2007.

      1. Words, particularly new words, have the meaning that popular usage says they do.

        The original tea partiers whose platform was purely focused on fiscal and monetary matters did a poor job of fighting for the term when every shitheel GOP politician was hopping out in front of the parade.

        1. Don’t forget that everytime they’ve been given the chance, the Tea Party has overwhelmingly favored people like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum over people like Ron Paul.

          1. Um, yeah. Because one Florida straw poll is representative of all Tea Party people all the time. Yep.

            1. I was thinking more all the 2012 Republican primary exit polling, actually.

              1. Rand Paul won in my state.

    3. My recollection is that it started as an anti-TARP revolt. Though it’s just a label that anyone can take for themselves, so to the extent it gained some trendiness on the right, it was inevitable that a second wave of posers would ride in claim it. Fashion and music have to deal with this phenomenon too. You just have to create a new thing, like the tea party before it sold out and went all corporate and mainstream.

  9. I really need to kill my infatuation with Rand; he’ll just break my heart in the end.

    1. “Put not your trust in princes, unless they’re your pallbearers.”

      1. Isn’t that what the Cleveland Browns are for?

        1. No, I think you mean the Minnesota Vikings

  10. The Tea Party originally looked to the rebellion against unfair taxation for inspiration. The Tea Party was subsequently taken over very quickly by every pissed off Republican that wanted to eject any elected Republican that was willing to compromise with the evil Democrats.

    So the Tea Party level Rand behind, not the other way around.

    1. The original tea party is a perfect metaphor for the modern day movement. They broke onto a privately owned boat and destroyed privately owned property in supposed “protest” of the government.

      Their great about defending THEIR rights. But if you’re not someone they consider “one of us”, you have no rights and they’re free to trample all over you in pursuit of whatever it is the mob has decided it wants.

      1. I think that’s oversimplifying what happened. The East India Company wasn’t exactly private, and many of the importers were involved and actually turned down payment for the destroyed tea. If I’m remembering correctly.

      2. That’s an extraordinary understanding of the economic pressures the the colonists were facing. That “privately owned” property was the product of decades of rent-seeking cronyism that characterized British economic policies toward the colonists and that privileged British interests over colonial ones.

        There comes a point when it’s no longer reasonable to distinguish between the state and nominally private institutions who operate only because they’re favored by the state, as is the case today with the Federal Reserve or Freddie/Fannie.

        1. There was sources of non-taxed tea in the colonies. The SoL’s main concern in the Boston Tea Protest is that the EITC’s tea would undercut the smuggled tea and that people would buy it instead. So they conspired to destroy the tea before that happened. That is, they were afraid other people would make a personal choice the SoL didn’t like, and they used violent force to make sure those people were compelled to make the “right” choice.

          Arguments can be made as to how justified they were, but regardless it was hardly a shining example of the defense of individual liberty. Rather it was an example of populist rage using the threat of mob violence to coerce dissenters to conform to the will of a small group of society.

          As I said, a perfect metaphor for the current Tea Party.

          1. You’re an idiot. Please shut up. Even if your history wasn’t total BS, that has no equivalence to the modern TP.

            1. Ha!! he must be pretty spot on if he pissed you off so much you fucking tool!!

      3. The line between public and private in a mercantilist or corporatist system is a little fuzzy.

  11. “I don’t think a civilization can long endure that doesn’t respect the rights of the unborn.” –Rand Paul

    That’s some certified grade-A Christiness there. He’ll win them back with this kind of talk for sure. Though, as he backpedals and pretends to believe a bunch of crap he doesn’t, the wear and tear on his soul is almost a visible phenomenon.

    1. That was sure an evidence-based refutation of the Senator’s position!

    2. Believing something doesn’t necessarily equate to wanting to force that belief onto everyone else. Some people actually think that way. I know you can’t understand because you can’t imagine ever feeling that way, but some of us think instead of feel.

      1. What would entail forcing beliefs onto others? I imagine that enforcing rights means violating the beliefs of the rights-violators, for instance.

        1. Everyone knows that anyone with an R next to their name is personally opposed to abortion and out to overturn RvW. Come on. Everyone knows that. Right Tony? He certainly does.

          1. I would venture to guess that most of them believe those things, but I’m not sure what your point might be.

            1. My point is that you’re an idiot, which you just confirmed it without even knowing it.

      2. I’m aware that some people are obsessed with abortion, sarc. Rand Paul is not one of them. And that statement was ridiculous.

    3. Fool. So you’re saying if a politician comes out as saying Americans should stop killing each other so damned much, he’s a fundy christian because of the Commandment proscribing murder.

      1. The commandment says though shalt not kill, not murder…big difference

  12. I guess the world “paleocon” is just mothballed?

  13. The TP is definitely in its dusk. I hope the ‘Liberty Kids’ can act as a kind of ‘silent revolution’ in the GOP.

  14. The trouble with Paul is that no well-known labels seem to fit him well.

    Now, now, we can’t have people that don’t conform to the appropriate labels! What kind of world would we have if people did that – chaos I tell you, chaos!

    Good lord, it might even cause some to wonder why they embrace their own label.

  15. Cruz doesn’t have a ghost of a chance. Rand Paul is America’s best bet in 2016.

    Vice President Cruz?

    That might be fun.

    Attorney General Napolitano?
    Secretary of the Treasury Ron Paul?
    Secretary of Defense Jesse Ventura?

  16. Abortion is murder, it is the killing of another human being. It is the most heinous violation of the non-aggression principle.

    DNA exonerates innocent victims of the state in prison, but it’s not helping the poor babies condemned by an attitude that ignores all natural definitions of what a human being is, what is an individual.

    Therefore there is no “right” to kill a baby in the womb any more than outside the womb. There is no sharp line except conception, in which there is an individual with unique DNA.

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