Rand Paul

Who Decides Whether Rand Paul's Libertarian Girl Has 'Fringe' Foreign Policy Views?

Lindsey Graham: 'Rand Paul has been more wrong on ISIS than Obama has.'


Libertarian Girl
Marianne Copenhaver / Facebook

The Daily Beast's Olivia Nuzzi—a political reporter who frequently writes about Sen. Rand Paul's likely presidential campaign—recently tweeted the following:

Just ran into Lindsey Graham who told me "Rand Paul has been more wrong on ISIS than Obama has."

— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) January 22, 2015

Chew on that for a minute—we will revisit it.

Nuzzi has also covered the very minor firestorm over Paul's hiring of Marianne Copenhaver (a.k.a. "Libertarian Girl") to assist with his social media operations. The Washington Free Beacon, an unabashedly neoconservative outlet, drew attention to some of Copenhaver's previous statements that Free Beacon reporter Alana Goodman evidently considered scandalous. I wasn't remotely convinced that Copenhaver's views—opposition to war, praise for Edward Snowden, criticism of the Pledge of Allegiance, skepticism of Israeli foreign policy, harsh words for Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham—are objectively controversial. While not all libertarians share them, or share them as strongly, certainly some do. (I reached out to Copenhaver, but she declined to discuss the matter further.)

But there's no such thing as a non-controversial opinion, I suppose, if it's picked up by major media players and endlessly touted as something scary. Nuzzi wrote:

While inside the Peppermill, I watched as Copenhaver drafted a tweet on her iPhone from Paul's personal Senate account. She showed it to Stafford for approval, and he gave her the go-ahead to send it to the senator's 534,000 followers.

A close reading of Copenhaver's social-media history now has some asking whether or not Paul's decision to saddle her with such responsibility speaks well of his judgment.

Who are the "some"? The Free Beacon and Jennifer Rubin. Rubin likened Copenhaver to Jack Hunter, a previous Paul campaigner who was fired after his long-ago support for the Confederacy came to light. (Hunter has repeatedly apologized for his past and disavowed those statements; he is now an editor at the libertarian-leaning site, Rare.) Rubin wrote:

This is, of course, very reminiscent of his office's hiring of the Southern Avenger, a pro-Confederate blogger, whom Paul originally defended and later was forced to part company with. Moreover, it is one more indication that Paul World operates well outside the lines of mainstream, serious national campaigns.

Why is it that he attracts people with these outlandish views? Well, for one thing Paul suggests that he might agree with some of them. While not using an expletive to describe McCain, he repeated a slanderous and already disproved lie that McCain had met with Syrian jihadists. And while not recommending Snowden for a Nobel Peace Prize, he did compare him to another winner, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. One might expect that people who espouse the views Paul does and who traffic in smears attract people very far off the political spectrum.

Nuzzi, at least, disputed this equivalency while still characterizing Copenhaver's views as fringe:

My mentioning Hunter is not, I should note, meant to conflate praising Edward Snowden or denouncing John McCain with complimenting John Wilkes Booth, but to highlight the fact that Paul does, as Rubin contends, often find himself surrounded by "fringe" characters, and it has been and will likely continue to be a serious political problem for him.

The problem, of course, is this: who gets to decide which views are fringe? If it's Jennifer Rubin, then yes, any Republican who expresses reluctance to become involved in another war in the Middle East—or associates with people strongly critical of such action—would be labelled fringe. And if fringe is defined by degree of dissent from those in power—from the gung-ho Obama administration and Congressional leaders of both parties—the noninterventionist view is certainly fringe.

But I'm far from convinced that Paul's core views on foreign policy and civil liberties are at odds with the American people—many of whom were furious, not with Edward Snowden, but at the abuses he uncovered. Many Americans think ISIS has committed unspeakable crimes and are fine with taking them out, but have serious doubts about the viability of the U.S. military's long-term strategy there. As recently as October 22, 47 percent of Pew poll respondents were concerned that anti-ISIS efforts would go too far. A lesser number, 43 percent, were concerned the efforts wouldn't go far enough. Given the constantly changing nature of the conflict, and the flip-flopping tendencies of the electorate's foreign policy views, one shouldn't read too much into these numbers. And yet it seems to me that most people are still making up their minds about the important foreign policy and civil liberties issues of the day.

This debate is reflected in the deep foreign policy divide within the Republican Party. And with representatives of the libertarian, authoritarian, and moderate camps preparing for battle in the GOP presidential primaries, the disagreements will only grow more pronounced.

That's why the "fringe" label is such an important weapon—the neoconservative faction of the GOP will wield it in an attemp to keep libertarian noninterventionists at bay. And that is the significance of Graham—a hawk as war-hungry as they come—asserting that Paul is more wrong about ISIS than Obama. He wants Republicans to think that Paul is a completely delusional fringe candidate with less of a grip on the world than the president. It's a message to other Republicans: denounce this charlatan and his crazy followers.

To win the debate, libertarians must make even stronger arguments—they must show that their positions are not fringe, but rather, increasingly represent the sentiments of ordinary folks all over the country if not the powerful in Washington. Because every quarrel between libertarians and neocons—even one as trivial as Libertarian Girl's unremarkable social media history—is likely to land in the national media spotlight as a new front in the GOP foreign policy civil war.

Reason devoted its January issue to the libertarian foreign policy debate. Read Matt Welch's interview with Rand Paul—which tackled ISIS, war authorization, and more—here.

NEXT: Daniel Hannan: 'Instead of making documentaries about powerful, shadowy terrorist networks, let's laugh at the numpties'

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  1. Isn’t this the basic problem — that ideas like hers are labeled as “fringe”, and that the people who think it’s prudent to lob missiles into Libya and Yemen, or send billions of dollars to Egypt are “mainstream,” and hold offices in the House, Senate, and White House?

    1. ding ding ding

    2. But it is prudent to lob missiles into Yemen and Libya (that is the parts controlled by AQ jihadists).

      1. Great point. Our bombing campaigns in both Libya and Yemen have been such resounding successes that both countries are now on the verge of anarchy.

        1. Anarchy is an improvement.

        2. Bombing Khaddafi was stupid but bombing the jihadists there now may be a good idea. Bombing AQAP in Yemen has been nothing but good. Yemen’s slide into chaos is not related to that campaign and is not our problem.

          1. And why did all this bombing become “necessary”?

            If you start with bin Laden, his stated motive in the 9/11 attacks was to drive America from Saudi Arabia (“sacred land”). He reasoned that after the 1983 attack on the Marines in Beirut, America withdrew, and that the same would happen after 9/11.

            He miscalculated.

            But the point is, he attacked because of US occupation of Saudi Arabia.

            Today, many jihadis are recruited because America has bombed their town/their home/their friends/their relatives. This is not only understandable, it’s rational. How would you react if someone was dropping bombs on YOUR home?

            If there was any gray matter in Washington, we’d pull out of the middle east. Six months later, we’d be completely forgotten as the various factions returned to the millennia-old project of killing each other.

            1. Yeah. And Iran sponsored attacks in Argentina because of that country’s aggressive imperialism, too. Right?

              “Don’t bomb the Germans! That’ll just make more Nazis! Don’t bomb the Japanese, that’ll just create more kamikazes!”

              We need a policy that makes these people scared to piss US off, not one that makes us look like the elephant hiding from a mouse.

              1. We have a winner. Make them very, very afraid to cross us.

        3. There are still hierarchies of political power. They’re just factionalized and vying for the same prize; to wrap their criminal enterprise in the veil of legitimate statehood. What’s happening is far from anarchy but a rather normal process of statism.

        4. hey hey, its chaos not anarchy, not the same thing

        5. “both countries are now on the verge of anarchy.”

          FINALLY, the libertarian moment has arrived!

          1. Only because there are so many millennials in Yemen.

    3. Yeah, “fringe” has nothing to do with the validity of the ideas. In the context of the contemporary Republican party, her anti-war ideas are definitely on the fringe.

    4. Isn’t this the basic problem — that ideas like hers are labeled as “fringe”

      Considering the progressively weaker and weaker hold that either party holds on ‘mainstream’, the notion that fringe=bad should itself be in question to anyone holding/keeping a job by popular majority.

    5. This dizzy bink should go Galt. Take her hard-earned capital and head for Somolia where there is no tyrannical federal government, or burdensome social safety net. Send us all a postcard from your Randian Utopia of Free Somaliland. I bet that medicore actor Ronald Reagan will be on the stamp.

      1. So? are libertarians interventionist like Reagan (and Obama!) or fringe isolationists?

        1. You seem to be confused. I didn’t say Reagan was an interventionist, or a libertatrian. I said that self-proclaimed ‘libertarians’ would put his likeness on a stamp. IF.

          They’d have to take their hard-earned capital and head for Somolia where there is no tyrannical federal government, or burdensome social safety net, and set up their Randian Utopia before they could do so, and we all know they aren’t gonna actually ‘go galt’, but are just gonna threaten it repeatedly.

          1. You seem quite confused. If you read Reason, you’d see that Carter or Clinton would get their likeness on a stamp before Reagan.

            And if you read Reason, you might know the difference between anarchism and libertarianism.

            1. Lol. refer me to the author of your Doublespeak Primer, “Reason”. I’ve never heard of it, because I outgrew my libertarian fantasies when I was 15.

              1. And I outgrew my Team America: World Police fantasies when I was 15. 😛

                1. bet me too. I watched that movie again the other day and it was funny as ever.

                  I don’t like any GD police, much less world police.

              2. So you’re a good little statist waiting for your good government to issue edicts on how to live?

          2. It cracks me up how often I hear the strawman “Somalia = capitalist paradise” argument voiced from the same mouths who swear “REAL socialism has never been tried.”

            1. Surely you aren’t suggesting that the free market couldn’t cure all of Somolia’s ails. Strawman that, Randian.

              I like my socialism FDR style. And I’ll have it. And you’ll help pay for it, or you’ll gtfo. It really is that simple.

              1. Weak trolling.

                FDR. Lolz. Yeah, we’re all about as likely to “go Galt” as you are to move to a country that’s enacted every one of your 100-years-of-failure policies. It’s funny how American leftists are all about la revoluccion, but never go join the eternal workers’ paradise collectives anyplace else.

      2. Well, all I can say is that maybe you should buy a good dictionary. “Libertarian” does NOT equal “Anarchist”. Now, reading the comments on “Reason”, it may be difficult to understand that, since yes, the good commentators here do lean towards the anarchist side.
        But, most Libertarian doctrines do allow for a (limited) government, one that would enforce law and order on the Somali countryside.
        So, if a bunch of millionaire, monocle-wearing Libertarians WERE to take over Somalia, the first thing they would do is probably convene a Constitutional Convention that limited the power of the State, while enabling said State to have enough power to protect the rights of all citizens.
        But, yes, Somalia makes a very pretty straw-man for pre-schoolers.

        1. OT: To any of you who remember and care about my problems, I have buried my wife, and gone through what I now suspect is a mandatory 6 months of depression/ insanity/ lack-of-will-to-do-a-damn-thing. And so, “the good lord willing and the creek don’t rise”, I should be back in my beautiful Denver within 3 weeks, leaving my wife’s home state of OK, where we moved when she got sick; where the people are nice, but where I will never feel at home.
          Once back in Denver, I expect to go through another round of weeping-like-a-girl, since Denver is where we met, and there will be additional sites/locales/people that will remind me of my loss (Still raw. We were only together for 8 years; I don’t understand how people who were married for decades survive the loss of a spouse.)
          However, I am looking forward to getting back to my home, the Mile High City, based at the foot of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, and reuniting with my family and friends.
          This means that I am breaking out of my cocoon of sorrow, so you will all have to either block me or, once again, listen to my ideas.
          P.S. If anybody needs some help, I will be looking for work in the Denver-Metro area by the middle of February.

          1. “We were only together for 8 years; I don’t understand how people who were married for decades survive the loss of a spouse.”

            Wow. Your words echo my own thoughts at the time. It was nine years for me, and my girlfriend, not a wife.
            At the time I also worried about my friends who were in relationships and how they would handle such a loss, since I always seemed stronger than them (or at least less of an emotional individual).

            Unfortunately, I have no useful advice for you DJ, but I wish you well.



            P.S. Good comments at the 3:42 mark.

            1. Thank you. It’s one of those things that, unless you experience it, you can’t really understand.
              If you were with your girlfriend for nine years, then I don’t think semantics like “married” really matter. You must have loved her, and her loss must have been catastrophic.
              I remember that my that my grandmother died within a few months after my grandfather’s death, and she was healthy. I’m sure it was the shock of loosing half of herself that killed her.
              I still wonder “where did that red paint on my New Balance shoes come from?” Things like that. Half of you dies with that person. Half of your memory, things like “where did we meet so-and-so”? Also, she took care of the money, so my finances are completely screwed.
              I am sure it must be the same with you, marriage certificate or not; when people talk of your “other half”, they are stating the truth: that other person becomes one half of the person that the two of you combine to become.
              Just knowing that others have lived through the same thing is a big help. Again, thank you, and I hope that you are doing well.

    6. “Isn’t this the basic problem — that ideas like hers are labeled as ‘fringe’, and that the people who think it’s prudent to lob missiles into Libya and Yemen, or send billions of dollars to Egypt are ‘mainstream,’ and hold offices in the House, Senate, and White House?”

      The basic problem is that war is the health of the state, and the means to make a lot of money for politicians in the know (e.g., by making a bet in the stock market with their inside knowledge of our government’s war plans).

      Thus, those in positions to stir up wars, do so. E.G., Saddam Hussein got the green light to invade Kuwait from our ambassador, April Glaspie, who told Saddam a week before he invaded Kuwait that “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Glaspie

      There you have it, the reason we went to war in Iraq, was because our politicians lied to Hussein, and he believed them.

  2. Why is it that he attracts people with these outlandish views?

    Unlike Obama, who only associated with mainstream people like Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.

    1. We can add Van Jones.

      1. Valarie Jerrett

      2. … and Josh Jones.

        1. Awwwwww look, I have a fangirl already.

    2. Jeremiah Wright who went to Viet Nam and fought for your right to run your uneducated mouth on the interwebs?

      1. How the hell does fighting to prevent the Vietnamese from exercising self-determination protect our “right to run your uneducated mouth on the interwebs”?

        But then, you’re a fan of FDR, who fought to shut down one of the two independent black republics and replace it with a lighter skinned government favorable to the US.

        1. “How the hell does fighting to prevent the Vietnamese from exercising self-determination protect our “right to run your uneducated mouth on the interwebs”?”

          It doesn’t. But since right-wingers have made any criticism of any veteran ever (unless he happens to be a Democrat running for office) a treasonous offense, you have to lay in the bed you made.

          Just listen to the loud screaming that Seth Rogan evoked by daring to say that American Sniper reminded him of a propganda piece. Do you think it left-wing anti-war people who are doing that screaming?

          These are YOUR voters. Don’t blame it on me.

          1. It’s not the bed I made. It’s the straw bed you made for me.

            As part of non-interventionism, we don’t believe in invading a country to put an American-friendly government in place.

            It wasn’t libertarians who were screaming about Seth Rogan. It was the interventionists. You know, the side you’re sticking up for. YOUR voters, not mine.

            1. funny, because all the posts I saw railed against “Hollywood liberals” and “Obamanauts”.

              Let me know when you want to wake up to the smell of sharpie.

          2. How about that Al Sharpton? Pride of the obama administration right there.

        2. “But then, you’re a fan of FDR, who fought to shut down one of the two independent black republics and replace it with a lighter skinned government favorable to the US”

          And your point is?
          Apparently I’m not alone in my admiriation. That’s why he won four terms. People admire him because he cleaned up the messes that the Isolationist Republicans had left. I understand that you don’t, because you still espouse those failed policies, but that is a reflection on your own shortcomings, and nothing else.

          1. So? you think we should have invaded Germany and Japan in the 1920’s? 😀

            Go take your Bush-Romney politics somewhere else. Obama won on a platform of cleaning up the mess of Interventionist Republicans left. I hear Donald Rumsfeld needs a hunting party. I’m sure he’d love to hear your ideas on where to intervene next.

            1. Oh, that was Cheney, not Rumsfeld.

              Eh, same difference. Both Wilsonians like FDR.

            2. “So? you think we should have invaded Germany and Japan in the 1920’s? :-D”

              CITE a source where Roosevelt proposed either. Maybe your boy Rummy can elicit some strawmen from that army of them you employ.

              1. “Eh, same difference. Both Wilsonians like FDR.”

                For the third time, let me know where you find your forehead, and I’ll happily draw a Nolan Chart on it for you.

                Wilson and FDR graph about as close as Reagan and the Ayatollah. I’d be happy to graph you a notable libertarian, but there isn’t one. That’s because their fantasies about policy are so obviously disengaged from reality that they can’t win any elections.

    3. And Al Sharpton.

  3. This is a nothingburger and Libertarian Girl didn’t say anything that Rand Paul and (most) libertarians would disavow. Free Beacon is a pathetic neo-con rag.

    1. “Nothingburger”

      Add to list of words that really, really, really need to be banned.

      Obama partisans have pummeled it into the ground, so it very quickly lost its novelty factor. Now it’s just super-annoying.

      1. I’m fine with that. I actually don’t know why I wrote it. Can’t remember ever saying it before.

        1. It’s insidious, like most left-wing memes.

          1. Dont censor me you nothingburger!!!!!!

            1. I’d like a nothingburger with cheese, please.

      2. Huh. I have never heard the term or seen it in print before as far as I can recall.

        1. Obamanauts LOVE to use it. I’m surprised ButtPlug hasn’t spewed it all over the place here.

          1. you mean like the way Randians always issue idle threats to “go galt”?

            1. I like chimichangas.

              1. I like your mom

      3. Nice to hear “libertarians” talk about the lists of words they want banned.

        1. I would like to listen to Dashboard Confessional and sob. Will you join me?

          1. sorry, I was out having a social life when you were having your personal crisis. Go suicide hotline, go.

            1. You don’t have a social life. Stop lying.

        2. It’s an expression. Get over it.

  4. If ever I don’t want to perform any research on a topic or issue I can always read Rubin’s or Graham’s opinion to learn what not to believe.

    1. Jen Jen the Establishment Engine is a useful gauge of the “thought” of the stolid, unimaginative, Chamber of Crony wing of the Elephant Party.

      1. Well put, Swiss.

        Anecdotally, a few years ago I was so annoyed by one of her articles (in which her distortions and outright lies were more numerous and noxious than normal) that I posted a response. When disputing her claims I provided evidentiary material and links. You know, Swiss, facts and supportive information.

        She deleted all of my comments.

  5. Since the only people outside the beltway who share Jennifer Rubin’s views are Mitt Romney’s 26 cousins, she has been reduced to perpetually trolling libertarians.

  6. You know what? Even if Paul were fringe on foreign policy–whatever that means–our screaming need is for domestic reform. The biggest danger to our future, freedom, and wealth is the government, the government, and the government. The priority is fixing things here. While that doesn’t mean that we ignore our role in international affairs, which is huge, or that we stop defending ourselves, it does mean that focusing on this issue instead of the domestic one is like voting for a guy because of his position on abortion.

    1. …says a guy way beyond draft age.

      1. That’s not true–I’ve looped.

    2. You left out Nazi (with x opinion on abortion).

    3. When you factor in the cost of bombing every country on the map… foreign policy becomes a factor in whether we can afford a domestic policy.

  7. Simpler Rubin: “You are an apostate to the orthodoxy. Burn the witch.”

    Because, you know, who needs new ideas when the same old ones have panned out so well for us, both domestically and abroad?

  8. Thank goodness we have mature responsible thinkers like Lindsey Graham to keep those deranged Teabaggers in check.

    *checks market value of NOC holding*

    1. I despise that RINO. He actually thinks he can be president.

      1. I’d like to think he’s delusional, but plenty of people will line up to vote for him, heaven help us all.

  9. “That’s why the “fringe” label is such an important weapon?the neoconservative faction of the GOP will wield it in an attempt to keep libertarian noninterventionists at bay.”

    Congratulations. You’ve just discovered politics.

    Using phrasings like “libertarian noninterventionists” is part of the problem, you know.It implies nonintervenionism is some sort of common libertarian trait, when it’s obviously not. At most it’s a rather vague policy preference espoused by the Libertarian Party. This just plays into the statist narrative that libertarians are simpleminded contrarians.

    1. This. There is a range of libertarian views on foreign policy. Unfortunately, in the wake of the Iraq debacle, Ron Paul’s ‘notions’ about foreign policy smothered all else like a C. difficile infection and have been as damn hard to get rid of since.

      1. Why did you put “notions” in quotes? Are they not notions?

        1. Only notionally.

    2. Nonintervention is an extremely common libertarian trait.

      1. Noninterventionism is a dogmatic faith dishonestly pushed by some libertarians as being The One True Choice for the whole movement.

        1. That doesn’t make it any less common.

      2. And then there’s the (allegedly) Libertarian canard of “open borders” that Reason keeps pushing. Of the two, bombing countries that never did anything to us, or inviting an invasion of America by everyone predisposed to loot it, I choose neither.

        1. Open borders is as hot idea. Which is why obama loves it so much. Evil fucking traitor turd that he is.

        2. Absolutely. To me, a major key to being Libertarian is independent thought, not toeing party line.

    3. And the Libertarian Party has very little to do with libertarianism.

      1. And as far as parties go it’s pretty dull.

        1. True. The mainstream wants excitement like wars, no-knock warrants, and “police-related shootings”.

    4. Using phrasings like “libertarian noninterventionists” is part of the problem, you know.It implies nonintervenionism is some sort of common libertarian trait

      Non-interventionism is a common libertarian trait, so I don’t really see the problem. That is not to say that all libertarians are non-interventionists. Obviously not true. Which is why you have to say “libertarian non-interventionists” and not just “libertarians”.

    5. It implies noninterventionism is some sort of common libertarian trait

      Rather, it implies that libertarianism is some sort of common noninterventionist trait. Which, I believe, it is.

      1. Its protofascist doublespeak.

        We used to call them what they are:


        The messes their polices make are why FDR was elected to four terms as POTUS.

        1. Stuff and nonsense! Noninterventionism /= isolationism; travel and commerce are not restricted by nonintervention.

          1. I don’t recall “travel and commerce” being all that restricted by Coolidge or Hoover either. Maybe you can enlighten me.

            My recollections are of lots of talk about the Efficiency Movement, and the ‘Republican record of prosperity’.

            1. That’s my point; neither Coolidge or Hoover were not isolationist, they were noninterventionist. Tokugawa Japan and Hongxi China were isolationist. The USA has never been isolationist.

              1. Lousy edit button… Delicious Bourbon…

                Neither Coolidge or Hoover were isolationist.

                1. The US Dept of State takes issue with your revisionist history and use of Ron Paul’s DoubleSpeak.

                  Head to their website. Find

                  Milestones: 1937?1945
                  American Isolationism in the 1930s

                  It’ll set you straight, professor.

                  On a side note:
                  This is EXACTLY why fascists love libertarians. After Libertarians disposed of a strong federal government and the regulation of capital, the fascists could more easily steal all the money and use it to institute their own agenda, with no one organized enough to stop them.

                  1. Foggy Bottom employing the same deliberately obtuse misunderstanding of basic English as you (for the same purposes of agitprop, fancy that) does not make it so.

                    1. Its probably a liberal conspiracy to trick you into those FEMA camps.

                    2. So, you exalt liberal government then? That’s your thing?

                  2. Fascists love libertarians? The (supposedly ex-socialist) Fascists who spout straight up socialist rhetoric, or just the ones who use “socialist” in their party names?

                    Citation for this “love,” please. I’m sure we’ll be waiting a while.

        2. Obama was elected on an anti-interventionist platform after W’s foreign military misadventures.

          Warren Harding was elected on an anti-interventionist platform after Wilson’s some 21 interventions in 11 countries including Mexico (at least 3 times), Haiti, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, and the USSR.

          1. “W’s foreign military misadventures.”

            Nevermind that he let terrorists attack us on our soil, in the economic capitol of the world.

            Sorry, did you have a point?

            1. Do you? Besides that guns never should’ve been prohibited on planes?

              1. that the last POTUS from Paul Ryan’s party was an abysmal failure.

                Who needs guns? When I flew to Hamburg in 1999 I carried a 3.75″ Cold Steel Voyager Tanto clipped to my right hip pocket. No one said a word until I got to Brussels, and then the soldiers who found it said “Next time check this.”

                That folding knife would’ve outgunned boxcutters.

                1. I should elaborate:
                  Who needs guns on commercial airplanes?

                  While I type this I’m wearing a 3″ SP101, so I understand the need for personal protection. Fifty loaded guns on a pressurized airliner at FL35 sounds like a recipe for disaster to me though.

                2. lol just realized I said “Paul Ryan”, not Rand Paul. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

                  1. To your limited intellect I suppose.

    6. I’m a complex-minded contrarian, thank you.

  10. “A close reading of Copenhaver’s social-media history now has some asking whether or not Paul’s decision to saddle her with such responsibility speaks well of his judgment.”

    “Some” is often reporter-speak for “me and a couple of people who agree with me.”

      1. Some is four or more so, a few people (3). A few (3) a couple (2). Total=4.

        1. Squirrels ate my

          1. A few is greater than a couple. (!)

            1. Actually, “few” can mean “zero”.

              “Few people want a white-hot poker rammed up their ass.”

              If you’re the exception, keep it to yourself.

    1. I thought “me and a couple of people who agree with me” would constitute a “consensus” over at the Washington Beacon.

      I’m pretty sure that “some” means “me and my imaginary friends”.

      1. No… that’s a majority… of the people they choose to include in the group.

        Might even be unanimous!

  11. The establishments on both sides of the aisle and their stooges in the media are going to go balls to the wall to keep Paul out of the oval office. He is going to have to run a flawless campaign, and I fear that will not happen.

    1. From what I’ve read and heard Suthenboy, they’ve already started.

      1. I would imagine that they are just gettin started.

        “you ain’t seen nothin yet….b b bbaby you just ain’t seen nothinyet

    2. LMFAO.

      What planet are you on? There won’t be another GOP POTUS until those of us who watched Dubya’s reign of terror are all dead of old age.

      No amount of gerrymandering can save you, and that was the only chance you ever had.

      1. The biggest problem with Obozo is he’s the ?ber-Bush! Most of his policy gaffes are just bigger, more-expensive versions of Bush failures.

        Prescription Drug Benefit?

        Bailouts of Wall Street?
        MORE bailouts and buying up automakers!

        No child left behind?

        Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
        Those… plus Yemen, Pakistan, Libya and coming soon – Syria! (And Africa most likely.)

        National Debt? $4.9 Trillion under Bush.
        Obozo? By the time he’s done, more than $8 trillion.

        1. “Prescription Drug Benefit?-
          I’m with you there. Hopefully POTUS HRC will have us to a single payer system by the tie she leaves office in 2025

          “Bailouts of Wall Street?
          MORE bailouts and buying up automakers!”

          Except POTUS Barry O’s worked, and paid a return.

          “No child left behind?
          We already do that here in Tennessee. I could care less if your mutant progeney get an education, but that’s just me.

          “Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
          Those… plus Yemen, Pakistan, Libya and coming soon – Syria! (And Africa most likely.)

          POTUS Barry O ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you cozen bink. Don’t let a little history get in your way.
          How many combat deaths did we suffer in Libya or Syria, and WTF are you jabbering about Yemen and the whole continent of Africa for?

          “National Debt? $4.9 Trillion under Bush.
          Obozo? By the time he’s done, more than $8 trillion”

          If you ever get out to economics 101 you’ll learn the difference between “secured debt” and “unsecured debt”.

          YOU Can belittle him till your racist heart is content, Bambibink. Don’t change the fact that there is a snowball’s chance in Jerry Falwell’s cirle of hell that one will get elected again before 2028, and who knows what the GOP will look like then?

          1. Your grasp of recent history is tenuous at best. A venom filled traitor such as yourself hurts my country with every breath. So breathe no more.

            I suggest suicide. And make it snappy.

      2. Look you bitter little bitch. You and your prog friends will be dealt with soon enough. America has had just about enough.

  12. Now it’s just super-annoying.

    You sound exactly like Rachel Maddow when you say that.

    1. You take that back, Mister!

  13. “And while not recommending Snowden for a Nobel Peace Prize, he did compare him to another winner, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.”

    That’s such an unfair comparison! Rev. King never broke the law on behalf of some purported higher principle!

    Um, wait…

    1. Mr. Snowden should be considered a national hero. The Nobel Peace Prize has pretty much destroyed its own significance as a marker of virtue, for obvious reason.

      1. you mean because they gave one to a black man?

        yeah you do, who do you think you’re fooling?

        1. Yasser Arafat is black to you? That’s some vintage racism there boy. Seriously though, the Nobel Prize became a joke because it was presented to a slew of warmongers: Arafat, Kissenger, Wilson, Roosevelt I, Tho, and Hull.

          1. “Yasser Arafat is black to you?”

            The POTUS is. Stop trying to pretend you hated on the NPP before they handed him one.

            1. I hate Obozo. But it doesn’t have anything to do with what color he is. It’s because he’s a disgusting piece of pig spittle.

              1. DO you think anyone believes that bull?

                At least around here the people that hate him have the guts to say why. I ain’t sure why you’re so scared. I can’t knock all your teeth out over the interwebs like I do theirs for speaking your tripe in person.

            2. You lost any credibility scum like you could ever have playing the race card. You are weak and stupid.

              Kill yourself.

  14. Here’s a map of the places John McCain and his little mini-me Graham want to attack:


    I’ve no doubt Jennifer Rubin is on board with all of it.

    Explain to me, again, how Libertarian Girl’s views are “fringe”.

    1. questioning the Pledge to the State is considered fringe by conservatives.

      1. SHE wouldn’t mind pledging to the state. Its her mouth-frothing hatred of socialists that prevents her from repeating words authored by one.

  15. Welcome to the political big leagues, libertarians. This is the rhetoric you have to deal with when you are doing more than just kvetching on the sidelines. Getting all hurt feelings about it is not going to help.

    1. And this is why the big leagues keep dishing up soulless mannequins as their candidates.

  16. This article is basically right, but a little whiny. Don’t whine. Is Lindsey Graham really going to sway opinions in the GOP/conservative base? Don’t they loathe that guy?

    1. Isn’t he your doppelganger?

      1. No, Captain Retard. Closer to yours.

  17. Just ran into Lindsey Graham who told me “Rand Paul has been more wrong on ISIS than Obama has.”

    ? Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) January 22, 2015

    Any reason why? Man, that’s useless.

    Here, let me try…

    Just ran into Rand Paul who told me “Lindsey Graham has fucked more sheep than ISIS has.”

    ? Raston Bot (@rastonbot) January 22, 2015

  18. “Lindsey Graham has fucked more sheep than ISIS has.”

    Those guys from ISIS fuck goats.


    1. Really! No self-respecting sheep fan would fuck a goat.

      1. Once you’ve had sheep…

        1. You never go baaaaack

  19. I refuse to take this seriously at all…I mean, come on, ‘Libertarian Girl’? Next you’ll be telling me Rand Paul’s other social media operators are a Yeti and a unicorn.

    1. Actually she has a fairly large web footprint–I’ve been following her writings for a number of months and she writes well and I’ve yet to find much to disagree with.

      1. Stalker.

    2. Really? You’re surprised? The man is named after the mediocre author of a fantasy book and you are surprised when he’s drawn to some girl who looks like an elf?

  20. In before “The Joos!”

  21. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  22. Just ran into Lindsey Graham who told me “Rand Paul has been more wrong on ISIS than Obama has.”

    Coming from the guy who most often agrees with Obama in all but rhetoric, that might be unintentionally taken as a compliment.

    1. I know. That’s the crazy thing. It’s not like Obama has not done anything the Graham/McCain warmonger wing wanted him to do. He’s just done it with less… gusto.

  23. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.jobs700.com

  24. Nuzzi is a pretty lady, so everything she writes is okay by me.

    1. CJ,

      I posit that Marianne Copenhaver isn’t hard on the eyes either. In addition, (as Geoff Nathan has pointed out above), Ms. Copenhaver is articulate, intelligent, and has views similar to most of us who post comments here.

      1. Her head looks artificial.

        1. Perhaps she’s an illusion and I rolled a natural 1.

    2. Nice to hear ‘libertarians’ admit they think with their abnormally small genitalia.

      Binks like that one are a dime a dozen.

  25. To win the debate, libertarians must make even stronger arguments?they must show that their positions are not fringe, but rather, increasingly represent the sentiments of ordinary folks all over the country

    I don’t really care if the majority decides that I’m right. The majority are often wrong.

    I’m not going to argue that the majority agree with me, but that I’m objectively right. If they still want to follow wrong because they’re convinced the majority do it too, then they deserve the suffering they bring themselves.

    1. welcome to a democratic republic. if you don’t like it here, you’re free to leave.

  26. “Fringe,” “extreme,” and other such terms are philosophically invalid smears used by people who are too ignorant to form a rational rebuttal to an idea.

  27. She said “Snowden deserves the Nobel Peace Prize – not Obama”

    is that nuts? Not in the slightest.

    Is there worse stuff out there that no one’s bothered to quote? Between Welch and Nuzzi, there’s maybe only 2-3 actual quotes from said ‘crazy woman’ actually cited

    is any of it Jezebel-level crazy? Ron-Paul-level crazy?

  28. “Nothing makes me rage harder than the GOP trying to start another god damn war. Listen up you stupid armchair jingoes, we (libertarians, constitutional conservatives, and anti-war dems) want nothing to do with your bullshit special interest fueled wars,'”

    Is “jingoes” really a noun?

    “The chorus of a song by G. H. MacDermott (singer) and G. W. Hunt (songwriter) commonly sung in British pubs and music halls around the time of the Russo-Turkish War (1877?1878) gave birth to the term.[2][3] The lyrics had the chorus:

    We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do

    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too
    We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true
    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

    The phrase “by Jingo” was a long-established minced oath, used to avoid saying “by Jesus”. Referring to the song, the specific term “jingoism” was coined as a political label by the prominent British radical George Holyoake in a letter to the Daily News on 13 March 1878.[4].”

    I score its usage as 8-out of-10 on the Pedantic-Strouth Meter

    1. Is “jingoes” really a noun?

      Yes. It’s way more often used as an adjective, though.

      1. I am rather partial to the noun jingo-twanger; coined (IIRC) in one of the Three-fisted Tales of Bob short-stories.

  29. The third thing in Nuzzi’s list of “Crazy Talk” that the girl says was simply a “Fuck You” to Lindsey Graham & John McCain.


    between these three things we havent even touched low-level, daily-crazy that Harry Reid says

    What’s the deal with people attacking staffers? I’d guess its a far easier way to smear a candidate without needing to go after them directly. Hence the way Nuzzi skips quickly to “past crazy people” associated with Rand, rather than dwell too long on the shallow-resource of crazy-talk that this particular girl can provide.

  30. We live in a world where the medieval head choppers in Saudi Arabia are our allies, crackpots like Al Sharpton are given respectful attention in the media, Jennifer Rubin is given space for her psycho-babble in the Washington Post, and nobody seems too concerned about the national debt.

    Given that, fringe is right were I belong.

  31. Libertarians are ‘fringe’ because it would be too painful to classify them as centrist in their narrow left-right spectrum.

  32. Her [Copenhaver’s] head looks artificial.

    I think that’s just the “Barbie-ize” filter in Photoshop.

  33. Robby is being a bit disingenuous here.

    She did not merely criticize Israeli policy. Someone posted “I stand with Israel” and her response was something like “Then you go fight over there.” and accused critics of being slaves to Israel, which is pretty much out of Ron Paul’s isolationist playbook.

    No one proposed going to war over Russia’s involvement in shooting down a civilian airplane and killing innocent. Mccain proposed a firm response if Russia was found to be involved. The Ron Paul kooks are Don Quixote, they see phantom war cries in the most random situations.

    Every nation will try to reacquire individuals who leaked their secret sins. Because they have to make sure they don’t also leak other info that can compromise the nation’s safety. Snowden is such a bothersome figure to Obama that he’ll try to strike a deal in exchange for Snowden giving up everything he stole. Paulites fear that Obama will secretly poison him (lol), but they don’t fear that outcome in…. Russia.

    Would you actively praise Hitler if he protected an American commie who fought for civil rights? It doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Americans have never agreed with Ron Paul’s brand of libertarianism. A slim majority continues to support air strikes and military aid to stop ISIS. I wouldn’t be surprised if the LG was found to have uttered some anti-semitic, racist remarks in her past. I don’t know why Rand thinks this woman should run his social media.

    1. Now you’re just speculating.

    2. why would Hitler protect a commie? Fascists are right-wingers, not left-wingers. When Mussolini took power he declared “We have ended the persecution of capital.”

      This is why after I knock John Galt wannabe’s out, I draw Nolan Charts on their foreheads.

      1. Meh… both fascism and national socialism are the inevitable end result of demotism. Demotism itself is the problem, not the particular flavor.

        1. National Socialism IS Fascim, ‘tardling.

          Let me know when you want to wake up to the smell of Sharpie.

          1. Well, no. No they are not the same thing. To be honest, I did mean to type socialism but the point stands regardless. Demotism itself is the root of the problem. Universal suffrage was a poorly thought out idea and should be abolished; Carlyle and Filmer have been proven right a thousandfold.

            1. LOL. Nice to hear you admit that its the democratic process you hate.

              Most fascists do.

              And yes, they are the same thing.
              Attempt to revise history all you like, but don’t be surprised when I slap your BS down and spit on it again.

              1. Fascism is product of demotism and I’ll have no truck with it. If you are so desperate to label your philosophical opponents then formalist, royalist, reactionary all do quite nicely as ideological shorthand. And you would be a run of the mill Whig/Progressive, in thrall to a militant non-theistic Christianity you don’t really understand.

                1. LMFAO. I’m an Universalist Asatraur, and a social democrat, but thanks for the attempt. and the laugh.

                  On a Nolan Chart I graph about halfway between FDR and Ghandi, bout directly opposed to a spot between Newt Gingrich and the Ayatollah Khomeni. I’m perfectly comfortable here, too.

                  And I find Randians and people who believe in X-files UFOs to be hilarious.

                  1. LMFAO. I’m an Universalist Asatraur, and a social democrat,

                    Of course you are. That is exactly what I said above; you are a Whig/Progressive in thrall to a non-theistic Christianity. Specifically, by self-labeling as a Universalist and social democrat, you out yourself as an heir to the heresies of Quakerism and ultra-Calvinism (of which, your flirtations with paganism to which you have no cultural connection are merely a pathology). You are either being deliberately obtuse or you actually do not understand and appreciate your own ideology. Pathetic either way. That’s fine, we’ll keep a gibbet open for you.

      2. You’re an idiot that defeats no one and wins nothing. You’re the punchline to a bad joke.

    3. My my, aren’t you disingenuous XM. To my knowledge nobody defending Snowden does so by praising Putin. I dare you to show a supporter of Snowden lauding Putin. Also you’re dishonest conflating of non-interventionism with isolationism isn’t fooling anybody. You’re pathetic and your arguments are weak.

  34. Our only mission in the middle east is to defend our allies, everything else is meddling and overeach.

    That is to say, that our only mission is to help defend Israel from Islamic extremism.

    And of course it is unacceptable for Iran to obtain nuclear capability, which can be achieved more or less, through sanctions. If nucelar capability is achievable in Iran, than it is incumbent upon us as allies (the West) to protect Israel, which may or may not result in a supportive capacity in a millitary campaign with Israel.

    1. Saudi Arabia is also our ally. To defend them from Islamic extremism, we would have to topple their government. Is that okay with you?

      1. Saudi Arabia is hardly an allie, except in the capacity that they provide us with oil.

        If Saudi Arabia wants to remain Islamic, then that is entirely up to them, none of my buisness.

        Likewise, if Israel decided they wanted to embrace Islam, then that’s their choice. But while Israel is a Western democracy and an allie in the middle east, surrounded by Islamic states, hell bent on Israels destruction, it is up to us to help protect them.

        Whatever else occurs in the middle east is none of my buisness. If the Islamic world wants to destroy itself, then that’s up to them.

        1. Tell it to the last POTUS from Rand Paul’s party. I have several AP photos of that fake cowboy holding hands and kissing the cheeks of the monarch of the Kingdom of Saud.

    2. which can be achieved more or less, through sanctions.

      This qualifies you as an idiot.

      The US built the first nuclear weapon without computers 70 years ago. There is nothing but a nuclear attack or boots on the ground that can stop Iran from building a bomb if they so desire.

      Sanctions will be less and less useful as the rest of the world gets sick of us and decides to form their own trading relationships. It is only because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency that sanctions can be enforced. However, the Russians and Chinese are already working on breaking the dollar’s hold and more nations are bound to join as we continue to stick our nose into everything.

      We also don’t have any obligation to Israel.

  35. So no one who works for any politician can have any political views that differ slightly from those the politician espouses publicly? Because I’m pretty sure that Bill Clinton and George Bush and Barack Obama hired staffers who were true believers in liberal/conservative dogma to far greater extremes than those the past 3 presidents backed in public.

  36. The smartest political policy is PROBABLY out of the “mainstream”. The simple case for that is this: Things are really screwed up in almost every area. They’ve been that way for some time. And that’s the “mainstream”.

    If we’re going to find serious solutions, we’re not going to find them in the middle of the current herd. They’re not going to be minor “tweaks” on current policy . The “mainstream” politicians have no answers.

    So where should we look for solutions?

    We’re going to find them on the fringe. We’re going to find them among people we’ve not paid much attention to in the past – people whose ideas have been marginalized. So we better be looking pretty damned hard for “fringe” solutions – because the “mainstream” has none.

    1. Actually we’re doing quite well. If you don’t like it here, you’re free to gtfo and go galt. Here’s the thing: You won’t. You never do. Sure you talk a fat game about leaving all the “takers” and running away to start a Randian Utopia.

      “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. “

      1. A little statist tyre like you is really threatened by concepts of freedom and persona liberty, aren’t you?

        Stalin would be proud of a shitstwin like you.

  37. A close reading of Copenhaver’s social-media history now has some asking whether or not Paul’s decision to saddle her with such responsibility speaks well of his judgment.

    Who are the “some”?

    Those that get riled up by Olivia Nuzzi’s article, that’s who!

  38. I for one am pretty sure its a great indicator of his judgement, and that his judgement is sorely lacking. Then again, I already knew that based on the silly Isolationist policies he espouses.

    1. That statement is a great indicator of your judgement, since you don’t understand the difference between an isolationist and a non-interventionist.

      1. LOL. Where’d you get your degree in Doublespeak, professor puddin’?

        1. From the Josh Jones School of Doublespeak. 😀

          1. I’d have failed you, puddin pop.
            Try harder.

  39. I got to the Lindsey Graham quote in the header and quit reading.

  40. You should really stop using “neoconservative” to describe a website.

    It specifically means a group of people who used to be liberals/democrats but switched to the Republicans because of foreign policy.

    Looking at Free Beacon’s website, it seems plain old conservative, not neo.

  41. So…is all this mess Mary on the verge of a manic phase, or is this some random Salontard?

  42. AS C-in-C, the president could send Graham into combat, and I’d hope he does.

  43. The reality is that Americans in general have become so profoundly stupid that these type of guilt by association attacks work. Hopefully, the internet will have some success in getting people to think about the real issues like it is helping people break down political correctness but I doubt it.

  44. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  45. For years, Congress, as a group, has consistently had approval ratings barely out of single digits. While I realize there are many reasons for this, it does make me wonder just who’s calling who fringe?

    Everyone I know, regardless of their political leanings or total lack of them, thinks the political class occupying Washington D.C., especially Congress, is completely out of touch with Main Street America. When was the last time McCain, Graham, or any of the ‘mainstream’ Old Guard of either party talked to people at acar wash, or in a doctor’s waiting room, at a laundromat, at the grocery store? (Yesterday at the grocery store a young mom commented that it was a good thing gas prices had gone down because milk was now up to $6 a gallon. Think that would even register with R or D elite? The typical R response would be ‘you need to work harder/get a better job to pay for it’, while the typical D response would be, ‘you need to get food stamps’–but neither would question the monetary policy behind inflation.)

    No one I know feels represented by a bunch of rich, privileged, self-absorbed people always looking for the next angle to hustle bucks and votes. If anything, I’d say most people feel bullied, exploited, voiceless, and insignificant. McCain and Graham might be ‘mainstream’ Republicans, but just like Old Guard, establishment Democrats, I think it’s likely they are the true fringe element of the American people.

    1. Even worse: members of BOTH parties have called for an increase in the gas tax. Because, you know, we can’t have these uneducated peons deciding for themselves how to spend the savings that result from a decrease in the price of petroleum. I mean, heaven forbid, these savages may actually use the savings they get from lower gas prices to buy extra food, pay off their utility bills, or even worse, SAVE some money!
      NO! This is unacceptable! We, the Government, must direct that money towards OUR goals. These peons just don’t understand!

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