Rand Paul

Keep Rand Paul Weird

Will the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate shed the differences that make him interesting?

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Rand Paul, who launched his presidential campaign on Tuesday, calls himself "a different kind of Republican," which at this point remains an accurate description. But in his eagerness to win primaries, the libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator runs the risk of shedding the differences that make his voice distinctive and worth hearing.

Perhaps the most striking example of politically motivated backpedaling is Paul's recent proposal to raise defense spending by $190 billion over two years with money reallocated from other parts of the federal budget. Four years ago, by contrast, he supported cutting defense spending by $164 billion over five years.

Paul seems keen to placate Republicans who absurdly insist that the current defense budget is inadequate, even though it amounts to nearly two-fifths of global military spending. But the Republican Party desperately needs a candidate who understands that "not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent," as Paul put it at the 2012 Republican convention.

In a related move, Paul has become notably more open to foreign intervention, endorsing war with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on the very same day that he wondered aloud whether the terrorist organization posed "a threat to our national security." To his credit, Paul still insists that military action must be approved by Congress, and he still opposes U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war (which makes you wonder how he proposes to "destroy" ISIS).

The Rand Paul of 2015 would benefit from a conversation with the Rand Paul of 2012, who declared that "we are in too many places, too often, and we don't seem to even know the reason—or where we will end up when we're done." Instead of learning from foreign fiascos, Paul said in a CNN.com essay, "both parties rush headlong into more places they don't understand."

Paul is trying to appease the GOP's social conservatives as well as its military hawks. Last month he told Fox News the idea of gay marriage "offends myself and a lot of other people," although he said the issue should be left to the states. He told the audience at a prayer breakfast that thinking "there would be some sort of other marriage" reflects "a moral crisis."

Similarly, at a 2013 lunch with evangelical pastors, Paul assured them he is no hippie. "I'm not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot," he said. "I'm not a Libertarian. I'm a libertarian Republican. I'm a constitutional conservative."

Consistent with his respect for the Constitution, Paul argues that states should be free to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use. Although he has not taken a position on whether that's a good idea, he is a lead sponsor of a bill that would carve out an exception to the Controlled Substances Act for people who produce, possess, or distribute medical marijuana in compliance with state law.

Paul's leadership on drug policy and criminal justice reform, which includes sponsoring bipartisan bills that would abolish mandatory minimum sentences, restore felons' voting rights, and limit the federal government's ability to take property supposedly linked to crime, sets him apart from the other presidential contenders. But since these issues have attracted interest from other Republicans (including Ted Cruz, who announced his presidential campaign two weeks ago), Paul probably will not feel a need to de-emphasize them during primary season.

Nor is Paul backing away from his criticism of warrantless surveillance, which resonates with conservatives as well as left-leaning civil libertarians. And no doubt he will continue to express concerns about executive power, concerns that Republicans tend to share when there's a Democrat in the White House.

The challenge for Paul is to remain different enough from other Republicans that there's a reason for him to run but not so different that he cannot win the nomination. I'm not sure those goals can be reconciled, but it will be interesting to see him try.

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Despite all the raving from reason, Rand was never all that distinct to me, and was always just kinda wishy-washy. Soo… orange tinted glasses?

    1. orange tinted glasses?

      His positions on drugs, prison reform, NSA spying, and murder droning are just like Establishment Republicans? While he has had to back peddle on the CRA comments, which other candidate in living history has suggested that laws coercing association are morally wrong?

      I just can’t imagine how Rand isn’t the most libertarian candidate that has a chance at winning. Compared to Shillary or Jeb he is Harry Browne reincarnated.

      1. First off, not being a libertarian “most libertarian candidate” is not a criteria I use when judging a candidate. Everything I’ve seen from Rand in the past has shown a weakness of convictions on everything short of murderdrones. His views ‘evolved’ too many times for me to regard him as anything but yet another politician.

        And compared to a shrieking harpy and a weeping boil, even Chuck Schumer would look good. “Better than Hil or Jeb” is not a high standard to beat.

        Right now I’m most favorably inclined* towards Cruz, apathetic about Rand and Disappointed in Walker’s performance over the last six months.

        *also not high praise given the available population

        1. Really not trying to argue, only ask.

          I generally also consider my self a libertarian leaning conservative (IMPURE!!), as I believe you have described yourself? Why Cruz? Since “most libertarian” is not a criteria, is it Cruz’s convictions or positions that you prefer? Or both?

          Cruz seems like “yet another politician” to *me*, why do you see him as being different?

          1. i personally, am still a big Paul fan. He is a libertarian leaning conservative; the most libertarian candidate we’re likely to see in our lifetime (who can pull more than 4% of the popular vote).

            He has been getting beaten up around here lately, in knee-jerk fashion, for taking what I see as nuanced stances that actually follow what he has always said. e.g. He always said that he wasn’t a non-interventionist, just that we should be a lot more thoughtful in what, when, and how we use our military forces. I believe the ‘no boots on the ground’ reaction to ISIS was driven in large part by some of the things Rand has been saying.

            1. The worry is Rand is to libertarians what Obama was to liberals.

              1. Obama is exactly what progressives wanted: An authoritarian.

                There is no such thing as a liberal any more, we identify as libertarians now, and some even as conservatives.

                1. Damn straight. Although I am trying to take back “liberal” from the lefties. They are mostly done with it anyway, having sullied it so badly they now generally prefer to be called progressives. Progressives is actually fine by me, it draws a straight line back to their roots of pushing eugenics and Prohibition.

                  1. Yup, this. It’s time to reclaim the word “liberal,” which was ours to begin with. “Conservative” is such a loser word: me hate change!

                    1. Spoken like a true Media Matters Talking Point chucklehead.

                2. Mort Sahl said decades ago that there are no more liberals, only social democrats.

            2. Is anyone interested in Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitch McConnell for Senate in Kentucky? That says to me that he talks a good game, but wants to be president and doesn’t care what principles he violates to get it done.

          2. I like Ted Cruz overall, tbh. Most people can’t get over that he is smarter than they are, and is a bit arrogant about it. This is why he will not win.

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          3. Well, Cruz dared to criticize ethanol subsidies while standing in the middle of Iowa. That takes at least a shred of conviction. It’s not the usual silence or pandering you would see from most politicians.

            1. Cruz dared to criticize ethanol subsidies while standing in the middle of Iowa.

              I must have missed this. It does hint at holding actual convictions.

              1. http://www.breitbart.com/big-g…..dy-stance/

                Breitbart…but it has the quotes in there.

        2. Don’t make the better the enemy of the best. He’s playing politics the way it must be played. I expect him to show his true colors if he’s elected. In the mean time he must be elected to have any effect. He has my monetary support. Remember that his father is main political influence. Though I agreed with Ron Paul about his policy propositions and I agreed with him about 95% of the time, I agreed with most Republicans about 30% of the time, which is much more than I agreed with the Dems. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  2. …Paul probably will not feel a need to de-emphasize them during primary season.

    I don’t believe so, either. He has to know these are the stances that set him apart.

  3. Last month he told Fox News the idea of gay marriage “offends myself and a lot of other people,” although he said the issue should be left to the states. He told the audience at a prayer breakfast that thinking “there would be some sort of other marriage” reflects “a moral crisis.”…”I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot,” he said.

    And?

    I mean last I checked, libertarians weren’t exactly required to support things that they think should be legal. Hell, I always thought that respecting others’ rights even when you disapprove of their behavior is what defined libertarianism.

    Or were the imbeciles who equated libertarianism with smoking pot and banging hookers right all along?

    1. “offends myself “

      His misuse of pronouns offends me, but I don’t want a law against it.

      Who am I kidding? BURN HIM AT THE STAKE

      1. If he’s saying that the feelings of offense originate within himself and affects him, then it’s a correct use of English’s ersatz middle voice. However, “offend” isn’t usually used in the middle/mediopassive voice, yet depending on the situation there is no reason it couldn’t be used that way.

        1. You just got linguisized IVH!!!

          1. Both of you sound like English is your second language, what with all your fancy grammar talk. Don’t need no ersatz middle linguizising my arse, is all

            I just don’t think from the somewhat garbled way he said it that Paul was making such nice distinctions about the origins of his emotional state. Judge for yourself.

        2. No, the use of the reflexive there is

          FUCKING

          WRONG.

          We should demand an apology. Though he could always go with, “what difference, at this point, does it make?”

      2. Considering the way Aussies mangle English, the entire country would be on that pyre.

          1. ^What the Sheila said. I love Australian accents. Actually, I need to find me nice Australian girl.

            1. Can you purchase them online, like you can with Filipina, Vietnamese, etc., women?

              1. No, but you can seduce very beautiful Taiwanese women. They appreciate that you are the first lover that can give them an orgasm.

            2. Watch your wallet if you’re hanging with those shielas with the horrible accents.

              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hoF_fa9TMDk

  4. He told the audience at a prayer breakfast that thinking “there would be some sort of other marriage” reflects “a moral crisis.”

    But what kind of “moral crisis”? A moral crisis on infinite earths? A moral infinite crisis? A moral final crisis? Or does this have to do with moral Convergence?

    1. I am not sure what that is supposed to mean. Other people’s personal relationships effect mine in the same way that other people’s wealth effects mine, which is to say not at all. Where is the moral crisis?

      If we legalize gay marriage are priests going to suddenly start diddling little kids? Televangelists start abusing hookers? Cops start shooting non-violent people down in the street? Will Pols start stealing wholesale from the public?

      1. other people’s wealth effects mine, which is to say not at all

        Your penance for this line is to go back and (re?) read The Wealth of Nations. Harsh, I know.

    2. Human sacrifice! Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!

    3. If you are immoral, that’s inconsequential.

    1. Thanks man, for once again linking us to such cultural minutia most of us mere mortals would never otherwise encounter.

    2. The top 5 rappers of all time: Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan!

    3. Well, there was no donkey sex, which came as something of a surprise. Losing your touch, eh HM 🙂

      1. It is early yet…give him time.

  5. We can only hope he’s playing the game just to get a foot in the door, but let’s be realistic, if he pivots full (or even partial) libertarian once in the WH, he’ll do, and be, to the GOP, what Obama’s is to them dems right about now, radioactive

  6. Farewell Rand. We hardly knew ye.

    1. Fuck you, socialist lickspittle.

  7. Dance puny mammal! We look forward to the day when Rand surrenders his libertarian paradise to Your Future Reptilian Overlords.

  8. “The challenge for Paul is to remain different enough from other Republicans that there’s a reason for him to run but not so different that he cannot win the nomination. I’m not sure those goals can be reconciled, …”

    That’s it, in a nutshell, isn’t it?

    I forget who first said, “I haven’t left the Republican Party — the Republican party has left me”, but we’ll soon learn if the paleo-conservatives are sincere when they say that, or if the voters will treat RP like they did Pat Buchanan.

    The hard core libertarians whom RP is currently distancing himself from are dwarfed by the numbers of undecideds that he is wooing. Time will tell if this will be successful.

    1. The hard core libertarians whom RP is currently distancing himself from are dwarfed by the numbers of undecideds that he is wooing. Time will tell if this will be successful.

      Not only that, but those “hardcore libertarians” are so fractured in the role they expect government to play in society that there’s no way to target them as a voting bloc. Doing so would doom Paul to somewhere around 1% of the national vote…and half of that would be based on name recognition!

      1. “hardcore libertarians”

        I thought hardcore libertarians were against all government? I honestly don’t know. I have lurked here for many years and it seems that reason commenters have moved towards a more anarchist stance over those years. So what exactly do libertarians want politically? Do they even know?

        1. You’re talking about the AnCaps. There’s a faction of libertarians that are on that extreme and a faction that want a strong government enforcement of property rights. Some want no police and some want a night watch,an state. Some want no military and some want one. Some want taxes abolished and some are ok with it. IMO, it’s a pretty broad spectrum.

          Libertarianism’s overriding principle would probably be an adherence to the NAP. At least for the overwhelming majority of libertarians. As far as what they want politically, there are probably as many different desires there are there are libertarian people. Hell, probably more if you take schizophrenia into account.

          1. Time for robc’s 2 rules of libertarianism again:

            1. Everyone agrees with libertarians on something.

            2. No two libertarians agree on anything.

          2. I’ll attempt a consolidated version of sloopy’s statement:

            All libertarians know the government is evil.

            Most libertarians believe it’s necessary.

        2. Your first mistake is thinking that ‘Libertarians’ are a distinct group with a team mentality and an agreed upon platform. They are not.

          Having a government that respects natural rights would be a damn good place to start making everyone here reasonably satisfied.

          1. Your first mistake is thinking that ‘Libertarians’ are a distinct group with a team mentality and an agreed upon platform. They are not.

            Suthenboy, I was responding to sloopyinTEXAS’s statement of “hardcore libertarians.” I have been around here long enough to know that libertarians are not a group and have an almost pathological aversion to TEAM, so no mistake there. But as most people here claim to be “libertarian,” my question was what do those people want politically. Sloopy answered.

            1. The one thing libertarians really agree on is a respect for Civil Liberties. Rand Paul is by far the best candidate I’ve ever seen in my lifetime (that actually has a chance) on this front.

              There are many libertarians who demand ideological purity, while disregarding that their ideology is most likely very different from the next libertarian.

        3. Some want single payer health care and a god-emperor to replace the presidency, although that’s really only about 8 percent of the group.

        4. Less government control, adherence to the Constitution.

    2. I forget who first said, “I haven’t left the Republican Party — the Republican party has left me”,…

      Swap in “Democrat” for Republican, and that’s Ronald Reagan.

      I’m thinking we may be seeing:

      Eugene Debs is to FDR as
      Ron Paul is to Rand Paul.

      The way he is developing, I prefer Gary Johnson to Rand. Too bad voters don’t.

      Kevin R

      1. Forgot the after “..left me”,

        Imagine if there was some editing function one could put on a comments page…..?

        Kevin R

        1. Ah. [close blockquote] html won’t display, neither.

          Kevin R

      2. I prefer Gary Johnson, but Rand Paul is a pull in the correct direction.

  9. No true Scotsman, he.

    1. Aye!
      -(Insert name here), staff editor at Reason Magazine

  10. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    There will never be a perfect libertarian candidate. This is the best we’re likely to see in a very long time.

    From the looks of it, we’re going to blow this chance to get someone in power who at least agrees with us on even a few things.

    But go ahead, turn your backs on Rand. When Hillary’s in charge, she’ll probably strip away the remaining bits of the constitution and we’ll end up beyond the chance of electing someone who has even some libertarian beliefs being able to fix anything.

    1. But then the writers here will be say “if only the GOP had nominated someone with libertarian credentials.”

      I swear, it’s seeming more and more likely that the reason staff writers are willing to sell our country off from a civil liberties standpoint just so they can get invited to a gay pizza party.

      1. gay pizza cocktail party

    2. There will never be a perfect libertarian candidate.

      The LP Purity Test is a bitch.

      The most libertarian POTUS since the 1920’s (Carter) is hated by libertarians despite all his deregulation and peacemongering.

      1. The LP Purity Test is a bitch.

        Most people barely score 8% on it!

      2. Here comes turdpolisher to tell us that Mr. Pricecontrols and gun control was the most libertarian Potus ever.

        Goddamn, you are a ridiculous idiot.

        1. Wage and price controls were put in place by Nixon, you moron.

          And Carter never signed a gun ban that I can recall.

          1. Before Jimmy Carter, Democrats were still fairly liberal, after Jimmy Carter, they became decidedly progressive. Jimmy Carter was the in between, which is why he is hated by EVERYONE.

          2. But Nixon inaugurated the commissions that brought deregulation by the time of Carter. Congress adopted them, Carter signed them, but it was the Nixon admin. that actually got the ball rolling. Not that Nixon necessarily believed in them?one commission reported “too soon”, i.e. while he was still in office, recommending marijuana be taken out of control schedule 1, where it’d been temporarily placed?but he put in the right people to put those things over. Some bore fruit during Ford’s admin., some in Carter’s. I don’t give Carter much credit for them.

            That’s the thing to remember: That presidents don’t necessarily believe in, say much about, or even pay much att’n to, issues that they may turn out to have a great effect on.

        2. Nothing says “Libertarian” like splitting HEW into three separate departments!

        3. He did deregulate airlines, trucking, and rail while breaking up Ma Bell and legalizing homebrewing.

          1. In terms of actual accomplishments, that’s not a bad record — at least compared to his competition.

    3. + 1 Bill of Rights.

  11. Alternate headline: This Guy Only Agrees With Us On 60-70% Of Things And Might Possibly Veer Slightly Right To Get Elected. Therefore We Must Excoriate Him Nonstop

    1. Alternate headline: This Guy Only Agrees With Us On 60-70% Of Things And Might Possibly Veer Slightly Right To Get Elected. Therefore We Must Excoriate Him Nonstop

      ^This.

  12. To get elected Rand steers toward the mainstream.

    To get elected the Hildebeast yanks the wheel hard left.

    Very telling.

    How long before the proggies try to pull a pizza parlor putsch?

    1. The writers here are gnashing their teeth harder than the loons at HuffPo or TNR. It’s telling that they excoriate the man most closely aligned with libertarianism while leaving his likely opponent in the general (should he secure the nomination) alone for the most part when she’s admitted to breaking the law in multiple ways that actually have an impact on her ability to govern.

      It’s almost as if they don’t want to make progress in the direction of a libertarian society. They’d rather be the constant outsider, bitching endlessly about that right candidate never coming along.

      1. That sums it up pretty well, but don’t forget that a lot of these guys voted for the hard left in the last two presidential elections.

        1. Yeah, because they think it gives them street cred.

          If they voted hard left because they thought Obama would be good on civil liberties, then they ought to march their ass down and start carrying signs outside the White House. Because he’s done at least as much to diminish civil liberties in Anerica as his predecessor.

          Gitmo open.
          Unlimited drone warfare.
          Double tap bombing.
          Extrajudicial assassinations of Americans.
          NDAA extension.
          Expansion of NSA spying.
          Fast & Furious.
          Ignoring FRA laws.
          The list goes on.

          1. But you only hear tepid criticism of Obama here while they lambaste Paul’s distaste for gay marriage even though he is perfectly fine with gay people getting married.

            Their priorities are seemingly way the fuck out of whack.

          2. “…they voted hard left because they thought Obama would be good on civil liberties,…”

            There was never a time when Obumbles was not very obviously what he is, a fascist. He never tried to hide it. He looked everyone right in the eye and said “I am going to fuck you to death”, and the booger-eating morons and trained seals clapped and cheered and voted for him.

            Fuck. Them.

            1. Yet you greasy headed rednecks voted the true fascist in office and now have his sorry-ass brother lined up for the nomination.

              1. Ron Paul’s brother is running for office?

              2. I just gave a list of Obama’s actual accomplishments. Care to line a list of Bush’s up against it?

                My guess is that they’re pretty much identical in their evilness.

                1. Bush’s is far more fascist, you idiot.

                  Blitzkrieg (Shock n Awe) invasion and occupation of sovereign nations.
                  Torture as routine including to the death
                  PATRIOT Spy Act
                  Fatherland Security Dept
                  voter suppression and rigging
                  overt nationality and religiosity
                  overturning Posse Comitatus
                  disavowing habeas corpus

                  1. 1. Obama expanded Afghanistan occupation in same fashion.
                    2. O has given tacit approval by not prosecuting the torturers (but Bush team is worse here-I concede the point)
                    3. O re authorized and expanded it.
                    4. O has expanded it in both personnel and mission.
                    5. Citation required for “suppression” claim. Dems are only ones convicted for illegal voting in last few decades.
                    6. His personal beliefs don’t Impact me. Legislation and policy do.
                    7. When? Did,Obama stop it or not?
                    8. How many American citizens did Bush have assassinated,compared to Obama?

                    1. Yeah. It always ends up OBAMA WORSE THAN BUSH CAUSE HE DIDN’T END GOP FASCISM! except torture of course.

                    2. I conceded torture, you assclown. But Obama could have nipped it in the bud forever if he’d prosecuted those responsible.

                      I notice you ignored the unlimited drone warfare, the extrajudicial assassination program and the double-tap bombing.

                      Not that I’m a Bush fan. The man should be rotting in a prison cell.

                  2. Don’t expect me to defend Bush.

                  3. Re: Peter Caca,

                    Bush’s is far more fascist, you idiot.

                    “My fascist was more fascist than YOUR fascist!”

                    No discussion about how being fascist at all is bad in itself.

                2. I just gave a list of Obama’s actual accomplishments.

                  Got a list of Hillary’s?

                  1. Got a list of Hillary’s?

                    I don’t have access to her DeltaSky Miles Account or the State Department’s bar tab, so no.

              3. Speaking of booger-eating morons…

                1. All we got on this team blog are a bunch of Jews, spics, niggers, pansies and a booger-eatin moron.

              4. Tell us again turdpolisher, I forget. Why is it that no companies are cutting hours because of Obumblecare? It seems like they would, but you tell us they aren’t.
                Please explain.

            2. hopefully rand has learned from obama’s example how to avoid his father’s mistakes. You just gotta say whatever people want to hear to get elected, but then once you’re in the white house you can do whatever you want. that’s assuming presidential power doesn’t completely corrupt him, which is awfully unlikely. only an asshole would want to be president in the first place, much less be willing and able to spend millions of dollars on it. robot overlords sound pretty good to me, in comparison to humans

              1. + 1 I Robot

      2. It’s telling that they excoriate the man most closely aligned with libertarianism while leaving his likely opponent in the general (should he secure the nomination) alone for the most part when she’s admitted to breaking the law in multiple ways that actually have an impact on her ability to govern.

        I’d only add that they seem to studiously ignore the fact that most of the positions they’re citing are not at all inconsistent with what he’s said in the past. He’s generally libertarian leaning. That doesn’t make him the “One True Libertarian”. But that makes him a lot more libertarian than pretty much anyone else with a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected.

      3. But…that is how they make their money, isn’t it? Free society, we go away…unless this becomes a pizza criticism blog.

  13. The challenge for Paul is to remain different enough from other Republicans that there’s a reason for him to run but not so different that he cannot win the nomination.

    Thank you Dr. Obvious.

    1. Yeah. Politics. How does it work?

  14. Someone should write a story titled:

    Keep Rand Paul Reason Weird
    Will the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate publication shed the differences cosmotarian suckung-up that make him interesting get them invited to the DC cocktail parties?

    I’d read it.

  15. but not so different that he cannot win the nomination.

    Well, there’s always getting picked up by the LP or running as a GDI, right?

  16. When your platform is designed to connect voters with the long lost basics of how an open society can flourish (reduction in merciless federal penal codes for one) you will automatically appeal to a broad cross-section of voters which will lead empty-eyed cynics in the rags to doubt your integrity.

    Modicums of honesty and fairness related to the political enhancement and national respect of human rights in this country have been smudged ragged into a deplorable mix of unionized corruption and special interests both solely intent on cashing in on the establishment’s natural disdain of the individual and the common citizen.

  17. I get the impression that Rand now has a staff of consultants cranking out complex position papers.

    He would be much better off with a simple message of Economic AND Civil Freedom. It would certainly be something different the American voters haven’t heard in very long time.

    1. On the one hand I wish this would be the case.

      On the other hand I believe that way too many American voters have become so distanced from the idea of freedom for everyone that I don’t believe the idea would sell.

      1. Freedom for me, not for thee!

        1. Damn you! I had exactly that response until I scrolled down one post.

    2. No, that doesn’t do it. Even most of the people who are interested in public affairs aren’t analytic enough that just stating things as “economic & civil freedom” would mean much to them. It’s got to be specifics, & for that, complex position papers. But not too complex, because then people get bogged down attacking & defending irrelevant details.

      Instead of “economic freedom”, make it lower taxes & less nitpicking. Instead of “civil freedom”, make it spy on foreign enemies, not Americans.

  18. I just do not have a problem with someone strongly intent on striking down senseless laws and regulations who is not necessarily in agreement with that which the laws and regulations criminalize.

    There is a big fucking difference between hating guns and enacting policies that eradicate them. There is a big fucking difference between feeling sorry for prostitutes and disliking Johns and enacting policies that seek to eradicate the sex work industry. There is a big fucking difference between the moral opposition to pornography and enacting policies that criminalizes adult entertainment. The list goes on…

    People have a right to personal conviction for fuck’s sake. And I state this is as verified libertine heathen breathing the ass fumes of God and Satan both. Yes, I’ve rimmed both God and Satan.

    Point is, a strong open society should tolerate a wide spectrum of views no matter what the fuck- it just cannot tolerate these views becoming iron fists forcing the yoke of submission upon others.

    It’s simple. People who keep laws smart and scarce are worthy of a vote of confidence no matter what their personal moral stances are.

    1. Well said.

      1. Especially the part about ass fumes.

        1. +1 NAMBLA membership

  19. Actually, Rand Paul kind of reminds a non-partisan of Carter. Kind of a wispy, bland nerd type who is not naturally into kick-ass nationalism.

  20. Maybe folks are unused to seeing actual journalism being practiced, but holding someone sympathetic to your own views accountable — perhaps even holding them more accountable, is how it should be done. If Rand can’t suffer the proddings he’ll (rightly) get from Reason, then he’s already done in the real world.

    1. But “Waaaaa! They’re picking on Rand, ’cause, I don’t know, cosmo, or maybe Kochtopus!”. That’s some fucked up shit.

      1. That’s probably directed at me because I’ve been the most critical of Reason’s needling attacks on Rand Paul for the last couple of days. Fair enough.

        My complaint isn’t their picking at his,positions. It’s the persistent and never ending attacks on minutaie and even attacks on anticipated shifts in policy when his positions are much more closely aligned with a libertarian ideology. This kind of attack mode hasn’t been employed against any,of the others as they announce or approach the announcement of their candidacy. But why shouldn’t other candidates of the major parties be viewed under such a finely-tuned microscope? Why is Paul special?

        I suppose when they run 35 articles in three days on Hillary clinton’s shifting positions and her ethical idiocy, or dissect all of Ben Carson’s past statements and possible shifts in the future when either of them announce then I’ll be proven wrong. But I sincerely doubt that will happen.

        1. “It’s the persistent and never ending attacks on minutaie and even attacks on anticipated shifts in policy when his positions are much more closely aligned with a libertarian ideology.”

          Fair enough.

          But it’s the job of a libertarian publication to more thoroughly vet a libertarianish candidate, perhaps even obsessively. I don’t expect Reason to get into the minutia of Hillary’s divergence from progressivism.

          1. I thought the mission, from an editorial standpoint, was Free Minds And Free Markets.

            What better way to destroy the possibility of either happening than to attack small items from the most libertarian candidate in our lifetime while ignoring the blaring klaxons and sirens flashing from the overriding policy stances other candidates make…or from their complete disregard once in office or an appointed cabinet-level position.

          2. No, but they should outline why her ideas are stupid from a libertarian perspective.

            If the idea is to get people on board, nit-picking the libertarian candidate while ignoring his opposition seems outright stupid.

        2. I suppose when they run 35 articles in three days on Hillary clinton’s shifting positions and her ethical idiocy, or dissect all of Ben Carson’s past statements and possible shifts in the future when either of them announce then I’ll be proven wrong. But I sincerely doubt that will happen.

          Why should it happen? Hillary’s ethical idiocy is already an established given? and Ben Carson is, well, Ben Carson. No need to publish an endless stream of articles on shit we already know. Scrutinizing Rand Paul in this context is more constructive + interesting.

          1. Scrutinizing Rand Paul in this context is more constructive + interesting.

            This.

    2. Exactly.

    3. Exactly.

  21. This examination of Rand Paul’s views reminds me again how libertarians are always the guys wasting time picking the flyshit out of pepper. Sure, I don’t agree with some of his views and the direction he is taking in order to be nominated, let alone elected. But, should he win the presidency, he will have some libertarian voices – starting with his Dad – whispering in his ear
    (unlike the Democrat winner). He will, at least one hopes, immediately lose his libertarian support should he veer off the rails…unlike the slobbering syncophany exhibited by Our Glorious Leader’s supporters. Really folks, unless Rand Paul wins, is there any realistic chance to prevent U.S.A. sliding further into a fascist hell?

    1. Of course there’s a realistic chance. Any country good enough that Rand Paul is a serious contender for its highest elected office is good enough to avoid sliding into fascist hell, whether he wins or not.

  22. It makes me wonder if he’d be more effective remaining a Senator.

    To win the GOP nomination it seems that you either have to be a cardboard candidate like Romney or adept at shape shifting.

    Since Rand has actually taken strong positions on things in the past, he certainly isn’t cardboard and it makes shape-shifting exceedingly unnatural and difficult for him.

    1. His odds of winning nomination seem pretty low. And regardless of who gets nominated, Hillary will very likely win.

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  24. I think this publication needs to split into two entities: a City Reason for the clubbers and artfags and Country Reason for the corncobs and hillbillies.

    1. Hillbillies do become clubbers when you steal their ginseng and artfags are all born with corncobs up the ass. So what’s up with this partitioning of the Reasonoids, Mongo?

      1. There are marked differences between urbanites and the rest of a state.

        My Republican city friends lament that they will never get anywhere shackled to their hayseed brethren while my smalltown friends who identify as ‘liberal’ should really cut back on their church-going and stop wigging-out over trannies and other weirdos.

    2. Which of those like liberty?

      1. I’m going to guess the “corncobs and hillbillies.” Clubbers and artfags can’t handle taking care of themselves without an adult to oversee them.

        1. Minnesota subsidizes apartment developers in rural areas as the townfolk refuse to pay higher rents.

          Country Reason could have an outdoors feature with Mitt hunting varmints and City Reason could have glossy centerfolds of cis-babes.

          1. …as the townfolk refuse to pay higher rents.

            I’d be very surprised if that were the major reason the subsidized housing was being built. Typically when you “refuse to pay higher rent,” either you go find something cheaper, or you find out there is nothing cheaper and you knuckle under because you need a place to live, or if the rent is really beyond the ability of his clientele to pay, the overpriced landlord has units sitting empty and eventually has to lower his rents to what people can afford.

            No, when subsidized housing comes to an area, it’s almost always for political and ideological reasons, not simple economics.

            1. There have been a series of similar articles over the years:

              It is a growing conundrum of rural life in Minnesota and across the Midwest. Prosperous towns complain that a housing shortage slows economic growth. Developers say it makes no financial sense to build apartments in these towns without subsidies

              The reason for low rents in Roseau, where wages have grown in recent years, is a matter of debate. City officials say the problem is not worker pay, but a complex mix of factors involving the size of the city and the rents people are accustomed to paying.

              But Rodger Tinjum, the Detroit Lakes appraiser who put a $2.2 million value on Smedsmo’s project, said the problem is low wages.

              “It’s all economics, and there’s only so much income out there,” Tinjum said. “There’s a certain amount of money that people can afford for their housing.”

              Etc.

              http://www.startribune.com/business/282093191.html

              1. And, yes, CB, I agree with you on the ‘idealogical’ reasons: rural folk claim to be contributing more monies than city folk when the opposite is more the truth.

              2. Prosperous towns complain that a housing shortage slows economic growth. Developers say it makes no financial sense to build apartments in these towns without subsidies

                Wow, it’s really easy to read between the lines on that one:

                “a housing shortage slows economic growth” — Politicians: we want more property tax revenues, head counts for our school districts and census reports, and federal subsidies.

                “makes no financial sense to built apartments in these towns without subsidies” — Developers: we want to socialize risk but reap the profits individually.”

                I’d doubt seriously that these rationalizations by politicians and developers actually reflect the real voices of the people in those areas. At least, not the ones who actually have to pay taxes, as opposed to the ones looking to move into Section 8 Housing. I don’t claim to be contributing more money than city folk (although, individually, by income, I’m right up there with them), I regard that as irrelevant, as a libertarian. Subsidized housing fails on its own merits.

  25. Powerlineblog reports that in his announcement for Presidency, Rand Paul said this: “I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.”

    That is literally one of the most mind-bogglingly stupid statements I’ve ever heard come out of the mouth of a politician. And that’s a pretty low bar, considering we’ve heard a sitting Congressman express worry that putting too many people on Guam will cause it to capsize.

    Apparently, in the world of Rand Paul we’re either going to repeal laws against murder, or set up a racial quota system. “Whoa! Sorry. We’ve arrested too many black murder subjects this month. Let that one go!”

    1. Re: Cloudbuster,

      Apparently, in the world of Rand Paul we’re either going to repeal laws against murder, or set up a racial quota system.

      Or get rid of Prohibition, perhaps?

      I mean, there has to be at least one condition where black Americans are accused of a made-up and victim-less crime like, oh I don’t know, possession, for which they are incarcerated in a DISPROPORTIONATE number compared to the overall population.

      In other words: Who the FUCK is talking about not incarcerating murderers?

      1. made-up and victim-less crime
        Paul makes no such qualifications as that in his statement. On the contrary, he says any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.

        for which they are incarcerated in a DISPROPORTIONATE number compared to the overall population.

        Blacks are incarcerated for murder in a DISPROPORTIONATE number compared to the overall population.

        In other words: Who the FUCK is talking about not incarcerating murderers?

        Rand Paul. When he says he wants to repeal “any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color.”

        That’s what he said. That’s what the words he said mean. You trying to pretend that the words he said mean something other than what they mean doesn’t mean he didn’t say a very stupid thing.

      2. Also, it would be a moronic statement even within the context of “made-up and victim-less” crimes.

        Name me one law that is disproportionately incarcerates minorities that would be a good law if only it incarcerated minorities in proportion to their representation to the population.

        Bad laws aren’t bad because they affect minorities disproportionately, they’re bad because they’re bad — unjust or an illegitimate exercise of state power.

      3. + 1 iota of common sense

    2. It’s dumb if you take it literally, yes, but this is politics so it’s code. I see nothing wrong w the sentiment, it speaks the right code language he needs.

      1. Given that his spokespeople are now trying to backtrack from the comment and explain it away, yeah, it was a dumb comment. It was so obviously dumb that now he’s getting called out on it and it certainly wasn’t worth whatever dog whistle you’re hearing in it. That comment cost him.

        Unless you think laws should be based on racial proportionality, it’s dumb.

        If he’d wanted to speak “code” for his libertarian creds, speaking against the war on drugs would have been good — because it’s bad law regardless of the racial makeup of its victims. There’s nothing libertarian about using racial proportionality as a judge of a law’s worth.

  26. I’d vote for Ron in a heartbeat, regardless of age. Rand? Not a chance. Unlike his dad he strikes me as a slimeball politician in the vein of Ron Reagan.

    Looks like I’m voting third-party again this cycle…

  27. The important thing is I separate what he’s espousing now to what we know he is really, a more libertarian candidate than we’ve been close to getting in the white house ever.

    He’s his father’s son, so keep that in mind. His influences have been much more inline with ours than anyone else’s.

    It would be nice to get a libertarian outright, but this would be a huge bell weather for whether people will support more libertarianism in the future. Every reduction in state harm, even if it’s not everything we want all at once is still saving some from form of state destruction.

    1. separate what he’s espousing now to what we know he is really

      So we’re like the Democrats now, lying about what we believe to trick the voters into electing us? Sigh.

      1. What’s wrong w that? Are the voters your enemies? Then you should cheat them. Are they your friends? Then it doesn’t matter, they’ll help you anyway.

        1. … should cheat them… (voters)

          Wow. Yeah, I guess it’s true we get the government we deserve.

      2. cloud, trick voters? go ask the average voter why they vote for x person/party. You’ll some of the most superficial crap. They essentially trick themselves. They act on emotion.

        Remember the average person after 9/11 out for blood. Bombing iraq and celebrating. This is the average person rand has to sell himself too.

    2. He’s pandering, we know what his beliefs are. What I cannot believe is how many libertarians are buying what he is selling right now.
      Dear Libertarians
      All the stuff Rand is going to say for the next year is not for you. It is for your average primary voter. libertarians have a small influence on the GOP primaries. All this garbage he is going to say is for highly religious, highly nationalistic, rigid moraled people that are 1 std devation lower in IQ than you.
      He is the libertarian wolf attempting to fit into social con sheep clothing.

      1. Seems like a good plan. Being honest with voters has never worked.

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  29. I’d rather see him mainstream and elected instead of weird and second place finisher.

    How come when Obama said he supported traditional marriage (which was bullshit – I support gay marriage and so did Obamam the whole time) nobody said “Let’s keep Obama true to his progressive roots” – of course not the media wanted him elected and just winked at it.

  30. So yeah, like, take a chance on losing 30% of voters to hang on to the, like, 0.4% of voters who insisted he stay the same he was? Why not shoot for the 0.09% of voters who were disgusted he’d sold out already by not shouting “Smash the state!” every hour?

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  32. The problem is the Republican party is full of Democrats.

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  35. I get that his position on gay marriage is “nuanced”, but I have absolutely no interest in seeing someone who finds gay marriage “offensive” win the presidency. That basically indicates while his small government trapping might seem legit, he is actually just a religion nut, and you can’t trust a person like that to hold to their secular beliefs. If someone is so religious that the existence of gay marriage “offends” them, who knows how else their fairytale beliefs will manifest…. NEXT!

  36. This Libertarian believes you are missing the point; Rand merely endorsed the defense spending plans of other prospective candidates while adding the proviso that the increases must be offset by cuts elsewhere. What better way to make voters aware that war isn’t free?

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