Steve Chapman on the Faint Case for Rand Paul



Rand Paul sounds pretty libertarian when he says, in reference to the National Security Agency, "the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business." He shows a refreshing open-mindedness on criminal justice by envisioning an America where "any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed." He stands out from most Republicans in not making U.S. military intervention the default option. He accuses 2008 presidential nominee John McCain of wanting "15 wars more." He dared to tell a Faith and Freedom Coalition audience, "I can recall no utterance of Jesus in favor of war or any acts of aggression."

But for Steve Chapman, Paul sometimes sounds anything but libertarian. He rejects same-sex marriage, which he attributes to a "moral crisis." He denounced the DREAM Act, which offered citizenship to some young foreigners brought here without authorization as children, as "the Washington elitists' roundabout way of giving amnesty to illegal immigrant students." And sometimes he pushes his libertarian principles too far, as when he took issue with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Chapman explains why he is finding it hard to like Paul as a candidate.