19 Things in Rand Paul's New Book No Other GOP A-Lister Would Be Caught Dead Saying
From quoting Glenn Greenwald to calling Marco Rubio a 'so-called conservative' to saying the Republican brand 'sucks,' the Kentucky senator is living up to the whole 'new kind of Republican' thing
One of the main selling proposition in the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) is that he's "a new kind of Republican." In fact, that's the title of Chapter 5 in his new book Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America, which continuously makes the argument that the GOP needs to attract several new constituencies if it is to ever again win a national election.
As Paul puts it in a chapter about his outreach to inner-city voters:
Right now, the Republican brand sucks. I promised Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, that I would stop saying the GOP sucks, and I will (except for this last time). But both Reince and I know that the same old begets the same old. I believe the Republican Party and minorities have common ground. The Republican Party can rightly serve minority communities if we stay true to our core, be open to new ideas, and boldly profess what we believe in.
That's one of many passages in Taking a Stand that you just couldn't imagine coming out of the mouths of other top-tier 2016 Republican contenders. Underneath the video of our interview from yesterday, please enjoy 18 other examples of Paul's different brand of Republicanism.
2) The face of the Republican Party should not be about suppressing the vote but about enhancing the vote.
3) If Bill Clinton stomped on the Third Amendment, George Bush trampled the Fourth.
4) [A]s the writers of The Wire eloquently stated, under our current federal policies, little has actually been accomplished to lessen drug use, while irreparable damage has been done to even the most casual drug users.
5) Pink Floyd understood that genius needs to be left alone.
6) Snowden's "flight" to Russia didn't help his standing in many Americans' eyes. Though you have to question his destination, his actions are understandable.
7) Knee-jerk reactions by the barnacled boots-on-the-ground crowd who fill the halls of Congress with angry rants seldom solve long-term problems.
8) As Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain wrote on The Intercept, "anyone paying even casual attention now knows that killing the Bad Dictator of the Moment (usually one the U.S. spent years supporting) achieves nothing good for the people of that country…"
9) One of the first calls I received after my election was from Al Franken congratulating me on my victory. Freshman senators are encouraged to ask one of their colleagues to be a mentor of sorts. So, I figured why not?
10) In the New GOP it is cool to compost, shop at the farmers market, and maybe, just maybe, okay to commit civil disobedience and drink raw milk transported across state lines.
11) I will also cut spending. Some so-called conservatives recently voted to borrow $190 billion to fund more defense spending. This proposal is exactly why Republicans and Democrats have created an $18 trillion debt. When I showed these "conservatives" that you could increase defense spending and offset it with cuts to domestic spending, virtually none of them had the courage to vote for the spending cuts. These so-called conservatives are part of the problem.
11) Nearly 90 percent of [marijuana] arrests are for simple possession, and many of them occur in inner-city areas. Why? Because it's easier to arrest people who live close together and where there are more police patrols. It's easier to arrest people who live in poverty. People who are trapped in these crime-infested neighborhoods often have no means to escape, which exacerbates the cycle.
12) Radley Balko is the author of Rise of the Warrior Cop, perhaps the seminal book on the militarization of America's police.
13) The military imagery out of Ferguson and other American towns is not only an affront to the local citizens but a worldwide embarrassment for the United States. How can we pretend to be a country of constitutional law when we allow tanks to roll over our constitution?
14) Government tentacles…reach into the pockets of the poor, and I find that despicable and inexcusable. The policy of offender-funded justice is by its definition predatory. Like most predators, it targets the vulnerable. But Doc Ock cares little about the Constitution. All it cares about is feeding its ever-expanding appetite.
15) When I spoke at Howard University here in D.C. in April 2013, I opened my talk at the traditionally black college by explaining that the Republican Party had historically been the party of civil and voting rights….My audience wasn't impressed, to say the least….They had a point.
16) We've arrived at a strange moment in American politics where the government asks the public to view anyone who challenges its authority as wrong or traitorous, while simultaneously asking the public to ignore or accept intrusive behavior that a strong majority views as wrong. Are we now really supposed to vilify all whistle-blowers and trust government in everything it does?
17) It has been proven that massive military deployment does more harm than good in the fight against terror….Conventional war will continue to prove ineffective and too costly against an unconventional enemy that numbers in the tens of millions.
18) I have been a particular target of the neoconservatives. To this crowd, anyone who doesn't agree with them on every war is the next Neville Chamberlain. To this crowd, diplomacy is a dirty word. To this crowd, anyone who doesn't clamor first for the military option is somehow an isolationist.
19) [My] foreign policy would understand that hatred toward us exists, and would acknowledge that interference in elections or the administrations of foreign countries may well exacerbate this hatred.