Rand Paul

The 'Rand Paul is Over' Wave is Cresting

Rand Paul's campaign still has at least six months to continue being declared over.


In the campaign season, lots of writers have a lot of space to fill. Weekly or daily they must have something convincingly and interestingly synthetic to say about the fact that a politician is raising money and going to events, and random people across the country are being asked on the phone whether they'd vote for him or if they like him.

A combination of low money and falling poll numbers, combined with the usual array of "that other guy involved in this team process sucks" that anyone who can get anonymous interviews with anyone involved in any campaign (or any team process) will find, leads this week to Rand Paul's campaign being declared, once again!, and still nearly a half year before any vote is cast, over, man, over. (The Atlantic did the same seven weeks ago, and I thought they were being silly then.)

Let's start with Politico. They've got a couple of discouraging facts as they take us deep inside the Paul campaign's "downward spiral."

"Paul has taken in just $13 million, a fraction of what all his major rivals for the Republican nomination have raised and far less than Paul hoped" and he's been dropping in polls lately in the Age of Trump.

Then the story just becomes an attempt to paint a vaguely sketched picture of a campaign riddled with personal issues, dueling would-be bosses, and a lackadaisical candidate.

Here's the thing I've learned about interviewing people involved in a group endeavor: You're always going to find people involved who thinks everyone else involved is is doing a shitty job. Given the slightest grain of reason to believe things aren't going well, those involved will happily anonymously blame it on other people being awful, and on themselves being "undermanned and overworked."

Grant them anonymity to complain, and you've got journalistic gold—or at least a half-interesting anecdote about a newbie to Paulworld campaign manager getting in the grill of a family retainer security guard when he thinks he's keeping the candidate from supporters, and making everyone mad at him.

Many staffers working for a campaign that isn't doing as well as they hoped want to blame the candidate himself and do, largely for not being eager and willing to work as hard on campaigning as he should be. Paul is said to be not happy enough about donor or voter relations to handshake potential supporters whenever he can as long as he can, or even to reliably show up at confabs with tons of fabulously wealthy potential donors.

The rest of the story is the sort of vague, hard to pin down accusations of malaise, and a few likely verifiable "hmm maybe I want a better job on a better campaign" thoughts from campaign staff—who are, not to sound like their boss or anything, fully replaceable if they want to jump ship. It's all interesting, kind of, but given that there was zero reason to expect an insurgent campaign like Paul's to instantly leap to the front of the pile, I'm not sure how much weight to place on it. 

When or if Trump stops soaking up all the "mad as hell at the status quo" energy, I'd expect things to start looking better for Rand Paul. But, well, maybe not!

Those daring data darlings at the Fivethirtyeight blog vow to explain: "What's Wrong with Rand Paul's Campaign." It presents what is wrong, in its style, in pure numbers, not striving to answer why. The facts are not thrilling for Rand Paul fans:

Paul saw a brief boost around the time he officially announced he was running for president. But the upswing was fleeting, and he has now fallen behind the pace his father set in the 2012 campaign. Ron Paul steadily rose in national polls as the campaign unfolded. Rand, on the other hand, is steadily falling. In addition to his plummeting support in the early primary state of New Hampshire, Paul has seen his numbers deteriorate in Iowa: The NBC News/Marist polls that came out Sunday put Paul at his lowest point thus far in either state….

The more worrying problem for Paul is his favorability numbers: They're also dropping. Different pollsters ask about favorability in different ways, but YouGov has checked the popularity of almost every Republican candidate every single week since the beginning of the year. So we can easily compare from poll to poll. Over the first five weeks of 2015, Paul's favorable rating averaged 62 percent among Republicans. Just 14 percent had an unfavorable view of him. Over the five most recent weeks, though, Paul's favorable rating has averaged 52 percent, with an unfavorable rating of 27 percent. His net favorability rating (favorable minus unfavorable) has dropped by nearly half, from +48 percentage points to +25 percentage points.

Fans of Rand or fans of what he is seen to stand for on the political scene shouldn't be blind to the not-great news: It's completely true that the money isn't great so far for either the official campaign or the uncoordinated SuperPACs, and the poll numbers against his fellow Republicans are getting worse. (He's still losing against Hillary Clinton by fewer percentage points than any of his rivals in RealClearPolitics averages.)

But money can come in at any time, no one has voted yet, and until the polls start drilling down to why people are getting disenchanted with Paul or never liked him to begin with, there is little interesting analytically to say. Is he losing ground for being against the Iran deal? For being for defunding Planned Parenthood? Because the people being polled have a completely erroneous idea about what Paul stands for? For being too radically libertarian? For not being libertarian enough? We don't know.

David Weigel and Ben Terris at Washington Post jab at Paul's apparently now defunct rep as the "most interesting man in politics" with a "follow him around New Hampshire" piece dinging him for a precipitous 10-point polling drop in that state. The campaign says—and what can they say?—that:

they see…a rope-a-dope strategy that is working more or less as intended. Although the fund-raising numbers could always be higher, they insist there is minimal downside to being out of the media glare six months before the Iowa caucuses.

Sounds like desperate excuse-making for poor performance in a certain context, but…they may turn out to be right. 

Matt Welch, Reason magazine's editor in chief and author of the book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick, reminds me that John McCain's eventually nomination-winning campaign was plagued with true tales of campaign chaos and upheaval and apparent signs of death til long after this point in the 2008 cycle.

Political writers gotta write, and non-analytical reporting on he said this at that event and made this gaffe on this TV show and introduced this bill get boring and don't generate much juice. 

It is easy to believe that when confronted even with a libertarian as un-consistent as Rand Paul, voters find it offputting, no matter how much he tries to stress things like cutting off Planned Parenthood funding and saying grossly misleading things to suggest the Iranian nuke deal is a huge mistake. Or it could be he's alienating the libertarian base. I don't know, and no one knows. 

What I wrote early last month when The Atlantic first started tossing the dirt on the coffin of Rand Paul's presidential campaign:

I'm not sure what [those saying the campaign is dead] expected—for Paul to be leading by multiple points in every poll? To be raising more money than all his competitors? To have forced all his competitors to drop out already? 

Libertarians sympathetic to Paul want him to be a decent advocate of intelligent libertarian or libertarian-leaning political ideas. It would be encouraging if he raises a ton of money and does well in the polls early doing so, but the national libertarian political revolution might still be in the future. 

The vast majority of potential voters likely have no clear idea of what Rand Paul stands for right now, and not being as into the fun and games of multi-year presidential races as pundits and bloggers, don't care. The debates coming soon might be a first chance for Paul to really educate a wider range of voters as to what he's all about.

Making predictions or bold declarations or clear implications about who will do well or win next year based on current fund raising, polling, or internal campaign grousing is pretty silly, though the hungry demands of column inches necessitate political writers doing so. 

NEXT: Watch Anthony L. Fisher on Red Eye, Tonight at 3a ET/12a PT

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    Who’s with me, cheapskates?

    1. After he changes up his campaign staff.

      1. You’re no fun.

  2. A lot of people WANT Rand’s candidacy to be a failure.
    Many of those people are establishmentarians from both parties.

    1. So you’re in for twenty?

      *shakes hat*

      1. I’ve done a couple of honey bees so far.

        You ?

        1. I was in a for hundo before it was cool.

          Hipster fight!

    2. He’d have to be doing better for people to want that. Rand is a non-entity at the moment.

      1. As planned.

      2. derp

  3. Rand is doing awful by a few different campaign metrics but according to you that’s actually good and his campaign should pick up real soon now. Trump is doing amazeballs but that’s evidence that he’s on the precipice of disaster. Do you even politics bro?

    1. Can’t spell Trump without rump.

  4. This is a new era. One were speech is money. McCain didn’t have that to fight. Paul does, and he is losing badly on that front. It is pretty much over. He HAS to hit a home run in the debate or forget it. And even then it might not be enough. Money…crushing libertarian messaging.

    1. Well, there is the fact that you’re a complete and total moron, and that no one could care what you say.

    2. Hit a home run in the debate with what? On the issues that he could differentiate himself on from the rest of the pack such as foreign policy he has equivocated. Maybe they’ll let him bring a chainsaw to the debate.

      1. Debates are a lot about style. Having quick answers, challenging others effectively, sense of timing. And purposely shaping the discussion toward areas of strength. Not impossible.

        1. Paul and Cruz are probably the most equipped to make a strong showing in the debate by creating distance between themselves and the failed policies of establishment pols of either party. And that will serve them both well through the next several months. I suggest a “wait and see” approach to the debate season for that reason alone.

          1. And between Paul and Cruz, which candidate has positioned themselves the best to benefit if Trump’s numbers decline?

            1. That’s a good question. Probably Cruz at this point. But it’s still months before the first primary, so maybe he’ll blow his wad early and Paul will be there when the differences actually count.

          2. Maybe. But if Rand performs well, he needs to turn that into money, pronto.

            1. Like John McCain and Rick Santorum did in 2008 and 2012.

              1. Days before money equals speech, my friend. It’s a brave new world.

                1. You sure are wedded to your ‘money is speech’ bullshit, even though there is no evidence supporting it (gosh what else does that sound like?).

                  1. No evidence required. Only law.

              2. McCain was. Santorum did fine on fund raising. Did you forget Foster Freiss?


          3. There’s a vicious circle though. The debates are going to focus on the poll leaders. Trump, Walker, Rubio, Bush, and Huckabee. Paul and Cruz will be lucky to get two questions each.

        2. The government using McCain-Feingold attempted to define speech as money in order to claim authority to regulate speech produced outside of a candidate’s campaign as contributions in kind, which was the basis of the Citizens United case. SCOTUS nixed that idea.

    3. What? McCain got squashed in fundraising both in the primaries and in the general. He had to accept federal election funding, remember?

    4. “One were speech is money.”

      You think the lead Donald Trump is enjoying is due to super-pacs? Face it, the journos are the gatekeepers, and they’re almost invariably establishmentarian.

    5. Tell me – did Hillary Clinton ever pay for her 2008 campaign, because she was in major debt by the time the DNC nomination was over.

      Or did some black guy pay her debt?

      1. Prommissesd only. Sex tourism.

    6. Like in 2008- when Obama lied about his willingness to accept campaign funding limits, the raised more money than anyone in history…

    7. It seems more likely that Paul’s foreign policy stances are hurting his support among likely GOP voters and that generates a feedback loop which affects how much money he can raise. Paul foreign policy ideology is killing his campaign.

      1. Yeah, when he took a more establishment GOP line, his polling numbers and fundraising went down. As long as he sticks to his anti-establishment guns, he does well.

  5. This site has been running hit pieces on him for three months.

    1. Yep. With friends like Reason, Rand didn’t need enemies.

      1. Love the Paul, hate the Paultard.

        1. I really don’t appreciate being called a Paultard. I much prefer Randbot.

  6. Pity the poor libertarians. In 1990 they promised to be the antidote to everything wrong with America. By 2015 they’d become an example of everything wrong with America.

    1. Yeah, since libertarians took over the country and started dictating all policies, things have went really badly.

      Would you like some fries with that stoopid?

      1. SHUT UP, HYPERION! You know he’s right. Those god DAMNED libertarians – sitting around not caring what I do! BASTARDS!

        When they took over, this nation was done for. And now look where we are!

      2. I may be stupid, but I least I can read. Where did I say the libertarians ever took over anything? Au contraire! They went from obscurity to irrelevancy leaving nary a dent in the plaster.

        1. Except for the MJ we got legalized and a raft of criminal justice reform.

          1. Are you referring to your predilection for trying to get out in front of progtard parades that have already left without you? Libertarians are getting MJ legalized? Odd that it mostly seems to be happening in states that reliably go into the Dems column in election after election. I don’t hear many cheers for “free markets” in any of the states where legalization has occured.

            1. Indeed- Oregon couldn’t even build a fucking website with $300 million in Fed money- which the free market mastered long ago…

    2. Who is this 1990 “they”? I’d like you to name names.

  7. Rand knows what he’s doing.

  8. Underperforming Ron Paul with 100% name recognition among Paul fans is a sign of political death.

    The GOP is just not that into you, Rand.

    1. Moron, nothing you say matters to any sentient being.

      1. Everyone is a moron except for Hyperion. What an ontological oddity!

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|7.28.15 @ 9:08PM|#
          “Everyone is a moron except for Hyperion.”

          Not me, turd; you.

      2. The only problem is that most voters aren’t sentient.

    2. The party isn’t, but the active core of the party is.

    3. Ron Paul didn’t have to run in a race with 20 candidates, dumbass.

      If you look at the polls from this point in 2007, all the current candidates are underperforming Rudy Giuliani. By your logic none of them can win.

      1. Well, after two terms of Giuliani…..

        Oh, wait….

  9. Dunno. He kinda lost me for the time being when he started going on about a need for religious revivalism, and all his SoCon courting.

    Given the current climate, he’d be better off pushing hard on stuff like criminal justice/police reform, getting the NSA to fuck off, etc. Messages he’s been traditionally good at getting across anyway. But? I don’t see him talking about any of this much.

    1. His “religious revivalism” was meant for individuals to be that way in their personal lives. He’s never openly advocated for a theocracy. That’s reserved for dipshits like Santorum and Graham.

      1. As I understand it, he’s saying that a religious revival – promoted by religious people, *not* the government – will among other things make for better elected officials, because the people will be imposing morals on the rulers, not vice versa.

      2. His “religious revivalism” was meant for individuals to be that way in their personal lives. He’s never openly advocated for a theocracy.

        Correct. But going anywhere near religion like that still makes him look bad. He needs to leave that niche to the ones who’ve already grossly capitalized on it (Santorum, Huckabee, etc).

        1. Yeah, because he doesn’t need any of them dang pro-lifers (like him) to get the GOP nom. All he needs is the vast underground network of republicans who want to decriminalize drugs. That’s the ticket.

          1. Being pro-life is fine. But running on that isn’t gonna distinguish him from the pack.

            1. I don’t know…. It seems like the rest of those motherfuckers is pretty fucking anti-life.

            2. He can distinguish himself from the pack on the areas you previously discussed. He has to walk a fine line between setting himself apart to be uniquely attractive and create an individual brand, and still appealing to primary voters. The latter is sometimes going to be a turnoff to folks around here. I don’t find the religion stuff from him cringeworthy because 1) he’s not calling for state action and 2) he actually is a Christian (and isn’t doing some cynical triangulation).

              We’re always going to have this problem with primaries.

      3. +1 sweater vest

    2. His only chance is to wait for the debate and jump on Trump’s back like the nanny in The Omen while screaming about the Anti-Christ upon finding a 666 etched in that hair.

      1. That’s the worst anecdote I’ve ever heard.

      2. For any campaign staff reading, I suggest that Rand *does not* do this.

        1. Well, he has to make sure that there is a 666 under there.

          The religious right would be in his pocket.

          1. “Well, he has to make sure that there is a 666 under there.”

            Better than 8%, turd.

      3. You know who else jumps on Trump’s back like a monkey?

      4. 666 can’t be blamed for everything.

    3. “Dunno. ”

      Well then you should just vote for Hillary dumbass. Or maybe you shouldn’t vote at all which is the same thing as voting for Clinton, dumbass.

      Whatever you do, don’t vote for Paul because he doesn’t fit your exact definition of the perfect candidate, dumbass.

      1. Never said I wouldn’t vote for Rand; he’s obviously the best R candidate available.

        If he’s not the nominee, I doubt I’ll bother voting at all. Or I might toss a vote for the L candidate.

  10. I’ve seen enough of these stories that it looks orchestrated to me. The leftard media did all they could first to ignore, and then to ridicule Ron Paul. Same shit, different year.


    1. Surely you jest.

      Did you watch the GOP debates that Ron took part in? He was ridiculed by all, particularly McCain, Guliani and more. Had you ever listened to the likes of Sean Hannity and Limbaugh about Ron? And you think left wing media cost him the nomination. Why? Because GOP voters watch msnbc?

      Wake up. The GOP cost Ron Paul.

      1. But any day now the GOP will see the light and turn into libertarians!

        1. That’s probably the saddest thing of all. That they think there is a home there in the GOP, and people like John think it’s left wing media that costs them.

          1. As sad as your early vote for Hillary?

          2. Do you two enjoy 69ing each other in person as much as you do at Reason ?

        2. Or something that they aren’t now- LOSERS.

      2. In 2008, yes. But in 2012 it was a tag team between neocon Fox News and the leftist media.

        1. We are talking about GOP primaries here. What GOP voter get his/her info from left wing media? It’s the right wing that sinks libertarians like the Paul’s.

          1. What GOP voter get his/her info from left wing media?

            Most of them. Every TV news outlet other than FNC is left wing at this point.

            1. Please. Wall Street Journal, blogs like Brietbart, even Reason, radio shows all over the dial, Washington Examiner, and more. All in addition to FOX. And that is where your complaint lies, because right wingers cling on everyone of their words. They certainly don’t from the NY Times.

              1. Looks like I got sucked into arguing with a troll. DIAF.

                1. Troll = one who disagrees with florin. Don’t be so sensitive.

            2. “Every TV news outlet other than FNC is left wing at this point.”

              To which our lefty imbecile responds:

              “Wall Street Journal, blogs like Brietbart, even Reason, radio shows all over the dial, Washington Examiner, and more.”

              Hey, idjit, did you see the letters “T” and “V”? You’re welcome.
              BTW, still looking for the effects of that study that showed ‘fracking is gonna end the world!’
              Pretty much like your ‘we’re all gonna drown!’ fantasies?

              1. Hey Sevo

                Jackand Ace didn’t respond to your post.

                I wonder why ?

                1. “I wonder why ?”
                  I’m pretty sure he got tired of dealing with questions about his lies and is now sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

              2. But Sevo we are all gonna drown.

                Here is the reason why.


                Even the NOAA is falsifying data. Our own government, using our taxpayer dollars, is falsifying data to convince us of a false claim.


        2. Try telling that to ButtliKKer, and Jackass that. =)

        3. I think Rand has done much better with Fox News than Ron did. Rand has gotten a lot of airtime on Hannity, Greta, etc. I think this is because Rand is a better communicator, and often interviews better than Ron. I never agreed with the crowd that saw a media conspiracy to black out Ron Paul, I think at the end of the day all they care about are their ratings.

      3. Why? Because GOP voters watch msnbc?

        Of course not- nobody watches PMSNBC.

        Meanwhile, every left-wing idiot who shows up here is an expert on “Faux Nooz”.

  11. Paul needs to stop listening to Doug Stafford and go back to the original political instincts that won him the Senate seat in the first place.

    I’ll give him money when he fires Doug Stafford.

    1. What won him the senate seat was happening to run during the Tea Party’s wave election. His political instincts came close to blundering it away by saying he would repeal the Civil Rights Act, etc.

      1. Oh yeah, he wouldn’t want to offend the political and media establishment by speaking the truth about freedom of association.

        After all, the current GOP frontrunner (Trump) has never said anything controversial.

        Stafford is the architect of Team Paul’s “Blah-ification” strategy? the effort to make Rand Paul appear ideologically indistinguishable every other Republican presidential candidate via the abandonment of the Senator’s deeply-held libertarian beliefs, such as:

        Opposition to drone executions without trial
        Impartiality towards Israel vs. Palestine
        Ending foreign aid to Israel
        Modifying the Civil Rights Act
        Abolishing the Department of Education?

        It would be one thing if the strategy worked but it clearly is not.

        1. His filibustering the Patriot Act extension, and causing the NSA program to expire, fits in there somehow, I assume?

        2. Rand never held closely to non-interventionism or ‘drone executions” (whatever those are), because he’s an adult. One of the reasons many like him who didn’t like his dad.

        3. I might be in favor of ending foreign aid to Israel if it was part of ending all foreign aid. Otherwise, fuck that noise.

          How much of that “aid” is in the form of buying things from Israel, though? You know, what leftards call “aid”, but everyone else calls “commerce”?

          I was also unaware that willful blindness was a “deeply held libertarian principle”.

  12. Is this sort of like market charting? IOWs, are we to read an “inverted horseshoe with hanging chad” as an indicator of future market trends here?

  13. OT: So, she may not be everyone’s cup of tea and I don’t agree with everything she says, but I still love to listen to her say it. Or, err, read what she has to say. Camille Paglia, everyone.
    A sample:

    These two people, Clinton and Cosby, are emotionally infantile?they’re engaged in a war with female power. It has something to do with their early sense of being smothered by female power?and this pathetic, abusive and criminal behavior is the result of their sense of inadequacy.

    I call it “mattress feminism.” Perpetually lugging around your bad memories?never evolving or moving on! It’s like a parody of the worst aspects of that kind of grievance-oriented feminism. I called my feminism “Amazon feminism” or “street-smart feminism,” where you remain vigilant, learn how to defend yourself, and take responsibility for the choices you make. If something bad happens, you learn from it. You become stronger and move on. But hauling a mattress around on campus? Columbia, one of the great Ivy League schools with a tremendous history of scholarship, utterly disgraced itself in how it handled that case.

    1. Oh, and Salon warning.

      1. she has been pretty great to read the past few years. The sjw types despise her, which doesn’t seem to bother her at all.

        1. Women control the sexual world in ways that most feminists simply don’t understand.

          No we don’t! We are helpless! Protect us!

          1. In “The Band Played On”, Randy Shilts used an anecdote to explain the gay sex scene in the ’70s (paraphrasing):
            ‘Imagine a bunch of randy guys but with no females to say “no”‘.

            1. Sorry, but I can’t read the name “Randy” without flashing to this moment in the greatest TV show of all time. I don’t know why they trimmed the frame.
              Also, The Band Played On was as wonderful as it was heartbreaking.

              1. Nice – and random.

                1. Honestly, everything reminds me of Buffy.
                  Or were you responding to Sevo? I haven’t yet figured out how Reason’s comment threading works.

                  1. I haven’t yet figured out how Reason’s comment threading works.

                    The threading craps out after six of levels. I was responding to you.

                    1. In that case, expect many more “Nice – and random” Buffy references from me in the future.

                    2. Doll-some!

                    3. “Especially for someone in your age bracket.”
                      Not you, of course. Giles’s

              2. They trim to frame to prevent the youtube auto-watchers from identifying it as protected copyright and being removed. You’ll also often see videos reversed left-to-right, and audio slightly distorted up or down.

          2. At least, open the door. And pick up the check. And give us flowers. And candy. And multiple orgasms. Every day.

            We don’t ask for much . . .


      2. This is probably the smartest thing Salon has printed in, oh, ten years – at least.

        1. Yeah, I couldn’t believe I was reading that article on their site. I have to wonder what the derplash will be.

          1. Today’s kids probably don’t even remember that she used to be a regular there.

              1. And her rectum.

          2. I do take issue with her giving Miss Kneepads defenseless victim status but the assesment of the Bill Clinton hypocrisy was spot on. She wasn’t his first rodeo either.

        2. Did you know, Salon spelled backwards is No Las! (No lassy, no las vegas . . .NOLAS, amigo)

          And did you know SATAN spelled backwards is JOAN WALSH?

          1. Is that anything like NO MA’AM?

          2. A less trivial and more relevant fact is that SATAN backwards is NATAS, which is Latin for “you swimming”. Co?ncidence?

            1. I think not.

    2. “Amazon feminism”

      Order your feminism online?

      1. Well:

        Now, in order to understand that, people would have to read my first book, “Sexual Personae”?which of course is far too complex for the ordinary feminist or academic mind! It’s too complex because it requires a sense of the ambivalence of human life. Everything is not black and white, for heaven’s sake!

        Which is available on Amazon.

        1. That’s much tamer than the joke I was going to make about the Andrea Dworkin blow-up doll.

          1. Please! I’m eating dinner!

    3. “These two people, Clinton and Cosby, are emotionally infantile?they’re engaged in a war with female power.”

      Hah, sure. Like wolves are engaged in a war with rabbit power.

      1. “like wolves are engaged in a war with” rabbits who have equal protection under the law, access to firearms, and minds of their own. Part of her critique is of the actions of the two men, and part of it is of the actions of the women. It’s not “blaming the victim” but it also isn’t patronizing (infantilizing… uh, leporidizing?) women.

        1. leporidising would be making like a rabbitson. Leporising would be simpler. Cuniclizing would be better.

    4. I am old enough to remember when quaaludes were a popular drug of choice for women. I remember when women loved quaaludes and would hang around men who had them far more than men who didn’t offer them to women. Bottom line was men who had, and would give women quaaludes, were more popular to women than men who didn’t.

      If a man had quaaludes he never had to force them down womens throat, he had to pick and choose which women he wanted to give them to because they all wanted them.

      To come back 30 years later and fuck over Cosby, or any other man, for giving women what they wanted is evil.


      1. Sounds like poppers in the gay scene of a slightly later era – or so I’ve heard.

      2. They liked ludes because it made it less painful to get raped, which was inevitable in those days.

  14. The main problem for Rand Paul — and Ted Cruz — right now is that Donald Trump is vacuuming up the pissed-off-at-the-GOP-establishment vote. Those two senators used to be the “guy who tells it like it is” and now they’re eclipsed. The CuiBono is pointing right at Jeb Bush, and to a lesser extent Rubio and Walker. Insert conspiracy theories here.

    Not sure who else Weigal is planning to christen the most interesting man in politics, unless he’s planning on crowning Trump. It’s a bumper crop of bores this time around.

  15. Holy shit it’s not even August 2015 and people are writing off Rand already?

    Obama was an upstart in the way of Shrillary’s coronation in August of 2007. Jesus people.

    Fucking RELAX. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Let Trump suck up all the oxygen he wants. WAYYY too early for panic.

    Some of you sound like Red Sox fans in May. That’s terrible.

    1. Normally I would agree, but you need campaign donations to survive the early stages of the primaries. And you need them now to get prepared for those early states. I don’t think his campaign is over, but he’s definitely going to suffer.

      1. Normally I would agree, but this is one of the most crowded fields in years, and there are more candidates vying for essentially the same pool of money than there have been in years past.

        If it was four major candidates and Paul was pulling way behind the top three I would agree, but there are at least 6 major serious candidates right now and Paul is pretty close to all of the middling crew. If he can hang around through the summer and make some noise at the debates everything could change very quickly.

    2. Here is the problem. Obama had no problem with money and even eventually outpaced the Clintons. Rand is way behind there.

      1. Not only did Obama not have a money problem he had someone who spent millions in advance of his run sealing off all his past records from the public.

        I wonder why ?

        1. Maybe he’ll answer you…
          Well, it seems not.
          Perhaps like trueman, he shows up, shits, refuses to clean up his mess and leaves.
          Sort like what communism does most everywhere, no?

          1. Deservin’s got nuthin to do withit.

  16. Seattles minimum wage fiasco


  17. Rand must win the Decathalon, go to Syria, get captured, have his dick cut off, recieve a medal, get a makeover by Dolezal, scream “rapist” at Mexicans, marry an ex president, take advantage of the next global financial meltdown and convince Ross Perot to get in the race as a third party. I see no other way.

    1. “Bong-hits For Aqua-Buddha”

  18. Honestly, I don’t want Rand Paul as president either. We need him in the Senate right now.

    1. He can’t run for both.

    2. Well that’s pretty stupid.

      The President has so much more power than a Senator that your statement makes no sense.

  19. Finally got the AC running.

    OMFG – it got to 97 *in the house*.

    I was dying today.

    1. Now I know why AC repairmen charge $300 min for emergency service here.

    2. Another week of heat wave here in NYC. I have a sinking feeling about the power grid….

      1. Were you around when The Pretty Fuckin’ Big One hit in ’03? Remember it like yesterday – I was in labor negotiations on the 6th floor of WHQ. Just got done with a subcommitte mtg – gotta piss like a racehorse. In the bathroom – lights flicker – come back on. BOOM! Then it goes black.

        Oops – backup generators also failed! 13 floors of escalators in the middle of the building, pitch fucking black.

        It was epic. The power started at my town – everything east of there – right foked. They told us not to come in to work for the next two days, which happened to be Th/Fr. Nice four day break with air and bbq! Good times….

        1. Oh yes. Walked about 10 miles home to Queens and then sat outside in 85 degrees and 100% humidity all night.

        2. I had just moved out of the city a year before (to Orange County) and had gone out to go to the store. When I got there, it was strangely dark and none of the registers were working properly, and I found out it was because of a power outage. And then the news started to spread about how widespread it was. And then the news reports started to show all the people having to walk home in NYC and the like.

          I made sure I bought a bunch of booze and then just got hammered on the porch.

          1. My friends and I have always agreed that the emergency meet up location after a large storm/power outage/etc is the bar.

            We know the owners, so worse case scenario we will have lots of booze.

            1. I did make a pit stop at my favorite bar in the East Village during my walk to Queens. Warm beer and against-the-law smoking FTW.

          2. Me, my roommate, and my neighbors sat on our stoop drinking beers all night. It doesn’t cool you off but it’s something to do.

      2. We’re supposed to have one more day of 90+ out here. Good riddance. Fuck summer.

        1. I hate summer in NYC with the heat of a thousand suns. It is not fit for humans. (And yes, I know it is even worse elsewhere but I’m from a region with more civilized weather.)

          1. The only time I’ve been to New York was on a Memorial Day weekend. It was already unbearably hot and swampy. No wonder the Manhattoes were happy to get rid of it.

            1. Someone mentioned the “little ice age” the other day – I have a theory that the east coast was cooler in the 1600s because otherwise who the fuck in their right mind would settle here?!

              1. Rivers, man, rivers.
                That’s where you settle; you can take some vig off the traffic.
                Why do you think all those shlosses are on the Danube and the Rhein?

          2. NYC summer is horrible. I still remember the summer (probably…2000?) where my old AC just…died. So I went to PC Richard on 86th St (I was on 84th and York) to buy a new AC unit. It was so hot that the trucks would pull up in front of the store and unload right onto the sidewalk in front of the store because there was no point taking them inside, they were selling so fast. I got an absurdly powerful unit (my apartment was envy-inducing big and long) and in the process of installing it I sweated so much that I actually left a pool of sweat under me on the floor.

            And then I maxed that fucker out. It was like being in a meat locker. I deliberately rented Stephen King’s Storm of the Century to watch in my icy cold apartment while it was 96 degrees and 96% humidity outside.

            1. I’ve always lived West of the divide. Now I know why.

              It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!

          3. “I hate NYC with the heat of a thousand suns. It is not fit for humans.”

      3. We’re supposed to have one more day of 90+ out here. Good riddance. Fuck summer.

        1. What the fuck? Fuck you, squirrels.

      4. I took my first and so far only trip to NYC a few years ago. I’m a southwestern boy, so temperatures might regularly hit 90s+ but the total lack of moisture and regular breeziness makes it more than bearable.

        Then I find myself carrying boxes down several blocks of Yorkville, helping my friend move, and am shocked to be dripping sweat onto the pavement from my thoroughly soaked shirt. 85 is balmy back home.

        1. Ha, Yorkville was my neighborhood. Ever dine at Heidelberg just below 86th St on 2nd Ave?

          1. No, but now I wish I had. Next time, perhaps.

            1. Their homemade sauerkraut is phenomenal. They make a killer paprika schnitzel, and their sausage platters are delicious. And of course you can get one, or even two, liter mugs of on-tap Spaten Octoberfest all year round.

              1. I’ve evangelized the wonders of homemade sauerkraut to you, right? It’s so fucking easy to make, there’s no excuse not to have it on hand at all times.

                1. But my cabbage. What will I put in my corned beef stew?

                2. the wonders of homemade sauerkraut

                  Ok, I just know that has to be a sexual innuendo.

                3. Yes, douchebag, I have made the homemade sauerkraut and it is very good. I have some in the fridge right now.

              2. There is a well-regarded German joint very close to me in Bay Ridge. I hate myself for not trying it out yet.

              3. Is that the place that does the insane Christmas decorations inside every year?

    3. Jesus Christ, man! We hit about that OUTSIDE. Inside – a balmy 76.

      Glad you got your cool back!

    4. If you guys have outdoor units be sure to check for pollen damage to the coils.

      1. BAN FLOWERS!

  20. “It’s all interesting, kind of, but given that there was zero reason to expect an insurgent campaign like Paul’s to instantly leap to the front of the pile, I’m not sure how much weight to place on it.”

    Here’s the way to read Paul’s polling numbers.

    Everybody knows who Donald Trump is, what he’s about, etc. When you see that he’s polling 20% of registered Republican voters, you’re getting an indication that 80% of registered Republicans know who The Donald is, and they want somebody else.

    You can say the same thing about Jeb Bush. 100% of Republicans recognize the name and know more or less who he is–and if he’s polling 14%? That means 86% of registered Republicans want somebody else.

    Almost nobody among Republican voters knows who Rand Paul is. Some of them may vaguely suspect he was against the Iraq War–or was that his father? I know next to nothing about Cruz or Rubio, and your average Republican probably knows less than that about Rand Paul…

    That means that unlike with Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, 80%+ of the registered Republicans out there aren’t rejecting Paul. That 80% + is still up for grabs because people don’t know Rand Paul.

    Not being able to raise the money to tell people who he is may be a problem. If his support is sliding in New Hampshire, that’s a problem. But you can’t get a reliable picture from the polls on what people think about someone they don’t know.

  21. Wow – troll mania the last couple days.

    Let’s spell it out – trolls, move your lips so you understand:

    It’s. EARLY. WAY too early to write off anyone.

    “Giuliani v Hillary – 2008!” “Dewey Wins!”

    Well, the latter will matter more next year. For now – STFU, enjoy the Trump while it lasts, and we’ll see who pulls ahead from this GOP shitpile. I would even vote if Paul pulls it out.

    If not:

    Almanian for President – 2016
    I Probably Won’t Make It Any Worse!

    1. I can’t really say I’d vote for Almanian.

      I’m voting for Agile Cyborg as a write in candidate because…he just makes sense.

      Has anyone seen Agile Cyborg recently?

      1. An MIA POTUS? He has my vote.

        1. I’m not sure he’s MIA.

          It may just be that ‘shroom season is over.

        2. Can you imagine though?

          We could replace State of the Union speeches with fireside chats featuring Agile Cyborg.

          1. We’d need something like the empathy box, but sharing in living AC’s trippy dreamstate.

      2. Yes they have but medical professionals aren’t allowed to comment.

      3. He was here Saturday night. In proper form I might add.

        1. Oh jeez was he ever.

    2. With that slogan you are giving Vermin Supreme a run for his money. =)

    3. Robby chummed then with the rape hysteria post, they were coming out of the woodwork….hopefully he gets a bonus for the extra hits. C’mon , Welsh, make it right with the Robster.

  22. OT but re: the earlier Snowden thread: what are the odds Clinton’s unsecured email system put up for grabs much more sensitive information than everything Snowden disclosed? His revelations were certainly politically embarrassing, and may have imperiled those programs to the extent that Americans are a little peeved about them, but nothing he disclosed could have been news, or at least very surprising news, to America’s enemies. Our intelligence community spies on people, foreigners and citizens. It keeps humongous data centers to stash all of the information it hoovers up in the process. It spies on foreign dignitaries. It’s momentous to citizens here, but probably not to, say, China’s upper echelons. Compared with the Secretary of State discussing state business on an essentially open line, Snowden seems like small fries.

    1. “Compared with the Secretary of State discussing state business on an essentially open line, Snowden seems like small fries”

      Based on the sample of emails that has been disclosed so far from the dump by state, you don’t get the impression of a high-powered official with her hands on all the various levers of statecraft and intelligence-gathering… so much as an old-woman who’s almost entirely cut off from cabinet-level meetings by the White House, and whose staff handless 100% of the actual business of the State Department, leaving her entirely free to worry about her own personal PR and to gossip with her BFF Sydney B.

      1. Biding her time until, perhaps a run at the presidency? My, how better to use your time as SoS?
        Fucking slime bag…

    2. I got a response to my petition signature regarding Snowden, and it was just as much excuse-making fuckery as you’d expect. I may need to fisk it properly here sometime.

  23. Isn’t it a wee bit premature to be singing “Nearer My God to Thee,” when the first debate hasn’t even happened?

    Or I blinked and we had an election?

    1. Contests can be lost before they begin.

      If your favorite team’s franchise QB is sitting on the couch chowing down on Twinkies from April to July, it doesn’t matter that the games haven’t been played yet. Your season’s over.

        1. Isn’t he diabetic?

          1. If so, he throws like he’s been gorging twinkies.

    1. Start from the beginning. Is the second dancer, the black dude at 0:18, Dance Floor Dale???

        1. He does a good funky chicken though.

            1. I don’t even…

            2. Oh god, 80s white teenagers. The worst kind of peckerwoods and the worst kind of teenagers. Give me more of Miss Mudshark in your Soul Train video.

      1. What the fuck is wrong you Warty?

    2. Also, the comments are enjoyable.

      Aliyah M 1 month ago
      Soul train was not all fun in games . I read a book about sistas who danced for soul train who talked about the bad things in soul train . All of the woman had to be thin or in shape ( in some cases lighter skin not too dark ) had a really pretty face nice big or long hair be sexy can dance well and wear nice clothes . That was the standard for woman if they wanted to dance in soul train .
      Reply ? 1

      Aliyah M 1 month ago
      Omg the black sista in the blue dress
      Reply ?

      Not that she’s wrong about the sista in the blue dress.

      1. a really pretty face nice big or long hair be sexy can dance well and wear nice clothes

        Jesus, it must have been just like the Bataan Death March.

        1. Oh no! you had to look good on T.V. for them to put you on T.V.!

          Oh no!

        2. Best thing about it was we got to wear formals.

    3. Holy high-school flashback.

      1. And another dead link. Must be the SF in my handle.

        1. Dammit. How come I never found any clubs like that when I was over there?

          I had to settle for this*.

          *Pretty much a reenactment of my wedding video, complete with fight scene.

          1. If you looked like that at your wedding, I can see why she married you.

            1. Well, she was the kickboxer. Alas, neither of us are in our fighting shapes nowadays.

              1. I watched that waiting for the fight… wtf? Also, If your wife was a kickboxer, I can see why you didn’t say no.

                1. Well if you want a fight here you go. The girl in red is “Nong B” from Chiang Mai, the girl in Blue is from Surin but I didn’t catch her name.

                  And yes, my wife was a second-tier fighter. Her career ended due to a motorcycle accident that left her with a hole in her skull.

                  1. Geez, sorry to hear about your wife’s accident. I hope she is recovered. I didn’t mean to be flippant. I was genuinely curious to watch her prowess. No unwelcome inquisitiveness or impertinance intended. Full respect, to both of you.

                    1. Muay Thai is bad as shit. I miss fighting. I need to make time to start doing BJJ again now that the move is done.

                    2. I miss fighting.

                      I do too, in a perverse way. Getting punched hurts. But landing a strike on the other guy? Just the feeling of practicing something until it becomes instinct and that instinct kicking in due to adrenalin and the dopamine reward afterwards. It’s one of those things evolution has designed our brains to reward us for. Like eating things with high caloric content or sex. Not always the healthiest in the long run, but the short term reward is fantastic.

                    3. I hope she is recovered.

                      As much as she can be. She fell sideways with no helmet and the chain cut into her legs. It’s been ten years now and she still doesn’t have full range of motion. Not that it impedes her day to day life, but she can’t place her kicks high enough and stuff like that. She went on to train as a chef and the rest is history.

                      I was genuinely curious to watch her prowess

                      Oh, that wasn’t my wife in the video, but it was the same league. I’m not certain if there’s any video of her matches. It would be 2003-ish to 2005. We’ll have to investigate…who knows?

                    4. She went on to train as a chef and the rest is history.

                      Well, more chefs have knocked me sideways that kickboxers. But, of course, I’ve spent more time at the table than in the ring. Still, cheers to that.

            1. That shit is hilarious.

              And completely understandable.

              1. T Raa 6 months ago (edited)
                You can’t win. They make fun if you get an erection. They make fun if you don’t. That’s why you have to master the semi.
                Reply ? 15

                1. Don’t worry guys: The boner pill spammers are there too.

                  “Michael Dero 2 weeks ago
                  When you are out of performance then trust me everything seems boring and like hell and nothing can make you feel better and in this kind of tough times this Prolargent 5×5 Extreme product is really a light in the dark for males. It really enhances the stamina and improves the performance and makes the sex full of pleasure the only thing a couple wants is sex full of pleasure.
                  Reply ? 3 “

                  1. You sound like you want sex full of pleasure.

                    1. I really do, but my girlfriend would murder me.

            2. Oh he’s getting a boner. I’m disappoint.

  24. Has Rand Paul not found a billionaire who wants him as his pet?

    1. He’s owned by the Kochs. Duh. You of all people…

    2. Tony|7.29.15 @ 12:18AM|#
      “Has Rand Paul not found a billionaire who wants him as his pet?”

      Unlike a moral cripple like you, I doubt he needs an ‘owner’ to give him direction. Did your mommy let you near the computer this evening?

    3. fuck off, you are an imbecile, but we already knew that.

  25. I don’t allow the media to choose my candidate. I’m voting for Rand Paul.

  26. His current crusade against Planned Parenthood is offputting, but he’s still the least terrible candidate on either side.

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