Rand Paul

Rand Paul Suspends Presidential Campaign

The libertarian-ish senator says his failed bid ignited "brushfires of liberty."

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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has suspended

So long, sweet-ish prince.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

In a statement released this morning, Paul wrote:

It's been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty.

Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I.  

Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over. I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term.

The libertarian-ish lawmaker was unable to capture the enthusiasm generated by his father Ron Paul's two previous presidential bids, and his fifth place finish in Iowa likely sealed his fate. Paul often seemed to be deliberately pivoting toward the more conservative wing of the Republican party, which did him no service in the polls and likely alienated the libertarian diehards he hoped would serve as his base.

But in the most recent GOP debate, he appeared relaxed and confident in letting his liberty-loving freak flag fly, forcefully criticizing bulk data collection by the NSA, standing up for the Fourth Amendment, and delivering possibly the most eloquent case for criminal justice reform any candidate of either major party has yet articulated at a debate.  

You can catch up on Reason's coverage on Rand Paul here and watch a recent Reason TV interview with the senator below.

NEXT: Rand Paul Out, Coffee Combats Liver Cirrhosis, Record Number of Exonerations in 2015: A.M. Links

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  1. Well, at least he got his ideas out into the mainstrHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!! Damn, couldn’t quite get it out!

    1. If you ain’t got charisma, you ain’t got nothing.

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: democracy simply doesn’t work.

    1. That’s why we used to have a republic.

      1. Doesn’t seem to matter now, so… the following people are gay:

        1. Tyson, Enola and Ben.

    2. But doesn’t the market essentially work through a democratic process? While not being a winner-take-all proposition, it is true that popular products survive, unpopular products perish.

      1. Markets have multiple players all round and thrive on spontaneous order through individual independent decisions. Governments are coercive monopolies paying lip service to consent of the governed, and democracy only means tyranny of the majority.

        1. I agree with all that. I was just pointing out that we be careful about criticizing the sentiment of majority rule without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Any alternative to majority of rule will lead to some kind of central planning.

          1. A fucking edit button sure would be nice.

          2. Majority rule generally supposes some kind of veto power, with the majority or winning coalition choosing for all. You can whittle down the lofty, idealistic version of democracy (every person gets a say, every choice is respected, etc.) until it fits in with the market process, but by that point you’re not really talking about the same thing.

      2. “But doesn’t the market essentially work through a democratic process? While not being a winner-take-all proposition, it is true that popular products survive, unpopular products perish.”

        Yeah, but the market doesn’t offer “Product that Steals From Your Neighbor to Give You Free Shit”. If it did, you couldn’t make enough of ’em.

        1. That is one of the most insightful explanation of electoral bullshit I have seen.

        2. Most people don’t see taxes as stealing. They are wrong, but that is the perception. I am not convinced that people would vote for laws that explicitly called for stealing.

          1. Most people don’t see taxes as stealing.

            Until people begin to greet the tax collector with a double barrel shotgun that perception is probably going to remain true

          2. If people had to physically pay their taxes, tax policies would change.

            1. Milton Friedman complained until his dying day that pushing withholding was one of his biggest mistakes.

            2. If people had to labor directly for the government, say from January through April, then tax policy might change.

      3. When people make decisions in markets they have skin in the game. In Democracy people are going after everyone else’s skin.

    3. Why? Because you don’t get your way?

      1. Jackand Ace|2.3.16 @ 11:10AM|#
        “Why? Because you don’t get your way?”

        No, Jack, because of thieving thugs like you, slimeball.

  3. I never thought he had much of a chance. I will certainly miss him in the debates.

    1. Yeah, it’s clear that there is only a small appetite for liberty in this country.

      1. Or you pinned your hopes on a candidate who displayed the charisma of a limp trout at the debates – which were the average voters’ only exposure to the guy.

        1. He hates campaigning, too. Not the standard-bearer for a Preezy run. Maybe Justin Amash has more charisma.

          1. Amash has real fire. When he defeated an opponent who viciously slandered him, his acceptance speech did not contain any conciliatory statements. He basically said that his opponent was an unscrupulous scumbag.

            “You owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable smear campaign,” Amash said of Ellis. “You had the audacity to try and call me today after running a campaign that was called the nastiest in the country… I ran for office to stop people like you.”

            http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2551731

          2. It definitely showed that he hated campaigning. If you walk into any job interview as ambivalent as Paul did with his campaign, you’ll be hard-pressed to get a job. I think the Senate may be his ceiling…which is fine. It’s better than his dad did.

      2. People have no choice in whether they have a government, and very little choice in how they deal with government. If there were multiple independent voluntary governments, and “none” was a valid choice, people wouldn’t feel it necessary to cooperate with the government they hate lest others get in first and co-opt government agents. It’s like taxi drivers vs ride-sharing, or restaurants vs food trucks — governments lean on somebody, extort campaign contributions, levy taxes, hire regulators, and punish people, so it’s better to cooperate with government against the others before the others sic government on you.

    2. On the other hand, the Free State Project has reached its goal of 20,000 participants.

      1. The “Free State” is supposedly New Hampshire where Rand Paul polled at less than 3%, Trump has a greater percentage than Cruz and Rubio combined and Bernie Sanders will annihilate Hillary by 20 to 30 points.

        Free State my ass.

        1. Free Stuff State?

        2. They focus on the state level. I don’t know what percentage of participants support Rand. Also, there are less than 2,000 in the state so far, but the reaching of the goal is supposed to trigger the move.

        3. My experience living in NH is rather limited, but New Hampshirites are committed to low taxes. Left of center classmates were adamantly opposed to the idea of increasing taxes when out of state classmates bemoaned the lack of governmental services in NH and the need to raise taxes.

    3. I think the media obsession with Trump is largely to blame for this (as well as a lot of other things that have happened during the 2016 campaign). Trump has gotten more airtime on most networks than all other candidates combined, and most of the coverage of other candidates has focused on their reactions to various Trump statements, like whether or not all Mexicans are rapists or whether Jonah Goldberg is able to buy pants or something.

  4. Paul often seemed to be deliberately pivoting toward the more conservative wing of the Republican party, which did him no service in the polls and likely alienated the libertarian diehards he hoped would serve as his base.

    No. Rand was polling high when he was running as an anti-establishment conservative. His popularity among GOP primary voters plummeted as he tacked to the establishment center.

    1. I think it’s possible that those two statements mean the same thing.

      1. If you use the other definition of “conservative” they do.

    2. But in the most recent GOP debate, he appeared relaxed and confident in letting his liberty-loving freak flag fly, forcefully criticizing bulk data collection by the NSA, standing up for the Fourth Amendment, and delivering possibly the most eloquent case for criminal justice reform any candidate of either major party has yet articulated at a debate.

      Not in spite of, because. Insist all you want that Paul would have done better separating himself from the herd rather than trying to blend in, he still wouldn’t be anywhere near Trump and Cruz and Rubio. Jefferson may have been right ” that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of god” but there sure do seem to be an awful lot of people who like the feel of a saddle on their back and a spur in their flank. As long as it comes with a warm dry stall and a bucket of oats, they’ll gladly return to the barn even when you try to show them how easy it is to jump over the pasture fence. They seriously believe the fence is there to keep the dragons out rather than them in. They’ll make sure to alert the master when they see any of the other livestock about to wander outside the fence and they’ll feel proud of themselves for saving their buddies from the dragons. And look at all the free oats!

      1. ^THIS

        (sigh)
        (sniffle)

      2. Well said, very well said.

      3. Thirded.

    3. What killed off Rand Paul was the Republican party’s need for war and control. The attack on Rand Paul was always the same “He’s an isolationist who supports terrorism by inaction”, “He wants the intelligence services to be crippled leaving us defenseless in the face of ISIS”.

      He drove a stake through Trump when he pointed out that Trump didn’t know that China wasn’t part of the TPP but not a single Republican bothered to point it out and use it. Paul was more dangerous to the Republican party than Trump because Paul showed that the Republicans didn’t actually support anything other than getting power for themselves. Trump was merely a competitor for power, Paul wanted to limit power.

      It is appropriate that a party that killed off any one with even slight libertarian tendencies would now be led by the most colossally ignorant power luster to ever run for the presidency.

    4. And when not standing up for the Confederate flag, right? That was his fatal error.

    5. I don’t think he pivoted or tacked. I think observers are over-interpreting data. You run for president, it takes a while, & everyone gets various pieces of your mind thrown at them over time, based on what’s in the news, mostly. When observers are looking for the slightest nuance, they see the various samples they pick up, which are bound to differ depending on their sample of your campaign, as reflecting movement in your stances, even when you haven’t changed your mind or intended emphasis about anything.

  5. 2016 isn’t a year for making sense. Maybe next ti…fuck. Now I’ve made myself sad.

    1. Quick, Warty, look at this!

  6. Okay, so which remaining candidate has the second best hair in the race?

    1. Carly of course. It’s so marvelous she had to compare it to Barbara Boxer’s.

  7. Thank goodness for Rand Paul.

    Sorry I won’t get a chance to vote for him in the primary.

    But I’ll look forward to his next run.

    It was a tough primary, where the anti-establishment vote was split five or more ways.

    Still Rand got almost twice as many votes in Iowa as the highest scoring establishment candidate–a guy named Bush.

    I still proud to stand with Aqua Buddha!

    1. Rubio is the establishment candidate now, though, right?

      1. Rubio’s been there man since the Summer.

          1. I actually like it the other way — Rubio’s been there, man, since the Summer.

      2. If Rubio is the establishment now, then we’ve got a new establishment.

        Maybe he’s a tea party guy who’s been coopted by the establishment.

        1. Naw. Its the same old establishment, really. Rubio just joined up, is all.

        2. Rubio: kisses the so-con’s asses? check

          Neoconservative/ interventionist foreign policy? check

          Wants to increase defense spending while not suggesting a single penny of spending reduction anywhere else? check

          Seems pretty “establishment” to me. He claimed to be a “Tea Party” candidate when running for the Senate, but newsflash: he was lying.

    2. the anti-establishment vote

      99% of voters wouldn’t know an anti-establishment candidate if it bit them in the ass. They think Rubio is a tea party anti-establishment guy, for the sake of bejeebus.

    3. Honestly, even though I fully intended to vote for Paul, I was opposed to his running in the election (at least this time around). I think that if Paul were to remain in the Senate for several terms, he has the power and opportunity to make a very real impact in the cause of liberty, particularly in such areas as criminal justice reform. I just hope he stays true to the cause in coming years.

  8. Old Mexican sad!

    Rand didn’t carry the libertarian bona fides of his father but even so could’ve helped the liberty movement with his youth and charisma. Instead he began his career by making deals with the Establishment GOP. That disappointed a lot of people who were willing to give his message a listen, at least.

    1. Pure Libertarianism is, frankly, scary to most people. If it is to ever succeed it will have to work from within to slowly tear down the walls of the Establishment.

      1. Rather, I think the only hope is to educate the people from outside the establishment. If anything, both Paul’s showed that you can’t beat the establishment while playing by its rules.

        1. Exactly.

        2. So I think you’re saying armed rebellion is required.

      2. Libertarianism needs better marketing. So inept.

    2. Quick, OM, look at this!

  9. At least we have that principled libertarian Gary Johnson to carry our banner!

    (…and the Easter Bunny is real.)

    1. Or Bob Barr. Or that kook they nominated in 2004 when the front runners knocked each other off.

  10. Like most Republican voters I love endless war, so I am happy he is out.

  11. Like, federal land brushfires? You saw what happens when they get out of control.

  12. Well, sadly, I think this is the right call. No use making the “liberty movement” look bad by tilting at windmills. (Is that all the liberty movement ever does?)

    I think Paul experienced premature expectation. He hadn’t quite inserted himself into the political machine far enough and established a rhythm. Maybe after another term, I don’t know.

    1. So, not enough thrusting?

    2. No use making the “liberty movement” look bad by tilting at windmills. (Is that all the liberty movement ever does?)

      Pretty much, yeah.

  13. So what do I do at the KY caucus now?

    1. What I did in Iowa. Stay home.

    2. Flip a coin?

    3. Mock.

    4. So what do I do at the KY caucus now?

      Apply liberally in the appropriate places.

    5. Burn it down? Skip it? Something about a woodchipper that is merely juvenile hyperbole and political bluster and in no way intended to be an actual threat to any person? Hitler?

  14. premature expectation

    I hate when that happens.

    1. Why? Then you can roll over and go to sleep.

      1. Yeah, that’s what Paul should have said: “Well, that was quick, time to give it a rest. Maybe next time I’ll be able to thrust forward for much longer and give the liberty movement the satisfaction it deserves.”

    2. If you play the Black Keys song I Got Mine right after you finish, while flipping the bird, it is pretty damn awesome.

      1. That’s excellent.

  15. So, options: support Cruz, support Johnson, or stay home?

    1. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I think it’s option 2.

      1. In the general, I’ll probably just go to the booth and while saying “I don’t fucking care” push the button for Johnson.

    2. Write in Fuck you that’s why? Fuck you, cut spending?

      1. This.

        And also, if you can, fill out your ballot so that the marks make the shape of a middle finger. Or if mailing in a ballot, photocopy your middle finger over the ballot and send it in like that.

  16. Well, there you go. Rand drops out. The top candidates are a commie, a criminal, Rubio the establishment boy, Donald fucking Trump, and a authoritarian in constitutionalist clothing Ted Cruz.

    LIBERTARIAN.FUCKING.MOMENT because FYTW

    1. Say Rand got in somehow. You want that disease ridden black swan of economic ruin landing on his administration? Take some solace that at least the next Lehman Shock will screw someone else’s.

      1. I’ve always said that I prefer he stays in the Senate. That’s not my point. The vast majority of voters are hopelessly fucking stupid. And they’re going to stay that way, they’ll never learn. They’re going to keep rejecting any candidates that would actually work to help them, and keep electing this corruptocrat scum until there’s nothing left of our constitutional rights and we’re living in an authoritarian police state. Then the fucking geniuses will blame libertarians, or something like that.

        1. They learn when the gravy train dries up. Just like when unemployment benefits dry up, people suddenly are able to find a job. You just keep spreading the liberty message and make sure you have a core of people around that are up to the challenge when it gets really bad. If the dipshit Bolsheviks can take over Russia with a minority when things got bad, we really have no excuse.

          1. They learn when the gravy train dries up.

            When that happens, we’ll probably end up going Bolshevic Revolution. It will end with people loaded into train cars and sent to re-education camps, (if they don’t just skip straight to death camps) Who do you suppose the “wreckers and kulaks” who will be loaded into those train cars will be? Libertarians, and any “rich people” who haven’t had the good sense to get out of the country before hand. When the gravy drain does finally dry up, it’s not gonna be pretty.

            1. Heres the good new: all those immigrants (legal and otherwise) bring prosperity and interesting food choices to America, so, if the economy takes a shit, we’ll just allow more immigration which will make us so so so rich!

            2. What country will the rich people go to? One they can buy, I suppose.

      2. That has been my argument as well.

    2. “authoritarian in constitutionalist clothing Ted Cruz.”

      Thanks for verbalizing the impression I’ve had about Ted Cruz.

      1. I’ve been going with “smarmy dickbag,” but “authoritarian in constitutionalist clothing” actually captures it better.

  17. I still think he would have made a damn fine president.

    That said, I don’t think we can entirely rule him out in the future. Assuming he regains his Senate seat, he’s going to have other opportunities for the White House. What looked like a year that was going to have a lot of opportunity for Rand got Trumped. Going into 2015, I really thought that there was going to be a really interesting debate in the GOP. You had a lot of people throughout the GOP ready to hash out what it was the party was going to stand for. If there had, Rand would have done a lot better. Instead, you had Trump come in and take the average IQ of the GOP discussion down 10-25 points.

    1. “regains” should be “retains”.

    2. I was gonna say the silver lining is he is probably keeping his Senate seat.

    3. Of course he would. But that’s not what the sheeple want. The sheeple want to be enslaved and they will be, along with the rest of us.

      1. We get the government other people want and deserve. Unfortunately other people want “MOAR FREE SHIT”, paid for by other people’s stolen people, and a government guarantee of “security”.

        What they deserve is a good swift kick in the ass from this thing called “reality”.

        1. *other people’s stolen money*

          EDIT BUTTON!

    4. Instead, you had Trump come in and take the average IQ of the GOP discussion down 10-25 points.

      Because that’s what the GOP voters supporting him want. They want stupidity. They want to wallow in emtional screeds. It feels good.

    5. Having failed in his presidential run he will not retain his seat. He is now a certified “loser” or worse, a quitter. The people of Kentucky will hear the siren call of “more goodies for you” and dump Paul in favor of a Democrat.

      I don’t even think he wants another term. He was betrayed by so many supposed allies like Cruz and Rubio that it would be hard to face that kind of crap again. His only real supporters are in the House (Massie and Amash) both of which will either be primaried by big government types or totally isolated by that inimitable scumbag Paul Ryan.

      No matter which power lusting monster ends up in the White House liberty is in for some serious problems.

  18. Keep marching forward.

    It’s all one can do.

    1. If unable to walk I will crawl.

  19. On the bright side, he now has a shot at staying in the Senate, where he probably would do the most good anyway.

  20. too bad. I would have preferred him to all the creeps from both parties who have been running for president since they were 5 years old.

  21. Where’s the link for the Gary Johnson campaign? Or wait, what about that crazy anti-virus software mofo, maybe I’ll support that guy.

  22. Its the smart move at this point, and gracefully done.

    As noted above, the Libertarian Moment doesn’t seem to be affecting politics or the government. Which is kinda like saying we’ve got a great new fridge, it just doesn’t cool off the food.

    1. Marijuana legalization?

      1. Marijuana cartelization?

        1. The Jacket will be along to tell you any legal weed is better than no legal weed.

          1. It’s better than dealing with reality.

        2. Yeah, if your interest in marijuana decrim is fighting the harm that the Drug War does to society, then cartelization is a “win” with a lot of downsides. If you just want to get high…

          1. If you just want to get high, it’s a win too. How could you possibly think society would behave so perversely that if regul’ns make it too expensive, consumers won’t fall back on the black market? Legaliz’n gives you a floor of liberty, not a ceiling, because you can always still break the law as before.

      2. Our 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th amendment rights (and all the rest too, but those are the most obvious) are practically dead, and pretty much one terrorist attack or other “crisis” away from going away completely, but hey! At least we can legally smoke pot (if you live in 4 out of 50 states that have legalized it or DC, that is, and don’t mind losing your job if you fail a piss test).

        And gays can get married and force bakers to bake them a wedding cake whether they want to or not, and abortion is still legal, so… yeah… LIBERTARIAN MOMENT! WOOT! /sarc

        1. Do we have to start listing again the liberties we’ve gained in the past 25 yrs.? 50? 100? 200? 400?

  23. Does this mean merch at the campaign store is going on sale or that prices will spike for novelty status? I think I need more Rand beer coozies.

    1. I assumed that stuff is like championship swag from the losing team.

      1. They ship it to Africa?

    2. Dat logo tho.

      (He should keep it and use it for anything and everything moving forward.)

  24. “I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term.”

    Hmm. The people of Kentucky want really big government, just like Republicans in the rest of the country. What’s really going on here?

    1. Well, they somehow managed to elect two libertarians to congress, which means they’re beating the hell out of the rest of the country in that regard.

      1. Well, they somehow managed to elect two libertarians to congress, which means they’re beating the hell out of the rest of the country in that regard.

        I never put that together. Looks like the Free State Project should’ve chosen Kentucky.

        1. I’d much rather move to KY. Bourbon, MJ and spelunking!

  25. Don’t lose hope. Jeb! hasn’t given up yet.

  26. RP made mistakes early that he never overcame. He appeared nervous and not quite prepared for the limelight in the first couple of debates and the scripted attacks on Trump seemed petty. Maybe he can learn from it all and put a little more emphasis on the merits of his own ideas and philosophy the next time he gets a chance to run.

    I also think his hearing issue is really a problem in a question/answer type of forum. He appears like he isn’t really following the flow of conversations at times.

    1. Eye dr. needs ear dr.?

  27. Worst run campaign I have ever seen.

    1. Not sure how it can be worse then the Jeb! campaign

    2. Not even close.

      Hillbot had the entire Dem establishment behind her, name recognition, seven years of preparation, two competitors, and all of the $$$, and grossly stacked the deck in her favor, yet blew a 60-point lead to a socialist.

      JEB! has more competition but comparable levels of establishment money and support, and can’t crack 5%.

    3. Larry Pitts campaign for Wilkes-Barre Comptroller was worse.

      1. Fine. Rand’s was one of the worst run campaigns I have ever seen.

  28. I feel bad for the people who donated to the Paul campaign after the caucus. It’s like the soldier who dies after the peace treaty is signed.

    1. I don’t think a lot of people were heavily motivated to give by his 6th place finish or whatever…

  29. I’m really sick of the libertarians who put their fingers in their ears and pretend the only problem here is that Rand wasn’t libertarian enough, that he tracked to the center and scared away these imaginary principled voters who had supported his father.

  30. I’m looking at the bright side and hoping Hillary or Bernie win. When the inevitable next financial crisis happens, I’d rather a leftie be in power to both take the blame and run this bitch we call a country straight into the wall. I’m actually looking forward to the debt jubilee disguised as student loan “forgiveness” and bond issuance “debt consolidation”. Negative interest rates and the limiting of cash transactions will suck for those of us with real capital, but, hey, we all need to sacrifice if we’re ever going to reach libertopia by way of an authoritarian failed state.

    So, adios, Rand, and God speed. Hopefully, we’ll both survive our new dark age (pours some Jim Beam into the earth and lights up).

    1. Lefties have a special “Get Out of Blame” card that enables them to blame all problems that they create on the freedom of people to do what they want instead of what the government told them to do. The press supports these claims as do the vast majority of “intellectuals”, Hollywood stars, community activists, big city mayors, labor unions etc.

      So long as people fear other people thinking and acting “outside of the box” this argument will always succeed.

      1. But, another 4 or 8 years with another progressive, after 8 years of Obama, will make it harder to obfuscate the truth. People already distrust and hold in a certain amount of contempt all those institutions. That feeling is likely to intensify with another Democrat president.

        1. Maybe for thinking people, but don’t confuse them with thr population at large.

      2. Yeah, two things are true about socialists:
        1) They will always eventually run out of OPM
        2) They will never run out of scapegoats for their failures.

        1. +1 Kulak

    2. You’d rather a Dem be in office for the “next” financial crisis? If recent history tells you anything, the last financial crisis occurred with a Repub in office for 7 years.

      You know, if your a student of history. And facts.

      1. Hmmm. Do you think I give two shits about red team vs. blue team? Or the big government left vs. the marginally less big government right? I’d like to see both teams burned to the ground because sometimes you need to destroy the village to save the village. Another fiscally incontinent progressive with authoritarian impulses might make that process move faster. That’s all.

        1. You have a fairly strange way of proving how you have equal amounts of disdain for both teams when you want one to get the blame for a financial collapse over the other. Your team red stripes are showing.

          If it’s the actual financial collapse you are concerned about, and that should be your concern, then you may want to rethink a vote, or even vocal support, for the GOP to gain the Oval Office.

          Their recent track record isn’t too good, you know.

          1. I want the collapse to come so I should vote GOP then?

            Great. Thanks, I’ll do that dipshit.

            1. Say what?

    3. When the inevitable next financial crisis happens, I’d rather a leftie be in power to both take the blame and run this bitch we call a country straight into the wall.

      Unfortunately, what will happen then is probably going to be more Bolshevik Revolution and less American Revolution. Whatever comes out of that will not be anything resembling “libertopia.” It’ll probably more closely resemble North Korea or Cuba.

      1. Yes, I know.

      2. Or possibly a split? There could be some areas that shift towards liberty.

  31. Shoulda stuck to your guns, Rando. Maybe it wouldn’t have ultimately made a difference since Trump stole your thunder, but at least you wouldn’t have been accused of being just another politician that flip-flopped on some of the issues.

    1. If anyone cared about flip-flopping then Donald Trump would have been the one polling at 3% not Rand Paul. It used to be “Your guy flip-flops, my guy evolves”. Now it’s “My guy makes me feel good, fuck you”.

  32. Great, now I need a new protest candidate for the primary.

    I think the only hope is that we elect somebody so inept and crazy that they will have no power and accomplish nothing. We have plenty of inept and crazy but are any crazy enough to be overruled by congress even if they are from the same party?

  33. I know the libertarian flag is flying at 1/2 staff today in REASON.COM.

    I was never a fan of the Pauls (Rand Ron). I am more of a Gary Johnson guy (voted for him in 2012).

    As a liberal, I’m hard pressed who to vote for. I HATE HILARY and the ESTABLISHED Democrats.
    I love Bernie Sanders but I don’t think he’ll beat Donald Trump as most of my moderate friends find Bernie “Too Liberal”.

    But no worries, whether it’s Trump, Hillary, Bernie, Teddy…Barack Obama showed us all a lesson:
    The President of the United States is not the King of the United State. There’s still congress, federal court, and Supreme court. The only thing that scares me about trump is who he would appoint to the supreme court.

    Today in America, it appears that the Supreme Court is the King of America due to the grid-lock between the legislative and executive branch. So if a conservative wins in next election, I’d hate to see the makeup of the court go from moderate (as it is today) to conservative.

    1. I love Bernie Sanders

      Why?

      1. Because he’s a Gary Johnson guy, duh.

        1. Libertarianism and socialism are toats the same thing. Just ask AmSoc.

        2. Gary is the LEFT-most leaning libertarian that I know of running for president.

      2. I love Bernie Sanders (and I hope he teams up with Liz Warren) because I think these folks will focus our spending budget on domestic matters for a change. I want social security saved and I want safetynets just in case. I’m 51 and have never required a safety net. All I’ve done all my life is pay for other people’s safety net. And, I’m ok with that as long as it would be available for me and my family just in case. Me, I’m a bigger fan of making my own money and living good. I’m not interested in not working and living off of others. But shit happens in life and people need help.

        Again, even if Elizabeth Warren becomes president if Bernie was to drop dead, congress and the federal/supreme court would just stone-wall her agenda.

        Long live checks-and-balances. I’d rather have nothing happen than destroying what’s been working for the regular guy for years.

        1. what’s been working for the regular guy for years.

          So things have been working for regular guys for years? And the reason these things have been working was because of checks and balances? My guess is that’s a correlation not a causation. And, in recent decades things haven’t been working out so well for regular guys (see lower median annual income) have they?

          But I’m sure more of the same will solve the problem.

          1. Let me make myself clear. When things go wrong for the regular guy there are safetynets in place in which libertarians and republicans have been trying to destroy since their inception.

            I agree with you. As far as upward mobility or even maintaining, the regular guy has been fucked by the exodus of jobs.

            That’s the free market for ya. If I wanted to open up a chair making factory, it’s china/mexico or nothing.

            1. So, your solution is a closed state with a safety net for citizens and punishment for “capitalists” who export jobs to China or Mexico. I think that’s a strategy that’s been tried previously.

              But, great. I’m sure it will work this time.

              1. Punishment for capitalist who export jobs
                What do you think is the solution for the masses of people unemployed or having to work three minimum wage jobs?

                You can do one of many things:
                A: Fuck-em (typical libertarian response)
                B: Face social crisis that will come about saying “Fuck-em”
                C: Skim the haves to pay for the have-nots (Even I’m not a fan of this).
                D: Create incentives (or as you call them, punishments) for “Capitalist” that create jobs here over the ones that export Jobs.

                Not everyone is a “Capitalist”.

                I like option “D”, what I call incentives and you call punishments.
                The Incentive:
                I would have a ZERO Corporate Tax Rate on any American Corporation that has 95% of their workforce in the united states and that will include full-time employees and contractors or temps AND VENDORS.
                The Punishment:
                A 25% Corporate Income Tax on companies that have a workforce greater than 5% outside the USA.

                I don’t know if 5% is the proper #. But eliminating the corporate income tax is a start.

                1. Alice, I like that your thinking involves cutting taxes, but trying to engineer behavior with taxation almost always produces distortions, influence peddling, and numerous factions begging the government to protect their turf. The government grows larger and more powerful as a result.

                  The problem is that you don’t recognize the huge role that the government plays in causing jobs to go overseas. Businesses here face enormous reams of regulation – labor, environmental, safety, etc.

                  Jobs in other countries are cheaper because they are poorer, and they have less regulation. You know what, we were poorer once and we had less regulation then.

                  It wasn’t regulation that produced safe, clean jobs. It was wealth growth and innovation. Wealth produces these things. You can’t just jump past the arrow of time and go straight from poverty to safe, clean jobs.

                  So, the answer is to help other countries get rich. Their wealth will grow, their jobs get safer and cleaner, and incomes will rise. Then, they will really want to buy things and there will be plenty of work to go around.

    2. All good points.

    3. I’m confused as to how you can rationalize supporting a Libertarian Party candidate and a socialist.

    4. Whenever someone says, “I love Bernie Sanders”, it’s best just to pat them on their little vacuous head and say, “Run along and play now, be careful!”

    5. But no worries, whether it’s Trump, Hillary, Bernie, Teddy…Barack Obama showed us all a lesson:
      The President of the United States is not the King of the United State. There’s still congress, federal court, and Supreme court.

      Wow, you and I took diametrically opposite lessons from the Obama years. You must be very young and/or naive.

      I really do hope you’re right, but you’re not.

      1. He’s right when the Chief Justice isn’t a spineless sack of shit. John Marshall was the republic’s last line of defense against Jeffersonian overreach and, though he was far from perfect, saved the Constitution and the integrity of the three-independent-branch government for decades to come. Roberts, on the other hand, will perform legal contortions and whatever doublethink necessary to save the ACA and garner fleeting praise from the opinion-writers at WaPo.

        1. We’re not even close to being a constitutional republic any longer. We lost that fight nearly a hundred years ago.

          1. I respectfully disagree.

            The fact that the Supreme court ruled in the spirit of the constitution has been a make/break for many laws.

            Democracy is not winning lately. The majority of cooks in America would had been a-ok with black people sitting in the back of the bus, gay people in the closet, and young girls using coat hangers. The supreme court generally rules against the majority because this is a constitutional republic.

            Now, you can argue that the individual Justices are skewed so it’s not really a puritan interpretation of the constitution. That’s why I vote towards the liberal side all of the time. Conservatives are MEAN !!!

            1. The administrative/regulatory deep state has made the Supreme Court moot.

                1. No. Debating you is like debating a retarded monkey.

                  1. Hey I wasn’t rude to you. I just wanted to know your opinion on admin/reg policies put in place by gov agencies like the EPA, IRS, DMV, etc. These agencies appear to have the power to create law without voter representation.

            2. A few observations:

              (1) “Spirit of the Constitution” isn’t a thing, much less an enforceable law.

              (2) Democracy shouldn’t be winning. We don’t live in a democracy. The job of the court is to interpret the laws and the Constitution. Rule of law should be winning (but isn’t, incidentally).

              (3) The horrors you describe (segregation, oppression of homosexuals, etc.) are products of democracy and majority rule.

              (4) It sounds like your issue is more with legislatures than with judges. The role of the judge is to apply and interpret the law as written.

              (5) OMG! Consurvahtivz is toats mean, amirite! It’s like, ugh, it’s 2016. I can’t even.

              1. I believe I agree with everything you said.

            3. The majority of cooks…

              Who the fuck cares what the majority of cooks think about anything?

          2. We’re not even close to being a constitutional republic any longer. We lost that fight nearly a hundred years ago.

            You are, of course, correct, though I would put it closer to 150 years ago. I don’t think people really grasp how the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment fundamentally changed the nature of the U.S. and the relationship between the states and the Federal government. The Seventeenth Amendment has exacerbated this effect.

            1. Should we have never fought the civil war ?

              1. Your non-sequitur is acknowledge but will not be answered.

  34. He jumped into it too early. That also factored into his flawed perceived need to be more traditionally conservative on some issues, ie move right, to be more ‘appealing’ to primary voters. Had he jumped in after labor day he would have been a) a new face and b) clearly distinct from the others who are simply the same policies with different faces. Oh well. At least I can now finally burn my R registration card.

  35. Maybe it’s time to reassess that libertarian goal of a home in the GOP. That thinking that said libertarians could co-opt the GOP.

    Reading most of the comments here on a number of issues every day, I think the GOP is co-opting libertarians.

    1. We have our own party, thanks. There’s certainly no way we can have anything to do with a party split between sincere totalitarian communists and corrupt authoritarian machine politicians.

      And are we really going to share a party with SJWs who hate MLK and want to resegregate public schools? Aside from Irish, none of us is getting behind that.

    2. Your party’s candidates are a socialist, a guy who was caricatured on “The Wire”, and a corrupt, power-hungry traitor whose only noteworthy accomplishment in life was marrying Bill Clinton. Fuck off, slaver.

      1. And an apologist for team red shows up. Like clockwork.

        1. Are there any mirrors in your house?

        2. You heard it here folks! Pointing that the Democraps suck shit too = apologia for team red!

          Eat a bag of dicks, shithead, we’re not buying what team blue is selling either.

  36. Unfortunate, but hey, best he focus back on the Senate and ensure he holds his seat.

    1. I hope he does a better job campaigning there. Looking like he cares about the job would be a good first step.

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