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Is Rand Paul Really a Traitor?: Podcast

Short answer: no

Whoa, if true. ||| TwitterTwitterSen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been taking his lumps in the media and other sectors of the anti-Trumposphere for these comments on CNN Sunday about Russia's hackery into the 2016 presidential campaign: "If we have proof that they did it, we should spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president. I think we need to be done with this so we can protect our election....We all do it. What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected. They are not going to admit it in the same way we're not going to admit we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian elections." To which Mother Jones D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn tweeted simply: "Traitor."

This is one of several often-hysterical Trump/Russia-related controversies tackled today on the editor-roundtable version of the Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie, and me. Is the U.S. president's seeming equivalence of Russian and American interference in other countries' domestic elections accurate, and/or inappropriate? What does it mean (and is it meaningful) that Trump calls the European Union, China, and Russia "foes"? Is it proper for the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania to express clear preferences in the politics of its allies? These and other questions come under vigorous, if world-weary, debate.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Day Into Night' by Rho is licensed under CC BY NC 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Trump Apologies for America Ahead of Helsinki Summit With Putin," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"12 Russian Operatives Indicted for Hacking Democrats, Voting Systems During 2016 U.S. Presidential Election," by Scott Shackford

"The Case Against the Case Against the Mueller Investigation," by Jonathan H. Adler

"Trump's Economic Illiteracy Has Deep Roots," by Eric Boehm

"Trump Wants to Win at Trade. He's Missing the Point," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Donald Trump, Lying, and Eroding Social Trust," by Ronald Bailey

"This Year's World Cup Is a Tale of Cultural Blending, Written by Immigrants," by Eric Boehm

Don't miss a single Reason Podcast! (Archive here.)

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Photo Credit: CNN

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  • Bubba Jones||

    Morans

  • Longtobefree||

    My last paycheck was three years ago. And I don't need more money. But thanks for playing.

  • Just Say'n||

    You misspelled "morons"

  • Rhywun||

    What a maroon!

  • Teddy Pump||

    Do you mean macaroon?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

  • WoodChipperBob||

    You misspelled Macron. You messed up the capitalization too.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    media and other sectors of the anti-Trumposphere

    But you repeat yourself.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The anti-Trumposphere is bigger than the media.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's true but it's not anywhere near as noisy.

  • Just Say'n||

    Yup, it includes government employees too

  • Qsl||

    A trend I've noticed is for leftist to take up the mantle of moral self-righteousness when libertarians are pointing their hypocrisies or simply blowing through their house of cards.

    Really came to head with the smear campaign against Ron Paul, and now it appears like father, like son.

  • LamarPye||

    He has a R beside his name, he is the enemy. They cannot agree with him, it could be used against them in their reelections

  • IceTrey||

    Russia is a bunch of pickers. The US overthrows entire governments!

  • IceTrey||

    Pikers. God damn it Reason get an edit button!

  • gphx||

    Spell checkers are for loosers.

  • Wizard4169||

    We certainly don't want things any looser around here. The problem with spell check is that just because what you've typed is technically a word, that doesn't mean it's the word you wanted.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And when we do it, the media proudly puts on the cover of Time.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I do find this new flag-waving patriotism with the Democrats cute though.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Funny how they morph into Dr. Pangloss when their own kind are in charge of things.

  • Just Say'n||

    "We don't believe in borders, but........ERMAGAWD Russians!"

  • ||

    A wall on the Mexican border is laughably stupid and even self-defeating but by God if we have to reduce the internet to rubble around the globe in the name of democracy... so be it.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Trade tariffs never work, but..... ERMAGAWD we need trade sanctions against Russia"

  • Pro Libertate||

    Gotcha! is not the proper basis for political discourse.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    -1 reason for Twitter existing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I wonder what George Washington would this about this?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I wonder what George Washington would think about this?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Why did we even bother?"

  • Pro Libertate||

    That, or maybe he'd just get tooth implants and call it a day.

  • CE||

    Especially when they don't even gotcha for anything significant.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Remember when progressives gleefully crowed that "Amerikkka interfered in other nation's elections!" to bolster their international socialist bonafides?

    Pepperidge Farm remembers.

  • Jerryskids||

    In keeping with his libertarianish roots, Rand is a free traitor.

  • CE||

    He even set up his own traitor certification board.

  • Echo Chamber||

    "If we have proof that they did it, we should spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president. I think we need to be done with this so we can protect our election....We all do it. What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected. They are not going to admit it in the same way we're not going to admit we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian elections."

    And that's a controversial statement?
    I guess witch hunts are more fun than boring stuff like protecting the electoral process. Or maybe that's the point: distract the masses with a pitchfork frenzy while techies try to figure out how to actually fudge vote totals

  • IceTrey||

    It's funny how the indictment doesn't mention the attempted hacking of the RNC which failed because you know they actually had security on their server.

  • Echo Chamber||

    Nothing to indict on the RNC side, or is attempted hacking a crime? Asking for a friend

  • Sevo||

    "Nothing to indict on the RNC side, or is attempted hacking a crime? Asking for a friend."

    Someone posted here a couple of days ago that the 'law against bad stuff on the web' could probably be seen to cover that.
    IOWs, it would be like Mueller's indictments and guilty pleas: jay walking, 45 in a 30 zone, stuff that happened years ago, bullshit.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Funny how the DNC hasn't been indicted for obstruction for preventing the FBI from access to the "hacked" servers.

    WHERE IS THE SERVER, DONKS?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The DNC has magic anti indictment force fields.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The DNC was effectively bankrupt and couldn't afford the cyber security upgrades to protect their servers. Apparently Obama wasn't fundraising for the DNC. Instead raising money for his own organization. The Clintons got the DNC money from the CGI in Schaefer for contr, of the organization. Which is why Hillary was in charges of the finances ahead of the convention. It was too late though, according to the FBI timeline..

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Short answer: no

    If I understand the zeitgeist properly, Welch saying no means the actual answer is yes.

  • Longtobefree||

    Uh, the #metoo put an end to that; where you been?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Just gonna... leave this here.

  • ||

    Look, all the Clinton Foundations contributions while she was SOS were overseen and legally approved by the Obama White House. The others were accepted illegally without disclosure. So, what's the problem?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Treason is the accusation you make against someone who has harmed nobody, but has embarrassed you by exposing the moral bankruptcy that you lack the intellectual wherewithal to defend.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, to be fair, it is a real crime. It's even in the Constitution.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Proving even the framers of the constitution to be flawed beings capable of flawed work.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, I guess, though the Founders limited the heck out of it:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
  • Azathoth!!||

    The United States and Russia are not at war.

    NEXT!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Treason" is the new "racism?"

  • Azathoth!!||

    I'm sorry, you've used the same wrong answer to this question.

    The United States and Russia are not at war.

    Please accept your condolence prizes and make your way to the exit. You are the weakest link.

    NEXT!

  • CE||

    Which is ironic, since it's typically the conservatives calling whistleblowers traitors.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So let me get this straight Hugh, the Rosenbergs never harmed anyone? They were convicted and executed for treason.

  • Just Say'n||

    Rand makes a lot more sense than Amash about Russia.

  • Longtobefree||

    No, he is not a traitor.
    Yes, he is a politician.
    No, you cannot trust CNN.
    No, you cannot trust twitter.
    Water is wet.
    The sun rises in the east.

  • Heedless||

    Traitor!

  • Just Say'n||

    Does this mean that we should all just memory hole the Russia fever dreams that were pimped in Reason? Kind of like we're suppose to memory hole that Brink Lindsey article pimping the War in Iraq?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Your link is broken.

  • Just Say'n||

  • Just Say'n||

  • Hugh Akston||

    Are we really supposed to be scandalized by ENB reporting on an amusingly bizarre aspect of the Russian Connection story without lending it any credence?

  • Just Say'n||

    That isn't the only article of Russia fever dreams that have been printed here, but it doesn't matter. You're a cheerleader first and a thoughtful person never.

  • Just Say'n||

    Why not do an article about Obama being born in Kenya? You know, just the amusing aspects of it. Clearly that isn't just spreading an ape-shit crazy conspiracy theory with no basis in reality

  • Just Say'n||

    But, in this case, it's an ape-shit crazy conspiracy theory meant to benefit the war chorus in the US

  • Hugh Akston||

    Why not do an article about Obama being born in Kenya? You know, just the amusing aspects of it. Clearly that isn't just spreading an ape-shit crazy conspiracy theory with no basis in reality

    You mean like the times they did that?

  • Longtobefree||

    Where, exactly, is the dividing line between ape-shit crazy, and bat-shit crazy.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Right, but are the reporting on the Russia investigation or are they endorsing the idea that Trump colluded with Russia and that it somehow means anything? And more to the point, which one are you actually upset about?

  • Just Say'n||

    Yup, you got me Hugh. Those articles mocking people for pushing birtherism is totally the same as treating a baseless conspiracy about Russia fever dreams as legitimate is totally the same.

    What they are doing is feeding scare tactics about Russia that will only lead to further involvement in Syria along with a possible war in Ukraine. Do you think that the Trump administration arming Ukraine and instituting more tariffs was devised out of thin air and wasn't in response to crazy conspiracy theories? Let's just continue to pretend like none of this will lead to further war overseas

  • Just Say'n||

    And David Corn accusing Rand of treason is totally not related to apeshit crazy conspiracy theories. It's amazing how the principled anti-war Left is more self-aware than some ostensibly "libertarian"

  • Eric L||

    What am I missing here? Is David Corn's accusation of traitor based solely on these quoted comments of Sen. Paul? If so, what is treasonous about them? Sen. Paul states that Russia spies on us and interferes in our elections. OK. Does Mr. Corn think the opposite. Even if he didn't agree with the statement, is that a treasonous statement? Is the treason in that the Senator said that the US has also interfered with elections in other countries? The left has long criticized the US government for interfering in other country's elections. I don't see where Sen. Paul said this is a good thing and he is going to help Russia (or another country) interfere with our elections. Where is the treason?

  • NoVaNick||

    Corn's TDS has progressed to dementia.

  • NoVaNick||

    The ONLY time I can think of when leftists somewhat liked libertarians, or semi-libertarians was back during GWBs administration because both groups were against the wars (although the former was not, and never has been, against wars in general).

    Right now, the left is so afflicted with TDS, that anyone who doesn't call for Trump to be drawn, quartered, and burned at the stake is a traitor.

  • Just Say'n||

    Don't fool yourself. The Left likes "libertarians" like the people at Reason just fine. The anti-war credentials of both of them is purely situational.

  • NoVaNick||

    I know you may not like the "cosmotarians" at Reason much, but I have been reading it for nearly 20 years and have not seen them once endorse any kind of military action.

  • Just Say'n||

  • NoVaNick||

    Must have missed that one

  • Qsl||

    You're missing the companion piece to that, which was the case against invading Iraq.

    Worse, you are ignoring the context of the Tea Party schism within the GOP and the newly branded "libertarians" that came afterwards, who were at best republicans in drag.

    Not to cheerlead for Reason, but it was an accurate depiction of the types of debates libertarians were having then- that maybe the War on Terror was as significant as WWII and if given the opportunity wouldn't libertarians stand against Hitler? It was a tumultuous time.

    And even now Reason catches flak for not being the mouthpiece for The One True Libertarianism, ignoring that libertarians can't agree amongst themselves half of the time.

  • Sevo||

    Thank you, Qsl.
    Cherry-picking deserves to be outed.

  • marshaul||

    Keep in mind that Just Say'n himself is blatantly not-a-libertarian, one of the recent additions to the commentariat who view anybody insufficiently Republican as an obvious progressive.

    Which is ludicrous to those of us who actually read Reason, but that doesn't stop them.

  • Azathoth!!||

    "Us".

    I absolutely love this.

  • CE||

    Except for Cathy Young.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'll say one thing: Would be nice to have President Paul.

  • Sevo||

    Not sure he could get as much done as Trump has, but he probably wouldn't start trade wars.
    'Conflicted'...

  • marshaul||

    Doesn't starting trade wars count as "getting [stuff] done"?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hopefully his actions on trade result in a king term reduction in trade barriers like he says. For now, we wait and see.

  • JeremyR||

    Obama tried to sway the election in Israel against Netanyahu.

  • Eddy||

    So who's the yahu *now*?

  • Eddy||

    (Get it, yahoo)

  • Longtobefree||

    Using US tax dollars, no less.

  • Eddy||

    I didn't read the article, but nevertheless I'll go out on a limb and say no.

  • Sevo||

    Paul was raised as a traitor?
    You were born a fucking ignoramus and never changed.

  • CE||

    Anyone who adheres to the original Constitution as written is automatically a traitor for ignoring the winding trail of Supreme Court precedent leading away from it, according to people like this.

  • Azathoth!!||

    So sanctioning Russia is a bad thing to you?

    Wanting Russia sanctioned is a sign of treason? To who? The Russians?

  • NashTiger||

    Left - Shame = Traitor claim

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Same

  • Teddy Pump||

    I seem to always stand with Rand!

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    #StandyWithinRandy

  • Ahaz||

    Rand, like far too many Republicans, has put his values on hold in order to support this disaster of a President. He'll cry wolf and claim that he won't support a Trump nominee, but ends up voting for the nominee anyway. Rand is a paper Tiger.

  • Jim Strom||

    Well sure Rand is no traitor; obviously commenting on another's actions is not traitorous.

    Regarding: "If we have proof that they did it, we should spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president. I think we need to be done with this so we can protect our election....We all do it. What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected", this is the problem. The Chief Executive is responsible for exactly what Rand is right about. He is supposed to protect the US. When he says he believes Putin over the US intelligence agencies and clearly puts his personal politics above national security, how can any decent American defend what Trump says, and presumably, what he does (or doesnt) do in line with his public remarks???

  • Rock Lobster||

    Well, of course he's a traitor. In fact, he's Hitler. And you just can't get more treasonly traitorous than that.

    And the same goes for anyone who disagrees with any part the post-modern leftist agenda or is insufficiently enthusiastic in xer intolerance for intolerance and their hatred of hate.

  • Lloyd Clucas||

    What can you say about Corn? Probably all you need to say, is that he lives in DC and works for Mother Jones. His assertion about Rand Paul is beyond rational thought. Deport Corn to Berkeley? I suppose his Twittery is simply Trump Derangement Snydrome and should be dismissed as such. Don't waste time on this Twit.

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