Tag Archives: rand paul
Just like Johnny Mac and Rudy G leading up to 2008 and His Mittness in 2012, the Republican Party establishment seems to have found their “next” man. Sure, they’d love to go with someone like Jeb Bush. An old Patrician Republican with a name they know…unfortunately for them, all of America knows his last name too. It looks like the “sane” wing (you know, the one that has lost the last 2 Presidential elections) of the GOP is rallying around Chris Christie.
Like many Conservative activists, when Christie ran for Governor in 2009, I supported Conservative Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in the Primary. Lonegan warned that Christie was a squish who would sell Conservatives out at the first opportunity. He was right.
— Jared Kaltwasser (@jaredkalt) June 17, 2013
At first, I liked the bombastic Christie. The Unions hated him, and that was a good sign. Then, Chris Christie realized he could be President if he played ball with the Establishment.
On July 29, Senator Rand Paul (shown, R-Ky.) sent a message to members of the Campaign for Liberty asking for help in a project very familiar to that organization:
I’ve introduced S. 209, the Audit the Fed bill, and I’m going to do everything I can to expose the Fed and stop Ben Bernanke’s economic snake oil “solutions” from wrecking our fragile economy.
Your action today in support of my father’s Campaign for Liberty will help turn up the heat on my colleagues to pass Audit the Fed.
In February, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2013, also known as “Audit the Fed.” The bill would eliminate restrictions on Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits of the Federal Reserve. Additionally, the bill would give Congress oversight of the Fed’s credit facilities, securities purchases, and quantitative easing activities.
Freedomworks President and CEO Matt Kibbe is known for saying “sometimes you have to beat the republicans before you beat the democrats.” Truer words have never been spoken.
Since John Boehner’s close call, nearly losing his speakership after a revolt by a number of Tea Party affiliated Congressmen, I’ve been hoping that Liberty minded grassroots challengers would emerge for key Republican “leaders”.
Today Mitch McConnell got just such a challenge from Matt Bevin, a self-made multimillionaire businessman and Tea Party Activist.
Years ago, I encountered the self-styled “Southern Avenger” Jack Hunter in an online debate in a comment thread. Hunter was a bit eccentric, to say the least, and endorsed secession, John Wilkes Booth, and had a wrestling mask with the Confederate bars and stars wrapped around his head. He was one of those wonderful freaks you meet online, a man who had a style all his own. I could admire his unique outlook, even as I disagreed vehemently with many of his sentiments.
Hunter was a radio host, stirring controversy and provoking his audience as much as he entertained them. He went on to co-author Senator Rand Paul’s book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington, and he also worked as Paul’s director of new media. Years passed after Hunter left his shock jock ways behind him, until The Washington Free Beacon revisited Hunter’s past and stirred up renewed controversy.
“Some argue with evidence that our drug laws are biased-that they are the new Jim Crow.
But to simply be against them for that reason misses a larger point. They are unfair to EVERYONE, largely because of the one size fits all federal mandatory sentences. Our federal mandatory minimum sentences are simply heavy-handed and arbitrary. They can affect anyone at any time, though they disproportionately affect those without the means to fight them. We should stand and loudly proclaim enough is enough. We should not have laws that ruin the lives of young men and women who have committed no violence. That’s why I have introduced a bill to repeal federal mandatory minimum sentences. We should not have drug laws or a court system that disproportionately punishes the black community.” Senator Rand Paul
Senator Rand Paul spoke at the predominantly black Howard University. This is not exactly like Marco Polo discovering China yet in terms of naked symbolism it was significant. Senator Paul’s actions in going to Howard are most significant considering that Senator Paul is a Republican, but less so given the Senator’s brand of libertarian inspired conservatism. In point of fact, there is more in common between liberals, civil libertarians and libertarians than between either of these groups and some elements in the current GOP. The liberty movement can and should embrace civil libertarianism and parts of liberalism because if it does so, it has a much broader demographic appeal than it may yet realize. It is possible to have libertarian tendencies and embrace the civil rights acts because they are an important arena in which the federal government protects the civil liberties of all Americans.
Rand Paul discussing the failed war on drugs. He is talking about the common sense solutions, not incarcerating non-violent drug users for decades. He points out that the last two presidents could have been put in jail just like someone serving 30 years for getting caught for possession of an illegal drug.
Rand Paul won the presidential straw poll at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but he appears to have won the debate on drones by an even larger margin.
A poll of CPAC attendees found that 86% opposed the use of drones to “kill US citizens,” while 70% were against using them to “spy on U.S. citizens”. More strikingly, 50% of respondents at America’s largest gathering of conservative activists agreed with the following statement: “Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, it’s time for our European, Asian, and other allies to provide for their own defense.”
Only 34% agreed with this statement: “As the world’s only superpower, the US needs to bear the responsibility of protecting our allies in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.” Another 17% didn’t know, weren’t sure or preferred not to say.
The wording of the questions certainly made conservatives more likely to give non-interventionist responses. One simple edit in the drone questions –changing “US citizens” to “terrorists” – might have elicited a somewhat different answer. Nevertheless, the momentum definitely appears to have shifted. Gone are the days of Americans supporting anything in the name of US security.
Chicago, March 14, 2013- Senator Paul’s speech before CPAC was a call to reason and conservatism to the Republican Party. The future of conservatism does not have to be aligned with the GOP and were it to ignore Senator Paul’s admonishments and listen to the other speakers who may like Senator Rubio, invite the Republican Party, which has lost four of the six last Presidential elections, to feel proud of itself, it stands to lose the next Presidential election as well. Repeating the same statements in an echo chamber is not a winning strategy-Senator Paul is right to call for a re-assessment. One place to start is the oft-repeated if mythical notion that the GOP wants or stands for smaller government.
GOP candidates talk about being distinguishable from the Democratic Party because they prefer small government. The facts do not bear this out to be true. Take for example, Paul Ryan’s budget. During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Paul Ryan and Governor Romney asked for an additional $2 trillion for defense spending, on top of the increases in defense spending that already existed, but refused to say where the $2 trillion extra would go. A lot of Ryan’s cuts were in toto relatively speaking – small, but they disproportionately benefited corporate interests and wealthier Americans. This presents an optics problem not necessarily erased by the mantra of the rich being job creators, others takers and lower tax rates for the wealthiest Americans leading to economic prosperity-the latter a subject onto itself and deservedly outside the scope of this post.
I stumbled upon an article in The New York Post last week titled “Rand Paul’s Triumph”and was surprised to see something positive about the libertarian senator from Kentucky in a neo-conservative newspaper. The headline gave me hope that perhaps after the last election, the Republican establishment might give up on its egregious trade-your-rights-for-security “core principle.”
I should have known better than to hope when the name of the article’s author, John Podhoretz, rang a bell.
Neo-conservatism was the brainchild of Norman Podhoretz and his protégé Irving Kristol decades ago, and Irving Kristol’s son Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard continues his father’s tradition today. So I suspected that John Podhoretz might be Norman’s son, similarly carrying on his father’s tradition and indeed he is. As a matter of fact, I quickly discovered that Podhoretz is part of the neo-conservative inner sanctum and was actually a co-founder of The Weekly Standard.
Hope does spring eternal, however, so I read on. After gushing with praise over Senator Paul’s intelligence, courage and determination (I was really hooked by then!), Podhoretz delivers his punch:
The logic of Paul’s view is that the United States is the aggressor in the war on Islamist terror rather than a bystander unwillingly drawn into a battle that has not yet been won.
Rand Paul, who turned 50 this year, is one of the most talented politicians of his generation. And one of the most dangerous.
While in my mind nothing justifies a massive attack on civilians like 9/11, I must sadly differ with the view that the United States was targeted for no reason whatsoever.