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In Paul candidacy, a referendum on Tea Party ideas

2 min read

In Paul candidacy, a referendum on Tea Party ideas

By Perry Bacon Jr.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky–Liberals have criticized the Tea Party movement as an amorphous, incoherent, possibly racist group of opponents of President Obama who are not offering an alternative agenda of their own.

But Rand Paul, the U.S. Senate candidate favored to win the Republican primary here, is offering a series of conservative positions that is one of the most detailed articulations yet of how Tea Party principles would translate into governing.

If Paul wins the primary, he would both defeat a Republican opponent who has cast these views as out of the mainstream and turn the election here this fall into a debate over the Tea Party’s vision for the country.

Paul is full of ideas that neither of the two major political parties fully embrace, although many of his positions are in the Tea Party activists’ policy document, which they have dubbed the “Contract from America.”

If Rand Paul had his way, the federal government would no longer hand out subsidies to support farmers. The retirement age would be raised to make Social Security solvent. Senators could only serve 12 years in office. Congress would have to delay voting one day for every 20 pages of text in a bill so the public would have time to read and understand it. A section of every law passed would have to include an explanation of what part of the Constitution empowers Congress to act on the issue.

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