Rand Paul: Phony As Ever

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) tries to calm the waters roiled by his preemptive endorsement of Mitt “I’d Bomb Iran” Romney by taking to the pages of National Review Online to “rip” (as Conor Friedersdorf put it) Romney’s view that the President doesn’t need separate authorization from Congress to attack Iran. Unfortunately, this “rip” is but a minor tear: you’ll note Sen. Paul doesn’t say how he’d vote on this issue. And  you’ll note also that, in spite of Jack “The Southern Avenger” Hunter’s boast that Rand amended the Iran sanctions bill in the Senate, Rand doesn’t mention this “achievement” in his NRO post (perhaps because it wasn’t an achievement but a sellout, since he voted for the bill).

Rand Paul — still the Hollow Man.

P.S. And where is Hunter’s answer to yesterday’s piece, which he claimed on Facebook he’s “working on”? I won’t hold my breath waiting for it….

28 thoughts on “Rand Paul: Phony As Ever”

  1. Excellent point, Justin. I noticed the glaring absence of how Rand would vote, too.

    Hunter has become a big disappointment. With the viciousness he is attacking those in the Liberty movement who disagree with Rand's sellout, it's clear he's on the payroll.

  2. Don't you know the whole Ron Paul movement is supposed to just channel their energy into reforming the Republican party from within ….

    Yea, that's seems like the stupidest strategy in the world to me as well, and a complete destruction of the energy of the movement. All movements that could change anything in this society seem to completely self-destruct and canabalize. I can't tell which is worse that or anti-war pro-civil-liberties progressives claiming they can turn around the Democratic party from within… well good luck with that.

    1. I was saying this since 2008, mainly over the Tea Parties & the mystifying reaction of libertarians to them. Critics like me were shot down. Well, i knew it would all come to grief.

      The fact is that a consistent libertarianism, whatever its form, is simply not popular. I do not hold it against the American people; to damn them as 'sheeple' is the worst kind of narcissistic rage. I didn't sign up with this cause to be popular. I knew nobody was cheering me on. I associated myself with it because the ideas made sense. Because I wanted to do the right thing.

      No, Libertopia won't come in one fell swoop. That doesn't justify any moping. It means prioritizing, working with people who share our goals (and not make it all about us) if not our views, and to be more tolerant of divergent opinions. It's not Rothbardianism or nothing. Plus, being radical is not an excuse to be a prick either.

      Right now, this is what is important: rolling back the post 9/11 nightmare our government has become. The Fed, health care, welfare, etc are not as important. In fact, given the situation, tearing those down would do more harm than good. Those things can wait.

      But the libertarian movement has developed A LOT of big problems.

      1. Since most people have not interest in rolling anything back I'll stick with the libertarian so-called "purists".

        1. I am a purist too. Make no mistake. I am for nothing less than a stateless society (economically, I'm ecumenical. Communism, mutualism, syndicalism, collectivism, market; a practical issue.) I'm no mere reformist a la Cato. I am not satisfied with merely tweaking the current system.

          But, it is a system. System consist in multiple parts, and many people (perfectly innocent) are dependent on it. To that end, when given the opportunity, I will be helping to develop alternative structures while fighting the present one.

          As for most people not interested in rolling back anything, you would be right and wrong. Most people don't think about it, but there are good folks who are fighting specific problems. The surveillance state is being fought by the EFF & ACLU as we speak. People like Glenn Greenwald are raising people's awareness on the wars. Tor & other good folks develop solid privacy tools. Each hacking away at part of the problem.

          There is more than evil at work in the world. And it it being fought by people who aren't libertarian at all.

          I'm a purist too. I make no compromise with the current system. So I support and help people who are fighting it-and who don't wish to compromise with the system. Are their visions different? Sure. I will end up opposing them on other issues. That's fine. There will be another time.

          In any case, take care.

  3. I'd also add: Mr. Raimondo, it would be nice if you acknowledged that you supported Rand Paul at one point. It's okay to admit an error.

    1. Since when is failing to predict future events considered an error? Did Rand Paul have a known propensity for Establishment servility that we should have known about 12 months ago?

  4. The Iran sanctions bill is serious. They don't talk about his vote on it because they can't justify it. It reeks of paranoia. I think all nations should comply with the NPT but this just hurts the people of the world. Also he should look into Sibel Edmond's claims.

    A war with Iran and more Military Keynesianism isn't going to make the economy better. These threats of war hurt the economy because the market reacts to it. Obama has yet to start a costly war with Iran. Romney told it how it is. If he is elected he will go to war against Iran even if it is against the law. You run around with dogs and you catch fleas.

    Rand has brought important stuff into the conversation in the echo chamber in Washington but he isn't the only game in town. I think other people are deserving of blog posts and attention. For example these people: http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2009/12/15/only-12-ho

    I don't even know what most of them look like but they showed good sense there. If a politician shows good sense on war then they should be rewarded with attention and exposure (positive reinforcement) otherwise we end up with a cult of personality. People are having issues with the hereditary succession of dear leader.

  5. Rand Paul isn't perfect, but "phony as ever"? Why not treat him like a Kucinich — great on some issues, bad on others, and ultimately compromised in being a part of the two…er one-party system. The liberty movement is finally strong enough and big enough to have compromised "phonies" like Rand Paul in Congress, as well as the real deal (like Ron Paul), and to have a large outside-the-two-parties movement. It's good to be vigilant about principle (and the contravention of principle, like Rand's Iran vote), but I have so little invested in the system that it really doesn't get me worked up. To be clear, voting for sanctions is wrong, but it wouldn't have mattered how Rand voted as far as the bill's passage is concerned.

    I'd also generally concur with what Curious wrote above.

    1. To my Kucinich is completely useless. Just another socialist moron who thinks government is some kind of god.

      1. Look, being a purist doesn't mean being a prick.

        Besides, socialism is a broad set of ideas. Not all of them statist.

          1. Lots. Kropotkin, Bakunin, Proudhon, Tucker, Warren, Bookchin among the anarchists. (The anti-state wing of the socialist movement). Even among non-anarchist types, such as the democratic socialists, they demand much checks on the power of the government in order to prevent abuses. There are also market socialists, decentralists, community oriented types. It's a big world out there.

            Besides, what matters on this site is their stance on war.

  6. Like Raimondo typically, but he's wrong on Rand, and nasty about it to boot. Still entertaining writing despite being wrong.

  7. The most curious aspect of this is the venue (National Review) and the message (the President’s powers are limited).

    That it is in National Review suggests that Rand is at least somewhat acceptable (and important) to what has for decades been the gatekeeper, neo-con, rag. More important: Rand’s message was found worthy to print in the gatekeeper rag suggests that there is something about this message that is acceptable, even perhaps desired.

    I am only somewhat knowledgeable about NR and it overall editorial policies over the decades, however these two factors strike me as curious, if not important. Why would NR publish commentary that suggests the President’s powers are limited? At that, the Republican President (if he wins the election)?

  8. Pretty disappointing how nasty Raimondo is about Rand. I'm starting to reevaluate my opinion of a lot of people in this movement.

    Its kind of interesting that Raimondo holds everyone else to such a high standard yet I see an add for Alan Grayson on this page. What kind of sellout allows someone as vile and freedom hating as Alan Grayson to solicit funds? I don't know how Google ad get placed on the page, but if Raimondo wants to be principled he should either force Google to take the Grayson ad down or not take Google ad revenue. Of course I don't think its necessary but I am holding Raimondo to the standard he holds others.

  9. I think there may have been conflation between Rand Paul and Ron Paul by a lot of people who follow this. This is understandable, seeing as their names alone only differ by 2 letters. Anyone who gets past the name part will learn they are also related…in fact, Ron is Rand's father. This may also have contributed to the "misunderstanding". Anyone who peals away the father/son relationship and investigates further will learn the two men share many similar views on a variety of issues.

    In terms of "foreign policy", I'm not all too clear about where Rand Paul actually stands and what he actually believes. I just haven't really looked into it myself, so I just don't know…even after reading the 'National Review Online' article Justin linked, I still have no clue.

    I don't doubt Rand's sincerity when he claims to be adamant the US Constitution should be respected. I also believe he at least understands the process requirements written into the Constitution were/are not arbitrary or frivolous. I appreciate this, but I would expect anyone in the US legislature, or any branch of the US government–with any sort of decision making ability, to understand this; however, perhaps my expectation is simply unrealistic. I do appreciate it though–and the process issues are extremely important.

    I also appreciate the fact Rand was one of the few in the Senate, or the entire US Congress for that matter, to vote against the NDAA the first go-round. Be that as it may, even as recently as a year ago I most likely would have assumed a mildly retarded chimp would have concluded indefinite detentions without trial would be a "bad idea". Obviously I was wrong… Nonetheless, I appreciate the fact Rand Paul was one of the few currently in the US Congress who exceeded my "mildly retarded chimp" expectation.

    Getting past all of this…what are Rand's actual foreign policy views? Can anyone help me with this? He apparently believes in the "sanctions"…so if, and when, the "sanctions" 'don't work', what would the 'next step' be from Rand's perspective….assuming he could get his way (clearing the procedural Constitutional requirements, of course)? Taking a step back from this…when, in Rand's mind, will it be clear the "sanctions" are not producing their 'desired effect'?

    Has Rand directly addressed these questions? I don't know for sure. I would assume so, but I personally do not know. Again, he doesn't even touch on these 'issues' in the NRO article–and I'm fairly sure this was by design. Anyway…if Rand has never been asked these questions, or his answers are different than what they're commonly 'assumed' to be, I really can't fault Rand for being inconsistent with views that are not his own in the first place.

    That said, I don't think this is all that important to begin with, but I do think it may highlight a few of the 'issues' 'we' have with our system…from my perspective that is.

    1. If this conversation was legitimate then the audio should be uploaded onto youtube and file sharing services.

      1. Of course the the" conversation" is a satire. I thought that was obvious from the context. But it is an accurate representation of what actually transpired.

        1. I thought it was satire but I really wanted it to be true. I had fantasies of it bringing down the whole electoral system. It was well written!

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