What Will Senator Rand Paul Be Like?

It looks like Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul, has won the Republican Party nomination for senate against establishment candidate Trey Grayson in Kentucky tonight. The media has declared this a “big win for the Tea Party” — because it would seem to fit the familiar one-dimensional narrative. But after months of so-called Tea Partiers jumping on the Rand Paul bandwagon, maybe it really is their night after all.

First, let’s get it straight that Rand Paul, aside from being his own man — who told me personally had been planning a future run at politics for at least 18 years — can attribute much of his early success on the political radar to the Campaign for Liberty folks — the Ron Paul-inspired libertarians who loyally promoted his candidacy, raised money and spread the word to libertarian groups and like-minded individuals across the country. It wasn’t until he declared his candidacy and Sarah Palin gave her infamous endorsement to the younger Paul that Rand started becoming a “Tea Party candidate.” Today, on the evening of his victory, it is the Tea Party, not the individual, that seems to be getting all of the attention.

Of course, Paul did little to counter that along the way, and with good reason. He had to rely on the bedrock Kentucky Republican base in a closed primary. While independents could make noise for Rand,  unless they registered GOP by the first of the year, they could not vote tonight. Paul sensed that his predominantly Republican constituency was angry at Washington, but would identify less with his libertarian views on say, war and civil liberties, than on issues of the deficit and government bailouts and “Obamacare.”  Thus, he played down his support for medical marijuana, his opposition to the Patriot Act, and most importantly, massaged his stance on the war and the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Where his father Ron has been consistently vocal about his opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rand says he is willing to put the issue of Afghanistan up for a “national debate.” While he is wary of foreign entanglements and like his father, has talked about U.S foreign policy playing a hand in unrest abroad, he only goes so far to suggest there should be a formal declaration of war in Afghanistan — if that is what the nation wants. On Gitmo, he was lambasted for previously suggesting it should be closed, but then shifted into  hawk mode somewhere this winter, warning against unleashing “terrorists” on Main Street and calling for military tribunals for the prisoners.

Polls indicate that Paul has a good chance of becoming Kentucky’s junior senator in November. That would mean two Pauls on Capitol Hill. That should be double trouble for the congressional establishment on both sides of the aisle. Or will it be? Will he be his own man or the Tea Party’s man? Will he follow through on re-0pening a real debate on the Afghanistan War policy, or spend his time dogging the president about trying Gitmo detainees in the military tribunals, which we all know are fatally flawed? Will he shy away from war issues, or become a natural voice for limited foreign intervention?

Time will tell. We know the money will come in like a tsunami from Tea Partiers across the country now. Hopefully, he will remember who brung him to the dance.

UPDATE: It’s clear from Paul’s victory speech, that he no longer sees a difference between the revolution that began with his father’s presidential run and the Tea Party of today (though he has acknowledged publicly that he believes the vast majority in the Tea Party movement voted for John McCain, not Ron Paul in 2008). “I have a message — a message from the Tea Party. A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We’ve come to take our government back,” he said during his victory speech last night. I guess we can expect a lot more rhetoric criticizing President Obama for “apologizing” to socialist dictators “for America’s greatness” and for our glorious capitalist system (like he did last night) and a lot less talk about the gushing open wound that is our U.S foreign policy abroad and the erosion of our civil liberties at home (like he used to). Though he talked about the “mountain of debt devouring this country,” there was zero mention of the trillion dollar war in last night’s speech.

So my new question is, if and when Rand Paul and the Tea Party  take “the government back,” who they will give it back to?

93 thoughts on “What Will Senator Rand Paul Be Like?”

  1. And I have one piece of advice for Mr. Rand Paul should he win the race, something his father avoided. FFS man, pay attention to those newsletters…

  2. Oh great, so we get an "anti-establishment" candidate who wants to keep fighting wars to make the world safe for greater Israel. The fact is, the so-called "rebels" on the right wing of the Republican party are overwhelmingly even BIGGER warmongers than any of the alternatives. When it comes to our warmongering foreign policy, these "rebels" want the status quo – only more so. The real rebellion that we actually need still has no elected champions. AIPAC always wins American elections, because any potential anti-AIPAC alternatives are disappeared by our Israeli-occupied media.

  3. Watch as Rand Paul becomes the 'changeling'. Shifting slowly and ever so slowly into establishment republican't warmongering sell out. "Hope and change" are a marketing gimmick. "Taking our government back" is more of the same old disingenuous smoke and mirrors. All politicians do exactly and only that. Promise "us" the moon and later on, demand that "we" pay for it. Criminy, you'd think that an endorsement from Sarah Palin would be the kiss of death.

  4. Rand Paul is in the end just another politician with no core values who will just say and do what it takes to get himself elected. And to get elected he submitted to the tea baggers, disgruntled voters who have no probelm with big government when they are in power, the self same people who support the Bush/Cheney interventionalist foreighn policy and a reduction of liberties at home. In short Rand Paul is a sell out and those who supported him thinking he would fight the American empire are fools. Even his father ,who continues the talk did not do the walk when it came to forming a third party. Ron Paul decided to play it safe and run again for Congress, rather than continue the fight that brought so much money into his coffers. I supported Ron with money and volunteer work only to have him retreat from the battle. I didn't make the same mistaake with Rand as in the end the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. A vote for Rand Paul will be a vote for the Bush/Cheney domestic and foreign policy. Those of us who want an America first, non-interventionist foreign policy and an expansion of liberties at home will have to look elsewhere.

    1. Your Wrong, And Cynical…. RON IS A PATRIOT…………Dont Confuse NEO-CONS With Ron Paul…

  5. I'm surprised by these comments. Obviously Rand Paul is massaging his message in order to get elected — and why not?

    But the squeamishness that others express here about the Tea Party is misguided in my view. Yes, many of the Tea Party people are warmongers, or were, but what does that matter? Many of the Tea Partiers are Ron Paul supporters and independents who DID NOT and DO NOT support Bush-Obama's wars. More importantly, Rand Paul has the chance to shape the Tea Party movement and guide it in a better (i.e. non-fascist) direction.

    Don't expect libertarian purity from the TEa Party, but we can make them a force for improvement.

    1. Of course he's massaging his message, but in which direction? I seem to remember liberals saying the same thing about Obama. Look how that worked out. If he would lie to hard-core interventionalists to get elected, is it a stretch to suggest he'd lie to the anti-war crowd for the same reason? Any man who doesn't have the guts and integrity to run on what he believes in and what he intends to do in office doesn't deserve the office. Enough with the "realpolitik" already. It is a recipe for waffling.

    2. Hypothetically, say you're right and Rand is every bit as libertarian as his father. What good will it do him to get elected if he has to trick people about his views to do so? The only reason it's good to have a lone libertarian in the Senate is because it gives him a platform to educate the public. If he's going to waste that platform by shying away from libertarian views, why bother? The truth is we'll never be free until the day comes that enough people have been educated that they vote for candidates BECAUSE of their libertarian views, rather than in spite of them.

  6. Second Dr. P –

    I compare his (Rand's) strategy to getting on a jury where the voir-dire process is specifically designed to eliminate any potential juror with any intelligence, expertise, interest or knowledge of the case. Generally, the only real requirements for a U.S. Senator are great personal wealth and/or a superhuman ability to lie out of both sides of the mouth. The Senate is a snakepit of corruption and the only possible way to gain entry is to provide at least the appearance of corruptibility.

    That said, the gate-keepers would be well advised to allow him into the Senate and bottle him up for six years rather than risk creating an attractive AND intelligent (sorry, Sarah) candidate for TP leadership, especially if there is any of the usual Republican slimyness in helping to defeat him in the general election. I am related to a pretty big Country Club Republican, thoroughly liberal and statist who has admitted they would rather destroy the Party rather than admit Ron to the inner circle after they went to all the trouble to purge the Birchers. I love Ron Paul, but both Parties hate and fear an uncorruptible man.

    We can't destroy Troy (no pun intended) if we can't get them to accept the horse.

  7. p.s.
    There seems to be a lot of skepticism concerning Rand Paul's Primary win in Kentucky and a lack of enthusiasm for his campaign based on a perceived lack of libertarian purity. It's true that he doesn't stress the more unpopular and controversial issues that might (would) make him unelectable in a majority stupid state (all of them). That's because he wants, and we need him, to win. Ron Paul is a brave, smart and principled man who is able to win and hold an elected office without lying or evading critical issues; a rarity if not sui generis. I give great credit to his constituents who may be uniquely principled for Americans if not Texans, but the few Kentuckians I know are some otherwise independent and intelligent (tax avoiders, pot smoking immigration/welfare haters), but Bush-/War- supporting, Obama and furriner-hating yahoos of the first water. Ron Paul, principled, consistent and up-front would get nowhere with these folks. If Rand wants to visit and represent these folks, he's going to get metaphorical and real mud on his boots. Such is politics, forever and ever. Amen

  8. "He's just saying that to get elected." That's what people said about O-bomb-a, remember?

    1. Yes, you could make that analogy. But whereas Obama is an obvious charlatan (my wife pegged him in five minutes — it took me a couple of months), Rand Paul actually believes what he says and his beliefs are by and large our beliefs (libertarian/constitutionalist).

      Remember, when Obama said things to get elected, it was usually a bunch of vague non-sense that your average liberal moron believed meant what they wanted it to mean. When Obama was more clear, he was advocating things like escalating in Afghanistan — the one promise he seems to have kept. Rand, on the other hand, has gone out of his way NOT to advocate more war — in Afghanistan or anywhere else. You might be worried that he's secretly pro-war, but the neo-cons and their pals are all in a tizzy because he's NOT pro-war and they know it.

      Rand Paul is not Obama. Otherwise the analogy would make sense. You're right to be cautious, but you have to also realize what a huge victory this is for the freedom movement.

    2. No kidding. If Rand Paul doesn't have the brains or integrity to learn from his father's example then my respect for him has already plummeted. And as far as the wars go, I'm tired of so-called "pragmatism" when it comes to killing innocent people and ruining our country.

  9. I get the impression from the above article that Rand Paul had publicly water downed his personal opposition to the national security state in order to win this primary. Yet judging from his lopsided 24 point victory, one wonders if this unfortunate compromise was really necessary. He probably would have won anyway, even with a strong antiwar stance. It is not hard for a smart, articulate candidate to link unnecessary military spending, enriching only corporate trough feeders, to the economic malaise ruining the country.

    1. The Grayson campaign's smears against Paul in the realm of national (in)security—especially regarding Iran and the Patriot Act—didn't seem to deter Kentucky Republicans in the least. Indeed, I think that both men may have substantially overestimated the martial enthusiasm of their prospective constituents. And if this is truly the case, Paul's message-massaging is especially unfortunate in that he missed a chance to cultivate conservative anti-war sentiment. I hope the opportunity will surface again, and that Paul will prove the sort of man who will seize it.

      Instead of chasing after "ideological purity" and other will-o'-the-wisps (like some commenters here), I'm remaining *cautiously* optimistic about Rand Paul.

  10. The Politician has to get elected first before he make waves. If Rand had run as a Libertarian he would not have goten many votes. It is great that we finally have some people running as Republicans who want to break some eggs. This country will never be transformed until we take over the Republicans. Rand has not strayed far from his father. He is just using language that isn't as off putting to the primary voters who don't know him. You can not lead if you don't have any followers.

    1. In other words, he has to lie about his positions in order to achieve political gain. How is that any different from Obama? Or the Neocons? Not much, it seems. Very typical for a Libertarian, I might add.

      1. I suppose if one were maybe only half-way paying attention, it would seem plausible to make this analogy. But it really doesn't fit at all.

        1. Rand Paul is not Obama
        2. When Obama lied, it was an anti-war lie (e.g. I'll bring our troops home immediately); when he told the truth, it was a pro-war truth (e.g. I will send more troops to Afghanistan)
        3. When did Rand Paul "lie about his positions"?
        4. Rand Paul has gone out of his way to AVOID saying that he supports our continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Why? If he were secretly pro-war, wouldn't he have mouthed the usual platitudes about fighting war on "terr"?
        5. Which Republican primary votes did Rand Paul set out to get by trying to sound a little bit anti-war? You can't be serious. If he wanted to lie to get votes, he would have aped Trey Grayson's Cheney-esque views, not hemmed and hawed every single time he was asked whether he supported the war in Afghanistan. You've got this one backwards.

        1. Perhaps "lie" was a bit strong. However, the main article makes it clear that he is trying to conceal his true feelings on certain issues (e.g., Gitmo). Whether or not that constitutes a "lie" I'll leave for the hair-splitters to decide.

          If he is neither lying about nor concealing his stand on certain issues, then he's clearly flip-flopping — another unfortunate trait he seems to share with Barack Obama.

          Pile on top of that the sheer lunacy of some of the comments he made during his acceptance speech. Specifically, inferring that at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Obama consorted with "dictators" Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Robert Mugabe (the latter is indeed a dictator, but wasn't at Copenhagen) plotting to overthrow capitalism.

          Was Paul serious about that???

          I'm not even going to bother debunking those nutty charges (other than to say that Obama is clearly one of world's biggest fans of capitalism). But if this is how Paul the Younger is going to start off his campaign, he's likely to end it by going down in flames.

  11. From timmy ramone: "In other words, he has to lie about his positions in order to achieve political gain. How is that any different from Obama? Or the Neocons?"

    A perfectly legitimate question, as is its implied answer: It isn't any different at all. But then you pile on with: "Very typical for a Libertarian, I might add."

    Unlike your main point, this is unsupportable. The truth is it's utterly atypical of Libertarians, and undercuts the characterization of Rand Paul as one. If it were typical of Libertarians, they wouldn't BE Libertarians. If it were "typical" of them, there'd be lots of them in office right now. Their decades-long inability to make any electoral inroads is directly attributable to their unwillingness to "play ball" at the expense of their principles. So unlike your main point, your final shot is a cheap one. Criticize the junior Paul if you have grounds — and it appears you do — but in attempting to expand your conclusion, your agenda is showing.

    1. My "agenda" is very clear: I don't like Libertarians (that is, "big-L" Libertarians, i.e., members of the Libertarian Party in the U.S.). I make no attempt to hide that.

      Having said that, I have to concede that my "very typical for a Libertarian" comment was a bit unfair. I think at this point it is not clear whether or not the Younger Paul is a fair representation of a typical Libertarian.

      1. Timmy, I see your point here and I agree: "Big L" Libertarians (i.e., the organized political party) are an exercise in political futility. Why? Because they insist upon using the coercive liberty and property-destroying tools of the State (i.e., elections and public office), tools that are diametrically opposite of everything true libertarianism stands for, to "dismantle the state." Granted, there are many sincere and well-meaning "small l" libertarians who are members of the political party, but they are tragically misguided in their aims and efforts. Because the exercise of institutional political practices ALWAYS undermines liberty and private property rights, the compromise of the LP platform –that is, the unavoidable need to "play ball" with the Demopublican/Republicrat mainstream politicians in order to attain office– renders everything the LP ostensibly hopes to achieve impossible. I tore up my LNC membership card six years ago largely for this very reason, although the onset of corruption and scandal within the LNC leadership accelerated and reinforced my decision.

        As for Rand Paul (and even his daddy, for that matter), I can only put him the same category as current the current LP membership who sincerely think that they're going to change things by "working within the system." It AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. The rotten, broken, corrupt, toxic, liberty and property-destroying political machine in today's Amerika will only compromise and co-opt them. A far better strategy is to simply evangelize the libertarian philosophical principles of non-violence, free markets, and property rights and use the current implosion of the Amerikan statist socioeconomic infrastructure as a true-life reinforcing example of why "small l" libertarianism is the only effect solution, one that doesn't involve statist institutions like the political system.

  12. I don't know what exactly would make you all happy, except for Rand Paul to give up on becoming a U.S. Senator. He could start including strong anti-war rhetoric in his speeches, but then he would certainly lose, earning praise from hardcore libertarians (like me) but accomplishing little else. Or, he could do what he seems to be doing: adopting rhetoric that will appeal to the Tea Party types while adhering much better than almost all other successful politicians to libertarian ideas.

    Can there be any doubt that even on foreign policy, even if he's as bad as his worst statements suggest, he will be much better than his competitor would have been and, for that matter, better than any other Republican Senator? It's not for no reason that the Republican establishment didn't want him to win.

    I hate political compromises, which is why I don't have any confidence in the political process to advance liberty, don't get involved in campaigns, and don't vote. But if someone is going to get involved like this and wants a realistic shot at winning, particularly at the level of the U.S. Senate, they have to make some calculations, choose their battles, and fudge or compromise a little on some issues. Rand's father Ron Paul is very radical and principled by the standards of politicians, but can there be any question that his unlibertarian stance on immigration is influenced by the fact that he would certainly lose his seat in Congress if he endorsed open borders? The same goes for his endorsements of various more or less abhorrent Republican candidates. It's the sort of thing a politician has to accept to survive.

    If he were standing in the way of someone who was stronger on the issues, I would have a big problem with Rand Paul. If he were trying to change the Libertarian Party platform to reflect his expressed views, I would have a huge problem with Rand Paul. If I were his close friend, I would probably be disappointed that Rand Paul would sully himself with politics like this. But as a disinterested anti-war libertarian observer, I can only see his success as a relatively positive thing.

    1. Please… no LOTE logic…. After over two fucking years of the O-bomb-a, I've heard enough LOTE rationalizing for a lifetime of capitulation.

      1. Indeed. To repeat what some consider a cliche: "The lesser of two evils IS STILL EVIL!"

    2. I consider myself a libertarian anarchist. That said, even I will not advocate open borders until tax money is no longer used to provide benefits to immigrants, legal or illegal. Or anyone else for that matter. First things first: eliminate coercive taxation (I know, it's a tautology), THEN open the borders. BTW, Frank, if the political process is unable to advance liberty, what will?

      1. [E]ven I will not advocate open borders until tax money is no longer used to provide benefits to immigrants, legal or illegal.

        Bingo! For all of his faults as an academic economist, this is the one thing Milton Friedman got absolutely right: There can be no open borders in a Welfare State!

  13. To the fellow that asked why the Republicans are the only hope for the propeace movement. Historically they have been the home of American isolationist sentiment. Until the last 20 years they have resisted the being so prowar. Some great antiwar Republicans from past are Robert M Lafollette Senior, Robert Taft, William Borah and Ron Paul. Eisenhower ended the Korean War and railed against the military industrial complex. Nixon ran on a platform to end the war in 1968 and claimed he had in the 1972 election.
    Reagan did not get us involved in any large foreign fights and pushed peace and nuclear disarmament. He also reached out and took Gorbachev's hand. The trouble really started with the Bush's. They were always in the pockets of the bankers and oil companie.

    1. The Lafollettes were progressive leftwingers. They have nothing in common with the modern Republican Party, and little in common with large parts of the contemperary Republicans either.

  14. My Republican ticket for 2012. Ron Paul of Texas for President. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky for Vice President and Pat Buchanan for Secretary of Satate.

    1. Interesting ticket, but I've never cared for nepotism, so I think I'll pass.

      Buchanan as secretary of state is good. And don't forget Walter Williams for secretary of the treasury. Now we just need nominees for attorney general and SecDef (under a Ron Paul administration, all other Cabinet agencies would be abolished as unconstitutional).

  15. Great question Kelley…and one I will be anxious to see answered. As someone who did make some small contributions to Rand's campaign, I am torn as to what the man really stands for. Is he indeed a non-interventionist like his father, and making some calculated moves to focus attention on areas of agreement to garner broader Tea Party support? Or perhaps 'being his own man' means (unlike his father) that he regards American intervention a necessity after all? While, in any case, I think he'll be a better Senator than his November opponent, I certainly wouldn't continue to send donations to out-of-state candidates that hew to the neo-clown mold.
    I pray Rand deosn't fall into that trap.
    Peace be with you.

  16. At the end of the day, a person who is on record opposing the Patriot Act, and questioning the Iraq and Afghanistan operations won a landslide victory in a senate Republican Primary.

    That is not insignificant.

    The forces that ruined the Republican Party took a while to form, and they will take a while to eradicate.

    We should celebrate a step in the right direction.

  17. Uh… what's to lose? Get him elected, and see what happens. I think the odds that he would be significantly worse (in ANY respect–including foreign policy) than his Democrat opponant are very, very slim. The chances that–from a libertarian perpective–he will be very good in comparison to all others (save his dad) seem to be fairly strong.

    I mean… tell me how I'm wrong here. Please.

      1. And here's how you're wrong, Liberal: when George Bush committed murder, "Liberals" expressed indignation. When Obama does it, "Liberals" apologize for him, and Republicans support it. My guess is that Paul will be far better on foreign policy than ANY sitting Dem. Classical Liberals are the real liberals.

  18. We have got rid of some old warhorses so far Bennett in Utah, Spector in Pennsylvania, Crist in Florida, Dodd in Conn. and hopfully McCain. Others are on the ropes as well. Turmoil has got to be good if we are going to scare politicians. Keep them guessing about what's happening next. There is nothing prettier than a politicain running for cover. I loved old seeing Spector being dragged kicking and screaming from his Senate seat.

    1. Unfortunately the Obama-hugging RINO Crist isn't going gently into that good political night. After realizing he was going to be humiliated in the GOP primary, he is now "pulling a Lieberman" and running as an independent. And the has the full support of the vile teachers' unions thanks to his veto of a merit-pay bill. Right now the polls have him slightly ahead in a 3-way race, though of course Nov. 2 is a long ways away.

      IMHO the wild card is the Democrat candidate. Recall the NY House race a few months ago where the RINO dropped out and endorsed the Democrat just to sabotage the tea party candidate. Don't be surprised if the Democrat withdraws and throws his support to Crist.

      Normally I don't vote at the federal level as I consider the federal govt. illegitimate, but I might break with that this time and vote for Rubio if for no other reason than to stick a virtual thumb in Crist's eye.

  19. "until we take over the Republicans."

    More likely they will take over you. Since he's pro-war, pro-kangaroo court, I would not vote for him, but write in the name of Long Dong Silver or some other American with achievements outside politics.

  20. Do libertarians even vote?

    Rand is trying to get elected for crying out loud. Even Ron is no purist. He touts how much money he's repatriated for his district when he runs for re-election. This wasn't a get-the-message-out campaign. Cheaper to market a book than wage a campaign if you're only interested in raising flags. Since when do we listen to rhetoric, anyway?

    If Rand had echoed Obama on Gitmo, he would not have won. Period. The fact that he's massaging his message should have been clear the moment he gushed over that moron, Sarah Palin. Do you believe for a second that was genuine? This is the slippery pole known as politics, not a father-son meeting of the minds. Expect as much honesty as the average ivy league college debate. Most Republicans are still terrified of islamo-fascists for fuck's sake.

    I'll put it another way: how did conservatives come to gush over Bush and every anti-conservative thing he did? Were they all closet neoconservatives, or did Bush initially cast himself as non-interventionist?

    Finally, Rand has continually said he's NOT bringing home the bacon. What, exactly, is his motive for being a senator, then, if it isn't graft? Why has he been considering politics for the past 18 years? Why has he remained staunchly against the Federal Reserve, deficit spending, etc. if he's really war monger? How the hell is he going to wage aggressive wars without those tools?

    If you want to know what we can expect from Rand, just google 'randpaul cheney' for your answer.

  21. I made a small contribution to Rand early on, because of his last name. His father is an example of someone who does not need to water down controversial positions to win. If Rand is lying, that is just as bad as if he were a neocon. Why can't he just tell the truth like his father, is that so hard? He could win going away if he just had the guts to express radical libertarian views like his father. It is not principle that loses elections in the long run, it is transparent pandering.

  22. Probably most Americans wouldn't mind getting out of the wars, but don't want to think that the U.S. did anything too wrong in getting into them. So one has to softpedal the pullback. Only a small percentage were either strongly anti-interventionist or pro-interventionist from the start. If Rand Paul gets elected, I think he will be a voice for scaling back on interventionism.

  23. Let me see if I have this straight; you all are touting a man who praised a political party that wants to "return American law to it's biblical roots."

    Sounds like a libertarianism to me.

  24. I voted for Rand Paul—though I'll admit to being a bit uneasy about his message-massaging, particularly his ambiguous stance on Afghanistan and his support of military tribunals. Of course, I think I understand why he did it—peace and anything popularly perceived as "being soft" on terrorism don't usually sell well in this constituency—but it nonetheless dampened my enthusiasm.

    On the other hand, it could be that I'm over-estimating the martial ardor of my fellow Kentuckians. Grayson's campaign repeatedly smeared Paul for his assertion that even a *hypothetically* nuclear Iran was no real threat to the US, and yet this seemed to have little practical effect at the polls—perhaps indicating that a majority of Republican voters here have finally been surfeited with war. Or it could simply be that popular anger at the GOP establishment's domestic profligacy outweighed fear of the Iran nuke bogey. Actually, I'm not altogether sure of the precise nature of this and other recent electoral phenomena across the nation—save they express a growing disaffection with the establishment, though that disaffection seems at the moment rather vague and inchoate, and the disaffected largely inarticulate.

    But back to those "massaged" messages. Do they bode betrayal? If Paul triumphs in the general election, will he jettison his libertarian principles, especially in the realm of foreign interventionism; will he ultimately fold to power and the common desire to win reelection at any price? I don't know, but for now I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Rand Paul really is hope I can believe in—albeit cautiously. In any case, he certainly seemed the first *real choice* we've had in a major election in my lifetime. Whether or not that choice was an illusion will be revealed in time.

    Of course, given a choice between Cheney and McConnell's boy and a three-toed tree sloth, I would've turned out to the polls to vote for the latter (as, I suspect, would most readers of antiwar.com). And whatever our misgivings about Rand Paul, I think we can all agree that, for the nonce anyway, he's better than a three-toed tree sloth.

  25. Even if Rand Paul doesn't win, I gotta tell ya, watching the progressives and liberals and other assorted American lefties bark at the moon with their two minutes of Rand Paul hate has been quite a site to behold over the past day or two.

    Who's afraid of Rand Paul?

      1. They exist, they just claim to be small, feckless, utterly powerless, pretty much worthless. They believe they are so worthless that all they can do is hold their nose and vote Democrat. Just ask them, they'll tell you themselves.

    1. "over the past day or two."
      and that's all you'll get. not much compared to the 4 (or 8) years of obama hate, up to and including assassination threats, coming from the right.
      ps – it's 'sight', not 'site.' though spelling things correctly is the mark of an elitist. [/shame]

      1. oh poor petey. Please. They just took the "Ron Paul is a racist" shtick they've been sharpening up for years and transposed it on to his son. Doesn't take a genuis to figure that out.

  26. Mr. Paul can say what he wants, but he has no right to my vote. If he supports the war, military tribunals, hints the slightest tolerance for racism, he doesn't get a vote from me. If I'm going throw my vote away, I might as well vote for Donald Duck or Captain Beefheart.

  27. being sympathetic to any anti conflict regaardless of origin, the issue must be addressed on the basis of credubility, weather it involves an individual or a country in mass, the most beaautiful people on earth in my oppinion are peaceful individuals, nature i also beleive makes people of all types and natures, getting along with differancials can be difficult, hence wars evolve, even though i beleive in a supreme being over all, i also accept that evil exists in the opposit known as satin ! politics is a tool used for power aquisition since the romans ruled, americans are the foder for political enterprise !

  28. the sad fact is that a subliminal message is being sent from the less endowed (by way of enrichment = $) to world peoples , however this attempt to inoculate citizens to a subliminal threat is largely rebuked on grounds that condrict republican values, = get all than ya can get ! americans are no more as they used to be, the over mix has sponed a culture of private ethnic disassociation !

  29. My respect for Dr. Ron Paul is unqualified. About the son, I’m rather more reserved.

    That said, I’m glad Rand Paul won. His opponent, Trey Grayson, was endorsed by the District of Corruption Establishment. I would have voted for Rand Paul if I lived in Kentucky.

    In essence, my view is this: If Rand is even half the man his old man is, I’ll happily settle for that.

  30. "There’s one area, though, in which Paul apparently wants the government to play a much bigger role: your womb. Women can forget about the “privacy’ and “liberty” Paul touts on his website; warnings against government encroachment on freedom do not apply to female citizens of Paul’s back-to-basics Republic.
    As per his website, we get the Human Life amendment banning all abortion even for rape and incest, “a Sanctity of Life Amendment, establishing the principle that life begins at conception,” a funding ban on Planned parenthood, and a ban on the Supreme court taking up abortion-related cases. No wonder he's been endorsed by Operation Rescue founder and general all-around sleazemeister Randall Terry.

    As with many of Paul’s statements and positions, you wonder if he’s thought about them for more than two minutes. How, after all, is a ban on abortion to be implemented except by a massive government intrusion into private and personal behavior? To say nothing of monitoring thousands of medical practices, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies –apparently the only businesses Paul would want to put under government oversight.

    In countries where abortion bans are taken seriously, the prospect of performing even the most medically necessary abortion terrifies doctors and hospitals. Law enforcement treats miscarriages as possible crimes. Women and doctors go to prison. How does a police officer showing up at a patient’s hospital bed to question her as a possible murderer, with a mandatory investigation of the premises of the alleged crime – her vagina and uterus — square with libertarianism? Like his support for increased Medicaid payment to physicians, a profession he just happens to follow, the exceptions to Rand’s libertarianism miraculously track his own preferences. Somehow the market, which is supposed to miraculously produce food that doesn’t poison you, cars that don’t explode, oil wells that don’t pollute and mines that don’t collapse, is useless when it comes to forcing women to stay pregnant against their will and making sure doctors make plenty of money.

    I’ve always thought libertarianism was juvenile. Thanks to Rand Paul—and contrary to Scheer — I know now it’s also unprincipled.
    -Katha Politt, The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/rand-paul-principle

    1. I don't think Rand ever claimed to be a libertarian. He's always called himself a constitutional conservative.

      Anyway, I fail to see how abortion is a federal issue

    2. "I’ve always thought libertarianism was juvenile. Thanks to Rand Paul—and contrary to Scheer — I know now it’s also unprincipled. "

      Because one person speaks for everyone, right Miz or Missus Politt? Should I just assume every Nation writer is this dense? Using Politt's logic I might.

    3. Suddenly "The Nation" cares about things like freedom and privacy? Since when? Or is it only the freedom to murder that they support?

  31. I seriously think that Rand Paul would be the best U.S. Senator we've had since Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. I believe that Rand Paul is as principled and honorable a man as Mr. Davis was. Every American should read Mr. Davis's farewell speech before the U.S. Senate (http://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/resources.cfm?doc_id=1507). If only we only had 100 U.S. Senators just like him today! The nation's budget would be balanced; the liberties, property and prosperity of the American people would still be secure; America would not be a belligerant empire fighting never-ending wars of aggression; and the U.S. Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, would still be respected and revered as the supreme law of a free people. Remember, remember, the election this November. Vote all of the Wall Street controlled encumbents out of office.

    1. And the owning of human beiings as property would still be legal. What a wonderful man :-)

  32. My friends, and all "comments" posters: for some
    time now I have been having a problem with my
    posts to antiwar.com being censored. Often, when
    I post, the following appears:

    "Your comment must be approved by the site admins
    before it will appear publicly."

    And then the post disappears, forever. Naturally,
    I have been wondering how this works, and have
    discussed the matter with the site operators. It
    has become apparent that there is a list of words
    that flags a post for prior approval/censorship,
    but despite requesting the list of the sensitive
    and prohibited words, the antiwar folks have not
    been forthcoming with the list. As so often
    happens, they're "courteous" but not forthright.

    My comments are often severely critical of
    Israel, and I mean ***SEVERE***, yet in my view
    perfectly proportionate to the criminality of the
    Z**nist entity. Since these comments seem to be
    the ones most often censored and eliminated, I
    ran a little test. I posted one word, and one
    word only. I will spell it: jay, e, double ewe.
    That one word, all by itself, flags the comment
    for censorship. Then immediately afterward I
    posted the same word, but I "disguised" it so as
    to evade the filter. I wrote "J*w", and it
    appeared immediately. Same thing for "Z**nist",
    which, with J*w, appears here in "sanitized" form
    lest this post, too, be censored into non-

    Now, I"m no conspiracy theorist. I don't think
    the Israel Lobby has infiltrated Antiwar.com. But
    I'm an American and a "J*w" and I'd prefer to
    have my harsh yet appropriate criticism of Israel
    not be censored from this forum.

    Please copy and repost this message as often and
    in as many places, on this site and others, as
    possible. I fully expect the MSM to censor what
    they report to the people, but I expect a far
    higher standard, the opposite standard in fact,
    from alternative, progressive, counter-
    establishment media like Antiwar.com.

    I want to see the list of to-be-flagged words,
    and I want to know why antiwar.com allows
    the "disappearance" of severe yet fair
    criticism directed at the Z**nist criminality.

  33. I wish Rand Paul well. Like his father, he will be part of that part of Congress with principles and guts – too bad that part of Congress is just about 1 % of the whole body. This is probably all it will ever be. The real hope of decent Americans lies with external forces – the bankruptcy that cleanse us of our imperialism, the military humiliation that will come at the hands of some 4th world rebels, and the unplanned revealing of Zionism’s treacherous influence in our foreign affairs. Forget America reforming itself, true reform will have to be shoved into our breasts like a knife.

  34. What we really need are new parties. Parties that truly represent Americans. Both establishment parties are basically the same. Both are owned by special interest groups and ethnic lobbies. Both support an highly interventionist foreign policy. We need new blood in Washington.

  35. It appears Rand is more interested in power than principle.

    Let's face it, the powers that be, the powers behind the welfare/warfare state, will tolerate a Paul or a Kucinich in the House but never in the Senate.

  36. On Gitmo, he was lambasted for previously suggesting it should be closed, [but then shifted into hawk mode somewhere this winter,( warning against unleashing “terrorists” on Main Street )and calling for military tribunals for the prisoners.
    …“When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide?”
    – Rep. Ron Paul, May 22, 2007

    “I don’t think you take [nuclear weapons] off the table.”
    – Rand Paul on Iran, The O’Reilly Factor, May 19, 2010

    “Rand Paul believes in a strong national defense, opposes closing Guantanamo Bay, and believes that Iran is a serious threat….”
    – Text of Rand Paul campaign ad, March 2010 (removed from YouTube “by the user” in the last 72 hours)

  37. The United States Special Relationship with Israel

    By Dr. Rand Paul
    Candidate, United States Senate


    Israel and the United States have a special relationship. With our shared history and common values, the American and Israeli people have formed a bond that unites us across the many thousands of miles between our countries and calls us to work together towards peace and prosperity for our countries.

    The free trade agreement that has existed, and been subsequently strengthened, between our countries since 1985 is a tremendous mutual benefit. As a United States Senator, I would work against the growing protectionist sentiment in our country and defend free trade with Israel.

  38. It makes no sense to me that the United States provides Arab countries hostile to Israel with $12 billion in annual financial and military aid. Many of the weapons that Israel would face in a Middle Eastern conflict would have come directly from our government. I find this appalling. In the Senate, I would strive to eliminate all aid to countries that threaten Israel.

    Finally, I believe the United States should increase the pressure on Iran. I would mandate that all publicly managed investment funds divest from Iran immediately.

    We should not be subsidizing any company that does business with Iran, and we should not allow U.S. companies or those with funds from U.S. taxpayers to enrich Iran through its national energy program. I would fight to end all subsides to American corporations that do business with Iran, including so-called renewable energy companies that work through Brazil to provide support to Iran and empower its dictators dangerous nuclear saber rattling.

  39. Finally, Iran has become increasingly bellicose towards Israel. Thankfully, Israel has one of the bravest, most elite military forces in the world. I would never vote to prevent Israel from taking any military action her leaders felt necessary to end any Iranian threat.
    Just as the United States would not follow the will of another country in the face of our national security, we shall not limit the options of Israel in this area.

  40. As usual American politicians have two standards:
    One for Israel.
    Anothor for those whom Israel considers to be her enemies.

  41. Rand Paul will be terrible unless his daddy teaches him how to hide his racist ideas. Since racism and libertarianism go hand in hand, Rand needs to learn how daddy gets away with it.

  42. As long as those who want to represent the American public do not dare question the so called the"special realationship between Israel-one sided realtionship-and the US,the people will continue to be misled.

  43. Just like all newly elected senators and Congressmen Paul has made big plans to change the things in Washington . Being from Kentucky Paul should know thats not going to happen. Ask any Republican Senator who runs things and they all will say it is Mitch Mc Connell from Kentucky. Mitch didn't back Paul until the last minute and he didn't back Paul he backed the Republican party. It won't take Mitch long to let Paul know he is at the bottom of the pecking order and if he wants to be in Washington a while he best get with the program. Since Obama took office it has been Mitch's goal to make sure he is a one term President, he has been on every TV show on Fox declaring this. His job, now think about this, is to make sure Obama fails regardless if it hurts the country. To my way of thinking he is not doing the job he was elected to do and work with the Democrats and the President to get us back on track. If the Tea Party really wants change in Washington it needs to clear out the top dogs like McConnell. It seems they forgot that the trickle down theory doesn't and never has worked. If you want change you change it from the top and not think that the new kid on the block is really got a chance of being heard. He is sitting at the kids table not the adults and thats the way Paul is going to be treated. The new guys didn't get us into this mess, it was the old guys of BOTH party's. We need to stop thinking Democrat and Republican and remember we are all in this together. But guys like McConnell want to make sure it is a fight between Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor, the have's and the have nots. Our military when in battle don't look at the guy next to them and say i am not fighting for this guy because he is in one party or the other. You win the war by being united,not driving a wedge between the ranks like guys like Mitch are out to do. I do hope Paul gets something done, I am behind him on Term Limits, and he should consider putting pay raises to a vote by the voters and not the ones getting the raise. I doubt any of you can go into work and just give yourself a raise. You get a raise when you have worked for it and deserve it and not one of them are better then any of us. Paul and others of the Tea ned to know that there are those out there with the same attitude as Mitch has about making sure that Obama is a one term President that plan to hold guys like Paul to the highest standards and if they don't get the things done that said they were going to do they will be there for one term only. Politics is a hard game to play, they will eat their young and you can bet if theTea party wants to be heard they drop guys like Paul if the voters turn on them and their message. So good luck Mr. Paul, you are going to need it.

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