Friday, June 8, 2012

Rand Paul, a Politician Plain and Simple

Rand Paul came out last night on the Sean Hannity program to endorse Mitt Romney for President.  Examine that sentence.  Start with appearing on the Sean Hannity program; the biggest asshat of a neo-con, statist double-speak douche ever to be on television.  The man who would bomb all the scary Islamo-fascists everywhere, any that are missed can be locked up and water boarded, while sharing cells with pot smokers and anyone who would deny America’s deeply Christian National heritage. The “true conservative values” man Hannity starts out by joking about how Ron Paul won’t appear on the show anymore, anyone want to venture a guess as to why that is?  What possible reason could there be for appearing on that show to do this?

In the appearance we get to see some of that steely resolve and dedication to constitutional principles that Rand has become famous for.  Somehow Mitt has convinced him that he is on board with an audit of the Fed?  Where is that exactly?  Romney has essentially toed the establishment line that the bailouts of Wall Street prevented a depression and blah, blah, blah…I’ve never seen anything Romney has ever said or done that indicates he would support this idea for a second.  Even if he did, why does Rand have to come out with it first?  Is there a quid pro quo on the horizon?  Will Romney make a statement about it, ever, or does that just sit out there?  Giving his campaign website a quick perusal shows no highlighted “audit in the Fed” tab anywhere.  Rand says that Romney is behind the REINS Act, which does seem to be the case.  Problem of course is that this act, while seeming to be some super-duper check on the Executive regulatory authority wouldn’t be needed if these clowns passed actual laws to begin with, instead of vague pieces of tripe to be filled in later.  Reading the thing it just seems like a way to stop environmental regulations while providing loopholes for “National Security”, of course, specifically exempts the Federal Reserve (see point one of your logic there Rand), and obviously is an unconstitutional legislative veto, because they strip the judiciary's ability to review.  We already know our nitwit legislators don’t read most of the drivel they pass to begin with, we now expect them to approach some complex regulatory issue with an open and informed opinion?  Seems like a way to protect the bacon, and given how many times Rand mentions Kentucky coal in this thing, that is obviously the intent.  Don’t like the overreach?  Make the case for eliminating the agency or passing a law that changes the power structure, not a mechanism for stopping the regulation of your pet campaign contributors.

Rand goes on to somehow justify this support by telling us that Mitt will respect the war-making dichotomy enshrined in the constitution.  Where exactly are we to see this in anything the Romney has ever said?  Is Rand saying that Mitt would never consider bombing Iran’s nuclear program sites without a formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress?  That would be the way it is supposed to be.  Where is Mitt’s statement to that effect?  Mitt supports limiting the Executive’s war making ability?  Can I get a press release?  Public statement?  The only difference that Mitt has tried to portray between himself and Captain Drone Killer Obama is that he would bomb more people in more places with more troops all while spending a locked in amount of GDP on defense, forever!  $600 billion is not enough for Generalissimo Mitt; more planes, bigger more expensive ships, even more boots on the ground.  No notion anywhere of something reasonable and easy to justify, like not spending money on protecting the British, Germans or Japanese from non-existent threats (I don’t count starving North Korean conscripts or Godzilla as an existential threat requiring air bases).  Patrolling the commons, especially with what he is intimating will be thousands of ships, will keep the peace.  But he will make sure to ask Congress for permission before using those assets to blow something up?  Where is the limiting principle?  How about something simple, near and dear to every liberty minded individual, Senator Paul’s claim to fame, rolling back the national security state?  Where does Mitt stand on the PATRIOT Act?  NDAA?  Gitmo?  Someone, anywhere, have a sense of what Mitt thinks about these things?  Will the TSA be REINed in (please catch the pun if you will) with Mittens in the White House, or will everything still be terrorism under his watch?

There of course is huge speculation all over the place about what the real meaning of this endorsement means.  Rand or Ron as VP?  I’d bet three toes on my left foot and a testicle that is not in the offing.  Executive office for either or both?  Much more likely, but what short term position could justify this?  Where would they be placed, needing of course Senate approval, that they would be allowed to actually affect policy in a way that seems to be an anathema to the core principles (if there are any) of a Romney administration?  If this is not a naked pander in an effort to get Ron Paul's supporters to vote for Romney then what could it be?  Seems to be a team player supporting the team, getting something in return (unregulated coal mining) the way any regular old hack politician would do.  If the intent was to draw support for Romney from the Paulites (of which I am not one, I freely admit) then there needs to be a really big push on Romney to say anything that shows he believes something outside the basic M1A1 Republican plank of: stuff the gays back in the closet, deport all the local brown folk, and bomb the foreign brown folk all while loving stroking the bible.

Rand has shown a real rhetorical flourish on the floor of the Senate for standing up for liberty, talking a real good game.  The issue I have always had with his father was the “too-cute by half” practice of larding up bills with as much bacon as they could bear and then voting against the bill, you know, on principle.  Principles, if they are to mean anything, need to be adhered to when it is tough, and unexpected.  Otherwise they are props, platitudes used by politicians to gain advantage and quickly forgotten until needed again.  There is not a damn bit of difference, in terms of liberty, fiscal responsibility, and the concept of limited constitutional government between Romney and Obama.  This idea that Romney is the lesser of two evils is crap shoveled by people like Hannity, not a reality.  The Republican party is an amalgam of rent-seeking defense contractors and bible thumping Christian Nationalists that talk a poor game about “limited government” in an effort to keep the libertarian minded on the reservation, patting them on the head saying “don’t worry your naïve little head, just vote for us and we will do something, someday, to maybe, possibly down the road placate your delicate sensibilities”.  It’s crap, always has been and always will be.  Santorum, Gingrich Romney and the rest prove that.  If there is to be a real movement towards liberty then the Republican party needs to step up and say how they are going to change the way they have governed for over a decade, or the liberty minded need to abandon them once and for all.  Compromise is important for governing, but compromise entails both sides moving towards a mutually acceptable goal, and the establishment Republicans have no interest in actually limiting the size and scope of the giant ATM machine that is the Federal government.  I understand if Rand didn’t want to step off the reservation with an endorsement outside of the Republican party, and lose his key to the Republican washroom in the Senate, that makes sense.  Real principles though would have had him keep his mouth shut in this case.  As a Southerner he should be familiar with the old saying “don’t piss down my leg and tell me its raining”.  Politicians do that, and what he did last night was a perfect example of that adage played out for all to see.

UPDATE: Expanding the thought in the next piece here


  1. Rand Paul is being a politician. He is gaming the system, and he is seizing power doing it. I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish that someone didn't have to do it, but the reality is we are not going to strong arm the party into change. Rand is trying to be a peacemaker and grab a hand on the reins of the Republican party. While we have been making great headway with Ron, the movement still needs to grow significantly and Rand is setting it up to happen. Ron most certainly had a hand in these actions, and if you think this is a betrayal to the movement, you're thinking from a purely idealist state of mind. We should be idealist with our policies, but we should be practical with our political relationships. Rand is shaping the argument, and changing some of the platform in doing this. While I wish we didn't have to play nice with some of the horrible neocons, the reality is we do if we don't want to wait for a major catastrophe and the chance that we'll be able to take over in such a situation.

    1. You sir, sound just as delusional as a partisan democrat who thinks Obama needs a second term to really "get to work". Or the partisan republicans who vote for the lesser of two evils and act surprised when they are not "conservative". Do you hear yourself? You have faith in his intentions regardless of his actions. Rand has shown his true colors. He is in this for himself not the cause of liberty. Please be less easily manipulated.

    2. Rand has ALWAYS played nice with the neocons. His strategy is to co-opt them, not force them to change. This is far from the first time he has been on Sean Hannity and Sean Hannity LOVES Rand, but hates Ron. Rand focuses on where the similarities lay, but I do not see him betraying his principles anywhere.

      When Rand compromises his actual principles, then we can talk, but simply being friendly with others is not a compromise of principle. Rand has always stressed forming coalitions and uniting with what you have in common. Rand is shaping the debate and he is winning over and influencing people.

      This "If you're not 100% of what I want you are just as bad as the worst of all politicians" or the "If I think you're with me and you back down in the slightest we will burn everything of yours we have"/Vindictive ex-girlfriend/boyfriend stuff is why libertarians don't get things done. It's why we don't advance our cause and remain a niche group. And as long as it stays like that we never will.

      I am not saying to not be principled and to just forgive any slight misstep a politician makes. But this attitude that Rand is dead to us that many people are seeming to take is just stupid. Rather than condemn the man, we need to assert that he stays true to good principles and does not waver.

      Libertarians are passionate, principled people, but their quickness to anger over any potential misdeed is toxic. Yes, compromising your principles is bad and a quick path towards betraying everything you stand for, but we should not cast out those who falter.

      While I personally don't think Rand has faltered here, the quickness of many of you to condemn and disown him is pathetic and will surmount to nothing. Nothing but being a lonely libertarian that takes comfort in the fact that they were right as the system burns, and then is horrified as it is built up even worse because you have no influence or friends to shape things

  2. The point is not that there has been a violation of some ideological purity principle, that he violated issue #17 or some crap like that, it is that the whole thing is an unprincipled move on his part, proving that he is a politician out to secure his position. As stated, going of the reservation might not have been possible, KEEPING YOUR DAMN MOUTH SHUT and not endorsing Romney was possible. "No comment" from now till election day. This idea that the liberty movement is going to change the Republican party this year or even by 2016, is the unrealistic one. There is no serious consideration by the ‘powers that be’ to incorporate it. If there was a discussion about limiting government and expanding freedom, then what was Romney’s promise? TSA? PATRIOT Act? Not listening to every goddamn phone call or reading every email? The Neo-Cons going to stand for any of that? Republicans would only see that as alienating the base. Gays, immigration reform, transparent government, drug war the list could go on and on - what are the establishment Republicans going to budge on? I understand compromise, and governing, and that ideological purity is not the most important thing ever, but what, how and where are the establishment types going to move on? There isn’t even a crumb on the table at the moment. A joint statement or press conference where Mitt says something like “after a wonderful discussion with Rand I can now see myself doing ______” would have shown the nature of this compromise. Watch that video all you want, and the only concrete thing you can come up with is coal will be easier to mine in Kentucky if Mitt wins. Anyone see anything else there? Who is saying right now, because Rand has stepped in here I will now hold my nose and vote Mitt because I know that in the next four years we will see movement on……? My concern right now is this country going broke, and I do not think Mitt, Barry or any of them have a plan to address it, because they can’t. You have to be willing to push off the entrenched interests, the old folks, the defense contractors, the unions and the coal miners; tell them that the gravy train is over.
    If he wants to be a politician and gain for himself, so be it. But don’t sell me a line of him bringing down the system from the inside, or how the establishment Elephants will appreciate the support and change their ways. Four, ten or twenty years to affect change will probably be too late to pull us out of the fiscal tail spin. To truly see the depth of his convictions let’s wait and see if he is in a position to monkey wrench the Republicrats plans to make sure even the sequestration cuts don’t go through later this year. That will be a true test of principles. Will Rand stand fast to see them go through, and will Mitt speak up to say that ‘for the good of the future generations we need to see the cuts enacted’? Anyone see these things happening?