The Coming Rand Paul Campaign

December 26th, 2011 at 11:20 pm David Frum | 70 Comments |

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Andrew Sullivan predicts a future Rand Paul run. Fascinating that a movement of self-proclaimed individualists would manifest itself as a dynastic cult of personality.

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70 Comments so far ↓

  • gmat

    I like the way he blocked Rubio’s recent attempt to get a unanimous consent vote on Georgia joining NATO.

    Just what we need. One more country that most Americans can’t find on a map but are nevertheless obligated to defend. (without any debate in the Senate, of course)

    • josebrwn

      Defend from what? Gays? Blacks? Jews? The fed?

      • Graychin

        We are obligated under the NATO treaty to defend other NATO nations from aggression.

        In the case of Georgia, the usual suspect would be Russia.

        • PW43

          It’s too bad the NATO treaty does not defend other countries from the aggression of NATO countries. That would be the first step to a more peaceful world.

    • Deep South Populist

      So they tried to admit Georgia without debate? Figures.

      I’ve been saying it for years; Barack Obama and the Democrats are no better than the Republicans on foreign policy. You have to be a blind Democrat partisan with a mind welded as shut as any Tea Party member not to see it.

      The Cold War ended over 20 years ago. Are there any students of history here who know about the Warsaw Pact? It was an alliance of eastern European countries led by the Soviets, and it was the Soviets answer to NATO. When the Cold War ended, the Warsaw Pact disbanded. In response, NATO, led by the war-mongering Democrat president Bill Clinton, expanded eastward.

      We definitely have fools in high places in this country. Here is another example. Barack Obama recently gave orders to deploy missiles in Poland and in other places in eastern Europe, practically on Russia’s border.

      How is Russia supposed to react to this? How is Iran supposed to react to being surrounded on all sides by enemies?

      The fools who run this country won’t be happy until the mushroom cloud makes its debut on American soil.

      Of course, Americans could reduce the chances of the mushroom cloud making its debut by electing a real anti-war president like Ron Paul.

      But oh my, no, Paul wrote raciss newsletters 20 years ago!! Where are your priorities DSP?? We can’t elect a man who published raciss newsletters 20 years ago even if the alternative is a president who will launch a war on Iran and possibly start WW3!

      • Dex

        “I’ve been saying it for years; Barack Obama and the Democrats are no better than the Republicans on foreign policy. ”

        Well, then, you’ve been wrong for years, haven’t you? There would not have been an Iraq War if Gore was President; Osama Bin Laden would never have lived to see the year 2002 if anyone other than GWB had been in the White House; and if the Republicans had their way we’d still be propping up Mubarak in Egypt and Gaddaffi in Libya and our Secretary of State would report to Netanyahu.

        • Deep South Populist

          Dex, you don’t know that. You just laid out a series of essentially meaningless hypotheticals. It is far from certain Gore would not have gone to war in Iraq. Many Democrats who voted in favor of the Iraq war.

        • balconesfault

          No – many Democrats voted to give Bush the authority to decide, based on a set of conditions, whether or not to invade Iraq.

          No Congressman, Dem or Republican, ever got a chance to vote “for” the Iraq War, unless you’re counting the supplimental funding bills from Congress that allowed the occupation to continue.

          I do believe that many Dems voted for the AUMF because properly used, the AUMF was a powerful tool to pressure Saddam to allow UN inspectors full access to his facilities (which he ended up doing 2 months later) and to turn over a complete inventory of the Iraqi WMD program and its disposition to the UN (which he did 3 months later). It was the proverbial Sword of Damoclese needed to force Saddam’s hand.

          Unfortunately, and I felt this at the time, those Democrats were dangerously naive. They actually thought that UN inspectors finding nothing, and Saddam’s declaration revealing that his program had been dismantled (which the Bush Admin cited as a violation of the UN sanctions, since “obviously” Saddam had to be lying!), would be sufficient to remove our rationale for invading. Some of those Democrats actually had to believe that Bush would be persuaded by evidence, rather than just cherry pick evidence to justify what he really wanted to do.

          While that was not the same as “voting for war”, it was stupid and irresponsible, as bad as giving a drunk his car keys back after he promises to wait until he sobers up to get behind the wheel.

        • Dex

          Sorry, but I do know just that. Because the Gore Administration, unlike the Bush Administration, would not have already been planning for several months before 9/11 to drum up a case for invading Iraq in order to deal with daddy issues. Furthermore, the Gore Administration, lacking that particular psychological issue, would not have blamed 9/11 ON THE WRONG COUNTRY. Because the Gore Administration would not have been staffed by a bunch of neocon fuckwits.

        • balconesfault

          You can add that the Gore Administration, coming into office with the declared plan of beginning the process of weaning the US from absolute reliance on the internal combustion engine for transportation, wouldn’t have been as receptive to oil company execs wanting access to Iraq’s oil fields (not to mention the corporatists who wanted just to dismember the functional Baathist so they could set up their regulationless, pure free-market state as an example of how economic redevelopment should work).

        • Deep South Populist

          Dex: You’re still in the realm of counter-factual. Though perhaps plausible, we will never know. Not having the neocons around him might have been decisive. This is a good point.

          Still, there are other facts to consider.

          1) Al Gore voted in favor of the 1991 Iraq war.

          2) As Vice President, Al Gore supported Bill Clinton’s military intervention in Haiti, and Bill Clinton’s attacks on Kosovo and Serbia.

          3) Al Gore supported Bill Clinton’s economic sanctions on Iraq that cost the lives of half a million Iraqi children.

          4) Al Gore never disavowed or distanced himself from those actions as a candidate for president or later.

          5) I took a quick look at what Al Gore said in a major speech*** on Iraq in 2002. While he puts forth many criticisms of the Bush administration, he also equivocates a lot and talks out of both sides of his mouth throughout the speech. He never comes out and says “there is no reason to invade Iraq under any circumstances.” Al Gore eventually came out as strong critic of the Iraq war but only after it was safe to do so when it was clear the war was an utter debacle.

          6) Many Democrats cast votes in favor of the Iraq war. Technically, as balconesfault points out, they voted to give Bush the authority to launch a war under certain circumstances. I see that as splitting the hairs a little too finely.

          7) Many Democrats repeatedly voted to authorize funding for the Iraq war after it was known the war was premised on lies.

          gwu [dot] edu/~action/2004/gore/gore092302sp.html

        • Dex

          SRSLY, you want to nit-pick me for being “counterfactual” when your original claim was that “Democrats are no better than the Republicans on foreign policy”? How can you possibly make that claim without engaging in your very own “counterfactual”, to wit: if the Democrats had been in charge of foreign policy from 2001-2008 they would have fucked it up as badly as the Republicans did.

          As for your list, it is beneath contempt, because it is premised on a false equivalence between the necessary and well-manged (diplomatically and militarily) 1991 Iraq War and the utter folly and fiasco of the 2003 Iraq War. Approving of the idea that Iraq had to be punished for something it actually did (invading Kuwait) does not indicate that you will then also agree that Iraq has to be punished for something it had absolutely nothing to do with (9/11).

        • Deep South Populist

          To clarify, my claim is that the Democrats are no better on foreign policy in general and especially on the issue of unnecessary military interventions in particular.

          Yours is that they are better, and the main evidence your present so far is a hypothetical — that Gore would not have started a war with Iraq. It’s pure speculation. While I agree it’s unlikely Gore and the Dems would have done as bad the Republicans, it’s also true the GOP did not act alone from ’01 to ’09; they did have Democrat support for their actions in Iraq along the way in the form of funding votes. This actually supports my claim that the Democrats as a party are no better. While some Democrats opposed Bush, others supported him.

          The relevance of the list is not to suggest an exact equivalence, but to illustrate the Democrats’ willingness (Gore among them) to support or resort to military force as readily as the Republicans do.

          Since you brought up equivalence however, now that I think about it, Bill Clinton’s policies were definitely more morally abhorrent than George W. Bush’s. While most estimates place the number of civilian casualties in Iraq at under 150,000, Bill Clinton’s 1990s-era economic sanctions on Iraq led to 500,000 dead Iraqi children which is a far worse body count.

          And just so we don’t lose the forest for the trees here, let’s not forget we have a Democrat in the White House right now.

          He just approved deploying missiles practically on Russia’s border, a point I feel you should address, as this is an action strongly supported by lunatics like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

          This point seems to be evidence in favor of my claim that Obama’s foreign policy is really not that different from some like McCain’s. Putting missiles on Russia’s border 20 years after the Cold War is exactly the kind of lunatic action that McCain would do and one in fact that McCain supports.

        • sweatyb

          It’s no use trying to reason with DSP. He gets off on being contrary.

        • balconesfault

          Yours is that they are better, and the main evidence your present so far is a hypothetical — that Gore would not have started a war with Iraq.

          Hell – it’s a hypothetical that Gore would not have started a war with the Romulan Empire, for that matter.

        • Dex

          DSP: “The relevance of the list is not to suggest an exact equivalence, but to illustrate the Democrats’ willingness (Gore among them) to support or resort to military force as readily as the Republicans do.”

          All you are doing is repeating your false equivalence with different phraseology. Resorting to military force when it is necessary and justified is not indicative of propensity to drum-up the case for using military force in pursuit of a folly.

  • Reflection Ephemeral

    Just as with [I]juche[/I].

    Our discourse would be improved with a more prominent voice for libertarians, incidentally.

  • Graychin

    “Dynastic cult of personality”? Like your former employer, the Bush family?

    I think that both Pauls are loco, but neither of them leads a personality cult. Both are charisma-challenged. After Ron, who besides Rand is a spokesman for nutty libertarian ideology?

  • valkayec

    I read Sullivan’s blog post about Rand Paul; however, it was Fabio Rojas who actually wrote, “If the social conservatives burn out in 2012 and 2016, by running against Democrats during the peak of the business cycle, then the GOP may be ready to let Rand Paul run in 2020 and he might win. The real legacy of Paul’s 2012 primary run may be laying the groundwork for Rand Paul presidency.”

    I’m hoping, by then the economy will be humming along, much of the fear and paranoia will have dissipated, and the wars and neo-con hawks will be forgotten. If so, much of the current libertarian enthusiasm will be gone which will mean the chances of another Paul running as a viable candidate for President will be slim.

    Economic fear and war exhaustion always brings out the most radical pols.

    • PW43

      But who is going to end these wars? Obama? He’s been as violent as Bush! They just had their first success(Libya – if NATO being responsible for killing more Libyans in 6 months than Khaddafi killed in 40 years can be considered a success) and their bloodlust is boiling over. Cameron is talking Somalia. Plus Obama is already waging an economic and terrorist war against Iran. You really think they care about the war exhaustion of the American people(or care about any of America’s true interests)? Not a single neocon has fallen. They’re as gungho as ever! Even a disaster like Iraq doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm. They simply crawl back into the swamp for a short period only to reemerge as self righteous as ever. This is the new definition of the USA(the entire West to be honest). You aren’t going to stop this with a vote.

      • gmat

        “Future historians will ponder the attitudes of the contemporary American establishment, leading a country armed to the gills, desperate to convince itself that it faces existential threats from minor powers, its spirit at once fearful and bullying. We might pray that analogies to Wilhelmine Germany never fit too well.” – Scott McConnel

        • balconesfault

          This is a good piece. I like the following:

          Making the United States stronger militarily in every part of the world than any regional power was deemed vital to American security. The neoconservatives were explicit in advocating this, but mainstream liberals hardly objected. Virtually the entire bipartisan Washington establishment now considers it normal that the United States spends as much militarily as the rest of the world combined.

          Mainstream liberals learned a few decades ago that the corporate media is happy to use “willingness to spend on the military” and “willingness to engage our troops in foreign interventions” as a surrogate for “strong on national defense”. And media coverage, in combination with campaign contribution dollars, has helped the American public come to accept these labels (see McGovern, George through Kerry, John).

          So I don’t think that mainstream liberalism embraced military spending and interventionism, as much as the public voted for social/economic liberals who were more hawkish, and kicked aside social/economic liberals who were less interventionist, branding them “doves” and “appeasers”. It’s not that there are not some highly principled anti-imperialist liberal politicians out there with great ideas – it’s that the media will brand them as naive and dangerous to America, and will effectively shut down debate, and they will not win elections.

      • balconesfault

        Obama? He’s been as violent as Bush!

        Ummm … get back to me when Obama invades another nation, much less 2.

        They just had their first success(Libya – if NATO being responsible for killing more Libyans in 6 months than Khaddafi killed in 40 years can be considered a success) and their bloodlust is boiling over.

        Let me guess. You’re using Bachmann math.

        Which makes you kind of irrelevant in the reality based world.

        More … ummm … rational sources say between 5,696 and 7,093 opposition members/fighters (including some civilian supporters) and between 2,333 and 3,238 Gaddafi loyalists were killed in the fighting. I hope you’re not attributing the opposition fighters up to NATO … in which case your numbers are demonstrably wrong even if you were to chalk up all the Gaddafi loyalist deaths up to NATO, instead of to the opposition.

        The National Transitional Council estimates a total of 25,000 killed between February 15 – October 2, 2011. Again, an awful lot of these are due to Gaddafi.

        If you’re going to chalk up deaths of opposition forces to NATO … then do you have to include in Gaddafi’s count during his invasion of Chad, and the Libyan–Egyptian War?

        Obama is already waging an economic and terrorist war against Iran.

        What does the term “terrorist” mean to you?

        • Deep South Populist

          Given the recent downing of that CIA drone violating Iranian airspace, it is clear Obama is waging a covert war against Iran, a country that has not done anything. It is evidence that suggests Obama will elevate the war from covert to overt at his first opportunity. At that point, the Democrat apologists who attacked Bush for years will come out of the woodwork to defend Obama.

        • dante

          I’m pretty sure you’re mixing up Obama with John “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” McCain, or Mr. “I would have conducted a bombing run on Iran to destroy the stealth drone” Gingrich. Projecting your own insecurities about the Republican foreign policy onto others is not going to win you any races…

        • balconesfault

          Given the recent downing of that CIA drone violating Iranian airspace, it is clear Obama is waging a covert war against Iran

          There are a lot of drones out there collecting information, and I do see it in America’s best interest to have as much information on the Iranian nuclear program as we can.

          That said, if Obama engages in a war of aggression against Iran (and that would include, btw, attacking Iran for shooting down military aircraft over their airspace, or because of some sort of naval altercation in the Persian Gulf or Arabian Sea, or because Iran is involved in supporting Shia forces in Iraq) I will absolutely condemn him. This would be sufficient reason for me to not vote for him in 2012.

        • gmat

          I’m wondering how the “attack Iran” faction is going to play their hand. I don’t think they will want to wait to see if Romney wins, because he may well not.

          I can see a reprise of the extremely skillful political theater which preceded the 2002 mid-terms and effectively pinned dissenters in Congress, except this time adapted to manipulate the White House in the runup to the election.

        • busboy33

          Not sure how using a drone is the same thing as waging a covert war. Certainly a drone would be part of a covert war, but on the other hand spying/ gathering intelligence occurs without waging a covert war as well. Heck of a leap to get from “spying” to “covert war” without some corroboration, so respectfully it is anything but “clear” what is happening IMO.

        • Traveler

          Thanks for pointing out reality. I detest left wing bullcrap as much as right wing. There just seems to be so much more of the latter, that it has become part of the daily discourse now.

      • valkayec

        Well, you might not stop it with a vote but you can affect it. Don’t vote in any neo-cons and campaign against them. Moreover, hit the neo-cons where it really hurts: in their wallets. Since most of them now work for publications and a few think tanks, stop buying their pubs and don’t pay dues to their think tanks. Get all you friends to boycott. Write blogs and editorials in you local papers. Expose the heck out of ‘em.

        • gmat

          “Don’t vote in any neo-cons…”

          And watch out for candidates surrounded by neocon foreign policy advisers (Romney leaps to mind), because those guys will end up making policy at Defense and State and NSC.

  • Nanotek

    “Fascinating that a movement of self-proclaimed individualists would manifest itself as a dynastic cult of personality.”

    you miss Reagan?

  • TJ Parker

    Yeah, but Sully was sure that Palin would run too.

    • medinnus

      …and she very well might…

      Well, probably not, but the GOP Convention isn’t over yet )

      • bill_mcgonigle

        All states have primaries or caucuses now and many of the ballot access periods have closed. Do you figure pledged delegates would defect to Palin?

  • zaybu

    People who haven’t noticed that the world is moving more and more to the right are clueless of what’s happening in the world ( hint: read Karl Marx).

  • paulw

    The columnists are groping about for anyone, ANYONE with a level of charisma, to show up and save us all from a Romney-Gingrich-Perry primary cycle. Rather than face up to the fact that 20-plus years of sucking up to Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh has left the GOP without any sensible political leaders that can impress the majority of the nation.

  • lilmanny

    Rand Paul might run, just as one of any number of Sununus might run. I’ve seen Rand Paul speak in person a few times. He is quick, charismatic, and less a kook then his father. People love him and his politics on the stump seem to transcend political fault lines.
    But a number of things work against him:

    His father is a famous kook.
    His initial Senate campaign manager was fired for having a series of ugly racist posts and pictures on his MySpace page when the campaign was in its infancy. Don’t be shocked if Rand’s early acquaintances make Lew Rockwell look like a saint. I don’t know this for sure, but it’s a well-informed hunch.
    He is a senator from Kentucky. That is bad for a lot of reasons.
    His stances, though softer than his father’s, deviate from GOP dogma, especially where the base is concerned.

    I would not be surprised if he formed exploratory committees, but no way in hell he makes any headway.

    Just my opinion.

  • buddyglass


    1. Doesn’t have the newsletter scandal, though he may be held guilty by association with his father.

    2. Is young whereas Ron is old.

    3. Is a senator whereas Ron is only a representative- not typically a position from which one launches a presidential career.

    That said, his comments on the Civil Rights Act would seem to make him anathema to anyone who isn’t white. I’m not sure *even a Republican* can get elected with 0% of the non-white vote. But I would imagine his ceiling is higher than Ron’s, assuming he can run a campaign and is a passable public speaker.

    • buddyglass

      To clarify #3: Representative is not a position from which one normally launches a presidential career. Senator is.

    • Geprodis

      Minorities favor Ron Paul over any other Republican Candidate.

      • Dex

        Are you by any chance relying on the tortured interpretation of the CNN poll from last week which showed that Paul gets blown out 3-to-1 by Obama among minorities, as opposed to Romney, who gets blown out 4-to-1? The same poll that didn’t bother to define minorities or say how many of them were in their sample set?

      • buddyglass

        While I’m sure Ron shares Rand’s view of the Civil Rights Act, I’m not sure Ron’s opposition has been featured as prominently in the press. Also, neither of them has (thus far) had to campaign against a Democrat on the national scale. I’m thinking that should surely be a centerpiece of their criticism of Rand’s candidacy.

      • TJ Parker

        Minorities favor Ron Paul over any other Republican Candidate.

        Yeah and the set of even prime numbers is overwhelmingly dominated by multiples of 2.

        The common wisdom is that Marco Rubio can be grafted onto any GOP candidate to produce instant minority appeal.

        BTW inbred rednecks don’t yet count as a minority group, although in a few centuries they might devolve into a separate species.

  • Rob_654

    Funny how these “Paul” people decry the federal government, decry using taxpayer money – and yet they keep doing everything they can to keep a Federal Government Job and stay on the Taxpayer dime.

    • balconesfault

      That criticism never bothers me … I can understand anyone wanting to influence public policy, even if they feel that what we need is LESS public policy, and being part of a legislative body is one of the best ways to do that.

      I just never understand how people who issue by issue support a strong government that can promote THEIR interests will suddenly fall in line behind a Paul, figuring I guess that a Paulian/Randian government will only get rid of the “bad” programs and not only leave in place, but competently administer, the “good” programs.

    • Geprodis

      Rob, you keep saying this stupid line. I’m sorry, it’s stupid. Ron Paul wants to change the government, not stay on the taxpayer dime.

  • dante

    Whoops, looks like my post got caught up in the “naughty words” filter. I’ll paraphrase.

    Of course Rand Paul is going to run for President. He has 100% of the batpoop crazy ideas of Ron Paul, but only 10% of the batpoop crazy statements…

  • Geprodis

    David Frum bashing Libertarians again. Frum never has any intelligent criticism, he just keeps shouting “Ron Paul is crazy” but never talks about anything but the newsletters.

    Frum never mentions Paul’s anti-war stance..which Frum HATES but can’t argue against.

    Frum doesn’t like Paul’s economic ideas…he never explains why…because Frum knows nothing about economics.

    We all know from Frum’s retarded marijuana articles that he thinks Paul’s stance on the drug-war is “insane”

    Frum is part of the problem. He is not part of any solution.

    • TJ Parker

      Yeah, why is it that nobody wants to focus on the good stuff and everybody keeps coming back to the batsh!t crazy stuff? Must be the press’s need to sensationalize or vet or something. We need a national dialogue about Ron Paul where we only discuss the things that make Dr. Paul look good.

      Like why doesn’t anyone ever talk about Mrs. Paul and her fish sticks?

      • Geprodis

        Frum doesn’t care about the contents of the Newsletters. He is against Libertarianism and is too inept to attack the philosophy so he keeps accusing Paul of being a racist.

        Ron Paul disavows the racist Newsletters. I agree he should out the authors of the Newsletters, but if he does that, the Newsletter story will actually have something new to it. As of now the story is very old news and Paul’s political advisers are probably telling him (correctly) that giving the same answer to the question and giving the story no life is the best strategy.

  • Stewardship

    First thing, he needs to win re-election in Kentucky. That state seems to favor Democrats for statewide office. The two senate seats have been the exception in recent years.

  • nitrat

    From what I have seen of MDs in Congress since and including Bill Frist, they are ALL loons.

    And, hypocrites…you cannot be an MD, make most of your money from Medicaid and Medicare, and rant and rave against the government which put you in your McMansion without being a monumental hypocrite.

    Can you guess what Rand Paul has been making off Medicare for 15 minute cataract surgeries alone over the course of his career? It’s obscene.

    • Geprodis

      Comparing Ron Paul to Bill Frist is worse than any insult the Frum Editors have hurled at Paul.

  • Deep South Populist

    Regarding Obama’s great foreign policy “success” in Libya, by what standard was it a success? Successful according to who?

    As PW49 observes:

    NATO [was] responsible for killing more Libyans in 6 months than Khaddafi killed in 40 years…

    Is that the standard for success?

    Was it a success because Gaddafi was deposed?

    Here is some of what the Libyans will probably no longer see now that Gaddafi is gone.

    What great work Obama did leading from behind!


    [blockquote]1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.

    2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.

    3. Home considered a human right in Libya

    4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family. Is this what you call a dictator Traditional wedding in Tripoli, Libya

    5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.

    6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick-start their farms are all for free.

    7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it is not only free but they get US$2,300/mth accommodation and car allowance.

    8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.

    9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.

    10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion are now frozen globally.

    11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.

    12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

    13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US$5,000

    14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15

    15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree

    16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.[/blockquote]


    dailykos [dot] com/story/2011/10/21/1028596/-16-Things-Libyans-Will-Never-See-Again

    • sweatyb

      See what I mean, on a thread about Rand Paul, DSP posts this huge completely unsourced screed about how awesome Libya was.

      He doesn’t care that Libya’s own people rose up in a popular revolt against Qaddafi and that Qaddafi would have brutally crushed the rebellion had it not been for NATO air power. Reality is irrelevant, history is irrelevant, only servicing DSP’s radical-opinion-of-the-moment matters.

      He’s just trying to pick a fight.

      • Deep South Populist

        This is not true. My comment is a response to this post.

        PW43 // Dec 27, 2011 at 8:53 am

        • Traveler


          Didn’t you bother to read BalconesFault response to the imbecile? PW43 is an ultraliberal with perspectives completely unfettered by facts. Fact is NATO didn’t kill as many as MQ did during his rule (he killed 1200 in an hour), and those that were killed were slaughtering civilians. The rebels took up arms in response to indiscriminate firing on protesters, not as an insurrection. Have you heard of Misrata? To cite PW43s post as a source is major kool-aid.

          As mentioned above, you sure like to be contrary, but don’t cite total bullsh`t because it made it on the internet as a FF comment. Sheesh!

  • Dazedandconfused

    It’s interesting that the discussion of the Pauls moved into foreign policy and not goldbuggery.

    What do “Republicans” feel on foreign policy?

    Let’s listen to this guy first:

    Now lets see what this guy has to say…

    Clear as mud, isn’t it?

  • PracticalGirl

    Rand Paul has spent his career as a contrarian, just like his Daddy. While that may satisfy a small sliver of a small segment of people, it would hardly make for the overreaching, sweeping visionary that voters look for in a Presidential candidate.

  • cdorsen

    Neocons love to call the Pauls “crazy” for their ideas. What is more crazy A) Spending $1 trillion dollars, thousands of American lives and limbs, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives limbs, a less stable middle east, a lost check to Iranian power in the region, and all over a country that had not attacked or planned to attack the US or US interests. Or, B) Not doing all that. Picture yourself an alien staring down at the planet knowing nothing of our ridiculous politics. Which seems like the “crazy” idea?

    A) Being $15 trillion+ in debt and counting, borrowing most of the money from our largest rivals and potential enemies, spending more than we will bring in generations into the future, having bases all over the world and entitlement programs that have become ponzi schemes that are trillions of dollars in the hole over the long run.
    B) Not doing all that and spending within our means.
    Which is crazy?

    A) Keeping drugs illegal with little to no effect on actual usage, locking up non-violent people that pose no real threat to society, invading people’s privacy to find the drugs, waging wars extending into other countries over the issue, spending billions when we are trillions in debt, encouraging an underground market that lives tax free, creating underground industries where murder is all in a day’s work, and having these drug wars spill out into our streets.
    B) Not do all that. Instead spend money educating and rehabilitating which has shown to have much better results, keep wars off our streets, keep people out of prisons, etc.
    Which seems crazier???

    Libertarianism is very different than what most people are used to which makes people uncomfortable. In a pure form, just like progressivism or conservatism it does not work. However, we need to be open to new ideas to fix our old problems that the current system leaves in place.

    • TJ Parker

      Libertarianism is very different than what most people are used to which makes people uncomfortable. In a pure form, just like progressivism or conservatism it does not work. However, we need to be open to new ideas to fix our old problems that the current system leaves in place.

      Please note: this is not called “conservative”. This is activist.

      Yeah yeah, I know, you’re an oxymoronic “conservative activist”.

    • Baron Siegfried

      Libertarianism, like all other -isms, proceeds on a faulty premise, most notably that every one will play by the rules, not game the system, not manipulate matters to their own end. Whether it’s the new soviet man, primitive christianity, or the latest california cult, they assume that their members are ‘reborn anew’ who will walk their talk and make all nicey-nice, nobly toil for the cause. Sadly, history has shown this never to be the case . . . or rather, at least not for some. I’ve always wondered how Christianity would have evolved if that nutcase Paul hadn’t converted; I’m sure his early conversations with Peter were *interesting*. Had Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili stayed in the seminary and taken the cloth, could communism have worn a more human face?

      Libertarianism attracts people who think they’re smarter than Murphy, and that the Law of Unintended Consequences doesn’t apply to them because they’re so deuced clever.

    • Traveler

      You are dead wrong on SS in no. 1. SS is not a Ponzi scheme that is certain to go broke. Ponzi schemes don’t use the original investors’ money to pay them back. A minimal amount of actuarial adjustments keep the “scheme” going. Also, with a reasonable tax structure ala 2000, we eliminate the deficit issue. We will be most of the way there once the Bush cuts expire.

      So fail on those points. But I like your take on the rest of no. 1 (bases for others defense) as well as all of no. 2. But you have to be accurate here, otherwise you lose credibility.

      • cdorsen

        You are technically correct in that according to the way the government accounts for the entitlements, they are not broke. However, if either of us accounted for our household or business this way, we would be bankrupt, foreclosed on, repossessed, and sent to prison.

        The government has drawn everything from the SS trust fund and replaced it essentially with IOUs. Those IOUs will then have to be paid out of the general fund which is replaced by current taxpayers. The government counts the IOUs as assets on its books and claims SS to be completely solvent. The total dollars that will have to be paid to cover coming SS costs far outweighs the expected revenue. Some estimate as high as $100 trillion (not claiming this to be the actual figure). The government does something else that we would not be able to do in our homes or businesses. The government does not count these future outlays as actual liabilities even though they clearly represent something the government owes. So, that is why the government can claim that SS is funded and solvent. It uses accounting gimmicks that mean nothing but hide the truth.

        As for whether the people at the top are just receiving what they paid in, keep in mind that the money they paid was already spent by the gov. (see IOUs above) and that payroll tax rates have not remained constant. Combined employer/employee contributions were not always constant. The original combined rate was 2% and remained there until 1952 when it was raise to 3 percent. The combined rate did not even top double digits until 1978. So, a person that worked and contributed for 35 years beginning in 1950 paid an overall average of 8% combined payroll taxes for their working life. Someone that began work in 1976 and worked 35 years until 2011 paid an average of 11.8% combined payroll taxes. As the years go on, the old who are living longer and receiving more in benefits than they paid in. The new entrants are paying more to support the old entrants in a fundamentally insolvent system = definition of a Ponzi scheme.

  • NRA Liberal

    For some time now I have believed Rand Paul to be the most dangerous man in American politics. He’s going to inherit his father’s movement lock stock and barrel, and deliver to the GOP. I can easily see him as the first libertarian/teapublican POTUS.