Jun
17
2013

TNR… trying to make the case for Rand Paul in 2016.

Wait.  This stuff is bad?

OK, I don’t normally fisk, but I gotta do this one. From The New Republic’s rather alarmed profiling of Senator Rand Paul:

In the Senate, Paul gained a reputation as an eccentric. Staffers often saw him wandering alone into the cafeteria, buying his own coffee, getting his own lunch—which, they noted, was not very senatorial.

That’s a damning indictment of the Senate, frankly.

Nor was his reputation for reading every page of every bill.

So’s that.

He wrote legislation in his own, Paulian way. He introduced a budget that would have eviscerated the Departments of Transportation, Energy, State, and Commerce; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Food and Drug Administration; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It would have entirely defunded the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Government Printing Office.

I give ground on the CPB and the NEA, on the grounds that liberal Americans should probably have some toys, and frankly they’re cheaper than HUD.  But I suspect that TNR has a different definition of ‘eviscerated’ than I do.

His amendment to the Parental Consent Act warned that psychiatrists might “label a person’s disagreement with the psychiatrist’s political beliefs a mental disorder.”

:coughcoughcoughBrezhnev’sSovietUnioncoughcoughcough:

He authored a bill to legalize interstate traffic in unpasteurized milk. One amendment would have nullified the congressional authorization to invade Iraq; another sought “to end mailbox use monopoly.”

…I’m pretty sure that most TNR readers are all for one or more of those positions; a good percentage would be for two; and that a measurable proportion would be willing to back the trifecta if they got the first two.

He also offered a triad of bills intended to make senators more diligent: the Read the Bills Act, the Write the Laws Act, and the One Subject at a Time Act. None of these measures made it to a vote.

And there’s the third damning indictment of the Senate.  Note, by the way, that there’s no need to bother explaining what the bills actually were, given that the titles are almost alarmingly descriptive.

When the Foreign Relations Committee introduced a bill condemning North Korea’s nuclear tests, Paul insisted on language explicitly stating that it didn’t authorize the use of force. McCain was livid: The act was already nonbinding, and he felt Paul was mocking the process.

Because mocking the process is apparently John McCain’s job.  For that matter: what’s the matter with mocking the process?  The process is kind of absurd.

Anyway, read the whole thing: because Ben Domenech described it best.

 

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Speaking as a neoconservative and a foreign policy hawk: Rand Paul bothers me very little.  I disagree with him quite a bit on interventionism and I’m not as libertarian as he is on domestic issues; and he probably wouldn’t get my primary vote (I want governors, dagnabbit.  Proper ones, who have won re-election). But I can easily enough see myself voting for him in the general, which was something that would have been a REAL problem when it came to his dad.

41 Comments

  • acat says:

    I want Walker. He may be a cheesehead and a Packers fan, but he gets results.
    .
    That said, I will gleefully put up Rand signs as needed.
    .
    Mew

    • midwestconservative says:

      Walker is my first choice, and then Pence even though He’s only been elected to one term, but that’s because He’s my Governor and Indiana has only ever sent one man to the White House so I’m kinda biased and peeved Daniels didn’t make a run.

      • acat says:

        Umm.. I was an early Daniels supporter when he did start his run .. and promptly shoved his Florsheim all the way down his throat and kicked his own appendix.
        .
        I’m .. kinda peeved .. because, for a smart guy, Mitch sure doesn’t know how to talk to the Religious Right.
        .
        Mew

  • zamoose says:

    Here’s the thing: when was the last time a GOP Senator made ‘em quake in their boots in this way? I like it, even if it doesn’t result in a primary run (let alone a primary victory).

  • myoda176 says:

    He’ll always have my vote in the general ever since his “toilet doesn’t work” speech. He said he had been waiting for years to say it to someone.
    And I have to admit, I like him in Washington to shake things up. Not sure if that’s a grand thing for the person in charge, but not bad in the Senate!

    • Cameron says:

      Between him and the sputtering incoherent rage that Cruz brings out, this has been an interesting time for the Senate.

      • acat says:

        This is, IIRC, the mirror to conservative frustration at the election of Sen. Franken, Sen. Mosley-Braun, Sen. Obama, et al.
        .
        Cruz, Paul, Lee, Johnson, and ‘Miracle Brown’ are a reminder to the Dema that conservatives can play the same game… Once we get the deadwood and idiots out of the way, at least.
        .
        Mew

        • midwestconservative says:

          “Miracle Brown” should have run the same style of campaign he did in 2010, instead he ran like an entrenched and entitled incumbent instead of like the Hail Mary candidate he was in 2010.

          • acat says:

            “Pudding Brown” should have remembered that, in Massachusetts, the GOP is *always* a hail-mary play. Given his voting record, though, I don’t know that he could have gotten the same out-of-state boost he got last go’round, though.
            .
            I do hope he comes back .. as Moe notes in a later story today, he’s got the perfect foil for it.
            .
            Mew

  • jbird says:

    Wait, was that piece a critique or an endorsement? I can’t quite figure it out.

  • whamodyne says:

    Following reaction to this story on twitter, it’s very much a Rorschach article. Liberals are focusing on how “extreme” he is and his throwaway line about not trusting democracy because it gave us Jim Crow. Conservatives and Liberty types are seeing a guy they might just find attractive and how TNR made him seem like a cool dude.

    • zamoose says:

      Point of order:
      It’s not a Rorschach test, it’s one of those “Is it a candlestick or two people kissing?” things, which is different, IIRC.

      • acat says:

        Only if you accept that seeing the status quo in the Senate to be good is …rational.
        .
        If you think McCain’s doing a great job, frankly I think you’re bonkers.
        .
        Mew

  • DemosthenesVW says:

    Chris Christie has already dropped off the list of people I could support on a ticket. Marco Rubio is almost there, and Paul Ryan is starting down that road, because of their positions on immigration. (Note that I actually agree with them that deporting 11 million people is a non-starter; I just don’t believe in a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, nor do I support blatantly misleading the American people on what your position would entail.)
    .
    Part of the reason I am so comfortable with eliminating some very viable candidates so early in a cycle is because of the presence of people like Rand Paul. For president, in a primary, I’d rather vote for a governor. But I could see casting a vote for a ticket that had him on it. In either position.

    • acat says:

      Christie is done. Rubio also.
      .
      There are far better candidates available, with much less explainin’ to do. I decline to waste effort on them.
      .
      Mew

  • Finrod says:

    My top tier for 2016 currently is Condi, Sarah, and Rand.

    • acat says:

      A mid-tier bureaucrat victim of the State Dept mind-worms who won’t make it out of Iowa, a talking head with enough baggage to sink the Titanic, and a one-term no-executive-experience son of a nutjob….
      .
      Seriously, if you want them, you have to *explain* them… And if you have to *explain*, then as with a joke, they just don’t work.
      .
      Yea, I am being harsh, Rand is also on my ‘acceptable’ list, but I’m not fooling myself that he’ll be a tough sell.
      .
      Mew

      • zamoose says:

        Rand is powerful for one big reason: he very effectively neutralizes the advantage Donks have enjoyed with the under-30 set. Though he flirts with Pauline anti-interventionism, he at least seems to speak the same language as the civil libertarians. At the very least, he could act as an effective spoiler on these issues with the yutes.

        • acat says:

          Rand opens a left* flank the Dems aren’t expecting to have trouble with.
          .
          He speaks their anti-war message, he speaks their anti-big-{blank} message..
          .
          He could out-populist them .. the question is whether he can actually, you know, *govern*.
          .
          Mew
          .
          .
          .
          * Technically, a Jacksonian flank, but .. the left called ownership of anti-international-interventionism a long time ago… except when it suited Clinton or Obama, of course.

      • midwestconservative says:

        Last time the GOP elected a sitting US Senator to the White House was 1920 and the man was Warren G. Harding of Ohio. The Last time any Sitting US Congressman was elected to the White House was James Garfield.

      • Crawford says:

        Yeah, let all the fictions the left writes determine our candidates. That’s the way to win.

        • acat says:

          Bitching about the terrain never won a battle, Crawford.
          .
          If they’re fictions, then *refute* them.
          .
          If they’re *not* fictions, then ..
          .
          Mew

      • Doc Holliday says:

        “one-term no-executive experience son of a nutjob” ?

        As opposed to Obama right? I don’t know much about Obama’s father, nor does anyone else as far as I know. But this is America so, there is that.

        Rand Paul is viable BECAUSE of the Bush and Obama administrations; as well as the McCain and Romney defeats. Claiming Rand is not viable misses the entire point.

        • acat says:

          I didn’t say Rand isn’t viable, Doc. I said he needs to be *explained*.
          .
          Rand is different enough in viewpoint he’s not going to appeal to Main Street without a little help. He’s not an obvious next-in-line guy (Perry? Santorum?) Rand has a hard hill to climb for 2016.
          .
          If you want to help him climb it, don’t bitch about the hill, look for the pathways upward.
          .
          Mew

          • Doc Holliday says:

            I am not bitching cat, I am defending. You DID say Rand must be explained, and if someone needs to be explained -like a joke- “they just won’t work”. This is what was written, and why I responded with a different view.

            I don’t see anyone who is next in line, hell I don’t even see a line at this point. It seems to me their are three Republicans making ANY national impact lately: Paul, Cruz, and Perry. If it is Perry, I hope he polishes his game a bit. jmo

          • Moe_Lane says:

            Really? Depending on who wins in 2014 I can rattle off half a dozen governors who would be good candidates in 2016 (and damned better ones than most of the ones we had in 2008/2012). …Seriously, I can: I just typed them out, then deleted them because, hey, most of them have to win in 2014 first and I don’t want to jinx. No sense in telling the Left who to target.

          • acat says:

            No, your post does not explain why a libertarian nutjob’s son js a viable candidate to a small business owner, or a soccer mom; it is preaching to the converted, and that is not a winning strategy.
            .
            I listed my #1 pick – Walker. Executive experience matters, Walker has it. National exposure matters, Walker has that too. Unions are only part of the problems our country faces, but – as Rand is doing in the Senate, Walker has beaten unions (after the statehouse ran away) before and should scare the crap out of SEIU et al.
            .
            Rand is doing great where he is, and if he can win re-election, something Walker’s done once and can do again, then we can talk.
            .
            Mew

  • BigGator5 says:

    My top choices: Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindel, Susana Martinez, Chris Christie, and Rudy Giuliani. In no real order.
    .
    I know you like a governor as your top choice Moe, but I have my man-crush on El Rubio. Say anything you want about Senator Rubio, he is a do-er. Come hell or high water, he’s going to get immigration reform done and I honestly can’t fault him for that (I actually support this reform bill, if only to speed up the downfall of the republic). He’s also my Senator and I’ve got to stick up for him.

    • BigGator5 says:

      And I mess up Bobby Jindal’s name. My bad.

    • DemosthenesVW says:

      You support something that you think will hasten America’s demise? Please tell me this wasn’t supposed to sell me on your idea.

      • BigGator5 says:

        No. However I never left Team LetItBurn. When Republicans caved earlier this year, I went into a horrible depression (which, frankly, has not ended). I was first opposed to the immigration reform bill, but people’s “This Will Be The End Of The Republic!!1!eleven!!one!!!1!” made me realized that I needed to support this bill. I will support anything that will end this nation.

        • acat says:

          I’d be happy to agree if I thought we’d get it put back together before I reach retirement age, eh?
          .
          Beirut is no place for an elderly cat.
          .
          Mew

        • DemosthenesVW says:

          If you want America to end so badly, I’d be happy to subsidize your flight to any nation that you consider to be better. If I ever feel like giving up on the last best hope for freedom, I’ll join you.
          .
          And that will be my last word on the subject, before this gets really impolite. I have no desire to incur the wrath of Moe.

          • acat says:

            Missed it, but understandable.
            .
            The theory is that the Dems are within a decade of changing things to give them permanent control – sort of capitalism sliding into marxism – anyway, but if we push them hard and fast *now*, before they’re ready, we can steal a march and move the country far to the right instead.
            .
            The practice, though, will still be no place for old cats.
            .
            To put it another way, it isn’t that there is a *better* country .. it’s that this one is in need of a reset, and through the chaos may be the best way to achieve it.
            .
            Mew

  • Catseyes says:

    Maybe Beirut is the best case scenario at this point Acat or rather 50 Beiruts as the states breakdown and the Federal Government falls apart. I suggest reading Survival Argentina. And I agree it’s no place for an elderly cat. But more and more I believe we have no choice in the matter the decision will be made by others who quite frankly aren’t all that bright.

  • Doc Holliday says:

    Moe, you can name six governors who are good candidates for president?* Well you are more tuned into the political landscape than am I for sure. I can think of Perry and Jindal, but neither is “bringing it” like Paul and Cruz. To me the idea that governors are first in line is flawed, and ignoring what is going on in the conservative movement today.

    And why exactly are governors so great? I don’t believe Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and Bush Sr. were governors. Sure Carter and Clinton were governors, but so what? I believe it is correct that we have elected two Republican governors to the White House in the last 90 years. I would not call that exactly our ace up the sleeve.

    I have been clear in this thread. Rand Paul is one of the VERY few Republicans making a difference on the national stage these days. I really don’t care about his executive experience. I am more interested in his dismantling plans.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      I can actually name more, but we have the 2014 election cycle to contend with, first. Mind you, some of the people on my list are not people that you (or I) would like overmuch, but they’d all have a good shot at winning.

      As to why governors… well, simply put: Senators suck at pushing things through the opposition. To use your examples: Eisenhower was a general who specialized in coordinating things. Nixon had eight years of experience as Vice President. Ford didn’t actually have a great record at getting things done with Congress; and George Bush Sr… could probably have used a bit more experience. Meanwhile, while Carter was of course useless Reagan, Clinton, and GWB were in fact successful at being ramrods, despite hostile Congresses at various points in their careers.

      I got nothing against Rand Paul, at this point. But honestly I’d rather he was Senate Majority Leader under a GOP President, because there he’d be pushing both the House and the Executive Branch to catch up with him. Remember, the President can propose legislation, but it’s Congress that initiates it. In a lot of ways Congress is the place for someone who wants to be proactive about putting up good laws and killing bad ones.

      Lastly: I think that there are some firm limits to the power of the conservative movement to push candidates; and I think that the extremely weak nature of the 2008 and 2012 fields have suggested to many – in my opinion, erroneously – that we’ll be able to drive the candidates’ positions similarly in 2016.

  • [...] TNR… trying to make the case for Rand Paul in 2016. Wait. This stuff is bad? OK, I don’t normally fisk, but I gotta do this one. From The New Republic’s rather alarmed profiling of Senator Rand Paul [...]

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