Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jeff Tucker Blows a Kiss to Rand Paul

Jeff Tucker is out with a review of the Rand Paul book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington.

I didn't pick up the book when it was first published (February 2011), since it didn't show up on anybody's radar screen as a book that deserved heavy discussion, but Tucker's review is so contrary to my impression of the book that I will have to read it to see what is going on in it.

Tucker says: "It is highly unusual that a book this bold and heterodox would come from a U.S. senator...[but that] all political books have to be graded on a curve," so maybe it is not that bold afterall, when the curve is taken away.

Specifically, Tucker goes on to say that, in the book, Rand:
....actually spends a substantial part of the book explaining that he actually is a libertarian...
Which if accurate, means that Rand is nothing but a flip-flopper, since in  the  March 17, 2010 issue of Time, the magazine published an interview with Rand, where he said:
They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I'm not a libertarian.
In the review, Tucker does not explain the discrepancy, perhaps he has not kept up on events enough to be aware.

Tucker then goes on to champion the libertarian Rand and tells us not to be too harsh:
If you want to start putting acid tests on his thinking in the book, you will note that he is mixed on the subject of immigration, he is silent on the drug war (but silent is better than endorsement), and he seems to hold out the possibility of some war-making role for the state .
In favor of drug wars and "the possibility of some war-making role for the state," sure sounds like quite a "libertarian" curve that Tucker is grading on. I'm sure Dick Cheney would come out quite well. As for silence being heroic, I'm guessing Tucker has a problem with Leonardo da Vinci' s view:

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

But, hey, Jesse Benton should be giving the review two thumbs up.


  1. I haven't read Tucker's review or the book in question, but I do know that he (Tucker) is rather averse to being boxed into a specific ideology. Sure, Tucker is an anarchist and can be classified as a libertarian, but he prefers to not limited in such ways that people can say, "Jeffrey Tucker always believes x because he subscribes to ideology y". I can certainly understand that. Plus, he is probably the most optimistic guy in the entire liberty movement, so he'll see the positive in almost anything.

    On Rand Paul he isn't as correct as I'd like (apparently), but I am happy with Jeff's work overall. I can disagree with him without holding it personally against him. That would be pretty petty of me to do so.

  2. Rand today reported on his facebook page that along with HLS buying 750 million rounds of ammunition, now the National Weather Service is buying 46,000 rounds of hollow point ammo! WTF does the NWS need hollow point tips? To shoot at a hurrican? This is scary! Rand is critisized a lot and fairly so for endorsing Romney, but what other Senator is reporting and questioning this activity?

  3. Mr. Wenzel, please invite Jeffrey Tucker to your show. He's hilarious!

  4. Jeffrey Tucker may be somewhat wrong on Rand, but he's still one of my favorite people in the liberty movement. He's got such a great passion for liberty and for the market that reading him is always very uplifting.

  5. Rand Paul is cooked. He tried to snuggle up to the elite,and they used him. The libertarians and the Tea party folks have abandoned him. As the song goes '...He's a real nowhere man,sitting in his Nowhere Land,
    making all his nowhere plans for nobody...'

  6. Come on, Bob. Read the passages you're quoting! Tucker doesn't say silence is "heroic." He's says it's better than endorsement.

    1. Silence in the face of tyranny by a government official is evil! I'm glad Wenzel called Tucker out in this. Tucker should be ashamed of himself promoting silence when evil is present.

    2. You need to re-take reading comprehension 101.

  7. Jeffrey Tucker is a great academic, because with a book that most would crucify for its errors, he's able to see the good. This also means that Tucker's reviews have to be interpreted in light of this fact.

  8. I'm a big fan of Jeffrey Tucker and he is going to give people the benefit of the doubt and Rand is no substitute. It's clear that Rand is not Ron Paul. But, WHO THE HECK IS? Just because he has the Paul namesake does not mean they cut from the same cloth.

    Rand believes in a form of pragmatism to promote Liberty and it's clear he thinks he can do it through the existing political framework. I happen to disagree with this approach since Hans-Hermann Hoppe put it best when he said Democracy is nothing more than an especially insidious form of communism, and that the politicians who have wrought this immoral and economic madness and who have thereby enriched themselves personally (never, of course, being liable for the damages they have caused!), are nothing more than a despicable bunch of communist crooks.” Even if Rand is above reproach, he's still be swimming in the same crocked system.

    I'm not here to defend Rand. But, I wish Robert would revisit his podcast with Walter Block when he put into perspective the saving grace of those few politicians that use their position as a bully pulpit to advocate on behalf of liberty. He is much better on multiple fronts while obviously being open to criticism on many issues that do not comply with the non-aggression axiom and free/voluntary exchange.

    1. Btw...you can read more about Hoppe in this post as well since it's relevant to the quote I provided above.


  9. I was hoping for another Ron Paul, but Rand has not been a total loss. He's done some good things in the Senate.

    I just can't put him in the same category as a Romney, Obama, or Pelosi.

  10. I think the consensus is:
    Jeffrey Tucker is a good guy.
    Rand Paul is not his father.
    Take the good with the bad.
    Hey, who am I to disagree?

  11. Please...Rand Paul is solid. He is a huge step in the direction of liberty.