Thursday, October 11, 2012

Rand Paul’s Latest Schtick

by Philip Giraldi

I am still trying to recover from the Republican Party’s overwhelming failure to understand that only Ron Paul was speaking good sense about the dismal state of U.S. foreign policy. Depending on whom you listen to, however, one might almost think in spite of all evidence to the contrary that the revolution is still going on and just one more tweak will deliver a Brave New World. That is because hardly a day passes without yet another email from the various organizations that are seeking to cash in on the Ron Paul legacy, demonstrating that they have the moxie to continue the fight. The most recent email from John Tate and Campaign for Liberty pledged to do something about drones, the latest empty promise that comes on top of not-quite-achieved victories in auditing the Fed and Pentagon and defending the Internet. Just send $50 or whatever one can spare. We’ll spend it wisely. Really.

In spite of it all, I strongly believe that Dr. Paul’s immense contribution to the political debate forced something of a rethinking of the unfortunate direction that our nation has taken in the past 10 years. His message continues to resonate, if muted, and is worth more than an eventual footnote in a history book. In the area of foreign policy, he alone had the courage to speak out on issues that the other candidates chose to ignore while puffing out their chests, wrapping themselves in the flag, and boasting of “American Exceptionalism.”

The only problem is that many of those who are now crying “legacy,” including Tate and Company, couldn’t have cared less about foreign policy when they might have actually done something to intensify the debate. They obsess about drones in the United States while ignoring their use overseas. They were precisely the folks who failed the campaign or who sold out in the first place. Onward and upward, leaving no man behind has turned into “let us reason together” and let’s “go along to get along.”

Somehow the Emperor Caligula’s naming of his favorite horse, Incitatus, consul of Rome came to mind when I recently read about how Jesse Benton, the controversial campaign manager for Ron Paul, had moved smoothly over to manage Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election. Many Paul supporters long believed that Benton was intent on grooming himself for bigger and better things, hence the frequent disconnects in the latter days of the Paul campaign, including an announcement that the campaign had been suspended that was reversed on the following day. It is hard to think much of Benton or to wish him well, though he may have discovered his own purgatory now that he has to package the lugubrious McConnell in an attempt to make him appear human, a task that might well be beyond anyone’s capability. Does anyone seriously think that Benton was brought over to the GOP establishment to help in a race that is a foregone conclusion to attract support from the Paulistas and tea partyers? It is to reward Benton and bring him into the fold as what passes for a loyal Republican.

But perhaps the unkindest cut of all is the betrayal by Sen. Rand Paul, who has clearly set himself up as the heir apparent to his father’s legacy. He now has a fundraising mechanism called Randpac, which is sending out hard-hitting emails asking for money. I do not doubt for a second that Rand understands at least some of what his father stood for and is willing to take some unpopular positions to support what he thinks to be right. But his father never endorsed Mitt Romney, and, while it is understandable that loyal Republican Rand would stand behind the GOP candidate for president, his full approval of Romney’s foreign policy and his willingness to serve as Romney’s vice president were unforgivable. Romney stands for everything that Ron Paul abhors, including unrestricted overseas intervention and chest-thumping militarism.

And Rand’s latest emails contain material that is more reminiscent of Peter King, the rabble-rousing congressman from Long Island who has been going around arranging hearings to investigate American Muslims, than of his father. Rand’s latest schtick is to take away money given to governments that don’t fully support us. If an email that went out on Sept. 29 is anything to go by, Rand Paul has apparently completed his conversion to Orthodox GOPism, including integration into its dominant neoconservative foreign policy wing. The email boasts about Rand’s sponsorship of a bill that would have stopped “handouts” to Egypt, Pakistan, and Libya.

The bill, which Rand describes as the “will of the American people,” died in the Senate by a vote of 81 to 10. The email includes a one-minute video that shows angry, presumably Muslim crowds interposed with burning vehicles and buildings together with a narrative tract describing how a number of countries are not good allies and don’t make any effort to support U.S. interests while at the same time attacking our diplomats overseas. The video is the basis of a TV ad that will apparently be used in television markets where six vulnerable Democrats who supported continuing aid to the countries in question are running for reelection.

The ad will be run thanks to a “Massive Bring Our Tax Dollars Home Money Bomb,” which is the real purpose of the email.

Read the rest here.


  1. I've unsubscribed and sent anything remaining to spam from CFL and Rand.

  2. If the Senate isn't even able to deny foreign to 3 countries that commit violence against us, how will they ever entertain the idea of cutting ALL foreign aid? Of course they won't consider such a thing. Rand Paul has stated that he prefers no foreign aid at all; his bill is a compromise to take one step closer to that end. I think some are a bit too hard on him.

  3. I love EPJ but you guys are such haters. Rand Paul is playing the game, I get it how that annoys hardcore Ron Paulians. However, and it breaks my heart to say it, Ron Paul never accomplished anything as a politician. As an idea spreader he's been great. He's changed the debate and awoken a lot of people. "libertarians agree on 95% of everything but spend 95% of their time disagreeing on the 5%"

    1. perhpas.but if you think rand paul will accomplish anything at all,you dont understand politics.ron paul's mission was to awaken people.the political process is beyond redemption.
      there is no 'game' to be played,alas.

    2. Anon,

      I agree with you.

      I also think that libertarians and the liberty movement agree with end goals, but differ on strategy. This is why I'm willing to give Rand some slack. His end goals are probably the same, but he just has a different way of getting there.


      If Ron thought the political process was beyond redemption, why did he try and win the Presidency? This is a matter of interpretation, but I think Ron is a libertarian/constitutionalist as opposed to an anarcho-capitalist.

    3. If by "hater" you mean "do you hate the state?," then I, at least, am a hater.

    4. If by "hater" you mean "do you hate the State?," then I, at least, am a hater.

  4. We better hope Ron Paul remains active after leaving Congress. Any organization he might form or get involved with would be worthy of support. I, too, disregard anything I get from the C4L/Tate/Benton complex.

  5. Rand Paul has not endorsed Mitt Romney's foreign policy. That is a lie. It's not even kinda maybe, sorta true. He has been extremely vocal in opposition to it. He has written at least two op-eds voicing his displeasure with Romney's interventionist positions. He has also been tough in his voting record and interview.s He has been an ALL-STAR. He's better than Ron Paul in many ways.

    Supporting Rand isn't even a matter of settling for something just good. He's great. Not good. He is great. I sincerely believe if Hayek were living today, he would get pissed on by the same people that piss on Rand Paul.

  6. The attacks on Rand are getting old. EPJ still rocks