Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting a Read on the Real Rand Paul

James Bovard is out with an important review of Rand Paul's new book,Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds

In the review, it is obvious that Bovard is trying to be sympathetic to Rand and still holds out hope that Rand may become a beacon of libertarian ideals, in Congress. However, solid scholar that Bovard is, he points out the many parts in Rand's book that are downright puzzling, given that Rand poses as someone who claims to be suspicious of big government.

Bovard notes that Rand hails the air marshals program instituted after 9-11 even though "they have become the biggest laughingstock in the land."

Rand also promotes the government created myth that Flight 93 passengers, on 9-11, chose to crash their plane. Bovard writes that even FBI Director Robert Mueller has testified that the terrorists crashed the plane after the passengers tried to take it over.

Bovard writes that part of  Rand's "Passenger Bill of Rights" in execution would seem "akin to entitling rape victims to require their assailants to wear condoms."

In the book, Rand also praises divisions of the National Endowment for Democracy. Bovard points out that ever since its creation in 1983, it has been involved in election manipulations and scandals, around the world e.g. Haiti and the Ukraine. Writes Bovard:
It is mystifying why a Senator as smart as Rand Paul would hitch his wagon to a federal agency that has tarnished itself and the United States around the world. Is the Senator receiving some extremely bad information from someone?
Holding out more hope than we have here at EPJ, Bovard concludes:
Rand Paul is a work in progress. Will he take the principled high road that his father paved with such courage? Or will he simply become another conservative who flourishes government waste, fraud and abuse stories to make supporters believe he is going to roll back Leviathan? Unfortunately, the answers to those questions can not be found in Government Bullies.
Rand knows better. His enthusiastic endorsement of Mitt Romney should tell us all what road Rand has chosen.

(Note: Bovard's review is only available in hard copy in the November 2012 issue of The American Conservative. It is not available online).


  1. Peter Schiff is the best hope for the future of libertarian politicians. Rand is like sex with a condom, you're happy to be having it, but it just doesn't feel right.

  2. Can you please in the future not do political pandering of any sort on this blog? I think it's better to just stick with Econ, lest those leeches drag you into the mess they created because only they are able to live in such a clusterfuck.

  3. James Bovard gives further info on National Endowment for Democracy:

  4. I've got to say, I'm sympathetic to Rand Paul as well but the more I compare him to his dad, I realize how much greater the Dad is. I'm glad that EPJ is hardcore libertarian and whacks people when they get out of line.