Monday, March 11, 2013

Rand Paul: Problem Child

He is the master of bait and switch. Fool me once.

I supported Rand in May last year:
"The American people shouldn't be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane," Senator Rand Paul has written in a press release. "It's time to END the TSA and get the government's hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers."
Go Rand!
This is what Becky Ackers had to write a month later:
Wow. Rather than “abolishing” the TSA, as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was promising to do just a few weeks ago, he’s now seeking to “privatize” it – not only a bait-and-switch but exactly the non-solution for which Rep[rehensible] John Mica (R-Fl) is crusading. One of the two bills Rand’s introduced “would require that the mostly federalized program be turned over to private screeners and allow airports — with Department of Homeland Security approval — to select companies to handle the work.” Whether it’s Mica’s or Rand’s proposal, both leave the Feds in charge of bungling security at airports. Yes, the deviants pawing you at checkpoints will receive their paychecks – which your taxes will continue to finance – from “private” companies, but the TSA (or, per Rand’s bill, its über-bureaucracy, the DHS) will dictate every move they make, from groping you to stealing your mouthwash.
Rand also seems to be in favor of some sort of government background check and database for those who want to move through security lines faster at airports. As part of his passenger "Bill of Rights," he lists as one of the "right":
A passenger who has been verified by the Transportation Security Administration as a low-risk or frequent traveler has the right to be screened through a process that is more expeditious and less intrusive than the standard screening process;
This morning Justin Raimondo warned about government databases:
In a book co-authored with Richard Perle, An End To Evil, Frum advocated the establishment of a comprehensive government database that would keep tabs on the credit histories, political activities, religious affiliation, and “biometric” information on every American citizen: a TIPS program that was, in effect, an elaborate “snitch” network that “might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community,” as George W. Bush’s Homeland Security director Tom Ridge put it. Frum wants to establish a “domestic intelligence agency” to keep tabs on “subversives.” No, the FBI isn’t good enough: we need real spies, says Frum, linked to a volunteer network of amateur sleuths – your ever-vigilant neighborhood neocon peeking in your window, and reporting his findings to Frum’s political police. 
It can’t happen here? It can and will happen here if the David Frums of this world have anything to say about it.
Or maybe Justin doesn't have a problem with the "limited" database that Rand sees the TSA creating, and there is the rub. Rand has a tendency to, unlike his father, be very slippery with his words and proposals. He's against the TSA, but maybe not the way we thought. He appears to have no objections to groping under government guidance, just a different set of hands doing it. He may be against growing government, but not against some kind of TSA passenger database. He's against foreign aid, but not ending foreign aid to all countries at the same time. The question posed by Rand relative to drones was very narrow. It was only about domestic drones and it was only a question about some sort of "due process" (Do you know of any due process in the US outside of the court system?) before a hellfire missile is launched. It was not a question as to whether drones should be stopped from ever being used against Americans.

Rand also said a preemptive strike on Iran should be on the table. Why? There is no chance Iran survives an attack on the US (or, for that matter, an attack on Israel).

Rand is also in favor of allowing illegals into the system. His reasoning for allowing illegals to become part of the above-ground economy is so that they can be taxed!! This, in no way, is a man thinking about shrinking government. Instead of advocating a program that would tax even more people, a person concerned about ever growing government expansion would only be calling for reductions in the taxes for those already paying taxes--not advocating that more be brought into the tax system.

Rand may be getting a lot of people excited, but his comments on issues across the spectrum are far from clear libertarian positions. In this sense he is a very dangerous politician because many will view his positions as libertarian positions. But MSM seems to know what he is really all about. We have this headline from Chris Cillizza at WaPo: Rand Paul will be a major player in 2016.

Here's The End Run explaining how the same Chris Cillizza treated Ron Paul heading into the Iowa primaries:
The Washington Post, everyone’s favorite Operation Mockingbird newspaper, continued the whole “Iowa is virtually meaningless if Ron Paul wins” meme today with a new story entitled: “Mitt Romney, Iowa frontrunner” 
The author, Chris Cillizza, gives his article this title despite the fact that Paul has been either in in 1st place ahead of Romney or in a statistical tie for 1st with him in most Iowa polls for nearly two weeks.  Moreover, Paul is not even mentioned in the first half of the article at all.
Do you notice a slight difference in the treatment?

This is not the time to join the Rand cheerleader squad. While Rand holds some libertarian positions, he all too often holds anti-libertarian statists views that seemingly can pop up out of the blue on any issue. Rand, in other words, is a problem child for the libertarian movement. He is going to get a lot of attention, but his slick use of words will more often than not lead to his confusing the general public about what libertarianism really is about. It is also likely to result in Rand Paul supporters eventually supporting some very non-libertarian positions, to help Rand, you see.

I repeat from an earlier post, there is no way Rand gets the kind of generally favorable coverage he is getting from MSM, unless the establishment is comfortable with him. They know they can count on him. Not good.


  1. Ron Paul, being human, is not perfect. However, he could be relied on to consistently vote in accordance with the strictest limited-government interpretation of the Constitution.

    There are certain positions taken by Rand Paul that are admirable. I find nothing to fault regarding the filibuster, regardless of what backroom deals may or may not have been involved (Holder’s statement that ended it is another matter). Rand raised an issue that needed raising, and kept it as the big story for an extended time. He helped expose many so-called liberals as the hypocrites that they are.

    However, he is ultimately a pragmatic politician. I cannot find a principled core to his statements or his voting. This is not shocking; it is true for virtually everyone who makes it to Washington.

    “In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.”

    Therefore those who support him are left to trust his judgment – one more brick in the construct of a nation of men, not laws. Even if you place faith in his judgment, rest assured if and when he achieves any real power, he will not be allowed to exercise it. Those who believe Rand is just playing the game until he becomes president, in order to then usher in a libertarian age are beyond naïve. He will be offered as the god-child, Reagan, speaking loudly about the waste of government, but carrying a small stick.

    In the meantime, Wenzel is right to use good libertarian theory as the measuring stick. Someone must do this. The battle isn’t for Washington DC. The battle is for ideas. Ideas, not politics, offer the only hope for lasting change.

    This is Ron Paul’s legacy. It could have been Rand’s.

  2. Rand Paul is extremely dangerous to the Libertarian movement in much the same way as Ronald Reagan was to the limited government movement from 1964 to 1989. In the case of Ronald Reagan we saw how limited government morphed into rabid support for the war in Vietnam, rabid denigration of protestors, rabid support for military contractors, rabid support for a 600 ship Navy, rabid support of death squads in Central America, rabid support for the War on Drugs, rabid support for militarized local police departments, and failure to ever propose a balanced budget in 8 years as President.

    In spite of his utter failure in limiting the size and reach of the federal government beyond the PATCO theatrics, 4 generations of Americans born between 1900 and 1964 adored Ronald Reagan because of his ability to tell stories about Tarzan, Cheetah, and Jane. He was able to complete an audacious bait and switch on the American public as long as he mentioned welfare queens, communists and winning one for the Gipper with a gleam in his eye.

    What Rand Paul lacks in story telling ability, he more than makes up with DNA from his father, and his father's efforts over the past 6 years to confuse and blend the branding of Libertarian goals with the fascist soul of the Republican hierarchy. Ron Paul's beliefs and outlook were always Libertarian, yet in spite of not being a natural fit with the Republican party of the past 45 years, he choose to run for President twice, not as a Libertarian, but as a Republican. Now 6 years later we have the intellectual tadpoles of the liberty movement in a dazed and confused state as to where their natural loyalty should lie. This confusion in the Liberty movement can honestly be laid at the bronzed feet of Ron Paul and his advisors, and no where else.

    I was baptized into a personal fascination and horror with politics while watching the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960. In the intervening 53 years I can readily state that 3 politicians have given me an immediate sense of dread when they came on the political scene, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Rand Paul. All three share the rare ability to confuse, confound, and betray Americans and their own stated goals in a way that leaves the curious onlooker dumbstruck, yet their adherents in rapture.

    For Libertarians, your betrayal by Rand Paul will go into overdrive on a moonless night in Iran.

  3. Rand is an interesting figure. His father is a living legend. We all wanted Rand to be his successor. Then he started going somewhat statist on us. We talk about him, we try to figure out his motives. Some libertarians put their faith in him, others think he's a lost cause. I guess time will tell.

  4. Never fooled me. I think you can look back in the EPJ Wayback Device to see my definitive proclamations on the matter. I wonder what this says about my knowledge of libertarianism and the nature of politics?!