Tuesday, July 30, 2013

WaPo: Rand Paul is not a Ron Paul Republican

WaPo's Sean Sullivan gets it. He writes:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is playing nice with the GOP establishment. Kind of.

The Kentucky Republican has offered his support to three Republican incumbents vulnerable to conservative primary challenges, something that would have been unimaginable for his father, but could yield long-term political benefits for the younger Paul.

Paul on Monday offered strong words of support, if not an official endorsement, to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), boosting a Republican who has been working overtime to avoid a primary challenge[...]

There are tea party activists in Tennessee who would like to take down Alexander, but a serious challenger has not surfaced yet. Alexander has been doing all he can to avoid one, including featuring tea party icon Paul in his first ad. The two worked together on a measure to protect fishing access. And their shared interest in charter schools illustrates there is an overlap in policy interests.

The same can be said of Paul and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), who faces a primary challenge from Liz Cheney. Paul has pledged his full support to Enzi, with whom he has co-sponsored legislation. It’s also worth noting that Cheney’s father, former vice president Dick Cheney, backed Paul’s 2010 Republican primary opponent.

So did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the most notable of Paul’s endorsements so far this cycle. McConnell faces businessman Matt Bevin in the GOP primary, but Paul has long made clear he has McConnell’s back. Taken together with the fact that McConnell’s campaign manager is a Paul loyalist, and you have one of the most unlikely political marriages in recent memory.

The reality is that the Paul-McConnell relationship is symbiotic. McConnell could use some of the freshman’s tea party star’s sheen; Paul, a potential 2016 White House contender could use some good will in the establishment wing of the party where McConnell and, — perhaps more importantly — influential donors and power players reside.

The same can be said of supporting Alexander and Enzi. If they win reelection, Paul would have a leg up over the potential 2016 competition in competing for their support, and more importantly, their networks.
It all sounds very pragmatic — and very much not they way Paul’s father, former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, operated. He kept the GOP establishment at a safe distance. The GOP establishment did the same to him.


  1. Typical.... Move up the ladder. Kick the ladder out so others cannot follow. Rand Paul is not interested in restoring liberty; he's interested in Rand Paul.

  2. What if Rand is just playing the game? What if he's elected and becomes his Dad? Whouldn't that be awesome?

    1. In the wildly unlikely event that were true, Rand Paul couldn't do anything unless he had members of congress who agreed with his positions. He's isolating those guys out because they might be a threat to his presidential aspirations. If he were truly interested in changing congress, he'd be working to get more liberty candidates into office regardless of whether it helped him become president. Instead, he's reinforcing the very people who have gotten us where we are.