Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Can Jesse Benton Bring Together The Paul and McConnell Wings of the GOP?

Brian Doherty comments:
Benton's power to create any Paul-McConnell activist alliance is questionable--he was never a favorite of the more hardcore and Internet-noisy of Ron Paul fans. In fact, many saw him as a sellout traitor, a burden Benton bore, in my experience covering the Paul campaign for my book Ron Paul's Revolution, with a decent amount of public grace but a lot of (understandable) private annoyance, which sometimes became public.
So it's going to be down to Mitch to convince them he's on their side. And it will be difficult for them to be convinced his instincts are true-blue and reliable on liberty issues--especially if he ends up majority leader again and becomes enmeshed in the ol' political art of the possible. (For example, the switch on "audit the Fed" is easy to read as just a "who the hell cares?" gesture of "no reason to make these Paul people mad at me for something I don't think is that important anyway.") 
In this read, Rand Paul's very public ascendance will make a politician like McConnell more willing to go along with him, something that could be very important indeed for Rand's future career if McConnell is again majority leader of the Senate--it's good for a senator to have good relations with someone in that position. But again, it's likely that such leverage will come not from turning McConnell into a true believer, but turning Rand into a political force hard to ignore or oppose

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