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Has Rand Paulís filibuster already changed the GOP?
The American Conservative ^ | March 12, 2013 | W. JAMES ANTLE III

Posted on 03/15/2013 1:20:56 PM PDT by neverdem

Shortly after Rand Paul’s talking filibuster unexpectedly seized national attention, Bill Kristol came back with his normal comedy routine. The junior senator from Kentucky was dismissed as an emblem of “kookiness” and “fearmongering,” “waxing semihysterical” as a “spokesman for the Code Pink faction of the Republican party.”

John McCain and Lindsey Graham were Kristol’s opening act. McCain grumbled about “wacko birds” and the dang libertarian kids who need to get off his lawn. Graham dismissed Paul’s questions about the limits of presidential power as undeserving of a response, in keeping with his now-infamous quotation, “Shut up, you don’t get a lawyer!”

But for the first time in a long time, the GOP rank-and-file wasn’t laughing along. Redstate.com editor and conservative commentator Erick Erickson asked if McCain and Graham simply resented Paul and his Republican allies for generating more media attention.

The top two Republicans in the Senate and the chairman of the Republican National Committee weighed in to support Paul. The National Republican Senatorial Committee was quick to try and capitalize for fundraising purposes, as did various Tea Party groups.

No less a barometer of conservative opinion than Rush Limbaugh stated flatly, “The neocons are paranoid.” Someone soon called in from Ventura, California, and added that McCain owed Paul a public apology.

“I’m calling about Lindsey Graham and John McCain,” the caller told Rush. “I am really ticked off as a veteran the way John McCain and Lindsey Graham have basically sold out somebody that they should have supporting.”

To be sure, some opportunists hopped aboard the “I Stand with Rand” bandwagon. Relatively few of the Republican senators who joined the filibuster had expressed much concern about drones before, and some had voted for legislation that could be construed as friendly to the drone status quo.

Many were happy to watch a Republican win a messaging war with the Democratic administration, as the Obama administration mostly backed down from a public fight.

But suddenly those who were in the position, as recently as the Chuck Hagel confirmation hearings, to read “unpatriotic conservatives” out of the party were themselves being derided as RINOs.

Kristol hasn’t been in such a position since his magazine editorialized against congressional Republican reluctance to intervene in the Balkans, saying, “When the ‘conservative street’ is wrong, it should be corrected—or ignored.” Kristol himself later recalled that when the Weekly Standard backed Bill Clinton’s involvement in Bosnia “a not insignificant chunk of our original subscribers immediately canceled out on us.”

What happened? The first is that Paul has generally picked battles where the non-interventionist argument is consistent with the anti-Obama side of the argument. From Libya to foreign aid to domestic drones, this has made his task much easier. Where that framing is difficult or impossible, he tends to vote his conscience but assume a lower profile.

The second is that Paul’s “conservatism” is unimpeachable. He ranks at or near the top of the ratings compiled by the American Conservative Union, Club for Growth, and Heritage Action. He has been reliable on causes dear to the hearts of many movement conservatives that nevertheless escape the attention of most Republican politicians. Unlike Jon Huntsman—or at times even his father—he does not hide this light under a bushel.

Finally, Paul has attacked the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy and civil liberties at its weakest rather than strongest points. Pace his detractors, Paul wasn’t making a demagogic or hysterical case against the status quo. He repeatedly said that he suspected President Obama agreed with him on the merits of the issue but was like most executives afraid to surrender even theoretical powers.

What Paul repeatedly asked for were lines, limits, and some degree of public transparency. The true demagogues are those who try to twist those requests into a call for dismantling the military or denying terrorism. During his Heritage Foundation speech, Paul conceded that even with a more restrained foreign policy some practitioners of terror and adherents of violent strains of Islam would not “go quietly into the night.”

Paul’s critics are unnerved precisely because he is pointing out the obvious: when most Americans—and even most conservatives—signed up for the war on terror, they meant retaliating against those attacked us on 9/11 and taking greater care to prevent future attacks.

They did not sign up for routine presidential military interventions in a growing number of countries loosely based on a decade-old authorization of force. And they definitely did not believe they were consenting to live under the laws of war at home in a conflict without geographic or temporal limits and a somewhat nebulous enemy.

For the idea of America as a permanent battlefield is ultimately incompatible with limited government in any meaningful sense. It is bizarre to claim American liberty is so fragile that it cannot survive the existence of tyranny in any corner of the world but so robust that it is totally unthreatened by unchecked executive power at home. Odder still is the notion that a government most conservatives don’t trust to set up a health care exchange should be entrusted with secret lists and secret evidence.

Limbaugh again: “[Neoconservatives], I think, are worried that Rand Paul might be skillful enough to move the Republican mainstream away from the McCain, Kristol, neoconservatism view of the world and toward a position that is not as extreme as his father’s, but is suspicious of interventionism, suspicious of Islamic democracy building, suspicious of financial and military support for dubious regimes.”

That remains to be seen. But in the meantime, some pundits might be bothered once again by the rumblings from the conservative street.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: gop; randpaul; randpaulsfilibuster

1 posted on 03/15/2013 1:20:56 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

No.


2 posted on 03/15/2013 1:21:48 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: neverdem

I’d say it sent up a flare and got the GOP attention. Saying it drove a change is a real stretch.


3 posted on 03/15/2013 1:22:55 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Tublecane

Agreed.


4 posted on 03/15/2013 1:27:20 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: neverdem

We Live In HOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


5 posted on 03/15/2013 1:30:04 PM PDT by bandleader
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To: neverdem
Paul’s critics are unnerved precisely because he is pointing out the obvious: when most Americans—and even most conservatives—signed up for the war on terror, they meant retaliating against those attacked us on 9/11 and taking greater care to prevent future attacks.

They did not sign up for routine presidential military interventions in a growing number of countries loosely based on a decade-old authorization of force. And they definitely did not believe they were consenting to live under the laws of war at home in a conflict without geographic or temporal limits and a somewhat nebulous enemy.

Amen! And very well said.

6 posted on 03/15/2013 1:36:16 PM PDT by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: neverdem

I stand with Rand.


7 posted on 03/15/2013 2:11:30 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Tublecane

“No”

Well, let’s just see what happens in the near term. While it may not have “changed” the @$$holes in the GOPe, I’ll bet you that they are collectively crapping bricks! And it has done damage to McLame and his butt boy, Grahamnesty. Now the question there is will the the idiot GOP voters send Graham down the road next year? Let’s just hope that the Caddell speech at CPAC fundamentally changes the way the Republicans get to choose their candidates. It’s really a matter of whether the Tea Party grabs the brass ring here and fields a “good” candidate and not some Right Wing idiot who has a totally loony idea of what constitutes rape. Let’s just hope that neither the GOPe nor the Christian Right takes charge. Both groups have caused this problem with their my way or the highway approach. It’s time for “main stream” Conservatives to take over.


8 posted on 03/15/2013 2:20:30 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: neverdem
Huge ratings for "The Bible" mini-series is telling about the path most Americans follow. Free condoms, abortion, greedy gun grabbing and taking what belongs to others as entitlements are not subliminal "content" on this show.

The democrat way clearly is devoid of morality, fairness and consequences for actions taken. The words "Hollywood" and "media" are almost equally distasteful these days.

9 posted on 03/15/2013 2:39:57 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: MamaDearest

While high ratings for “The Bible” are encouraging, the Drudge link to the Wash Times article says the big viewing number is around 13 million...
We have around 352 million people in this country...
I’d say 13 mill is a drop in the cesspool.....


10 posted on 03/15/2013 2:47:13 PM PDT by matginzac
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To: neverdem
For the idea of America as a permanent battlefield is ultimately incompatible with limited government in any meaningful sense.

EastAsia has always been at war with Oceania.

11 posted on 03/15/2013 2:56:11 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: vette6387
It’s time for “main stream” Conservatives to take over.

And what does THIS group hold dear?

What things does it reject?

And what does it wish to include?

12 posted on 03/15/2013 2:58:09 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: neverdem

Looks like McConnell, who’s up for re-election ACTS like a Paul fan. The old gobbler is so desperate to get re-elected that he is trying to ride Paul’s coat tails .


13 posted on 03/15/2013 3:01:26 PM PDT by tennmountainman
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To: matginzac
But; ever since Divide and Conquer was found to be true; we, as a Nation, have been divided - no - shredded in the choices we now have to watch on TV.

900 channels and STILL hardly anything worthwhile.

What ELSE was going on when the 13,000,000 sat with eyes glazed over?

14 posted on 03/15/2013 3:01:59 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: neverdem; sickoflibs; fieldmarshaldj; Clintonfatigued; Impy
Well, they're still surrendering to the left routinely, so I'm gonna say no.

Maybe I could buy into this "heroic principled Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" talking point about Rand Paul more if he had even bothered to vote NO on other traitors like Kerry and Hagel. I guess 1 out of 3 is something, but RINOs like Mark Kirk, McCain, and Graham also got 1 out of 3 right. They just seem to be playing musical chairs about who's going to "stand firm" and oppose the Obama nominee today, and who's going to argue that they "personally don't like" Obama's nominee but will vote for him because "the President can appoint who he wants" today.

Tired of games from all our GOP Senators. The RATs control the Senate anyway, so even if the GOP grew a spine and voted against ALL of Obama's nominees, they'd be confirmed anyway. These guys can't even be relied on for token protest NO votes.

Did ANY of them vote against ALL three?

15 posted on 03/15/2013 3:04:00 PM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: Elsie

Meh, after watching the Bible, I turned to HGTV and DIY Network and worried about taking out a load bearing wall.......


16 posted on 03/15/2013 3:34:37 PM PDT by matginzac
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To: cripplecreek

Paul showed the timid and weak-kneed Republicans what it means to take a stand. Republicans think politics is a chess game. It’s really a contact sport. In order to win you’ve got to be smarter and tougher than your opponent. Simple as that. And the Democrats certainly play to win, I’ll give them that. Republicans are often content to watch the game from the grandstands, just happy to have good seats to watch the action.

Cruz and Rubio are also showing conviction. But we are a very long way from critical mass and reaching the point where Republicans are on the offensive. And its hard to score points unless you’re on offense.


17 posted on 03/15/2013 3:44:42 PM PDT by Starboard
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To: Elsie

From what I can gather the term would probably mean not neocon, nor libertarian, nor evangelical, nor whatever else can be named and set apart. Which doesn’t tell you much.


18 posted on 03/15/2013 3:55:03 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: BillyBoy

Those are seperate issues, to my mind, the vote and the point of Rand’s filibuster, which was to get an answer from Justice. Did he end up confirming Brennan, too? It wouldn’t surprise me. Most of these guys operate on the principle of voting in whomever the president nominates so long as they aren’t too obviously unqualified. Unfortunately, being unqualified usually means carrying a scandal that the MSM will eventually run with, rather than actually being unqualified, in the manner o Kerry. He probably could’ve gotten away with chucking hand grenades instead of someone else’s medals over the White House fence by hanging around the halls of power long enough to seem like he belongs there.


19 posted on 03/15/2013 4:07:00 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: neverdem

Has Rand Paul’s filibuster already changed the GOP?

I don’t think so. We still have Rove GOP worms here on FR who piss in their bloomers when the AP calls them racists.


20 posted on 03/15/2013 4:12:44 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: vette6387
Let’s just hope that neither the GOPe nor the Christian Right takes charge. Both groups have caused this problem with their my way or the highway approach. It’s time for “main stream” Conservatives to take over.

I agree with you that both Christian conservatives and the GOPe would be problematic, but for different reasons than you. The Christian conservatives too often live down to their caricature in the MSM scaring off low information voters and non-Christians. The GOPe stands for nothing but their own advancement, and thus have trouble convincing people to follow them. What we need are candidates that stand for something and can convince voters that their principals are "mainstream".

21 posted on 03/15/2013 4:54:29 PM PDT by Fraxinus (My opinion, worth what you paid.)
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To: neverdem
The money quote:

"For the idea of America as a permanent battlefield is ultimately incompatible with limited government in any meaningful sense. It is bizarre to claim American liberty is so fragile that it cannot survive the existence of tyranny in any corner of the world but so robust that it is totally unthreatened by unchecked executive power at home. Odder still is the notion that a government most conservatives don’t trust to set up a health care exchange should be entrusted with secret lists and secret evidence."

22 posted on 03/15/2013 5:09:52 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: BillyBoy
"Maybe I could buy into this "heroic principled Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" talking point about Rand Paul more if he had even bothered to vote NO on other traitors like Kerry and Hagel."

Rand knows the media are leftists and he's taking hypocrisy on presidential prerogative off the table for his 2014 run, IMHO...

23 posted on 03/15/2013 5:24:44 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: neverdem

“Code Pink” faction of the republican party...


I don’t care who you are... THATS FUNNY.. cause its so true..


24 posted on 03/15/2013 6:02:56 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Starboard

Rand, Cruz, Lee and Rubio stepped up to the plate and tied one on with the White House bullies. One Democrat even joined them. This is a bad sign for Obama—his monopoly on power is cracking. Its nice to see the Tea Party people are rushing in to the breach! A new reality is appearing in the congress—the first one now shall later be last—as the old song goes. I am glad that RCLR are united in speaking up for the right. The old Mossback bulls can no longer do the job (haven’t for some time now). It will be good to see Obama become the incredible shrinking president. BUT, we must work to put more Tea Party people in to Help Rand and others—we need a Tea Party Speaker of the House too.


25 posted on 03/15/2013 8:31:06 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: matginzac
Meh, after watching the Bible, I turned to HGTV and DIY Network and worried about taking out a load bearing wall.......

That's my wife's PORN channel

My Honey-do list just keeps getting bigger.

26 posted on 03/15/2013 8:52:34 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: neverdem
The American Dhimmi chimes in again.
Would Americans oppose aiding the Yemeni government in their civil war against Al Qaeda through drone strikes? I don't think so. So they play games. Here the perfidious younger Paul and the clowns at the American Dhimmi use a widespread opposition to domestic drone use to attack oversees use.

This does speak to the confusion among conservatives these days. Bush being a dumb liberal and at the behest of Grover al-Norquist refused to declare radical Islam as the enemy, choosing to denounce a tactic. Neoconservatives have since gone full Jacobin supporting the Muslim Brotherhood (and ironically al Qaeda) in their Democracy Jihad. We lie perilously between the Scylla and Charybdis of neoconservative Jacobinism on one hand and isolationism and ersatz realism on the other. What has been forgotten is fusion conservatism and the national interest in containing radical Islam and ensuring that it is weak, divided, and lacking weapons to attack us.

27 posted on 03/16/2013 12:02:46 AM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

“This is a bad sign for Obama—his monopoly on power is cracking....It will be good to see Obama become the incredible shrinking president.”
*********
He clearly lost the battle over sequestration. And he was falling in the polls even before his doozie this week that the debt doesn’t matter. Then...the obstinent Senate Dems were forced to submit a farsical budget. Yes, he seems to be shrinking, and at the same time a new breed of conservatives is rising to challenge the staid old GOP establishment. I’m starting to enjoy the show.


28 posted on 03/16/2013 7:12:57 AM PDT by Starboard
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To: Starboard

Once I gave up hope I was able to relax and enjoy the show ;-)


29 posted on 03/16/2013 9:36:27 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Tublecane

Unfortunately a lot of well meaning people fall for the neocon’s rhetoric because they cleverly cloak it in the flag and appeal to patriotism. Conservatives instinctively want to support their military and the brave folks who actually do what we ask of them. But we need to separate blind support and patriotism from the actual decisions and policies that send these guys into the countries in the first place.

We must question those who demand war and point out the devastating costs not just financially but on the lives of these brave men and women. War should always be a last option and not frivolously thrown around by people in the media like they do. This if anything disrespects the sacrifices made.


30 posted on 03/17/2013 3:44:43 AM PDT by JohnPDuncan
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To: BillyBoy

Rand’s views on nominations are that OBAMA won the election so he gets to choose. He doesn’t endorse or agree with these people. When he’s president he can point this out to the Senate Democrats and so they won’t block his appointments.

It’s really not that important. More important is how he votes on bills and what amendments he’s pushing than whether he votes for some Obama stooge to fill a cabinet post.


31 posted on 03/17/2013 3:49:50 AM PDT by JohnPDuncan
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To: JohnPDuncan; Impy; sickoflibs
>> Rand’s views on nominations are that OBAMA won the election so he gets to choose. He doesn’t endorse or agree with these people. When he’s president he can point this out to the Senate Democrats and so they won’t block his appointments. It’s really not that important. <<

Hmmm. When Lindsey Graham makes that SAME argument (talking about Kagan, Brenner, etc.), he's dirty filthy RINO scum and a traitor of the highest magnitude. Yet when Rand Paul makes it (about Kerry, Hagel, etc.), he's still a heroic tea party warrior and rubber stamping Obama's Marxist nominee is "not that important".

Of course, the same can said for the double standards Paulbots give to Rubio and Paul when they both break their "no amnesty" campaign pledge and announce they're willing to work with the Dems on a "path to citizenship" for illegals...

32 posted on 03/17/2013 1:51:15 PM PDT by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: neverdem; expat1000; Old Sarge
They did not sign up for routine presidential military interventions in a growing number of countries loosely based on a decade-old authorization of force. And they definitely did not believe they were consenting to live under the laws of war at home in a conflict without geographic or temporal limits and a somewhat nebulous enemy.

For the idea of America as a permanent battlefield is ultimately incompatible with limited government in any meaningful sense. It is bizarre to claim American liberty is so fragile that it cannot survive the existence of tyranny in any corner of the world but so robust that it is totally unthreatened by unchecked executive power at home. Odder still is the notion that a government most conservatives don’t trust to set up a health care exchange should be entrusted with secret lists and secret evidence.

We're willing to fight radical Islam - just not willing to give up every cherished freedom in order to do it... If that's the only price - then we've already lost. There ARE better ways to fight them then to enslave ourselves.... and we need to look at them.

33 posted on 03/18/2013 11:00:32 AM PDT by GOPJ (DHS HAS secured: 1.6 BILLION bullets - 2.700 tanks and 35,000 drones ...to use on American soil...)
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To: matginzac

Don’t dismiss the numbers out of hand. If those 13 million viewers influence another 10 people each you’ve got 130 million people or more than a third of our country.


34 posted on 03/18/2013 1:39:02 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: neverdem

I hope so - F Boehner McCain / Graham et al


35 posted on 03/18/2013 2:10:35 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave ofo attacks on America after 9/11)
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