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The GOPís Rand Paul Moment: Heís smart, heís interesting, and he represents libertarianism well.
National Review ^ | 06/21/2013 | Rich Lowry

Posted on 06/21/2013 5:51:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

You won’t find him on any Federal Election Commission disclosure forms, but Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is the biggest in-kind donor to the incipient Rand Paul–for president campaign.

Whatever its merits, the National Security Agency metadata program couldn’t be better fashioned to play into fears of the government. Is it vast? Yes. Secret? Check. Raise profound questions about privacy? Uh-huh.

This is the kind of issue Rand Paul was born and (literally) raised to raise holy hell over. The NSA leak came on the heels of revelations that the Internal Revenue Service was singling out tea-party groups for extra scrutiny, and on the heels of the Associated Press and James Rosen investigations.

Add in the gun-control fight earlier this year, and Paul is nearly four-for-four in fights sticking up, in his view, for the first four amendments of the Bill of Rights. The only thing missing is the third, because no one has proposed quartering of troops in our homes — yet.

It is a Rand Paul moment in the GOP not just because the headlines reinforce his core critique of leviathan as too big, too unaccountable, and too threatening, but because he is smart and imaginative enough to capitalize on those headlines.

Paul has that quality that can’t be learned or bought: He’s interesting. How many potential Republican presidential candidates have helped shepherd a new verb into the English language? The hoopla around Paul’s filibuster gave us “to drone,” in the sense of “don’t drone me, bro.”

Paul taps into an American tradition of dissent not usually invoked by Republicans. At the Time magazine gala this year honoring the 100 most influential people in the world (he was one), he raised a glass to Henry David Thoreau. In his inaugural Senate address, he contrasted his Kentucky hero, the irascible abolitionist Cassius Clay, with the more conventional Kentucky political legend, the Great Compromiser, Henry Clay.

His cultural affect is different, too, a little more Utne Reader than National Review. At a packed event at the Reagan Library, he explained: “I’m a libertarian conservative who spends most of my free time outdoors. I bike and hike and kayak, and I compost.” It might be the first positive reference to composting in the history of that fine institution.

Not too long ago, Paul’s foreign-policy views would have been an insuperable obstacle to a serious presidential run. No more. The evolution in the party’s foreign policy is captured in the story of the Pauls. In 2008, Ron Paul’s noninterventionism made him a punching bag in the Republican-primary debates. In 2012, it got a respectful hearing. In 2016, his son’s (less toxic) version of the same policy will be much closer to the party’s mainstream.

At least for some stretch of 2015, Rand Paul could well be the Republican front-runner, tapping into grass-roots enthusiasm on the model of Howard Dean in 2003. And it’s not inconceivable that he could go further than that famous representative of “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”

Paul has a built-in online and grass-roots network of the sort it takes years to build. In fact, it did. His father built it, and now he’s working to expand it in his extensive travels. During those years, his father welcomed into his fold cranks and haters, and one of Rand Paul’s quiet messages is that he has his father’s core convictions, without the loathsome baggage.

I’m far from a Rand Paul–ite. I don’t think there was ever any threat of Americans being droned sitting at cafes, nor do I think drones are the scariest invention in the history of flight. I’m not where Paul is on foreign or national-security policy, and I doubt his libertarianism has as much crossover appeal in blue states as he hopes.

But libertarianism is a significant strand on the right. It should be represented, and represented well. By and large, Rand Paul does that. Underestimate him at your peril.

— Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He is also the author of the recently released book Lincoln Unbound.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: libertarian; libertarianism; randpaul

1 posted on 06/21/2013 5:51:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

A government totally out of control and in mo way, “Of the people, by the people or for the people.”


2 posted on 06/21/2013 5:54:24 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: SeekAndFind
Whatever its merits, the National Security Agency metadata program couldn’t be better fashioned to play into fears of the government. Is it vast? Yes. Secret? Check. Raise profound questions about privacy? Uh-huh. This is the kind of issue Rand Paul was born and (literally) raised to raise holy hell over. The NSA leak came on the heels of revelations that the Internal Revenue Service was singling out tea-party groups for extra scrutiny, and on the heels of the Associated Press and James Rosen investigations. Add in the gun-control fight earlier this year, and Paul is nearly four-for-four in fights sticking up, in his view, for the first four amendments of the Bill of Rights. The only thing missing is the third, because no one has proposed quartering of troops in our homes — yet.

Ping for later

3 posted on 06/21/2013 6:13:47 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: SeekAndFind
"I don’t think there was ever any threat of Americans being droned sitting at cafes"

This sentence alone can explain how far National Review has declined since the days of William F. Buckley. Two Americans have already been struck down by drones while simply riding in automobiles, albeit in foreign countries. The president has already assumed the authority to order the death in of American citizens in automobiles, it's certainly not inconceivable that he might extend that to cafes.

If congress believes it has the obligation to make laws governing my toilet flush volume, the percentage of corn in my automobile fuel tank, the amount of dirt I'm allowed to place in my garden, and the amount of insulation in my attic, it certainly could write laws to govern the extent to which the president is allowed to order the deaths of American citizens in cafes. The president has already demonstrated that he can send the IRS and the NSA after American citizens he disagrees with politically. Drones in US cafes may not be that far behind.

4 posted on 06/21/2013 6:26:33 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: SeekAndFind

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are my absolute favorite GOP at the moment. Lowery misses the point on drones and its something many of us missed post 9-11 and that is its not whether you think something is a threat its whether someone could gain power to make that something a threat. Why would a benevolent government reserve the right to attack citizens with drones even if they are not an immediate threat and monitor indiscriminately turning everyone into a virtual suspect if there is nothing to fear? If security becomes the justification for any level of tyranny then at what point are we not imprisoning ourselves rather than the criminals and terrorists?


5 posted on 06/21/2013 6:38:25 AM PDT by Maelstorm (If all are treated as suspects it will not long before we all are treated as prisoners.)
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To: norwaypinesavage

The drones don’t have to drop anything, they can just seek and find and, like the NSA program, find anything of interest as long as they are up there anyway.


6 posted on 06/21/2013 6:56:07 AM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well I like Rich Lowry but he’s another one of the comfortable GOP establishment. He cannot fathom a drone being used to eliminate one of the people on the administration’s enemies list. Wake up Rich.


7 posted on 06/21/2013 7:14:56 AM 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: SeekAndFind; seekthetruth; Impy; InterceptPoint; fieldmarshaldj; SunkenCiv; Clintonfatigued; ...
At this point in time, after having distanced himself from his father's neo-isolationist foreign policy, Rand Paul is my early choice for GOP presidential candidate in 2016!

Note that he is constitutionally qualified for the presidency, in contrast to several other folks frequently mentioned in the discussion.

8 posted on 06/21/2013 7:46:29 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: SeekAndFind

At least Rand stands for something, unlike the other “Seinfeld” Republicans who stand for nothing.


9 posted on 06/21/2013 7:49:30 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: justiceseeker93

Give him a minute and he’ll change direction.


10 posted on 06/21/2013 7:52:31 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: dfwgator

Yeah, he stands for amnesty. Deal breaker.


11 posted on 06/21/2013 9:37:11 AM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: SeekAndFind

But libertarianism is a significant strand on the right. It should be represented, and represented well. By and large, Rand Paul does that. Underestimate him at your peril.


The Libertarian Party Platform is “right”? What does the author mean by that? I’m sick of the terms “left” and “right”. The LP platform is certainly at variance with Constituitonal principles in many ways, and debating (if you can call it that) with many libertarians over the years snows me all I need to know about libertarianiams. If they claim they don’t agree with all the LP party platform, then why do they keep calling thesmelves libertarians?


12 posted on 06/21/2013 9:39:39 AM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: little jeremiah

As a rule, libertarians are for open borders. No surprise there. They’re also pro-choice and pro-legalization of drugs.

If you’re fiscally conservative and socially liberal, Rand Paul would be right up your alley. He’s his father’s son.


13 posted on 06/21/2013 8:32:02 PM PDT by randita
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To: SeekAndFind
Rand Paul like the camera. He like to talk. His record in elected office of doing much other than talking is slim just like his daddy who liked to give lectures but who never accomplished much in office.

Using the Senate as path to White House by talking rather than doing.

Seems like that may have been done before.

14 posted on 06/21/2013 8:41:35 PM PDT by metafugitive
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To: dfwgator

>> who stand for nothing.

They actually stand in the way.

Too bad we can’t establish The Gallows Rule that requires at least 80% adherence to the campaign rhetoric that got the candidate elected. /satire


15 posted on 06/21/2013 8:46:31 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: randita

Pro abortion, open borders, pro drugs, pro abortion, pro fag everything - NO THANKS!


16 posted on 06/21/2013 9:23:28 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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17 posted on 06/21/2013 9:42:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: justiceseeker93; All

If you’re a libertarian, Rand Paul is your guy. But he’s not the guy for conservatives, friend.


18 posted on 06/23/2013 9:16:23 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Sun
If you’re a libertarian, Rand Paul is your guy. But he’s not the guy for conservatives, friend.

There are a lot of folks here who might describe themselves as conservative-libertarian or libertarian-conservative. There are no exact definitions of either term, because there are differences of opinion within both the libertarian universe and the conservative universe. So a candidate could certainly appeal to both libertarians and conservatives, as did Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan in the past, and as Rand Paul might in 2016. Time will tell.

19 posted on 06/24/2013 11:22:10 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: justiceseeker93
At this point in time, after having distanced himself from his father's neo-isolationist foreign policy...

You might want to reconsider living with his foreign policy since that's going to be the only one the country will be able to afford once the reality of exponential math asserts itself in the next few years. It's not like DC is going to be able to pay to operate a lot of those bases and carrier battle groups once the unsustainable stops.

20 posted on 06/24/2013 11:39:36 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: justiceseeker93

That’s an important point that people should really consider in thinking about Libertartians.

Conservatism is the opposing force to Liberalism/Progressivism. Libertarianism is the opposing force to statism. One can be either a Liberal or Conservative Libertarian just like one can be either a Liberal or Conservative statist.


21 posted on 06/24/2013 11:51:18 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: justiceseeker93

“There are a lot of folks here who might describe themselves as conservative-libertarian or libertarian-conservative. ..”

Some conservatives think they are liberatarian, probably because libertarians are fiscal conservatives.

My brother was attracted to libertarians while in college, but he realized many were not true CONSERVATIVES.

Libertarians are not usually strong on the life issue, which is the most important issue of all.

For instance, if Rand Paul is really pro-life, why did he get a 33% rating from Planned Parenthood?

“KY U.S. Senate Jr Rand Paul Republican 33”

snip http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1578/rating/6093

As a strong pro-lifer, I’ll be supporting candidates for POTUS who get a 0% rating from Planned Parenthood.

There are many things I like about Rand Paul, and I believe he’s great as a U.S. Senator, but I would prefer a true conservative as POTUS.


22 posted on 06/26/2013 8:55:31 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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