Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Rand Paulís Extreme GOP Makeover
The Daily Beast ^ | Mar 5, 2014 | Patricia Murphy

Posted on 03/06/2014 10:35:44 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo

Libertarian, conservative, neither? The only thing clear about the senator is that he has the potential to revolutionize the backward-looking Republican Party if he runs for president.When Rand Paul spoke to a packed ballroom of conservative activists at CPAC last year, he tagged the Obama administration as “completely out of control.” But he saved some of his harshest criticism for his own party, calling the GOP of old “stale and moss covered,” and insisting that the Republican Party has to change.

One year later, Paul is again speaking to CPAC, but this time he’s more than the “Stand with Rand” senator who had just filibustered an Obama nominee for 13 hours to protest drone policy. He is now the de facto head of the libertarian wing of the party, still pushing the GOP to broaden its message and its membership, and serious enough about running for president that his allies are working to change the Kentucky law that would bar him from running for president and his Senate seat simultaneously in 2016.

If things go Rand Paul’s way, national Republicans will follow the lead of Nathan Haney, the executive director of the Jefferson County, Kentucky Republican Party, who held an event last week for the local GOP to meet minority and low-income voters in Louisville, a city that has not had a Republican mayor in more than 50 years.

“We’re tired of losing,” says Haney. Although Republicans dominate the federal offices in Kentucky, Democrats have held one or both houses of the state legislature for nearly a century, while just two Republicans have occupied the governor’s mansion since 1947. “At some point you have to look in the mirror and say what is it that we’re doing wrong?”

That bit of soul searching, rare for Republicans at the national level, has come to Jefferson County though the example of the state’s junior senator, Paul. “What we have found in the time that he’s been a senator is that Senator Paul has made it his goal to grow the party, nationwide and at the local level,” Haney said, pointing to Paul’s trips to inner-city Detroit, as well as historically black colleges across the country and poverty-ridden areas of Kentucky where Republicans rarely make inroads.

But beyond his itineraries, Paul has also used his three years of votes and visibility in the U.S. Senate, including a 13-hour filibuster, to blow up the checklist of exactly what it means to be a conservative Republican.

While Paul has been aggressively pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and almost rabidly small government, he has also staked out positions on privacy, intervention overseas, and mandatory drug sentencing that defy both his party’s current instincts and its leaders in Washington.

“At some point you have to look in the mirror and say what is it that we’re doing wrong?”And while Paul has loudly championed the Tea Party movement since his 2010 campaign for Senate, he alone last week called on Tea Party darling Ted Nugent to apologize for a vile rant against President Obama.

The next day, Paul attended the Tea Party’s fifth anniversary celebration in Washington to urge activists to hold strong against federal spending but also to make their message respectful of the president and to take it beyond their own political base. “We have to reach out to more people, more than just those of us here,” he told the activists.

The result of all of Paul’s machinations is not only a senator who defies easy classification, but also a 2016 presidential contender, far more mainstream than his father, with the potential to reshape partisan coalitions and revolutionize the Republican Party.

In a Candidate Paul, voters would get an ACLU-aligned constitutional conservative who wants to rebrand his party and reach past traditional Republican voters while he does it. If the electorate two years from now is looking for a change from the Clinton years, the Bush years, and a GOP that seems to be looking backwards, Paul is about as new a concept as voters will find.

“My party is a bit lost in the wilderness right now,” said Patrick Griffin, a past adviser to numerous GOP presidential campaigns who is now a managing director for Purple Strategies. The firm’s latest Purple Poll (PDF) of likely New Hampshire primary voters that showed Mitt Romney winning a hypothetical primary in 2016. Second to Romney was Rand Paul.

“New Hampshire takes personal freedom very seriously. It’s on our license plates, ‘Live free or die,’” Griffin said of Paul’s potential appeal in New Hampshire. At the moment, Griffin predicts Paul will be “one of the first flavors of the month” for the run-up to the presidential election. Beyond that, Griffin said, “What we’re seeing is establishment versus social conservatives. If he is able to straddle both sides of that, people start to say that’s different, that’s interesting.”

So far, Paul is faring well in early polls, with a CBS national poll showing him leading the Republican feild along with Jeb Bush, and a PPP Iowa caucus poll with him polling second to Mike Huckabee, who won there in 2008. While Huckabee ran away with the social conservative votes in the PPP poll, Paul and Bush lead among moderates, 20 and 19 percent, respectively.

If South Carolina Republicans look for a more overtly religious conservative than Paul has ever been, a strong showing in Florida would become crucial.

“It is the most-wide open I have ever seen it,” said Alex Patton, a Florida-based GOP consultant, of early Republican inclinations. “I think there is no one answer. The Republican tribes are pretty well fractured right now.”

Patton described early support for all possible candidates essentially frozen until Bush decides on a potential run, and added that money for Florida’s pricey media markets, along with momentum from earlier GOP primary wins, will be the ingredients for success in Florida.

“As far as Rand Paul goes, there is little to no appetite for pure libertarianism here,” Patton said. “It’s all about the economy right now. Voters aren’t going to want hear about anything other than jobs and the economy.”

No matter the specific message, Marc Hetherington, a Vanderbilt University professor of political science who studies voter polarization, said that Republican results in the 2014 midterm elections could affect candidates like Paul in 2016 that are pushing to broaden the party past its traditional base.

“He might have some appeal for expanding Republican constituencies in the general election, but that actually might hurt him in the primaries,” Hetherington said. “It seems to me the most obvious thing in the world that Republicans need to reach out to more minorities, but you can easily delude yourself into thinking otherwise if you just won the last election.”

But for Haney, the self-described “tired of losing” Jefferson County Republican in Kentucky, the bigger-is-better message for the Republican Party is essential for the party’s future and Rand Paul is delivering it.

“With Senator Paul, you may not agree with him— and a lot of the folks he talks to in Detroit and here in Louisville they don’t all agree with him,” Haney said. “But at least they know where he stands and they know he’s genuine about trying to help. And that right there, that transcends any divide.”

TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: gop; randpaul
I do not like all of Paul's positions, but his greater distance from the errors of Bush's foreign policy failures may prove to be a decisive edge over Cruz. Too bad we can't have the strong points of both man.
1 posted on 03/06/2014 10:35:44 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo
Paul's major and unforgivable flaw is Amnesty:

Here are the links, from last year, where Rand Paul clearly lays out his own Amnesty plan for 2 million illegals per year, based on a "Certification" from a Pro-Amnesty congress that the border is "secure". No Fence, No E-Verify, No punishments for ID Fraud, and all the other misdemeanors and felonies committed by the Undocumented Democrats he wants to pardon.

Sen. Rand Paul: Trust but verify on immigration reform (Feburary 8th, 2013)

Rand Paul’s “Undocumented Citizens” Path to Legality (and Citizenship) (March 20, 2013)

Rand Paul calls on conservatives to embrace immigration reform (March 19, 2013 Article)

Rand Paul's presence-and-jobs amnesty -- WITHOUT E-Verify

No, America Does Not Have “De Facto Amnesty”

GOP's Rand Paul, Dems' Luis Gutierrez in step on immigration reform

Rand Paul: Pathway To Citizenship Is Needed, E-Verify Is Not

Rand Paul On Illegals: Trust But Verify

Steve Deace – Et Tu, Rand Paul?

Paul: Republican Party in Need of Facelift

2 posted on 03/06/2014 10:45:22 AM PST by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

I’m admittedly biased (but the user name warns you up front), but this is a promising development.

3 posted on 03/06/2014 11:00:55 AM PST by Aqua Buddhist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

The writer doesn’t seem to know that it was the social conservatives who put Paul into office, over the Clinton, and Mitt Romney supporting, Trey Grayson.

“Paul leads Grayson among pro-lifers by a 50%-32% margin. Grayson leads Paul among pro-abortion Republicans by a 42%-27% margin.

Conservatives, Christians, social conservatives, and the statewide Kentucky voting population support Rand Paul.

“Conservatives favor Paul by 51 percent to 29 percent with 16 percent undecided. Those who attend religious services regularly or occasionally favor Paul by double-digit margins. Gun owners back Paul 48 percent to 22 percent with 22 percent undecided.”

Rand Paul leads by double digits among men and women, among conservatives, pro-life voters, gun owners.

“Grayson leads today only among the 1 in 5 Republican primary voters who say they are pro-choice.”

4 posted on 03/06/2014 11:45:33 AM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

After listening to Cruz’s CPAC speech, I’d give him about 95% on the issues. Pretty hard to beat. But I’d take either versus the Hildebeast.

5 posted on 03/06/2014 11:56:19 AM PST by DaxtonBrown (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie

Rand Paul makes sense. I am a big supporter of his. He is the statesman we need for president.

Immigration is a complicated issue. No one will be completely happy with any immigration bill.

To take a stand that all illegals must be sent back and/or punished, just for being here, is ridiculous on its face. This CAN’T happen and WON’T happen. NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!

Provisions must be made for law abiding (other than just crossing the border) hard working illegals. A “path” to legal status will be an incentive not a negative. A long waiting period and/or fines is okay with me.

Securing the border is a must.

6 posted on 03/06/2014 12:15:41 PM PST by faucetman ( Just the facts, ma'am, Just the facts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie
Yep, his amnesty position ensure that I will work against him in the primaries, and the general if necessary.

I would rather see amnesty under a Dim than any Republican. Any Republican.

It's my red line and the most important issue when it comes to my vote and my money.

7 posted on 03/06/2014 12:40:27 PM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: faucetman
"To take a stand that all illegals must be sent back and/or punished, just for being here, is ridiculous on its face. This CAN’T happen and WON’T happen. NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!"

That position could be argued, but I'll save my...and your...breath on the matter.

I'll simply state than any Republican that wants my vote will not grant permanent residency to illegals in any form. Ever.

8 posted on 03/06/2014 12:42:53 PM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SoConPubbie

“Paul’s major and unforgivable flaw is Amnesty:”

Agreed! Out of all other possible flaws, amnesty will eliminate the Pubes/Conservative party forever. Give no quarter on amnesty.

9 posted on 03/06/2014 1:51:07 PM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DaxtonBrown

Yeh Cruz was hugh and series today. I was ready to vote him President right now. But I hope Rand Paul runs as well. I don’t his current stance on amnesty but he works tirelessly to roll back the police state and restore our constittional freedoms. That is very important.

I’m OK with Paul or Cruz.

10 posted on 03/06/2014 2:39:09 PM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: faucetman
As a practical matter, it's not possible to make much of a dent in the illegal population over the timescale of one administration.

That said, I want to hear the candidates address things that can be done with a stroke of a pen (e.g. cutting off the flood of H1B's that undercut wages and employment opportunities for educated citizens).

11 posted on 03/07/2014 7:11:05 AM PST by Aqua Buddhist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson