Rand Paul, the strangest libertarian evah, surprised nobody by announcing his intention to run for president. He’s a very confused person and as such his statements and proposed policies don’t always make much sense. But he’s always up for a good fight with the media who misstate his positions, missing the nuances of his being both for and against things like the Civil Rights Act, or both for cutting defense spending and increasing defense spending. If Savannah Guthrie can’t understand how those things are not contradictory at all, that’s not his problem.
“You once said Iran was not a threat, now you say it is. You once proposed ending foreign aid to Israel, now you support it, at least for the time being, and you once offered to drastically cut … defense spending.”
Paul attempted to speak as Guthrie continued.
“Why don’t we let me explain instead of talking over me, OK?” Paul interjected. “Before we go through a litany of things you say I’ve changed on, why don’t you ask me a question, ‘Have I changed my opinion?’ That would sort of a better way to approach an interview.”
So in his introductory speech yesterday he asserted that “your phone records are yours” and in my head I heard myself yelling back “but your uterus isn’t”, because again Rand Paul is the strangest libertarian evah by being such a strong defender on some civil liberties (for white people), and (naturally) the legalization of marijuana, but being against abortion rights and defending traditional religious values (read: the right of Christians to discriminate). That’s libertarian in the same way as vegetarians who eat bacon.
So yes, Mr. Paul is a bigger joke than his racist father who had positions not heard of since the 1870s (paper money is an abomination!). But mostly he’s a joke because he’s completely willing to pretend we still live in pre-internet times and say one thing to one audience and another thing to another audience and fight with the interviewer when cornered on that. His ambition is so transparent and his willingness to drive a Hummer over his core principles in order to court conservative primary voters is both breathtaking and disgusting.
But, that said, I feel for Mr. Paul because his work on crushing every closely held principle that won him the ill-conceived respect of teenage marijuana users who are so hungry to engage in the political debate, and trust a man in a turtleneck, is not an easy row to hoe. He’s going to have to prove himself to those GOP primary voters. Dallas Woodhouse is one of those key opinion makers. He’s a conservative strategist who runs a group called Carolina Rising, which is apparently not a pro-marijuana group, so how they’re rising and to what end is ominously never talked about. Mr. Woodhouse has a litmus test that Mr. Paul and all Republicans have to pass.
[Paul’s] sort of worldview may not be fitting the world as a lot of people see it right now. He’s got to prove — in my opinion, Rand Paul’s got to prove that he will nuke a Muslim country if we have to. I’m not saying we should. But I’m saying we will do that if it takes saving America and that there’s no doubt that he will do what it takes to protect America.
And that friends is the stupid that has no end. Not that Rand Paul has limited stupid, he doesn’t. But the idea that putting America’s security first entails the “proven” willingness to NUKE anybody, no less any one of the nations of the middle-east who are across an ocean and have GDPs commensurate with Arkansas, is stupid beyond end.
P.S. The Paul testiness Tour continues as an AP reporter asks him about his abortion stance.