Not his father's cup of tea - Macleans.ca
 

Not his father’s cup of tea

Rand Paul favours Tea Party populism over both his dad’s beliefs and the GOP establishment


 

Ed Reinke/ CP Images

There are lots of dynasties in U.S. politics, but Ron Paul may be the first politician to found an anti-government dynasty. When the Texas Republican congressman ran for president in 2008, he became a cult figure for his radically libertarian views, but seemed to have no chance of starting a long-term movement. Then came the May 18 Senate primary in Kentucky. Paul’s son Rand, head of the tax-cut lobbying group Kentucky Taxpayers United and a guy who calls his candidacy “a message from the Tea Party,” easily beat establishment favourite Trey Grayson for the Republican nomination to succeed ex-baseball pitcher Jim Bunning. One of Rand’s sons, 14-year-old Duncan, was photographed carrying a sign for him, as if preparing for his eventual succession. We’ve seen the Gores, the Kennedys, and the Bushes, but here come the Pauls to undo everything those families have done.

Like his father, Rand is a doctor, lending a certain authority to their joint calls for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care plan. Some aspects of Rand’s campaign are a clone of his father’s. On his website, randpaul2010.com, he declares that “America can successfully protect itself against potential terrorists without sacrificing civil liberties,” and in a Kentucky TV interview, he agreed with his dad that America should go for a more restrained foreign policy: “Maybe we’ve gone too far in one extreme that we are everywhere all the time.”

And just as George W. Bush won the second presidential term that his father couldn’t get, Rand did what Ron wasn’t able to do in 2008: beat back the GOP establishment. Grayson had the backing of Kentucky’s senior senator, Mitch McConnell, who also happens to be the Senate minority leader. But Rand didn’t need McConnell’s support when he had the endorsement of Sarah Palin, whom he called “a giant in American politics.”

Is this the start of a Paul movement? Some Republican veterans think so, particularly foreign policy hawks who dislike the Paul family’s views on the Middle East. Dick Cheney came out in favour of Grayson, while Rudy Giuliani insinuated that Rand was “part of the ‘blame America first’ crowd.” A collection of old-line conservatives calling themselves the American Future Fund took time off from bashing Democrats and spent $1 million bashing Rand instead, saying “Kentucky values are being threatened” by Rand’s belief that a nuclear Iran would not pose a security threat.

But in a dynasty, there are always differences between generations. Mindful of the fact that Kentucky is more conservative than his dad’s quirky Texas district, Rand has already adopted more conventional Tea Party Republican views on many issues. His campaign manager, David Adams, told Talking Points Memo that Rand doesn’t want to withdraw from Iraq or Afghanistan until the wars are won. And whereas Ron is a full-fledged civil libertarian, Rand blasted Obama’s plan to close Guantánamo, saying, “Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our constitution.” After he won the nomination, Rand’s speech was filled with sound bites Fox News loved, including his statement that Obama “apologizes for America’s greatness”—something that’s often been said about his father. When Rand did express his libertarian beliefs, it was to argue that the Civil Rights Act erred in outlawing discrimination by private businesses, setting off a media firestorm, which he blamed on the “liberal establishment.” In other words, now that Ron Paul has succeeded in starting a dynasty, it might just be a dynasty of regular Republicans: libertarian on taxes and race, conservative on everything else.


 

Not his father’s cup of tea

  1. I think Rand would be good to shake up the senate. They have more tools in the senate than in the House. At least debate some of this stuff. Paul would be a great ally to Feingold in some respects. It would be interesting. Conway though may be just another phony empty suit, but the public eats up at it. Hence we get Obama after 8 years of the Bush debacle.

  2. "Is this the start of a Paul movement?" => Jaime Weinman

    If you postulate this question now, then you have not been paying attention.

    The end of 2007 was the beginning of the Liberty Movements Inception.

    The Paul's are the "Symbolic Root" => The Focus Of Constitutional Principle.

    Does Sound Money, Sound So Bad At The Moment ???

  3. Hey tea-baggers!! Forget Sarah Palin, now you REALLY have a fool to rally around: Rand Paul. By parsing the 1964 Civil Rights Act we can see what he and the tea-baggers stand for: discrimination based on race and physical ability. But then the tea-baggers are just a sad group of old, white, rich, malcontent republicans who hate blacks, hispanics, asians, the middle class and the poor and can't stand the fact that we have a black president. When they howl "TAKE BACK AMERICA!!!" they mean to take it back from the minorities. Luckily the middle class and the poor far outnumber the tea-baggers so they will have little effect in November and Rand Paul will fade away. Mark Montgomery NYC, NY 10036 boboberg@nyc.rr.com

    • Only one comment in this thread sounds hatred-filled. Can anybody guess which one?

  4. Start? Ron Paul has Campaign for Liberty with over 300,000 members… who weren't exactly inactive while Rand has been running in the primary. You do need organization to battle organization, and Ron Paul has it in spades.

    Rand, in the end, will have to carry people with his own record, but he had a ready made leg up by those more than willing to give him a chance to create a record.

    And if his record is similar to his Dad's, or even going in the same direction, I say: bring on the dynasty.

  5. I LIVED IN NEW YORK AND NOW I'M OUTSIDE LOOKING IN AND SEE WHY NEW YORKERS ARE SOCIALISTS! THEY PAY HIGH TAXES AND FINES, SO NOW THEY THINK GOVERNMENT OWES THEM HAS TO TAKE CARE OF THEM AND TELL THEM WHAT THEY CAN AND CAN'T DO LIKE A PARENT. BUT REALITY IS YOU ARE OWNED, USED AND DISGUARDED LIKE TRASH BECAUSE IT'S ONLY BUSINESS AS USUAL.

  6. you are right on this : "In other words, now that Ron Paul has succeeded in starting a dynasty, it might just be a dynasty of regular Republicans: libertarian on taxes and race, conservative on everything else."

    Rand Paul is not a true Libertarian like his father.
    His father, Ron Paul, is for drug legalization and gay marriage. But Rand is against both.
    Also, Rand lacks the straight-talking and convictions of his father. Very disappointing.

    You can never catch Ron Paul saying Fox News stuff like 'Obama going around apologizing for America'.
    Unfortunately his son Rand did that.

    Rand Paul is looking more and more like your Establishment Republican – like Sarah Palin.

    Very disappointing.

  7. Mark Montgomery said : "Rand Paul. By parsing the 1964 Civil Rights Act we can see what he and the tea-baggers stand for: discrimination based on race and physical ability."

    Rand Paul agreed with the Civil Rights act insofar as it applying to PUBLIC policies. The Civil Rights act didn't mandate that you can't discriminate in your own home, Paul's ideology is that since business' are privately owned they too should not have be mandated by government. You can disagree, but this is hardly a racist position to take. You want to know who the real racists are? The US government, who through the Jim Crow laws made it illegal in the south for a white established to serve blacks. If not for the Jim Crow laws there would have been no need for the Civil Rights act.