Category Archives: Rand Paul

The Neocons vs. Rand Paul’s Reading List

The Neocons clearly have Rand Paul in their cross hairs.

Now they are going after him for his suggested reading list.

Here is the initial Weekly Standard article.

The Washinton Free Beacon, which apparently specializes in neocon thought enforcement, ran this Weekly Standard inspired hit piece.

Tom Woods has replied to the Free Beacon piece here, in the sarcastic way that he has perfected.

The neoconservatives over at the Free Beacon, a thought-monitoring website in the mold of ThinkProgress on the left, took time out of their customary schedule of spreading Islamic radicalism around the world to criticize Rand Paul for recommending a few books on foreign policy whose conclusions are not “USA! USA!” and “they hate us for our awesomeness.”

I hope to have more to say on this issue later, but I wanted to get a quick post up now.

Rand – Just Shut Up

Rand Paul seems to be on a mission to prove he can pander with the best of them. Now he says voter ID laws offend people so the GOP should back off. I suspect there are two things at work here. Rand is trying to get out in front on race in particular to cover his backside over his past questioning of the wisdom and constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act. (The fact that the CRA is unconstitutional and the fact that the opinion that prohibiting private discrimination is unwise is entirely defensible from a libertarian and conservative standpoint matter not at all.) Plus, I think he wants to establish that his “mavrick” credentials don’t all come just from being further to the right and/or more libertarian. But Paul, to those who pay attention, is starting to look like a grandstander in addition to just being wrong. Given the modern situation where people are deracinated and aren’t always known by their neighbors, of course you should have to have ID to vote. Why is this even being debated? What conservatives and libertarians should be debating is how we should restrict the franchise, not make it more easy to exercise.

Students for Liberty vs. Ron Paul on Crimea

In case you haven’t been following this, there has been a bit of a dust up in non-interventionist circles. Students for Liberty President Alexander McCobin publically criticized Ron Paul over his statements on the Crimean situatuion. Since then, it has been time, as they say, to “get the popcorn.” I’m working on a longer response to this. As you probably guess, I side with Ron Paul. But I figured I need to cover this situation so here is a list of links.

Here is the original McCorbin post that got it all started.

Here is the original, as far as I can tell, reaction from BuzzFeed.

The (anti-Paul) Washington Free Beacon quickly picked up the story.

Reason chimes in.

Ron Paul’s Institute responds. (Perhaps too harshly?)

McCorbin replies.

Dave Weigel of Slate opines. (Weigel is interesting in cases like these. Weigel currently has anti-paleo biases, but because he once traveled in our circles before going a different dirrection, he gets the subtext better than most.)

Justin Raimondo is his typical firey self at Anti-War.com.

John Glaser says not so fast.

Raimondo steps on the gas.

Anthont Gregory calls for a truce.

Robert Wenzel sides with Ron Paul at LewRockwell.com

Whew! See what I mean about getting the popcorn?

Is Rand Paul the Best Non-interventionists Can Hope For?

My new column “Is Rand Paul the Best Non-interventionists Can Hope For?” is up at Intellectual Conservative. I plan to submit full length columns there more often. Here is an excerpt:

Bolton and King are clearly attempting to counter Rand Paul and his perceived libertarian tendencies, but this says at least as much about the paranoia and absolutism of the uber-hawks as it does about Rand Paul. Among non-interventionists, Rand Paul is widely viewed as a disappointment. The reasons for this warrant a separate article, but suffice it to say that while Rand Paul is better on foreign policy than your average Republican, he is not his father by a long shot.

Principled non-interventionists are often lectured by more pragmatic types that Rand Paul is the best we’ve got so we should make the best of it, but if the uber-hawks want a clear messenger like King or Bolton for their hawkishness despite the presence of more credible candidates who are mostly with them, why shouldn’t non-interventionists yearn for a clear messenger for their cause? While I think the super hawks are dangerously wrong, I admire that they are pro-actively seeking a spokesman to their liking for their message.

Read more…

I would prefer that you comment at IC if you would like to comment, so it looks like my articles are attracking interest. Registration is required. Thanks.

Update: This article has now been added to my personal blog.

Potential 2016 GOP Candidates not Looking Good

Here is a Townhall 2016 straw poll. Vote if you like. It’s quick. You do have to enter your e-mail which will get you on some e-mail list, but I already get Townhall e-mails so no biggy. You can also always unsubscribe. I post this mainly to illustrate how abysmal the potential 2016 lineup is. I voted other/none of the above because write-in were not allowed.

Here is the list of candidates:

Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida
Benjamin Carson, Doctor of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University
Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas
Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana
John Kasich, Governor of Ohio
Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska
Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky
Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida
Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin
Rick Santorum, former Senator from Pennsylvania
Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin
Other/None of the Above

What a sorry lot. Rand Paul is the closest to acceptable. As I said before, we need to start talking up potential acceptable GOP primary candidates and potential Constitution Party and Libertarian Party candidates.

Here is the comment I left.

There is no one in this list that represents non-interventionist conservatives. Rand Paul comes the closest, but he has already drifted too far away from the principled non-intervention of his father. I will not vote for a GOP interventionist. If they don’t do better than this it will be third party for me in 2016.

Did Rand Paul Flub the ObamaCare Battle?

I thought he was flubbing it all along. He was too tenative and wishy-washy, and he let Ted Cruz get way out ahead of him. He voted no on the final bill, but at that point his no vote was an easy call.

Steve Deace agrees. His thoughts are very similar to my thoughts. The Rand Paul part is one of ten “Lessons Learned.” The whole article is worth a read.

Rand Paul is still not sure who he is

He almost always votes the right way, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is certainly not his father—for better or for worse. He gets much closer to gray areas than his father ever did, flirting with disaster before eventually choosing the right side. He did on both the big fights this year—first with scamnesty and now with the defund Obamacare effort. He appears to be trying so hard to make himself a national figure in time for a 2016 presidential run that the identity that launched him in 2010 is being lost in the process. Is he the heir to his father’s revolution or has he become Ditch McConnell’s sidekick? You can’t be both. It appears he has yet to decide, but he better decide quickly. The passive-aggressive act is wearing thin with many liberty people I know, let alone dampening his efforts to successfully reach out to social conservatives.

Even Paul’s post no vote statement was weak and uninspiring.

Sen. Rand Paul today voted no on H.R. 2775, as amended, that will suspend the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014 and fund the government thru January 15, 2014.

 “Tonight, a deal was struck to re-open the government and avoid the debt ceiling deadline. That is a good thing,” Sen. Paul said. “However, our country faces a problem bigger than any deadline: a $17 trillion debt. I am disappointed that Democrats would not compromise to avoid the looming debt debacle.”

And this is after he had already tried to straddle the fence. See here and here.

I’m not a fan of Ted Cruz’s foreign policy, but Rand got played by Cruz here.

Rand is being too cautious for his own good. Someone needs to remind him that he’s an Eye Surgeon. He’ll still be able to make a living if he loses his current job.

Who Should I Write-in in 2016 Presidential Polls?

OK, so the 2016 polls are starting to appear in my inbox and as pop-up ads, etc. The current list of potential candidates is abysmal and depressing. It includes RINOs like Chris Christie and so called conservatives like Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint who are just mainstream movement cons of one degree or another and are therefore wrong about all the things mainstream cons are wrong about (foreign policy, surveillance/police state, trade deals, etc.) Rand Paul is the best of the lot, but is off my list because of his PC pandering and waffling on immigration and foreign policy.

The problem is, as far as I know, there aren’t any rumored paleoish candidates to talk up. Worse, there aren’t really even that many paleoish figures who aren’t rumored that can be credibly talked up. I’m sure our constant critic Sav and others would say this points to a failure of paleoism and perhaps they would be right, but that doesn’t solve our immediate problem of who to tout as a potential candidate.

Here are a few thoughts. Let’s discuss it.

Potentially Serious Candidates:

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions comes to mind. I haven’t heard him talked up as a candidate, but if he did run he would be serious because he is  a Senator. He has been by far and away the best person in the Senate on the immigration issue. The problem is that Sessions is generally wrong on foreign policy and police state issues. But because Sessions has  been so out front on immigration, a vote for him could be seen as an endorsement of immigration restrictionism. As an actual vote, it might be hard to justify, but as an exercise in immigration issue message sending a case could be made for writing him in. (For the record, I consider immigration the most important issues because all the other issues [abortion, taxes, spending, etc.] hinge upon its outcome. Unless current demographic trends are halted, the GOP and by implication any further right alternative party will become irrelevant at the national level.)

Semi-serious Candidates:

Tennessee Rep. John Duncan and North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones come to mind. Neither have the voting record of Ron Paul, but both are know as Republican (relatively) non-interventionists so a vote for either would likely be interpreted as an endorsement of non-interventionism. As far as I know, neither has been seriously discussed as a possible candidate.

Actually Rumored Message Candidates:

Judge Andrew Napolitano has been widely discussed as a possible candidate. He is a natural heir to the Ron Paul Revolution, especially for those unwilling to support Rand Paul. As a widely known Fox News commentator, he is a semi-plausible candidate. A vote for him would be the most direct way of endorsing the continuation of the Ron Paul Revolution. The major problem with Napolitano is that he is absolutely horrible on immigration. He has completely swallowed the libertarian Kool-Aid on the issue.

Ted Nugent has thrown his own name out there. Besides guns and not liking Obama, I’m not sure I know exactly where he stands on other issues, and I’m sure I’m not alone with that. But where The Nuge stands on every issues is hardly relevant. A vote for Nugent is simply a way to stick a great big thumb in the eye of the Powers that Be. As I said before, Nugent is a visceral Red and a vote for him would be an endorsement of visceral Redness.

Pure Message Candidates:

If you want to send a single issue immigration message then you could write in Tom Tancredo. He’s not good on war and peace issues, but since he is so identified with the immigration issues, the message of a vote for Tancredo would not be missed. An alternative might be to vote for Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, who is also closely associated with the immigration issue but likely not as well known as Tancredo.

Tom Woods has been suggested as a possible candidate and has even addressed the issue. I think Woods would be an excellent candidate. He is articulate and funny. He would put nullification and secession on the table, and since he is a Traditional Catholic he could appeal to cultural conservatives and couldn’t be accused of being an amoral libertine. Also, like Judge Nap, a vote for Woods would be an endorsement of the continuation of the Ron Paul Revolution.

If you wanted to send a pure ideological message of the whole no-compromise package – non-intervention, immigration, Constitutionalism, abortion, anti-Lincoln, etc. – you could write in Chuck Baldwin. Since he has actually run before, the idea isn’t quite as out there as it might otherwise be. Or, on that note, you could write in Michael Peroutka. Peroutka has been the center of some controversy recently since he is now on the Board of the League of the South, so a vote for him would be an even bigger rejection of the status quo.

Those are some of my preliminary thoughts. Discuss.

(FTR, I limited my choices to people that actually could conceivably run for President. So no Patrick Henry for example. If we have a problem of no rumored candidates we can get behind, we might as well start rumors about people who could really run.)

Jack Hunter Resigns from Rand Paul’s Staff

Well, it looks like the PC Thought Police have another scalp. I was just about to make a post on another development in the Jack Hunter saga (that post will follow). In that post I was going to predict that while Hunter might make it through this episode, he wouldn’t be on Rand’s staff by 2016. At that point I didn’t know he had resigned. So I guess he didn’t even make it through this episode.

More proof that the PC Beast can not be appeased so there is no sense in trying. The PC Beast must be resisted.

Hunter continues to backtrack even in his resignation. Not only is he resigning from Rand’s satff, he is also resigning from his Southern Avenger persona. I suspect he is trying to maintain his viability as a pundit.

Hunter told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he wanted to avoid being a distraction for Paul and to clear his own name, which he argues is now unfairly associated with racism.

A senior Paul aide confirmed Hunter’s departure.

“I’ve long been a conservative, and years ago, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one,” Hunter said in an email. “But there’s a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist. I’ve also become far more libertarian over the years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant worldview, through the lens of which I now look back on some of my older comments with embarrassment.”

Read more…

Rand Paul’s Sell-Out is Absolutely Undeniably Complete: Now Says Lincoln was “One of Our Greatests Presidents”

The Jack Hunter fiasco fall-out continues. Now it has completely finished off Rand Paul as well. Someone please give Rand a Testosterone injection.  He is clearly running low. For those who have argued that Rand Paul was just making rhetorical concessions as part of “playing the game” but was still stealthily one of us, I thought that argument lost credibility when

1) he babbled PC platitudes before a Howard University audience, or

2) spouted PC immigration boosterism before a Hispanic organization, or

3) offered Israel a security guarantee to placate the neocons (You see how well that worked out don’t you?)

but I could see that some still held out hope. Gentlemen, I’m sorry to inform you, but it’s time to give it up. It’s over. Rand Paul is done. (Here is the original HuffPo interview.)

“I’m not a fan of secession,” Paul told Fineman. “I think the things he said about John Wilkes Booth are absolutely stupid. I think Lincoln was one of our greatest presidents.”

I actually don’t doubt that Rand Paul still stealtily holds views very similar to his father’s. That is the impression he gave when he stumped for his father in 2008, before he ran for Senate, but what good do those stealth views do for us? Does anyone think that Rand is going to stealthily get himself elected to the White House and then on day one declare “Ha! I fooled you!” and start vetoing all unconstitutional spending (almost all of it), or shutter the Fed, or grant the South a free pass to leave the Union? At best he is going to marginally tax less, marginally spend less, and marginally pull back on our foreign policy adventurism, because he has talked himself into a corner. So we pay slightly less in taxes and the country financially collapses in 2035 instead of 2030. Whoopee!

This is why I have such an aversion to rhetorical concessions. I don’t have a problem with stylistic concessions. I don’t have a problem massaging how you say certain things. I don’t have a problem with “playing the game” (competing in a GOP primary or being active in the party for example) to a degree. I don’t have a problem conceding the political reality as it actually is on the ground. In fact, I have always been very realistic about the sorry state of our present political reality.

It is partially because our reality is so sorry that rhetoric matters so much. Because at this point it’s all we got. Therefore we have to be willing to wage the rhetorical battle and make some headway there before the political battle will matter. When a national politician with Presidential aspirations can say to a HuffPo reporter “Darn right I think Lincoln was a tyrant and secession is a perfectly legal option! If I didn’t I wouldn’t be a propper conservative.” and the “right” doesn’t go into spastic denunciations, then we will have made some progress.

At this point, ours is primarily a rhetorical battle whether everyone wants to accept this fact or not.

Note: For those who say we are overdoing the Hunter story, you’re wrong. Fighting the PC Thought Police is the field of battle right now.

A Tale of Two Secessionists

Both the Marxist and Neocon defenders of big government have come after Jack Hunter with knives sharpened. Apparently, it’s unacceptable that Senator Rand Paul have a staffer who was once in a secessionist organization:

Prior to his radio career, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”

“The League of the South is an implicitly racist group in that the idealized version of the South that they promote is one which, to use their ideology, is dominated by ‘Anglo-Celtic’ culture, which is their code word for ‘white’,” said Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research at the ADL.

As we all know, Hunter has renounced many of his views, though that hasn’t calmed down his detractors (has it ever?).

But let’s take a look at another political activist with a similar history — yet very different reception from the media.

Tony Villar joined the UCLA chapter of MEChA, the “Movimiento Estudiantíl Chicano de Aztlán,” or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan and became that group’s leader. MEChA’s founding statement asserts:

In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal “gringo” invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlán from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.

We are free and sovereign to determine those tasks, which are justly called for by our house, our land, the sweat of our brows, and by our hearts. Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent.

Talk about your idealized version of history! The organization’s goal is to recover “lost Territories” of the Southwestern United States and form a Chicano country called Aztlan.

A youthful indiscretion? Maybe — but Tony Villar never denounced MEChA’s goals. And later, when Villar changed his name to Antonio Villaraigosa and ran for mayor of Los Angeles, no one one challenged him about his former advocacy of Latino secession. Nor was the issue raised during his tenure as mayor from 2005 to 2013.

When Villaraigosa chaired the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his secessionist past was not so much as whispered in the national media.

Two similar pasts, and two very different outcomes. It makes you wonder if some secessionist movements are more equal than others.

More Jack Hunter Thoughts and Reactions

Here is an article at VDARE on the Jack Hunter smear campaign. It’s good because it links to a lot of the sites that picked up the story, but the author, Alexander Hart, pretty much throws Hunter under the bus on account of Rand’s backtracking on the immigration issue.

Here is Hunter’s own statement. It’s pretty much a disaster. Hunter goes into full backpedal and placate mode. This is highly unfortunate. First, the PC Beast can not be placated. Just ask Jason Richwine. Just ask Paula Deen. The PC Beast must be resisted head on. Second, whenever you say some version of “I’m not a racist” you have already lost because you have conceded the other sides terms. Third, as I wrote yesterday, nothing in these revelations is really that damaging. Some of it is rather mundane. Just explain yourself forcefully without backpedalling or dodging.

That said, I do not think that now is the time to attack Jack for backpedalling. Here is what I posted on Facebook:

I am disappointed that Jack Hunter has chosen to backtrack and concede to the PC Rightthink Police rather than fight back, but that said, now is not the time for anti-PC forces to attack Jack. Now is the time for us to attack the PC Beast that is attacking him. We can attempt to drag Jack back to paleodom after we have countered the PC Cultural Marxists Gestapo.
I felt the need to say that because some folks have gone after Jack pretty hard for his backpedalling.
 
 
and Michael Hill (via Hunter Wallace)
 
I’ll explain why I think overly attacking Jack Hunter (as opposed to expressing disappointment), is unhelpful at this point in a separate post.

Jack Hunter’s mistake

An anonymous commenter posted this complaint yesterday in response to Jack Hunter’s disavowal of pro-Southern (and therefore heretical) thoughts he expressed many years ago:

“You think you know somebody, and they turn out to be a defender of sodomy and God cursed sodomites. I’ll never read Jack Hunter again. Is there never any GOOD news anymore???????????”

I share the commenter’s pain. Yes, Jack Hunter has tossed secession, border security, and traditional marriage the same way Butch Cassidy would toss the loot when the posse started closing in. (Here’s a summary of Jack’s earlier statements, as well as his disavowal of them, as presented by the “conservative” Washington Free Beacon, which broke this story.)

Jack Hunter, like Ron and Rand Paul, tried to work within the system to restrain an interventionist, activist government. Now he’s being scourged as a “racist” who shares his boss’s “radical antiwar views.” That’s because only a “racist” would want to deny the Third World the joys of American liberation — as DC’s apologists have made abundantly clear.

Hunter’s and the Paul’s mistake was that they thought “compromise” and “moderation” were good things. Now, in a healthy political system, those things are virtues, as John Calhoun argued. But they have been fighting a losing battle against a system that is, as Robert E. Lee predicted, “aggressive abroad and despotic at home.” That’s why we have a massive domestic surveillance system supporting a military-industrial complex — it’s the inevitable result of an overgrown, centralized government.

As Michael Hill noted yesterday, DC is open only to those who adopt the regime’s globalist agenda. With a regime based on demographic revolution and permanent war, no compromise is possible. Those policies are the foundation of the Empire’s power. Trying to find common ground with the Evil Empire is like offering to sacrifice only your children to psychopaths who want to murder your entire family. So Jack Hunter and the Pauls have been saying, “Okay, you want to invade the entire Middle East, so I’ll support a war in Afghanistan. And I’ll vote for amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens if you’ll agree to a border fence.”

One way or another, it’s all or nothing with the DC regime. That’s what Jack Hunter and the Pauls — and their supporters — have failed to see.

The PC Thought Police Go After Jack Hunter (a.k.a. the Southern Avenger)

The Cultural Marxist PC Thought Police are frothing at the mouth again. They’ve identified a new thoughtcriminal for their Two Minutes Hate, Jack Hunter, a.k.a. the Southern Avenger.

Here is the Washington Free Beacon fatwa … err … article that got the jihad started. When I first heard rumblings that the PC Gestapo was going after Jack, I suspected the author might be the loathsome PC enforcer Jamie Kirchick, but it wasn’t. It’s some writer I’ve never heard of named Alana Goodman. Here is Goodman’s bio per the Free Beacon:

Alana Goodman is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon, she was assistant online editor at Commentary (neocon alert!). She has written for the Weekly Standard, the New York Post and the Washington Examiner. Goodman graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2010, and lives in Washington, D.C. Her Twitter handle is @alanagoodman. Her email address is goodman@freebeacon.com.

Jonathan Chait picked up on the story here. Chait isn’t someone I normally associate with this type of PC Thought Enforcement campaign (I could be wrong), but this drive by smear job is inexcusable. He says this:

But his son and progeny Rand Paul also has a close aide who is a huge racist, reports Alana Goodman.

A “huge racist?” Actually Chait, Goodman isn’t even shameless enough to say that in so many words even though her “article” is a transparent PC/neocon rightthink enforcement hitpiece. (I say neocon in addition to PC because she heavily focuses on foreign policy and highlights among other things his belief that the nuking of Japanese civilians was unjustified.)

Salon piles on here.

What’s noteworthy about the Goodman piece is just how lame the allegations are. Anyone who has followed Jack’s career at all knows that he is pro-South and supports the right of secession. As Dave Weigle points out in a semi-snarky pile on of his own, this is not news, but the PC Rightthink Enforcers thinks this is a scandalous revelation. Beyond that she presents a laundry list of statements and policy positions that are supposed to scandalize all decent rightthinkers. I could defend each of Hunter’s statements individually, but I don’t have time for that now. In general, taken together the quotes and positions place Hunter in an identifiable paleocon/paleolibertarian sphere, but there is nothing here that is not routine opinion in those circles and each individual opinion can be found in mainstream conservatism as well.

Looked at as objectively as I can as an interested co-combatant, the thing that might be most shocking to the ears that the Rightthink Enforcers are aiming to prick is his use of the word terrorism to describe the nuking of Japanese civilians and his comparison of that act to 9/11. (FTR, I don’t think terrorism is the right word to describe our use of nukes against the Japanese civilian population. It is needlessly inflamatory and isn’t really an accurate word choice. It is more accurate to describe it as a war crime, but that is for a separate thread.) Beyond that Hunter is accused of saying that there is a double standard against whites. Other races can celebrate their race but whites can’t celebrate theirs. Well no duh! This is a thoroughly mundane and unarguable observation. He’s also acused of saying our foreign policy in the Middle East is influenced by Israel. Is there anyone who seriously denies this? In fact, the interventionist at the Free Beacon celebrate this as right and good. He is excoriated for suggesting that immigration alters the culture. Again, no duh! Does anyone seriously deny this? In fact, immigration boosters celebrate the fact that immigration brings about change in the culture. You know, that whole “Diversity is our greatest strength” mantra.

I could go on, but you get the point. Unfortunately, Jack concedes too much in what was I’m sure a damage control interview with the Free Beacon. Those of us who have followed Hunter’s career for a while have recognized that he has become more politically pragmatic over the years, thus his defense of some of Rand Paul’s misguided concessions. But I have always hoped that that old self-described “right-wing radical” still lurked beneath the surface. But this is not the time to criticize Hunter. Now is the time to defend him against the baying PC Rightthink mob. They’ll be time for dragging him fully back into the fold once the PC Enforcers have been called out for their rightthink policing shenanigans.

John Bolton in 2016?

John Bolton flirted with running in 2012 if no one was sufficiently hawkish for him, but he relented and eventually endorsed Romney. Now he is considering running in 2016. I tend to agree with Larison that this is probably good news for non-interventionists. Bolton is a near caricature of the hysterical hawk, and will hopefully help make hyper-hawkishness look silly. He may also take a few votes from the other hawks who are less single issue (Santorum, Rubio). There is a risk that he will drive the other hawks in the race in his direction rhetorically, but it’s also possible that he might poison that space and make the others less likely to want to join him.

Those are my practical considerations. More viscerally I hope he runs because I think it is useful when people run from outside the normal path. If everyone who runs has to be a Governor or a Senator then that narrows the field to a group that is already too politically compromised to be of much use. People who are concerned with opposing the Establishment should encourage these sort of Quixotic campaigns by non-traditional candidates. A hyper-interventionist like Bolton might open up space for a non-traditional non-interventionist. As of now, I don’t see any non-interventionists considering a run. (I don’t consider Rand Paul ideal on foreign policy.) If we are going to be represented it will likely be by a non-traditional candidate so it doesn’t do non-interventionists any good to mock Bolton on the grounds that he is non-traditional.

Rand and the hour

This is Rand Paul’s hour or moment or whatever designation of time you wish to give. All the revelations of government invasion of personal privacy, whether it be in journalism or tax records or phone calls and web searches all come back to the argument both Rand and his father for even an longer period of time and that is the driving engine of the growth of the federal government is the national security/military/industrial complex. There is no other way around this argument.

Considering the scope of Federal government’s power and the potential abuse of that power over millions of citizens of this country, the idea that a laissez-faire philosophy towards the economy can be maintains while the Feds can happily snoop into your mail or harass your civic group in complex tax law is ridiculous. It is a Sam Francis version of anarcho-tyranny where businesses are free to hire illegal immigrants but you as a citizens are being watched 24/7 to make sure you don’t violate the law. You can be felt up by the TSA at the airport but fellow in business class can plan his tax shelters with his lawyer on the flight. Or governments can seize your land for private developers under eminent domain laws yet put you in jail for protesting such actions because you made a terrorist threat.

The natural absurdities in such a system are perfect targets for Rand Paul and others to both attack and create a standard to rally around in opposition. But all these “scandals” of the omnipotent state are also valuable educations to those well-meaning citizens who don’t want to be treated as a potential spy or enemy and yet seem to also want some sort security for their lives as well. Total security is not possible, certainly not when PFCs or young hipster IT people can leak classified information almost at will. Yet you will get the total state in return for this impossible dream and then they will tell you in order to get one you have to accept the other and chase it like a hamster on a wheel.

It’s also a wake up call for Rand to realize and understand what he is getting into. If elected President someday he will inherit all of this apparatus and it can easily control him if turn him into a limping capon as it has done to President Obama. If being means being a Prisoner of the State, then it is not worth it. The disillusion which would follow would be almost heartbreaking. The meaning of a Rand Paul presidency or even candidacy has to be the deconstruction of such a state. There is no other purpose, none that which a dozen other politicians could do the same. It is the meaning of the very movement which made Rand a senator to being with.

Say what you want about President Obama but at least under him the Democrat Party is starting to make sense: total security at home and total security in economy. This wasn’t always the case. In fact the opposite was true before the Clintons and Obamas occupied the White House. This only made the party look as silly as the GOP does now, pretending you can reduce government while keeping the same level of surveillance over the citizenry. If there is going to be an internal GOP conflict it will be between those who truly wish to reduce the power of the modern state and those who have come to terms with it (even if their rhetoric still lies), not between imaginary moderates and conservatives or the “establishment” and the Tea Party. Even if a Republican doesn’t win the White House the nominating process for President will be important if only to establish who is going to ultimately win this struggle. Either the party will be a true opposition to what the Democrats have become or be it’s “me too” shadow which so many Republicans are doing right now, falling all over themselves in agreeing with the President on the need for the total state. Rand can lead this opposition but he has to overcome his own fears of politics.

Populism: A Party Alternative to Libertarianism

The growing, relatively-soon-to-be majority (link is likely an underestimate), nonwhite population favours handouts. Rather than fighting a futile struggle to convert this group to an absurd libertarian ideology that few of us are deluded enough to believe in, perhaps we ought to reconsider our priorities.

Democracies are said to fail when the voting poor realise they can vote for handouts; but if this is going to happen anyway, then we ought to be the ones buying votes. Perhaps we ought to be the ring-givers, so to speak. Adopt popular positions; drop unpopular positions: sell-out except on the most vital issues. What is more important than saving working Americans from being overtaxed by the lazy? Immigration for starters! Also trade agreements, foreign wars, free speech, homeschooling, gun rights, affirmative action, the banking system.

Currently the GOP is fighting a losing battle for its foreign empire. A populist revolt would abandon these war hawks as dead weight. The war hawks are destined to fall as the US goes bankrupt. Populists should not allow themselves to be pulled down with them if possible.

I’m not a political science guru – just my thoughts.

An alternative is to pursue a strategy of political marginalisation to encourage secession by a dispossessed white minority. This latter seems to be the strategy most on the right favour. Rand Paul might win in 2016. That would be wonderful if he could reform the banking system, but beyond that libertarianism obviously has no future in the US. The ideology is like communism, unworkable; and voters want handouts.

The Prisoner

A word of warning to all you Rand Paul fans. Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

I’m talking the Presidency of the United States of course and while its inspiring to think what Sen. Paul could do in the Oval Office, chances are he could stepping into a prison cell come Jan. 2017.

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