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?)
“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.