What happened to the straight-talking, no bullshit, hoot-from-the-shrip losertarian from the blue grass state? The real world is about to hit Rand Paul in the ass... Rachel just took the first swing.
It’s easy to run on libertarian dogmas and Davy Crockett ideologies when you’re in a Republican primary in a southern state like Kentucky. But winning, then running statewide in the bright national spotlight is something else again.
Tuesday’s elections were good for lefty activists who helped dumped glib chameleon Arlen Specter. (President Obama’s horses, and men couldn’t save the old reprobate. We’ve despised his slimy ass since his arch disingenuousness in the Clarence Thomas confirmation). Another lefty victory: throwing tortured weasel Blanche Lincoln into a tough run-off.
(Republicans lost big in PA-12, the only contest where R was pitted against D- in a district that voted for McCain. If the GOP tsunami was imminent… you da thunk it’ve at least riffled the waters on Tuesday. It didn’t).
Paul, a designated “tea party” candidate won dazzlngly. The RNC and the Republican established order got trounced.
“Tea party” is an adjective, not a noun. There is no Tea Party that can go on a ballot, run a candidate. The “tea party” movement is based on a set of policies/politicians that its followers are against. Many groups and individuals are vying to be THE Tea Party, the GOP is trying to co-opt it, and so far, no one's been successful. The movement has remained splintered by personalities, geography, and policies. They're proud they have no leader and little organization- they ought to be worried about that.
It reminds us a little of the lefty, anti-globalism motion of the late ’90’s. They were a collection of dozens of vaguely related policy interests who gathered in the streets in colorful costumes carrying funny, lens-hogging signage. They made teevee big time when they hilariously monkey-wrenched the 1999 Seattle WTO meeting. In the end, they were so splintered and unfocused they just petered out. They never trusted the system enough to put up candidates and get into the realpolitikal fray of party politics. They thought they could get power and govern from the streets.
We’re reminded of the quirky Ross Perot candidacy in he ’92 election. They also were too socially liberal for the southern conservative base, but bolstered by Perot’s money made it on enough ballots to spoil the election. We covered their so-called presidential convention in LA that year and it ended in screaming, and people walking out. They got consensus on nothing. After getting a third of the votes in November, and helping Democrats elect Bill Clinton, they crawled back into the woodwork, never to be heard from again.
(Can you imagine the tea partiers in a convention hall hammering out a platform? It could be tragic: many of these ornery oldsters open-carry side-arms).
Then there are the evangelicals, the religious right, who loom hugely in the Republican base. For them, abortion, gay rights and gay marriage are strict litmus tests for a candidate. You be agin ‘em or else.
Rand Paul’s people somehow convinced Dr. James Dobson, the Focus On the Family zealot - as well as Sarah Palin - that Paul was pro-life.
Yet Kentucky Right to Life, who know him well, still loudly opposed him, saying he has a long pro-choice record and that he obscured it for this race. He cannot hide it forever, and the tea party movement come out of their closet on the issue as well.
Just how socially conservative is the tea party goofs? No one can really say: Classic libertarians like Ron and Rand Paul are for de-governmentizing personal choices such as drug use, prostitution, marriage, pornography and abortion. The religious right will not compromise on these issues- and if we know the losertarians, neither will they.
So far, in these off-year elections they've dodged the question. They cannot coexist in the GOP. Before or during the 2012 election, these basic differences must play out.
This is where the re-treads hit the paving: can the right survive
without the long-tendered coalition of the religious right, and the
(Scott Brown, the much-vaunted “tea party” winner in Massachusetts is pro-choice, for gay rights and other liberalness including the Massachusetts heath care plan which is nearly identical to Obama’s).
Paul believes we should trust the tender mercies of the free markets to take care of economic injustice, and civil rights. The government should just butt out. He’d even repeal the American Disabilities Act. That is so far from the mainstream of US politics (and common sense) that he’ll be playing defense until November.
Ron Paul is despised by most national Republican leaders. His 2008 campaign didn’t tender many votes but pulled in shitloads of cash. It had all the earmarks of a populist movement except for the actual power-building. The regular R’s hated him for that and have never not cold-shouldered him.
The son has garnered a few more friends, but this too shall pass. The nut doesn't fall far from the tree, they say.