I’ve been seeing all kinds of abuse being hurled at Rand Paul for his endorsement of Mitt Romney in this year’s presidential election. He doesn’t deserve any of it. Let’s recapitulate some facts for the benefit of blinkered Ron Paul devotees abusing Rand:
- Ron Paul can’t win the GOP nomination. I don’t care what Alex Jones told you. Get over it.
- Someone named either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will win the election. I don’t care who does; I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson. Regardless, Rand’s endorsement won’t make a bit of difference. He did something nice for the people (Republicans) he will have to work with and get to support him for the next several years. It was purely symbolic.
- Let’s recall what Rand has done in the Senate:
- Singlehandedly killed a terrible amendment to the indefinite-detention provision that would otherwise have passed on a voice vote;
- Held up the Iran sanctions bill until an amendment was included to specify that it does not authorize force against Iran (remember how Bush abused that UN resolution to declare war on Iraq illegally?);
- Has gone on a crusade to abolish the TSA;
- Has won grudging admiration from his colleagues for his ability to use Senate rules and personal relationships to advance his agenda.
The man has our back in the Senate. I don’t agree with him on everything, but he’s a damn sight better than anyone else in that cesspool. I could now go on a rant about how libertarians continue to lose the fight for liberty with a weakness for prioritizing symbolism over substance, but I think I’ve made my point.
12 thoughts on “Nuts Ron Paul Fans Dis Rand for Mitt Plug”
Rand Paul for Romney’s veep? Would that make more of a difference to you?
I doubt it would – VPs rarely play much of a role in policy, at least for the better.
It would incline me to think more positively about the Republican ticket – though I’m under no illusion Romney will be that great for those of our political preferences no matter who his VP is. However, I’ve gotta disagree with Jason’s ovearching point on this if you exclude the caveat (which isn’t that fair to him, honestly!). VP’s pre-Gore were relatively unimportant (see Johnson’s views on it). But Gore, Cheney, and Biden may suggest a new model of VP importance – namely, these aren’t your father’s Veeps (and I vaguely remember seeing some social science work talking about this).
I don’t honestly know about Biden… But the other two were activist VPs, and it’s hard for me to think of ways in which Rand could use the VP slot to “de-activize” government. But maybe I’m suffering from a failure of imagination.
I was reacting less to your actual point than the point others often make that Veeps aren’t important either way (which for many periods in American history is the case). I can imagine him focusing on something that isn’t high on Romney’s agenda and pushing things in that realm in the right direction (esp if you get a Republican Senate and House). Or he could at least represent a divergent position in the Cabinet – though I could also imagine him getting frozen out and ignored too (esp on foreign policy). But the possibility of his voice getting heard at key moments is a lot better than what we’ve had for a long time (think Martin Anderson in the Reagan White House despite having a less important position) – plus he’ll bring others with him.
By the way, I think the main point of your post is exactly right. Libertarians should be happy to see Rand Paul where he is in national politics and must recognize that this means he’ll have to play nice from time to time in order to move the ball forward at other times. This episode reminds me of Murray Rothbard and the Austrians going after Milton Friedman for being a “Court Libertarian.”
Completely agree about Paul’s Romney endorsement, but the NDAA amendment was good, not bad, and Saddam declared war on the US when he invaded Kuwait (a US ally for whom the US had just recently gone to war against Iran), and never complied w/ the peace terms supposed to end that state of war.
I think you’ve got your timing wrong. Kuwait was not a formal US ally until after the Gulf War when it signed a defense pact.
The US went to war w/ Iran, destroying half the Iranian Navy overnight, in 1987, when Iran only threatened Kuwaiti shipping. Saddam’s total annexation of Kuwait was far worse. Also, the UN treaty requires all members to respect the existing boundaries of all other members. Both the US and Kuwait were UN members.
The Progressives(socialists) have had over 100 years to get all their collectivist ideas put into Law. The Graduated Income Tax,Central Banking,Fiat Currency,Public Education,Socialized Medicine,Direct Welfare etc.etc. In order to slow down,stop and change government towards a libertarian direction cannot be done overnight. It must be done incrementally. Too often the Freedom Movement has been disappointed with Presidents who promise real change and by the time their tenure as President is over things not only remain the same but worsen. A could example would be Ronald Reagan who “talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk.” The Federal Government expanded under the presidency of the “Great Communicator.” If Rand Paul,whose moniker is a Conservative not a Libertarian,could win the Vice Presidency maybe he would have enough influence to change or at least redirect policy. And,maybe, in the future he would run for and be elected President and invoke real change. Today there are so many people (more than 50% of the population) who are beholden to the government for their livelihood ,both directly and indirectly, that to get anyone elected who wants to close down the Welfare/Warfare State is nearly impossible. There are just too many people on the government gravy train who vote for a living. 100 years of creeping socialism must be supplanted with 50 years of creeping Liberty. Through Cultural Marxism the Left captured much of the youth of the 1960s and 1970s. These same captured ones are now,to a large extent,in power now. By Libertarians capturing the youth of the 21st Century,maybe down the line, these same young people will work their way into political power to change things in a libertarian direction. This,unless there is a complete collapse of the system followed by a violent revolution,is the only way that non violent change can occur.
Jason Sorens – I understand that you have a right ro write what you will on your own blog. But calling Ron Paul fans ‘nuts’ seems ill-considered. As The Daily Bell stated of Ron Paul: “history had chosen him to be the bearer of a message about freedom.” And those who cling to Ron Paul are, IMHO, clinging to that message – not the man.
I won’t trot out the tired old Barry Goldwater quote, but I cannot fault them for adhering to the principles of liberty.
I think Jason is just concerned about the tendency of libertarians in politics (versus intellectual discourse) to prioritize purity over prudence.