Is Rand Paul the future of the GOP?

posted at 2:01 pm on November 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

He’s certainly part of it, and an important part as the Republican Party tries to reach out to libertarian-leaning voters.  His father found ways to excite and energize younger voters, a skill that the last few elections have shown the GOP sorely needs, as well as a message that matches up with their leave-me-alone mindset.  But is Rand Paul ready to lead the party toward a resurgence of limited-government conservatism with his blend of devolved powers and social conservatism?  “That’s classified,” he jokes to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, but doesn’t deny an interest in a presidential run:

“I’m not going to deny that I’m interested,” Sen. Paul tells ABC’s Jonathan Karl about his presidential aspirations. While Paul is quick to add that he isn’t ready to make a decision about a presidential bid yet, he is not hesitant to say that the Republican Party needs a new message.

“I think we have to go a different direction because we’re just not winning and we have to think about some different ideas,” says the senator.

What are the different “directions” Paul suggests?  Decriminalization of marijuana is one place to start, but Paul wants a change of emphasis on immigration as well:

“We’re getting an ever dwindling percent of the Hispanic vote,” Paul says. “We have to let people know, Hispanics in particular, we’re not putting you on a bus and shipping you home.” Paul emphasizes that border security is still his top priority but adds that he wouldn’t “rule out” a conditional path to citizenship for those who have been living in the United States illegally for an extended period of time.

Paul rejects a tax hike entirely, but also says that the GOP has to articulate the actual structural problems in spending better, which a tax increase won’t help:

On the issue of the impending fiscal cliff, Paul says the president’s successful reelection does not give him a mandate to raise taxes, as some within the Republican Party have conceded. Paul says he will not vote to raise taxes and suggests that there are other paths to compromise that don’t include tax increases.

“How about another compromise?” Paul asks. “Republicans who think military spending, myself, who think national defense is important, should compromise and say, you know what, not every dollar spent on the military’s sacred, we can reduce the military spending, that’s a compromise. Democrats should compromise also — entitlements and welfare, the spending can come.”

Jennifer Rubin warns Republicans to keep an open mind about Rand, who is not “a clone of his father,” even though Rand has had a couple moments of “nuttiness” during his brief political career:

My point on these issues is that conservatives should persuade and discuss areas of difference, but it is a mistake to treat Paul as a clone of his father or a man incapable of maturation. And at a time when thoughtful hawks are revisiting issues like aid to Egypt, his views seem, even to those of us who disagree with his general bent, less wacky.

Moreover, he’s talking sense — a lot of sense — on issues of federalism and immigration reform. On gay marriage and abortion, he’s taken a principled stand (one that I’ve frequently suggested on the marriage issue) that these are matters ideally handled by the states. “We have to let people know, Hispanics in particular, we’re not putting you on a bus and shipping you home. I’m still right there with a lot of the hardcore immigration people who want border troop security. I will insist that border security is first. But I’m also not going to rule out that we can’t figure out an eventual way if you’ve been living here for 10 or 20 years that you can’t become like the rest of us.”

Rand Paul, like many in the Republican Party, has decisions to make about his own role and where the party should go. Will he eschew nuttiness ( his campaign comments on the 1964 Civil Rights Act), become a principled but effective leader and help expand the party in ways that are more likely to attract young and nonwhite voters? If so, fellow conservatives should engage him and heed the positive aspects of his message.

Too often, I think, conservatives jump way ahead (But we wouldn’t want him as commander in chief!) rather than consider where the party sits now, namely in desperate need of innovation and thoughtful conversation. If the party is going to be more inclusive with voters, it can start by recognizing areas of agreement with those on the right (especially those who correctly assess the party’s political challenges and who speak in respectful terms) rather than seek to marginalize them. To do otherwise is to ensure decades of Democrats in the White House.

Paul the Younger has always seemed to have a better grasp on reality than Paul the Elder, and so far has managed to shed the disturbing connections to the fringe that his father courted.  I don’t think that Paul will have enough of a following by 2016 to make a serious run for the Presidency, but his talents might be better used in the Senate to build a conservative wing along with Jim DeMint that can stop the excesses of Washington and fight for fiscal sanity.  The presidency will always be critical to that fight, but it can’t be won without having solid players in the legislative branch as well.

Paul is an element of the future of the Republican Party, and if he works wisely, he could be a driving force for a deeper commitment to limited government and large-scale reform.  That would be good news for everyone.


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Aqua Buddha!

Rocks on November 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

No

Natebo on November 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Keep Paul in the Senate for what purpose? As long as Reid’s in charge, there won’t be d!@k done in the Senate.

Cornhusker on November 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I bet he knows how old the Earth is.

EddieC on November 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Jennifer Rubin? Surely you can’t be serious about her as a conservative voice.

Steve Eggleston on November 20, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Rand and Rubin – no thanks!

Blake on November 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Wait, the GOP has a future? Says who? All I’ve largely seen so far are recommendations that will a) yield a microscopic increase in Latino votes, b) yield zero increase in black votes (write them off – hopeless), and c) yield further decrease in the current GOP base vote.

‘Winning!’

Tell me again why the parasites are going to vote for ‘Santa Lite’ instead of ‘Santa’ again?

Midas on November 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

I like Rand Paul a lot, but I don’t think he would do well as a Presidential candidate.

We need someone with his views; but with a more charismatic persona. Sorry, but the last election clearly demonstrated that thismatters. A lot.

Norwegian on November 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

It is the only future of the GOP if it wants to survive. Pound on fiscal sanity, economic independence (read: drill baby drill), and border control, and let the Bible-thumpers and the neocons vote for the Big Govt they love so much. That’s the message that will attract the young, college-educated (as opposed to college-indoctrinated) generation. The GOP will *not* survive another War on Values.

Archivarix on November 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I hope so. I am really tired of these democrat-lite candidates getting our party’s nomination. Rand Paul seems serious about limiting the size and scope of the federal government.

limitedgovt on November 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

He’s too short to win a presidential election, apparently.

Nessuno on November 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Rand is playing this game beautifully.

Notorious GOP on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude.

yeahhhhh, he’s for pot right? Oh, now you’re tahhhhhlkin.

gop smooooookin 2016

PappyD61 on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Only for drugged people.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

INCORRECT QUESTION: Is Rand Paul the future of the GOP?
CORRECT QUESTION: Is Rand Paul the final death of the GOP?

Answer to the correct question: YES.

TeaPartyNation on November 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

TeaPartyNation on November 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Wait. . .what?

Notorious GOP on November 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I’m open.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Huckabee/Akin 2016!

REAL conservatives!

EddieC on November 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I don’t think that Paul will have enough of a following by 2016

Good point. The establishment GOP such as Coulter, Newt and their wacky lemming followers are just starting to dry hump themselves over a redo of McCain and Romney in brown face.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I’d support Rand Paul. After 8 years of Obama we are going to desperately need someone who will have no problem taking a chainsaw to the bloated federal budget. And of anyone out there, Rand Paul would most likely be the one to actually do it.

JohnInCA on November 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Once again, the tru-cons form a firing squad and open fire…at each other…

Have fun on the road to socialism y’all.

cozmo on November 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

INCORRECT QUESTION: Is Rand Paul the future of the GOP?
CORRECT QUESTION: Is Rand Paul the final death of the GOP?

Answer to the correct question: YES.

TeaPartyNation on November 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Well considering that the GOP had done nothing but hold hands with the Dems as they raised the debt ceiling time and time again, passed liberal policies such as TARP,passed anti-constitutional laws such as the NDAA, the Patriot Acts, nominated a goofball that passed his own healthcare mandate, refuses to guard our own borders, loves throwing young men and women into endless foreign interventions that have nothing to do with national defense I’d say the death of the establishment GOP in favor of actual small government conservatives is a good thing.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I’d support Rand Paul. After 8 years of Obama we are going to desperately need someone who will have no problem taking a chainsaw to the bloated federal budget. And of anyone out there, Rand Paul would most likely be the one to actually do it.

JohnInCA on November 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Yup. Let’s look at what Ryan and Rombama proposed as their “conservative” budget. Their answer was not to actually cut spending and cut various budgets, their answer – spelled out in decades – was to reduce the amount of INCREASES various budgets receive. The government still grows…just not as fast. That is neither conservative and it’s hilarious watching the lemmings dry hump those candidates.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Yeah, that’s the way to attract minorities: nominate the guy who burst upon the national scene questioning the 1964 Civil Rights Act. /s And any Republicans who talks about a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens is just either totally stupid, or politically suicidal. Amnesty would be the end of the GOP as a viable national party. I do agree with him on devolution of social issues to the states though. Unfortunately, it’ll never happen. The GOP is ruled by party insiders who operate on a national level, and they’re not going to cede control of things to the local yokels out there.

Progressive Heretic on November 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

The republican party could do worse.

I don’t agree with all of Rubin’s analysis, but I think her last quoted paragraph is spot on. I’m quickly learning that the republican party falls for our opponents strategies to divide and conquer us every time.

rose-of-sharon on November 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Can conservatives and libertarians co-exist in the same party? I don’t know. I know that there is no room for the pot smoking, Isreal hating types. Is that the majority of libertarians? I know those I describe are a vocal lot.

OT: Does anyone else find it ironic that America voting for it’s first black president has set us down the ugly path where the country is the most divided it has ever been along racial lines and that all politics in the future will be racial? The Dimwits may like to talk about the Republicans being too old and too white, but let them try to run old Joe Biden or a 70-something year old Hillary Clinton. I predict that Duval Patrick will be the democrat nominee in 2016, getting the full support of O and providing the ultimate act of betrayal on the Clintons and playing the race card on Billy Jeff. Someone point out to me a young, popular white male (or female)democrat of the future?

Rockshine on November 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

maybe we just need to worry about finding someone charismatic, like Obama and then…..

Let them just have a great narrative, and not teach Conservative values just be charismatic and like able…….blank slate type.

Our own Obama if you will.

PappyD61 on November 20, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Have fun on the road to socialism y’all.

cozmo on November 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

You are correct

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Free pot and amnesty for all?

No, I think we can do better.

Right Mover on November 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Nope.

Valkyriepundit on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Have fun on the road to socialism y’all.

cozmo on November 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Good one, socialism is here.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Voting act means zero chance. Don’t waste time on it.

tomas on November 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

If Repubs are hellbound to nominate a raving Bible-thumper like Scrotorum or a well-groomed big-government hack like Rubio or Bush, I’ll be writing in Cthulhu. Sometimes, Cthulhu *is* the lesser evil.

Archivarix on November 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

The GOP would hate Rand Paul as president. He actually means what he says. He really does want to cut spending. The GOP can’t have that.

thphilli on November 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Good one, socialism is here.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Good point, any many many “conservatives” helped vote it in along with their cohorts in the DNC. Instead of nominating people that believe in a truly limited government that embrace liberty and federalism they vote for old men that vote for TARP and debt ceiling increases.

The funny thing about many of you “conservatives” is you have no principle. You will vote and vote for politicians that throw your money down the drain – voting for endless raises of the debt ceiling- and continually vote to take away your constitutional rights (NDAA) and invade your privacy. You talk about “Obama is a redistribution socialist” but have no problem with candidates that vote for TARP, push for subsides or vote to take money out of the hands of middle-class Americans and give it to foreign governments.

You clowns don’t believe in the 10th Amendment, or liberty. You simply want to tell the individual how to live he or her life via the force of government just like the democrats.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I’m all for Rand, and if the Republican Party is going to redefine itself then it should be in the Rand model as a States Rights, Constitutionalist party. I have no interest in telling New Yorkers or San Franciscans how to live as long as they pay for it themselves. It’s one size fits all liberalism thrust on all 50 states from Washington that goes against what this country was set up to be.

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I like looking at Rand Paul, so, yes please? (Sorry, allow me a moment to be vapid, superficial…)

Bee on November 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.” Ben Franklin

Ummm. First we need to get past that. Any ideas?

Tsar of Earth on November 20, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Rand Paul is fine……as a Senator.

ToddPA on November 20, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Does anyone else find it ironic that America voting for it’s first black president has set us down the ugly path where the country is the most divided it has ever been along racial lines and that all politics in the future will be racial? The Dimwits may like to talk about the Republicans being too old and too white, but let them try to run old Joe Biden or a 70-something year old Hillary Clinton. I predict that Duval Patrick will be the democrat nominee in 2016, getting the full support of O and providing the ultimate act of betrayal on the Clintons and playing the race card on Billy Jeff. Someone point out to me a young, popular white male (or female)democrat of the future?

Rockshine on November 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Little Bammie made it worse because he is a damn racist. “White people’s greed runs a world in need.”

You are right, if the next candidate is not black too, the blacks might just stay home. The democratic base expects young black or hispanic men or women from now on.

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

The GOP would hate Rand Paul as president. He actually means what he says. He really does want to cut spending. The GOP can’t have that.

thphilli on November 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

True. The GOP – the same people many of the lemmings blindly follow – love to raise the debt ceiling, redistribute money and tell others how to live their lives via the force of government.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Free pot and amnesty for all?

No, I think we can do better.

Right Mover on November 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

He didn’t say anything about amnesty, and I seriously doubt Rand Paul of all people would be in favor of public entitlements going to illegals.

And where did he say anything about free pot? Seriously, I don’t care if Colorado legalized pot, we have more important things to worry about. Let the states decide this issue, I just don’t care about pot on the Federal level.

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM

I’m certainly not giving up on life issues or support for Israel or a strong and proactive national defense.

I don’t see the benefit of spending $2 billion we don’t have every year on pot enforcement – BUT this is most certainly NOT a state issue and cannot be allowed to become one. It’s a federal problem because pot is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. It should be taken off that list and federal interdiction efforts stopped.

But the true Libertarian drug policy doesn’t stop with pot or any other “recreational” drugs – they want no controls on ANY drugs from blood pressure to diabetes to cancer meds. We’ve been down that road before: it is what led us to federal control, and it is one of the few areas where federal control was necessary and proper.

Adjoran on November 20, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Can conservatives and libertarians co-exist in the same party? I don’t know. I know that there is no room for the pot smoking, Isreal hating types. Is that the majority of libertarians? I know those I describe are a vocal lot.

Rockshine on November 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Well, I’m mostly libertarian (few exceptions, abortion is one) so I’ll try and explain how I feel.

Yes, they can coexist in the same party and they’ll need to if Santa Claus is to be defeated in future elections. I support legalizing marijuana but I don’t care for smoking pot or tobacco, nor do I drink alcohol. It should be a states’ rights decision with little to no involvement from the Feds. Rand Paul (and Ron) merely want to get rid of federal intervention and save the taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

As for Israel, if they want to blow Iran to smithereens, it’s fine with me so long as American taxpayer dollars aren’t going to them (OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD). The reason I’m highly supportive of Rand Paul as a candidate in 2016 because he actually seems serious about cutting spending, which is not something you can say about any Democrat and most Republicans.

Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Isreal hating types.

Why are you saying he hates Israel?

Is it because he wants to cut federal aid to them (and everyone else)? Cause it is liberals that measure support in dollars….

ChrisL on November 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Rand Paul will NEVER, EVER be allowed to live down those comments about the Civil Rights Act. The ads just write themselves. If we want to guarantee another election with zero votes in Philadelphia and Cleveland, let’s put Rand Paul on the ticket.

And please, folks, don’t give me any long diatribes about how the Act violated states’ rights and is an anachronism. It’s the new Thrid Rail of politics and we can’t touch it. Period. In fact, it’s going to quite possibly be THE issue going into 2016 because the Supreme Court may very well overturn Section V, and Obama will demagogue the living hell out if it if they do.

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Free pot and amnesty for all?

No, I think we can do better.

Right Mover on November 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Yeah you guys thought that with Romney and McCain.

You were wrong and are still wrong.

Also, the pot would not be “free”.

Quit making up sht.

And quit supporting establishment politicians.

fatlibertarianinokc on November 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Justin Amash 2016

http://amash.house.gov/

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin for 2016. Let’s not waiver anymore!

trs on November 20, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Civil Rights Act comment?

It wasn’t as bad as the President’s “Special Olympics” comment.

He could bring that back up if they bring up the C-rights-act.

fatlibertarianinokc on November 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

The problem with the GOP is that it ALWAYS nominates a losing candidate from a prior election. Reagan was the exception because the establishment worked heavily against him, while every other nominee was openly embraced by the same establishment:

Nixon – Actually lost a presidential election, comes back 12 years later.

Ford – Establishment pick, never won a full term.

Bush, Sr. – Lost to Reagan, governed as a moderate, lost to Bubba.

Dole – Ran in ’80 and ’88, finally got enough establishment support in ’96. Lost to Bubba.

McCain – Lost to Bush 43, lost to Obummer.

Romney – Lost to McCain, lost to Obummer.

SEE THE PATTERN?

Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Paul the Younger has always seemed to have a better grasp on reality than Paul the Elder, and so far has managed to shed the disturbing connections to the fringe that his father courted.

What about the lack of a grasp on reality like that of David Lietraeus and his demented belief in COIN and Islam and Bush and his demented beliefs about Islam and the lunatic fringe they both attracted? In the land of the blind, the one eyed man can be king.

VorDaj on November 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I really don’t want to talk 2016, but I have to ask, with the exception of Rick Perry, who out of the Republican field stands a chance of getting nominated? It was pretty clear this past year that the base is just waiting for one of the younger conservatives (Rubio, Ryan, Paul) to mature into a full fledged candidate.

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Watch this video of Rand shutting up a Statist

Here:

http://youtu.be/ELDHaeEsNF0

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I really don’t want to talk 2016, but I have to ask, with the exception of Rick Perry, who out of the Republican field stands a chance of getting nominated? It was pretty clear this past year that the base is just waiting for one of the younger conservatives (Rubio, Ryan, Paul) to mature into a full fledged candidate.

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Paul Ryan shouldn’t even be considered, he’s a part of the problem. The guy is nowhere near being a “fiscal conservative” even though he’s always portrayed as one by the conservative media.

Christie and Jindal are now despised by some parts of the conservative base and media, so they’re out. I would go with either Rand Paul or Rubio because of the potential they possess in bringing in newer voters.

If history is any indicator, however, Newt Gingrich will become the GOP nominee in 2016. *shudder*

Wasn’t being sarcastic on that last part, either.

Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

SEE THE PATTERN?

Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Reagan lost to Ford in the 1976 nomination race. He was the presumptive front-runner in 1980, he was not the insurgent battling the Establishment by then. It was Bush that came out of nowhere to challenge Reagan, and beat him in Iowa, which caused Reagan to fire his camapign manager and retool his whole campaign.

It is odd why Republicans do this “his turn” thing, and Democrats never do. They dispose of their losers with no sentimentality. The only exception was Mondale, and nobody wanted that suicide mission in 1984. It’s why I think Hillary will not even run in 2016, and if she does she will not be the nominee. Democrats do not vote for losers, especially one like her that was the presumptive frontrunner and crashed spectacularly.

The scary thought is that if you go by patterns, Rick Santorum is the presumptive GOP frontrunner for 2016, since he was the last man standing against Romney.

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 3:43 PM

You clowns don’t believe in the 10th Amendment, or liberty. You simply want to tell the individual how to live he or her life via the force of government just like the democrats.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Let me guess, you are in charge of Libertarian outreach.

Night Owl on November 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM

If the news/days since the election are any indication, 2016 will come down to Rand Paul and Macro Rubio.

I’m going with Paul, myself.

Jeddite on November 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Ding Ding Ding!

I call myself nextgen_repub for a reason folks, a good chunk of younger voters don’t want to hear screaming about social issues that really have no day to day impact on most people. Focus instead on limited government and personal growth and opportunities. A lot of “libertarians” that I talk to are pretty much fiscal conservatives and social moderates.

Pot? Really, we want a fight over pot? Legalize it, tax it, and regulate it. Don’t criminalize it. By the way that will help with some of the border violence.

Gay marriage? Push civil unions for all and leave “marriage” up to religious institutions. Never understood why people are so strong about gays, especially with stuff like adoptions. Get government completely out of the gay debate, or at least leave it to states.

Deportation? Almost everyone agrees it ain’t happening, so stop pushing that and instead get a deal that secures the border (push the terrorists can sneak in angle instead, put it back to security concerns) and get a decent plan to gradually allow some here to become citizens.

Foreign Policy. Don’t make it seem like we’re the world police, but instead go back to stressing how we are the beacon of light for others out there. How we need to stand strong with those that push to create freedom and opportunity for all their citizens.

nextgen_repub on November 20, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Rand Paul meets at least two of the three legs of conservatism, in my mind.
The jury’s still out on the third one.

22044 on November 20, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I really don’t want to talk 2016, but I have to ask, with the exception of Rick Perry, who out of the Republican field stands a chance of getting nominated? It was pretty clear this past year that the base is just waiting for one of the younger conservatives (Rubio, Ryan, Paul) to mature into a full fledged candidate.

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

John Kasich
Susana Martinez
Bob McDonnell
Bobby Jindal
Chris Christie
Rick Snyder
Pat McCrory (new Gov. of North Carolina)

Kasich is actually my favorite right now. Knows how to handle the hostile media, is from a swing state, and was also House Budget Committee chairman the last time we had a balanced budget. If he is reelected in 2014 I think he should be at the top of the list. And I would love to see Susana Martinez as his running mate.

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

You should check out Justin Amash. All of his votes are guided by Constitution; and only the Constitution.

http://amash.house.gov/

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I like everything I’m hearing except the Amnesty stuff.

I understand that we can’t have a Buchanan/Tancredo image, but if you want to shrink the government, turning 20 million impoverished illegal aliens into US citizens that have access to all government services (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, federal housing,student loans etc) will bloat our budgets far more than any sort of reform Rand Paul is proposing.

BradTank on November 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Let me guess, you are in charge of Libertarian outreach.

Night Owl on November 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Sorry but I’m neither a libertarian nor a republican. I’m an individual that actually believes in small government, and the US Constitution.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Justin Amash

http://youtu.be/Rdy62vTOtw8

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I am honestly confused by Rand Paul at the moment. I have no clue what he stands for. He needs to get clear and then clarify it for the rest of us.

stukinIL4now on November 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM

You’re right. I meant “legal,” not “free.” I’m usually more careful than that.

Right Mover on November 20, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I’m not fond of Rick Perry, but if he succeeds in (shudder) winning a FOURTH term as governor, I’ll support a presidential bid if it’ll kick him out of Austin. He’s already on track to serve longer as Texas governor than FDR served as President. Politicians who stay too long in office, if you ask me, end up getting too entrenched.

Is there anything going against Nikki Haley? (other than her support for Romney, that is…)

TMOverbeck on November 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM

I think the fact that this post has been up for almost 2 1/2 hours with fewer than 60 comments to now is indicative of a couple of things:

1) Most of us aren’t interested right now in pondering who the “future” of the Republican Party is, because we are still shellshocked and pretty afraid of what this country’s going to look like in another four years.

2) We don’t trust the Republican Party to back the right candidate or make the right campaign decisions anymore. As long as the party entrusts itself to craven consultants and advisors who aren’t conservative at all–and who, frankly, don’t even care who wins, as long as they get their payday and their talking-head slot on MSNBC–we aren’t going to win any more national elections for a long, long time.

Right Mover on November 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM

fatlibertarianinokc on November 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Don’t go linking me with McCain, newbie. You obviously haven’t been around these parts very long. My contempt for McCain is almost as deep as it is for the occupier in the White House.

Right Mover on November 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Nope. Rand may be more rational than his paternal forebearer-but he’s still Herr Doktor’s son.
Pass.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

You should check out Justin Amash. All of his votes are guided by Constitution; and only the Constitution.

http://amash.house.gov/

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM

If you’re liking a candidate-then that candidate is the absolute WORST choice.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Rand Paul meets at least two of the three legs of conservatism, in my mind.
The jury’s still out on the third one.

22044 on November 20, 2012 at 3:55 PM

There are legendary tales about Rand Paul’s third leg.

Seriously, he is MUCH more conservative than any other Senator currently serving, near as I can tell.

joeeddie on November 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Christie ain’t a conservative-Jindal is.
He remains my first pick for 2016.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

yeah, because someone who supports the Constitution is the absolute WORST choice….twerp

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Look at the moderate losers the republicans have run since Reagan:

H.W. Bush
Bob Dole
George W. Bush
John McCain
Mitt Romney

I think it’s time we nominate someone who honestly speaks the unvarnished truth for the disenfranchised, much like Goldwater and Reagan did. Forget about what the biased press will say. They should not dictate who we nominate.

Right now, I don’t see anyone other than Rand Paul that offers a paradigm shift in how the Republican Party should express themselves. Go big or go home. If we continue to run these pseudo establishment types like Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, we will merely be passing the buck. It’s time to strike back and kick the left in the proverbial balls for a change. And I see Rand Paul as that instrument of vengeance.

Pitchforker on November 20, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Archivarix on November 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I wasn’t a huge fan of Santorum’s run-but he’s an undeniably good man.
How about you quit mocking his name.
Leave that crap to the leftists.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 3:43 PM

My mistake. I meant Reagan was fighting against the establishment in ’76 whereas the establishment pick almost always triumphs.

Still, the point is that GOP party hacks (RNC, Congress) and even some of its voters love to push losers on us. (Ann Coulter, anyone?)

Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

You’re an effing Ronbot. What the hell do you know about the Constitution? Not much.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

The GOP will never again be a viable party until it stands for something. Today’s GOP- a muddled mixture of socialism, crony capitalism with just a sprinkle of the constitution. More alike than dislike the Democrat party.

Police state? War with Iran/Syria? Eroding individual rights? Show me the big differences that were between Obama and Romney. There were not any, sadly. Sure, we informed conservatives/libertarians clearly saw the slight advantage of Romney’s big-govt’ conservatism vs. Obama’s outright Marxist class war, but the general public saw little substantive difference. The last debate summed it up for the general public. When there are no major distinctions, why NOT elect the more “likable” guy, and that’s what just happened.

We need to be bold enough to be the party of freedom. A more libertarian party. Social issues MUST BE LEFT AT THE STATE LEVEL. It’s not that we abandon them, it’s that they should be hashed out at the level closest to the people. And regarding issues on the federal or national level, we should come down on the side of individual liberty, the constitution and rule of law. Every time.
It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the way to win LONG TERM. Whatever you think of Ron/Rand on any given issue, they are CONSISTENTLY and reliably on the side of maximum freedom. If we can re-brand and re-focus in that direction, we may become worthy of being “cool” in the eyes of young and new voters.

Go Rand Paul!

Snackrabbit on November 20, 2012 at 4:35 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Are you suggesting Ron Paul does not know about the Constitution? Do you believe Bobby Jindal knows more about the Constitution than Ron Paul?

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Ron’s son has “it.” It’s a very rare quality that can’t be taught.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhd9yoEgc6w

Pitchforker on November 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I don’t think that Paul will have enough of a following by 2016 to make a serious run for the Presidency, but his talents might be better used in the Senate to build a conservative wing along with Jim DeMint that can stop the excesses of Washington and fight for fiscal sanity.

DeMint is retiring after 2016.

OhioCoastie on November 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

I am of the opinion that the GOP itself should be put out of its misery. Start anew with some real conservatives and make sure nobody from the GOP establishment tries to sneak on over to advise a new breed of conservatives. Perhaps we can buy gold memberships for GOP insiders and they can bide their time with other milquetoasts like Boehner.

Faramir on November 20, 2012 at 4:48 PM

He didn’t say anything about amnesty, and I seriously doubt Rand Paul of all people would be in favor of public entitlements going to illegals.

Daemonocracy

Yes he did, he’s just to big a coward to call it what it is. And by the way, once they’re legal, they’re no longer illegal, and will be eligible for the same public entitlements as everyone else. Besides, I’m pretty sure it would be racist to not allow them access to public entitlements, and would cost us votes because of it. At least that’s the excuse Republicans would come up with next.

xblade on November 20, 2012 at 4:54 PM

There are legendary tales about Rand Paul’s third leg.

Seriously, he is MUCH more conservative than any other Senator currently serving, near as I can tell.

joeeddie on November 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Occasionally I get pro-life emails from Rand Paul. That’s a plus in my ledger.

22044 on November 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Can conservatives and libertarians co-exist in the same party? I don’t know. I know that there is no room for the pot smoking, Isreal hating types. Is that the majority of libertarians? I know those I describe are a vocal lot.
Rockshine on November 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM
Well, I’m mostly libertarian (few exceptions, abortion is one) so I’ll try and explain how I feel.
Yes, they can coexist in the same party and they’ll need to if Santa Claus is to be defeated in future elections. I support legalizing marijuana but I don’t care for smoking pot or tobacco, nor do I drink alcohol. It should be a states’ rights decision with little to no involvement from the Feds. Rand Paul (and Ron) merely want to get rid of federal intervention and save the taxpayers hundreds of qbillions of dollars.
As for Israel, if they want to blow Iran to smithereens, it’s fine with me so long as American taxpayer dollars aren’t going to them (OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD). The reason I’m highly supportive of Rand Paul as a candidate in 2016 because he actually seems serious about cutting spending, which is not something you can say about any Democrat and most Republicans.
Aizen on November 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Thanks. I appreciate the insight. I am all for states rights and against foreign aid to 99% of countries. Curting spending is top of my list as well. So, your type I libertarianism I can accept. Perhaps I have only heard from the fringe or extreme elements

Rockshine on November 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Ron’s son has “it.” It’s a very rare quality that can’t be taught.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhd9yoEgc6w

Pitchforker on November 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM

He has a decent chunk of “it”. Unfortunately, he’s also rather vertically challenged. And that, too, is something you just can’t fake.

JohnGalt23 on November 20, 2012 at 7:40 PM

The man just came out for amnesty and legalizing pot.He won’t even get re-elected in Kentucky.

redware on November 20, 2012 at 9:24 PM

…Palin & Paul…2016!

KOOLAID2 on November 20, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I’d support Rand Paul. After 8 years of Obama we are going to desperately need someone who will have no problem taking a chainsaw to the bloated federal budget. And of anyone out there, Rand Paul would most likely be the one to actually do it.

JohnInCA on November 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM

We needed that this time around… and the goodie-craving populace voted for Santa Claus instead of Romney. They will want to vote for an even more generous Santa when our economy is really screwed up 4 years from now.

The next GOP prez candidate in 2016 had better be charismatic, be able to convince the “I just want free stuff” crowd that the entire nation would be better off returning to more freedom, free markets, less regulation, smaller federal government, etc. That means the candidate will need to be a great communicator about freedom, first principles, etc. AND be made of pure PTFE (aka Teflon).

But this will all be moot if half the nation is out of work and if Obama is in office for a 3rd term… (Heard about this site in a radio ad today; and yeah, they’re selling you something, so beware.)

E-R

electric-rascal on November 20, 2012 at 10:55 PM

And… somehow, the fourth estate (national media) has to be neutered as the stealth partner and henchman of the Democratic party – that’s a TALL ORDER. If it stays as-is, it’s going to be dammmm hard to elect any pro-America candidate in 2016.

E-R

electric-rascal on November 20, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Paul emphasizes that border security is still his top priority but adds that he wouldn’t “rule out” a conditional path to citizenship for those who have been living in the United States illegally for an extended period of time.

I like Rush Limbaugh’s suggested proviso: If the illegals are instantly made citizens, they won’t be permitted to vote for [number] years.

Rush suggested [number]= 25.

The democrats would howl like a pack of wolves under a full moon if this were included in any legislation.

E-R

electric-rascal on November 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM

You should check out Justin Amash. All of his votes are guided by Constitution; and only the Constitution.

http://amash.house.gov/

dom89031 on November 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Rep. Amash is indeed a great patriot and has a bright future as a leader of the liberty movement within the GOP. That said, he has only been in the US Congress for two years, and is still quite young (32 years old). Give him a few years and he’ll definitely be a player. But for now, let him work his magic in the House and build up his reputation.

As for Rand Paul, I’m all in (already have a Rand for President sticker on my car). 2016 can’t get here soon enough.

Daft Punk on November 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM

And finally (mercifully) my last post in this thread tonight… if there is still a love for this nation, and all that made it great, there needs to begin NOW a re-sowing of the seeds of freedom and democracy, not linked to any specific candidate.

TV ads, website ads, some kind of “John Stewart-ish” youth oriented entertainer but rooted in “constitutional first principles” instead of Marxism. Make “hip and trendy” the individual desire for freedom instead of bondage, self-reliance instead of dependency and entitlement, subtly preaching smaller federal government. less taxes and regulation as a path to personal prosperity.

Sprinkle with historical bits to prove that these principles work well (and must not be polluted or diluted), and to also point out the massive failure that big government and a command-and-control economy is every time it is tried.

It will be a long, tough road since the reds have had a 50-year head start sowing and fertilizing their filthy concepts.

E-R

electric-rascal on November 20, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Daft Punk

I agree he is not ready now, but by 2016 I think he’ll have had enough experience. At a minimum I think its important to at least get his name out there so people know who he is. Who knows, maybe well’ ll see a Paul/ Amash 2016 ticket.

dom89031 on November 21, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Rand Paul is a moderate

ChunkyLover on November 21, 2012 at 8:11 AM

I’m not closing the casket on the Republican Party until I see who they elect as Speaker. They’d have to be crazy to put John “Interstates Before Impeachments” Boehner back in charge. How many of the new House members are Tea-approved? We need to hold their feet to the fire and urge them to put somebody with a spine in the speaker’s chair.

TMOverbeck on November 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

IMO, Rand Paul is screwed if he follows his daddy’s footsteps.

byteshredder on November 21, 2012 at 9:20 PM

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