Rand Paul’s decision to leave race isn’t 100% a bad thing

posted at 8:31 pm on February 3, 2016 by Taylor Millard

Rand Paul’s time on the presidential trail is over, but it doesn’t mean he’s getting out of politics. Via CNN:

“It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House,” Paul said in the statement. “Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty.”

A part of me is happy Paul is dropping out because it means he can focus on the Senate race. If he wins (which he’s favored to), it means Paul can keep teaming up with Utah Senator Mike Lee on justice reform, spending reform, NSA spying, diplomacy, and the like, all while prepping for another possible presidential run in the future. The thing people and politicians tend to forget is how important Congress is as a buffer against the Presidency. This buffer has certainly been lost over the last 50 years (probably starting around the time of LBJ’s Great Society) but has seriously fallen by the wayside in the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. So Paul can be “that voice” in the Senate, working with Lee to be the ones yelling, “wait!” before some big anti-freedom bill gets brought up again. Paul and Lee are the minority of the minority in the Senate because of this, so it’s important their voices don’t get lost. If Paul (and Cruz) didn’t stay in the Senate then the Cerberus head would be down to one (Lee). This would give the Kentucky GOP Establishment the chance to put in their own candidate (Trey Grayson) in the Senate where it would be business as usual. It’s true, Paul lost plenty of national support from some of the more stringent conservatives and libertarians because he was willing to walk across the aisle and be friends with the Establishment. CNN thinks that’s one reason why his candidacy never really got off the ground:

Moreover, Paul had a hard time reestablishing his father’s libertarian coalition because he had sought to broaden his appeal to more establishment-minded Republicans, hurting his credibility with some in his core base of supporters.

United Liberty also looked at Paul’s candidacy, saying his attempt to lure in social conservatives hurt him more than helped. I know there are plenty of people who have consternation about Paul supporting Mitch McConnell over Matt Bevin in 2012, and I get it. Bevin is the insurgent versus McConnell the entrenched candidate. Were I in Kentucky in 2012, I would have voted for Bevin over McConnell. But it’s important to note Bevin ended up winning the Kentucky governorship last year, so is that really “a loss”? It could be Paul saw Bevin as not 100% ready for prime time, so he went with McConnell. This gave Bevin more time to plan for the future and win the governorship. The fact Bevin seemed to briefly cave on Medicaid expansion before sticking to his campaign promise of dismantling it, shows he may have been more susceptible to the lure of big government than originally thought. This could be why it’s better he’s in Frankfort because he won’t be completely separated from the community he serves.

Paul’s “bridge” actions between the establishment and the freedom wing have always been heavily scrutinized, probably because his last name is “Paul”. But being able to negotiate with fellow politicians is important. The question is how far do you go in the negotiations? Do you get a 50-50 split, or do you lose 80-20 (or win by that margin)? Paul recognizes the importance of half a loaf in a way that’s not “oh, we got the oil export ban lifted, so let’s give the White House everything else it wants.” It’s doubtful the USA Freedom Act would even have been considered if Paul and Lee didn’t make friends within the Establishment to get it on the floor, even if I don’t think it went far enough to fight back against unlawful NSA spying.

It will be interesting to see who (if anyone) Paul endorses. My guess is probably Cruz because the two are friendly, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Rubio got a look too. It just depends on when the endorsement comes down. If it’s Cruz vs. Trump, I’d expect Paul to heartily endorse Cruz. If it’s Cruz vs. Rubio vs. Trump, I still think Paul goes for Cruz because their view of government is pretty similar. If it’s Trump vs. Rubio, Paul is probably endorsing Rubio (or not endorsing anyone). As for his supporters, I expect some of them to flock to Cruz (Ed thinks this as well), some to Rubio, some maybe to Trump (although I’ve no idea why), and some to whoever the Libertarian Party candidate is going to be.

Does this mean the libertarian “moment” is done? Honestly, I don’t think so. The country wasn’t going to swing from being in favor of big government, to being in favor of smaller, weaker government in two or three election cycles. It’s not going to swing towards smaller, weaker government in ten election cycles. Conservative and libertarians activists have to be willing to get inside the trenches, go into neighborhoods they normally wouldn’t, and keep pushing. This doesn’t mean sacrificing principles for votes, it means showing a true difference between the other party and messaging it correctly. There are plenty of people I know who want the government to leave them alone. This means going out, finding them, and convincing them to get involved. It means explaining to them how government is actually holding them back, and doing it in a way which pushes back against the “loud noises” of those who yell in favor of big government. Rand Paul is part of this push, but so is Mike Lee, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie. But, again, they’re the minority of the minority in DC. It’s going to take much longer to get this done, and it’s something people are going to have to accept. The question for them is whether they take their ball and go home, or keep fighting?


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Rand Paul’s decision to leave race isn’t 100% a bad thing
posted at 8:31 pm on February 3, 2016 by Taylor Millard

I’m puzzled why you wouldn’t think its 100% a good thing.

Count to 10 on February 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM

I just came across this on Twitter and am posting it on a number of the threads:

You might find this video interesting. It timelines the events, who did what when and makes and interesting case for the possibility that the Cruz campaign committed felonies under Iowa election laws.

It started with the Cruz campaign NOT CNN!

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM

He had zero chance of winning anyway, he probably knew that. Bush however, is a deluded fool thinking he has a chance.

Rubio = traitor
Cruz = fraud and liar

If Trump doesn’t pan out, we’re just screwed.

Andy__B on February 3, 2016 at 8:34 PM

it’s 100% a great thing

poodlehead is irrelevant and libertarianism hilariously fails its own test of letting people make decisions for themselves as very few decide to adopt libertarianism as a political philosophy. libertarianism is known as “applied autism” for a reason.

Darth Executor on February 3, 2016 at 8:34 PM

every time this taylor dude writes, i feel a little dumber. is it so hard to find legitimate conservative writing talent that half of this site must be filled with vapid “thinkers” like millard and shaw?

truecon on February 3, 2016 at 8:40 PM

It’s a shame the most principled guy in the race, has to pull out. This is the guy who voted against TPP, when Cruz, Ryan and Rubio all supported it.

cimbri on February 3, 2016 at 8:41 PM

TBSchemer hardest hit.

Seriously though, where is that guy? Haven’t seen him all day.

Paperclips on February 3, 2016 at 8:41 PM

We need Paul in the Senate.

rbj on February 3, 2016 at 8:44 PM

He had zero chance of winning anyway, he probably knew that. Bush however, is a deluded fool thinking he has a chance.

Rubio = traitor
Cruz = fraud and liar

If Trump doesn’t pan out, we’re just screwed.

Andy__B on February 3, 2016 at 8:34 PM

Mark my words, this will end up being a Trump/Jeb fight in the end. Rubio gets hammered in NH and SC, Jeb is suddenly the last GOPe standing with anything like a warchest.

Buckshot Bill on February 3, 2016 at 8:46 PM

It’s a shame the most principled guy in the race, has to pull out. This is the guy who voted against TPP, when Cruz, Ryan and Rubio all supported it.

cimbri on February 3, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Opposition to TPP wasn’t principled.

Count to 10 on February 3, 2016 at 8:46 PM

If well over a half year into all this, if someone has < 5% support, did they really leave the race just now?

VorDaj on February 3, 2016 at 8:46 PM

Did TBSchemer release an official statement?

Redstone on February 3, 2016 at 8:49 PM

every time this taylor dude writes, i feel a little dumber. is it so hard to find legitimate conservative writing talent that half of this site must be filled with vapid “thinkers” like millard and shaw?

truecon on February 3, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Millard is terrible but shaw is ok. Personally I’d dump Millard, give Ed’s job to shaw and shaw’s job to ed and put AP on probation.

Darth Executor on February 3, 2016 at 8:50 PM

It’s a shame the most principled guy in the race, has to pull out. This is the guy who voted against TPP, when Cruz, Ryan and Rubio all supported it.

cimbri on February 3, 2016 at 8:41 PM

An actual libertarian would be all in for Obamatrade, and the gang of 8.

Paul voting against those things was smart.

Redstone on February 3, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Ben Carson: Hey, everybody, I’m taking a break after the caucus.

Cruz campaign: Carson is taking a break after the caucus, you might want to rethink your vote!

Carson: FRAUD!

???

Oh, and PolAgnostic- your video guy lost me at posse comitatus. Just…no.

tdarrington on February 3, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Did TBSchemer release an official statement?

Redstone on February 3, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Blah, blah, blah, Gary Johnson, blah, blah, blah.

RickB on February 3, 2016 at 8:56 PM

Rand hasn’t been in this race in quite awhile. Making it official is irrelevant.

BlameAmericaLast on February 3, 2016 at 8:56 PM

Oh, and PolAgnostic- your video guy lost me at posse comitatus. Just…no.

tdarrington on February 3, 2016 at 8:55 PM

He’s right, but it’s really out there in the weeds, so to speak.

Andy__B on February 3, 2016 at 8:59 PM

First look at Gilmore?

SDRightWinger on February 3, 2016 at 9:01 PM

These are decidedly interesting times. Back in the day (my days go back some), the GOP and Dems fought for middle America, to represent them and earn their vote. Now, the Dems and the GOPe fight against middle America, and wish to represent their replacements.

catsmeow on February 3, 2016 at 9:01 PM

True. We will still have TDSnitcher to kick around like a red-headed stepchild.

Indiana Jim on February 3, 2016 at 9:04 PM

First look at Gilmore?

SDRightWinger on February 3, 2016 at 9:01 PM

17 are down to 9, and gilmore is still standing. His campaign is really managing its money well, mainly by not spending a dime on any form of campaign.

tdarrington on February 3, 2016 at 9:07 PM

…nice pic!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 3, 2016 at 9:09 PM

I’ll agree to run. Cabinet meetings in BW3 in Pittsburgh and Washington DC converted to a missle test zone.

catsmeow on February 3, 2016 at 9:12 PM

I was only 12 votes behind Gilmore in Iowa. Virtual tie!

tdarrington on February 3, 2016 at 9:15 PM

JugEarsButtHurt on February 3, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Millard hasn’t learned to insert pictures yet. :)

Still on probation.

Barred on February 3, 2016 at 9:17 PM

catsmeow. Dont forget the 3 martini happy hours at applebees on fridays. :-D

Indiana Jim on February 3, 2016 at 9:17 PM

It’s a 100% a good thing. Screw Rand Paul sideways with a canoe paddle. The only problem with him dropping out now is that he didn’t do it early enough that we could dump the stupid caucus idea and have a regular primary. Thanks to the Rand Paul libertardian vanity project, I’ll get to go waste an hour of my Saturday caucusing. Any fool could see in August that Paul wasn’t going anywhere.

Dukeboy01 on February 3, 2016 at 9:19 PM

Everyone get ready for AP’s new post from PPP.

He’s probably giddy, typing it right now.

Barred on February 3, 2016 at 9:31 PM

Gilmore was my governor when I lived in Virginia. He was a good governor. Cut our property taxes, while the establishment Republicans in Richmond fought him him tooth and nail through the entire process. Some things never change.

cimbri on February 3, 2016 at 9:37 PM

I knew rand paul was white, but that picture of him is rediculous

Indiana Jim on February 3, 2016 at 9:44 PM

Oh, and PolAgnostic- your video guy lost me at posse comitatus. Just…no.

tdarrington on February 3, 2016 at 8:55 PM

He’s right, but it’s really out there in the weeds, so to speak.

Andy__B on February 3, 2016 at 8:59 PM


Two things
… I found the video interesting because:

“It timelines the events, who did what when and makes and interesting case for the possibility that the Cruz campaign committed felonies under Iowa election laws.”

Not because of the “posse comitas” reference but because the individual identified did draw attention when he joined the Cruz campaign and for some actions he had taken BEFORE Monday night.

Second:

CNN: Senator’s Cruz claims are false. At no point did CNN indicate Carson would suspend campaign.

Which is true, I was watching CNN and what THEY reported was the tweet and email from the Cruz campaign stating Carson was suspending his campaign.

By the by, the POS Cruz campaign guy may end up before the Senate Intelligence Committee (Cruz is TRULY HATED in D.C.) explaining his Twitter bio line about “fomenting insurgencies, foreign and domestic”.

Fomenting foreign insurgencies are only legal if their is a Presidential finding approving the action … and those are classified Top Secret or above and are NEVER mentioned EVER by the people involved.

Fomenting domestic insurgencies is a felony under a bunch of Federal laws. He’ll claim he was being humorous … if they go after him seriously, he’ll be bankrupt from lawyer fees before the year is out.

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2016 at 9:49 PM

First look at Gilmore?

SDRightWinger on February 3, 2016 at 9:01 PM

So, I can still wear my tank top?

Fallon on February 3, 2016 at 10:02 PM

I just came across this on Twitter and am posting it on a number of the threads:

You might find this video interesting. It timelines the events, who did what when and makes and interesting case for the possibility that the Cruz campaign committed felonies under Iowa election laws.

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Not to put too fine a point on things but this was not an Iowa election. It was a caucus of the Republican (and Democrat) party. This is a private affair. State election laws do not enter into it.

trapeze on February 3, 2016 at 10:07 PM

Remember that dirty feeling you got when you voted for Romney? Remember how you said “Never again”? That’s how Paul’s supporters feel about Cruz.

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 11:46 PM

If Rand Paul’s supporters don’t vote for Cruz, then say hello to President Rubio and amnesty.

BlameAmericaLast on February 4, 2016 at 12:31 AM

If Rand Paul’s supporters don’t vote for Cruz, then say hello to President Rubio and amnesty.

BlameAmericaLast on February 4, 2016 at 12:31 AM

Sounds good to me.

TBSchemer on February 4, 2016 at 1:27 AM

You may like that but lots of people don’t.

BlameAmericaLast on February 4, 2016 at 3:12 AM

It started with the Cruz campaign NOT CNN!

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Next up: PolAgnostic proves 9/11 was the Mossad!

Oh, and of course CNN gonna lie. They couldn’t exactly admit to it.

SDN on February 4, 2016 at 6:17 AM

So based on that picture, Paul has ties to Red China??? No wonder he dropped out…..

Indiana Jim on February 4, 2016 at 7:56 AM

TBSnitcher. “ALL of Pauls supporters”????? LOfingL!! You could all fit in a phone booth. Now go smoke your legal marijuana while dreaming of downsizing the military to zero, you zero…….

Indiana Jim on February 4, 2016 at 8:40 AM

haha, because he’s red and wearing a tie. Funny.

BlameAmericaLast on February 4, 2016 at 8:49 AM

TBSnitcher. “ALL of Pauls supporters”????? LOfingL!! You could all fit in a phone booth. Now go smoke your legal marijuana while dreaming of downsizing the military to zero, you zero…….

There are plenty of Paul supporters and libertarians in the military. Seeing the waste of government tax dollars first hand on a daily basis tends to drive us to see the need for budget reductions. But continue name calling, it really elevates the discussion.

Kriggly on February 4, 2016 at 9:52 AM

I’m sure Rand is going to feel a lot more comfortable when he gets back to Bowling Green and jumps back into bed with Mitch. Besides he’ll be closer for Matt Bevin to get his hands on him and blitch slap him.

De Oppresso Liber on February 4, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Tin-foil hat manufacturers hardest hit.

Knott Buyinit on February 4, 2016 at 12:36 PM

Next up: PolAgnostic proves 9/11 was the Mossad!

Oh, and of course CNN gonna lie. They couldn’t exactly admit to it.

SDN on February 4, 2016 at 6:17 AM


You REALLY never think things through, do you?

CNN has video of what they reported AND the tweets/email sent out by the official Cruz campaign accounts.

The technical term for what CNN has done here is “shooting fish in a barrel”.

PolAgnostic on February 4, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Not to put too fine a point on things but this was not an Iowa election. It was a caucus of the Republican (and Democrat) party. This is a private affair. State election laws do not enter into it.

trapeze on February 3, 2016 at 10:07 PM


Since you haven’t read how broadly phrased the Iowa election laws are written …

… you will understand my putting your response in the “wishful thinking crap” pile.

Worse yet? You are forgetting that Cruz just crapped all over ethanol subsidies in a state where the elected officials lump them in with Mom and apple pie.

Or, perhaps, you’ve let such a sheltered life, you’ve never heard the famous reference to “a DA being able to get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich”.

Next time, don’t work without a net.

PolAgnostic on February 4, 2016 at 1:08 PM

Few of Rand’s supporters are dumb enough to fall for the shameless unprincipled halfwit crony-socialist Donald Trump, so… good news for Cruz and Rubio.

TallDave on February 4, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Honestly, the stupidity of Trump’s supporters knows no depths. The guy who called Cruz an “anchor baby” and said he wasn’t a citizen is complaining Cruz’s staff interpreted Carson’s unprecedented break in a Presidential campaign was unfair?

Yesterday Trump promised to adopt the Democrats’ position on using Medicare to set drug prices. Don’t be a Trumpchump.

TallDave on February 4, 2016 at 1:45 PM

A Trump Rump.

BlameAmericaLast on February 4, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Kriggly. Sure. Thats WHY he dropped out. Because of all his support, all 2% of it. Lol!!……. Try harder next time.

Indiana Jim on February 6, 2016 at 8:10 AM

Speaking of name calling. What the fcuk is a kriggly???

Indiana Jim on February 6, 2016 at 8:13 AM