The Trouble with Rand Paul
(Editor's Note: Long time readers are familiar with the Bear's "Weekend Rants". This weekend, for the first time ever, we have "Another Weekend Rant". I, like Aziz, was dismayed to hear that Rand Paul had endorsed a criminal politician. I mean, it's almost redundant to say criminal politician these days. Don't get me wrong. I am completely non partisan. I think that the're all criminals. I believe that all the members of the last four administrations should be prosecuted. Ron Paul, who is the only "good guy" in Washington (that I am aware of) has been forsaken by his progeny. Oh woe is me. - JSB)
Rand Paul just endorsed a man who is deeply hostile to human liberty.
Perhaps that’s Rand’s idea of playing politics? Come to the table, strike a deal, get what you can. Trouble is, it’s tough striking a good deal when the guy on the other side of the table believes that the government should be allowed to claim — without having to produce any evidence whatsoever — that certain people are terrorists, and therefore should be detained indefinitely without any kind of due process.
That’s textbook tyranny.
Except, if the government had any evidence they were really members of al-Qaeda and engaged in a war against America they could be charged with offenses under current laws and tried in front of a jury of their peers. As was proven when Judge Katherine Forrest struck down the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA as unconstitutional, the real detention targets are people like the ones who brought the case — writers, investigative journalist and whistleblowers: people like Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, and Birgitta Jonsdottir.
Rand Paul might have done some good work trying to filibuster the Patriot Act, but endorsing Mitt Romney goes beyond the pale. The NDAA is Romney’s most egregious transgression against liberty, but not far behind are his desire to start a war against Iran, to increase military spending, to start a trade war with China and his belief that corporations are people.
I know I will never agree with any politician on every single dimension of every single issue, and that to some extent politics will always involve compromise. Certainly, I disagree with Ron Paul on some issues. But Mitt Romney’s stances on these issues seem much, much, much closer to Barack Obama than they do to Ron Paul. In fact, he might as well have endorsed Obama for President.
And the Ron Paul supporters are noticing: Rand has probably burnt most bridges to his Father’s supporters now. His Facebook page has seen a huge outpouring of fury:
Did George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison try to compromise with King George? Or — when it became obvious that they were facing tyranny — did they stand up for the principles of liberty?
I have always been uncomfortable with the children of politicians becoming politicians. Every anointed child feels like a step away from meritocracy. Dynasties are dangerous, because the dynasty itself comes to be more important than the qualities of the politicians. Who would Rand Paul be if he wasn’t Ron Paul’s son? Just another neocon. Neocons often have a few “unfashionable” libertarian or constitutionalist sympathies; look at Charles Krauthammer. But — unlike Ron Paul — the neocon never has the spine to do much about their libertarian or constitutionalist sympathies. They just ride on the establishment steamroller, into foreign occupations, empire building, corporate welfare, and banking bailouts. Into Iraq, and soon into Iran.
Rand Paul just got on the steamroller.