Brace yourselves. Pundits are falling all over themselves with “will he or won’t he” predictions about whether the only avowed libertarian in Congress, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, will take a stab at running for president just as his dad, Ron, did on three different occasions. Covering all wing-nut bases, Rand is also a member of the Tea Party.
Rand, a doctor like his dad (Rand’s an Ophthalmologist, Ron, an Obstetrician), is almost certainly about to clutter up the candidate landscape for the White House. A radical, issue-waffling, ethics-challenged opportunist, Rand and fellow Senator, Texan, Ted Cruz, will become the de facto, Tea Party favorites. It’ll be fun to watch their once convivial political relationship slowly evaporate on the campaign trail while Christie and J. Bush watch them disappear in the Republican primary rear view mirror.
Unlike the Tea Party, libertarians have at least a smidgeon of issue specifics. Tea Party members have virtually no issue sophistication, being programmed to oppose all progressive initiatives as they robotically lap up the latest bromides of billionaires and media propagandist. Here are snatches of a New Year’s Day Letter to the Editor from our local paper. It’s the perfect paradigm of what a Tea Party member would submit. The tiny-town writer accused President Obama of a government takeover by socialism, allegedly by redistribution of wealth.
The guy goes on to insist that the free market system guarantees freedom “by its very nature.” He closes with the prediction that Obama socialism will lead to a dictatorship and a loss of freedom that “is only trumped by life itself – a suppressed life.” Clueless affectations bereft of facts and logic. Pure Tea Party claptrap!
That’s why the Tea Party is on the cusp of irrelevance within the next few years. Libertarians will still be around. That’s not necessarily a good thing. Their rabid true believers are the political version of the front row groupies at a One Direction concert. The Tea Party sits in the balcony.
So what exactly is a libertarian? Above all else, a libertarian is an arbitrary cuss. There is no wiggle room in their core philosophy, “Get your effin’ nose out of my business.” H’mmm already somebody you’d love to avoid. That’s why libertarians gather in such tight knots of believers. Nobody else can stand them. Progressives will occasionally give libertarians a nod of credibility for their pro-choice and anti-war stands, but that’s pretty much where it ends.
Rand Paul currently serves as the spokesperson du jour for the libertarian positions in Congress on current key issues. Really odd he’s there. It’s like somebody sitting on a College Board of Trustees who wants to shut the place down. Rand Paul is a sketchy guy. It’s been established by a site called BuzzFeed and progressive favorite Rachel Maddow that Paul will cop another author’s words and claim them as his own. It’s called plagiarism, Rand. A visit to Huffington Politics will expand on the subject.
Politicus writers, including myself, and other commentary websites, often use facts and even parts of sentences or phrases from other websites and electronic and print media. If the story contents are already widely disseminated and public knowledge, attribution is often not called for, but if the contents are unique to that source, credit should always be given. Paul neglected to abide by the latter nicety. The whole distasteful episode is highly off-putting and not very presidential.
The Daily Beast adds a Rand Paul Ophthalmologist re-certification flap that dances gingerly on the ethical line.
It is interesting that there is already a campaign website and slogan, “Stand with Rand.” For a guy who remains coquettish about his future aspirations. In order to get millions of names to hit up for contributions and votes, Paul is asking visitors to the site to add their names to his as he prepares to mount a phony class-action lawsuit against the National Security Agency for phone and email intrusions. He’s also invited Internet Providers and Phone companies to join in. Since some of them are knee-deep in the so-called ‘snooping’ themselves, they may have to ask the president’s permission before signing on.
Ironically, Paul asks supporters of the proposed lawsuit to provide their email addresses. “Give me your email address so I can sue the government for having your email address.” Note that Paul is already hitting signers up for donations to support the lawsuit. I wonder if any of that money will end up in a certain campaign coffer.
Ever the opportunist, Paul has also recently been chasing the Catholic vote by introducing a resolution and raising hell over an Italian magazine (Panorama) story, as reported by Reuters, that NSA had been “following” 46 million phone calls in Italy and the Vatican from 12/10/12 to 1/8/2013. Busy, busy, busy! Some 46 million calls monitored in less than a month. That’s out of population of 61 million, including 700,000 Muslims.
The magazine, controlled by the family of former sex-sicko Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, now a convicted tax fraud felon, added that NSA also monitored (listened in on?) the phone activities at a Rome residence temporarily housing some Cardinals preparing to attend the conclave electing a new pope. One of the Cardinals was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who became that pope, now known as Pope Francis. The New Pope wasn’t elected until March 13, 2013.
I suppose there could be historical concern over the pope’s cordial and supportive relations with members of the Islamic faith while still a Buenos Aires Bishop and Cardinal, but that’s been well-documented for many years. And it’s strictly on an inter-religious basis. And, frankly, it could help put out some anti-American fires. In terms of his views, Francis is every bit as much of an anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, anti-anything that progressives support, doctrinaire conservative as his predecessor. He’s just better at misleading PR. His recent charitable “obsession” statements don’t remotely square with his actual official church actions against gays and abortion. Again, a well-established fact, so no need to eavesdrop there. A Vatican spokesman put it best; “…we have no concern about it.”
But Paul has a “concern” about votes, so he appeared on a October 31 Fox news broadcast to shill for his resolution demanding that the president “come clean” over the alleged monitoring, adding, “I don’t think it is any good for diplomacy to be spying on the pope.”
Politico reported on his amendment to a Senate Immigration bill that was dismissed by a late June, 61-37 vote. It called for a double-layered border fence, votes on border security every five years and two new security visa screening programs. Lots of government intrusion for a true libertarian believer.
A couple of weeks later, Politico added a second take from Paul. In heading to Nevada to test the presidential waters in a state with a substantial Latino population, Paul did a 180 in saying “the Republican Party needs to be more welcoming to immigrants.” Yeah, nothing more welcoming than a double-layered fence.
At the time, Nevada was the fifth early-presidential state that the well-traveled Paul had visited.