I never liked Ron Paul. His positions were sound, and I found myself in agreement with many of them. But somehow he just rubbed me the wrong way. He seemed too snarky to be statesmanlike, his past was unsavory at best, and he had a tendency to use leftist arguments that I found frankly offensive. But if he had won the nom, would I have voted for him over Obama? You damn betcha.
When Rand Paul first got into a snit with the iron-jawed Rachel Maddow (I speak out of envy. My chin is comparatively weak), I dumped all over Paul in a post called, politely, “Rand Paul is not a Bigot, Just a Dumb Libertarian.” Which is to say, I mostly dumped all over Libertarians, for their positively Progressive ability to hunt-down heretics. If I were writing that post today, I would probably write it differently.
Because as it turned out, Rand Paul did not suffer from his encounter with Rachel Maddow. And his insistence on speaking to first principles may have been just the natural consequence of the qualities about him that I do like. I still don’t think it was smart, because debating the Civil Rights Act is a non-starter, especially when the Affordable Care Act is a rather more pressing concern. But whatever.
As forceful, unapologetic advocates for liberty come, Paul is among the best of them, and he stated bluntly what everyone should be screaming from the hilltops, which is that Hillary Clinton is a preening gasbag unfit to represent the United States to the penguins in Antartica.
So I must disagree with Matt K. Lewis of the Daily Caller, who seems to insinuate that this
The 2016 elections are a long way off, but it’s not too early to ask this question: Is Rand Paul really the best messenger for 21st century conservatism — in this political environment — with so much at stake?
Yeah, I think it is too early. Because it got asked several million times over the course of the last election, all in service of nominating a squeaky-clean Rockefellerite who — in case you missed it — just got beat to a shivering pulp by the most unpopular two-term President in our lifetime. We thought we had Jimmy Carter on our hands, yet for some reason we decided to run Thomas Dewey against him. So yeah, Lewis, too soon.
I’m not speaking as a Rand Paul advocate — I’m not even sure I would vote for him in a primary right now. But I’m damned certain I want the chance to make up my own mind on the subject. And this craven self-censoring of our own candidates, based on what the Left might do, is inane. Whoever we nominate will be called a racist. Whoever we nominate will be called dumb. Whoever we nominate will be called an atavistic honky (or Uncle Tom, if he should happen to be not-white), unlearned in how “real Americans” live.
Rand Paul knows this, and responds to it with an assured “go to hell, you fascist goon.” More of that, please.
UPDATE: Rand Paul asks John Kerry “Why is it okay to Bomb Libya without Congressional authorization, but not Cambodia?”
That’s just satisfying, that’s all that is…