Rand Paul

Rand Paul — faux constitutional conservative

Featured image Rand Paul is fond of invoking the Constitution to support his policy preferences. But is he really a “constitutional conservative”? Roger Clegg raises the question in light of Paul’s announced plan to introduce federal legislation to enfranchise some felons. This plan probably reflects Paul’s desire to increase his appeal to African-American voters. But is it constitutional? No, it is not. As Clegg explains: The Constitution gives the states the authority »

Rand Paul lets Obama off the hook in the Middle East

Featured image Rand Paul said today on Meet the Press that he does not blame President Obama for the instability in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East; instead he blames President Bush. Paul told an undoubtedly delighted David Gregory: What’s going on now I don’t blame on President Obama. Has he really got the solution? Maybe there is no solution. But I do blame the Iraq war on the chaos that »

A long, hard fall for Rubio and Christie in New Hampshire

Featured image A new Granite State poll of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters is out. The poll was conducted for WMUR by the University of New Hampshire. The results can’t be taken too seriously because only 1 percent of those surveyed say they have definitely decided how they will vote. But the results are interesting, nonetheless. Rand Paul is the leader at 15 percent. He is followed by “favorite daughter” Kelly »

Is Paul Appealing–Or Appalling?

Featured image We’ve got a link in our “Picks” section this morning to Bret Stephens’s Wall Street Journal column mockingly titled “Rand Paul for President,” whose subhed suggests that perhaps the GOP, like Democrats in the 1980s, needs to suffer a landslide defeat to get its head on straight.  Stephens thinks Rand Paul’s “bark-at-the-moon lunacy” would be just the ticket. Paul’s partisans will discount Stephens as part of the neocon conspiracy.  But »

The 1970s are calling

Featured image Rand Paul says he will call for the creation of a bipartisan committee to probe and reform the intelligence community. Paul wants the committee to “watch the watchers,” along the lines of the post-Watergate Church Committee in the 1970s. This idea was well-received by Berkeley students, as you would expect. The Church Committee too was very popular in leftist circles. The Church Committee was a response to serious abuses of »

Rand Paul Does Berkeley

Featured image Rand Paul is one of a small number of Republicans–Marco Rubio is another–who have the potential to expand the playing field in 2016 and bring a mostly-conservative message to voters who aren’t used to pulling the GOP lever. He showed that again today when he visited the University of California at Berkeley: Nobody should be surprised that Rand Paul got so warm a welcome Wednesday, even in a city whose »

Rand Paul: Did an Old Prejudice Rear Its Head In His CPAC Speech?

Featured image I want to like Rand Paul. I really do. He is a very smart guy and in most respects a solid conservative. He has tried to distance himself from some of his father’s less savory positions, and has even described himself as a “social conservative,” although what he means by that is not at all clear. And Paul is indisputably an effective, even charismatic politician whose unique slant on the »

Will conservatives give Marco Rubio another look?

Featured image Politico reports that Marco Rubio is “seeking to rehabilitate his image with much of the GOP base” by falling back on “staunch conservative positions” such as a “more aggressive U.S. response to Russia in the Ukraine crisis.” I hope that denouncing passivity in response to aggression by our adversaries remains a staunch conservative position. Rubio explained that “many of my supporters maybe disagreed with me on immigration — and disagreed »

Poll has Clinton and Christie in a dead heat

Featured image For what it’s worth, and that may not be much, Chris Christie is in a statistical dead heat with Hillary Clinton in a poll by CNN/ORC International. The poll puts Christie at 48 percent and Clinton at 46 percent. Christie wins nearly six in ten votes among independents, and wins a majority of suburbanites and older voters. Clinton wins decisively among women. Unfortunately, Christie is the only Republican among those »

Ted Cruz trounces Rand Paul and Marco Rubio among “Value Voters”

Featured image Ted Cruz has won a straw poll at the Value Voters Summit. Cruz picked up an impressive 42 percent of the vote. His fiery rhetoric regarding the shutdown showdown, a topic avoided by other legislators who spoke to the group, must have helped. Rick Santorum and Dr. Benjamin Carson were next in the poll with 13 percent. Rand Paul finished fourth with 6 percent and Marco Rubio was fifth with »

Rand Paul auditions for role as voice of reason

Featured image Rand Paul said today that he would support a short-term funding measure “to keep the government open while we negotiate.” The negotiations Paul has in mind would take place in “conference committee.” Paul would put a time limit of a week or two on these negotiations. What are we to make of the Senate’s most prominent libertarian breaking ranks with Republican hardliners in the name of reopening the federal government? »

The Foreign Relations Committee’s Second Vote

Featured image Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 to authorize a limited use of military force in Syria. Those voting for the resolution included Chris Coons, Robert Menendez, Barbara Boxer, Benjamin Cardin, Jeanne Shaheen, Dick Durbin and Tim Kaine, all Democrats, joined by Republicans Bob Corker, John McCain and Jeff Flake. The resolution was amended, at McCain’s insistence, in a manner that puts the U.S. on the side of the »

Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, compare and contrast

Featured image Marco Rubio and Rand Paul both questioned John Kerry and his sidekicks during yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria. Rubio was very skeptical about the president’s idea of attacking the Assad regime; Paul was adamantly opposed to it. They were coming from different places. Rubio said he favors taking out the Assad regime, though he acknowledged the risks of doing so. Paul wants a “hands off of Syria.” »

The Christie-Paul fight, and other fights to come

Featured image Chris Christie and Rand Paul are in the midst of a food fight. Not literally, but very much figuratively. Their debate has devolved from one about warrantless federal surveillance programs to the question of which state, New Jersey or Kentucky, receives more “pork.” You can read some of the lowlights here. For the record, I’m with Christie on the original issue — warrantless federal surveillance programs — and agnostic on »

Quantum Conservatism?

Featured image So the big story on the right today is that Gov. Chris Christie has leveled a blast at libertarians, in particular his potential 2016 primary rival Sen. Rand Paul: “This strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought. … You can name any number of people and he’s [Rand Paul] one of them,” Christie said at a panel »

How far from Ron to Rand?

Featured image I found Ron Paul’s foreign policy views during the 2012 campaign for the GOP nomination to be deeply troubling when they weren’t simply embarrassing. I’m sure if I’d been paying attention to his congressional career I could extend the statement beyond the 2012 campaign. During the campaign one memorable lowlight came when Paul attributed 9/11 to the foreign policy of the United States. As I understood him, Paul sought for »

Rand Paul — a clown and maybe worse

Featured image Rand Paul is a clown. He demonstrated as much with his grandstanding filibuster to protect us from being attacked by drones while sitting in our local café. Paul recently tweeted: “Democratic authoritarianism is replaced with military junta. American neocons say send them more of your money.” This is ridiculous. First, is it really “neoconservative” to advocate sending money to a military junta that has just overthrown a democratically elected government? »