I am so sick of folks beating up on Rand Paul and the lions share of the beatings are coming straight from the so-called liberty movement camp where folks are so intellectually lazy they refuse to even checkout his voting record or facts. Therefore, I'm setting the record straight.
The #1 false accusation against Rand Paul is that he betrayed his own father, Ron Paul, and endorsed Mitt Romney over his dad. That's an outright lie that is perpetrated by fruitcakes who are way short on facts and very long on fiction. Rand Paul always said that his dad was his choice for president but as a Republican, Rand said that he would endorse the GOP nominee, whoever it was. That's party politics. Rand Paul certainly wasn't out on the campaign trail pimping for Mittens.
The #2 false accusation against Rand Paul is that he supported sanctions against Iran. Rand Paul was in a bad situation as the Senate was about to vote nearly unanimously for sanctions against Iran and Rand managed to get an amendment passed that specifically states that the bill in no way constituted war on Iran or a military intervention. All Rand Paul did was take a very bad situation where he was going to lose anyway and make it less bad. Given the circumstance, it was the best he could do. Rand Paul made the point that he wanted the sanctions to be used to bring Iran to the negotiating table and said:
I believe sanctions can be enhanced through strategic diplomacy engaging Russia and China. Finally, Iran has recently asked for renewed discussions, some believe this is a direct outcome of the pressure of sanctions. In addition, I have insisted and been successful in adding language to sanctions assuring that nothing in the legislation is to be interpreted as a decl of war or a use of author of force.Rand Paul has been accused of being the reincarnation of Satan for the crime of visiting Israel. Well, everybody, Republican or Democrat, visits Israel but that didn't stop the anti-Semites who see a 'Zionist' conspiracy in everything from accusing Rand Paul of being Zionist scum.
Rand Paul is the only member of Congress who visited Israel and gave a 'let's end foreign aid' speech but that didn't quell his critics. Rand Paul has been very vociferous about ending all foreign aid to all nations including Israel.
Rand Paul in Israel: End All Foreign Aid Gradually
On his first trip to Israel, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that all U.S. foreign aid should be gradually eliminated, including the roughly $3 billion sent annually to the country he was visiting.In the wacky world of social media and its massive amount of misinformation and disinformation, it's hard not to conclude that social media is nothing more than one giant lunatic asylum. Still, it's not hard to find eminently sane folks on Facebook et. al. and most of them are sick and tired of wasting their time engaging the crazies and the liars. It's as if such folks are either severely misinformed or controlled opposition planted by the government (something I've frequently been accused of).
Speaking at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, a liberty-oriented Israeli think tank, Paul “acknowledged he was expressing a ‘minority opinion’ and doubted Congress would end foreign aid in his lifetime,” according to the Associated Press.
“It’s unlikely anything changes,” he said, “but I think it is worth discussing.”
Paul, who was recently appointed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, laid out the reasons why he believes winding down foreign aid would benefit both the United States and Israel.
In any event, Rand Paul is doing an excellent job trying to bring sanity to the insanity that dwells in the District of Crime. His stellar and stunning 13 hour filibuster got kudos and rave reviews from civil libertarians on the right and left as Rand alone set twitter ablaze for an evening with the Stand With Rand hashtag.
Rand Paul recently took on the social conservatives comprising the Faith and Freedom Coalition and Ron Paul supporter Gary North documented his speech in an article titled Rand Paul’s Speech: Bring Our Troops Home. While the social conservatives are definitely a thorn in the side of liberty activists because of their overt embrace of neocon foreign policy, Rand Paul is spreading the anti-war message among creepy folks who are traditionally hostile to peace and he's doing it on their own turf.
Rand Paul is not only venturing into venues and issues where few Republicans have ever dared to travel but he gave a blockbuster speech at Howard University, an African American college. That historic speech is covered here.
Rand Paul has spoken many times about the injustice of the criminal justice system and how it targets and hurts minorities. In fact, Rand Paul recently wrote an awesome piece on this issue.
Rand Paul | Fighting racial bias in the federal judicial process
Here are two statistics that disturb me, and should startle everyone:
• African Americans in Kentucky are six times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
• While African Americans are 13 percent of the total U.S. population, they make up 37 percent of the prison population.
What is the reason for these disparities?.....
In the case of arrests, federal agencies have hamstrung local law enforcement agencies by requiring them to meet numerical arrest goals in order to secure funding. Morally, this is troubling. In practical terms, instead of local enforcement agencies spending their time investigating serious felony crimes, they concentrate on minority and depressed neighborhoods to increase their drug arrest statistics.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which reported on the arrest statistics, highlighted the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program. This federal program distributes millions of dollars a year to local law enforcement agencies. Arrest numbers are a performance measure used in doling out the money.Despite his courageous advocacy for civil liberties and racial justice as well as peace and ending the damn wars, Rand Paul still manages to be scorned and all without any justification whatsoever.
Let's examine Rand Paul's voting record. Since being sworn in as a Senator in January 2011, he's assembled quite a few votes including:
12/21/12 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) - voted NO.
05/26/11 Renewal of Patriot Act - voted NO.
Rand Paul's complete voting record is here and it's the most liberty oriented voting record in the US Senate and a voting record that Ron Paul would be proud of. To disparage the strongest constitutionalist in the US Senate in decades is foolish and baseless.
Yes, it's extremely perplexing that Rand Paul continues to earn the wrath of many. Yet none of the Rand Paul haters can offer up any valid and documented criticism of Rand Paul's voting record and they just toss out vile but unsubstantiated garbage. Yeah, somebody could nit pick Rand Paul's voting record on minor issues but on the big issues Rand Paul is rock solid on liberty and the constitution.
In many ways the liberty movement is its own worst enemy. America isn't going to become a 100% Rothbardian purist anarcho capitalist society, not now, not ever. Moreover, such a society has never existed anywhere although societies do experience cycles consisting of bursts of liberty and tyranny. Right now America has embraced unspeakable tyranny.
Rand Paul is just trying to get America back on the constitutional liberty track with a whole lot less government power and a whole lot more freedom. It's a formidable challenge, one that his father spent decades fighting for. If that's not good enough for the folks in the liberty movement then there is nothing that can ever appease them. Furthermore, Rand Paul is nosediving straight into the belly of the beast. He's tackling tough issues and he's taking on the lunatic religious right by appealing to their sense of justice and Christian sensibilities.
Rand Paul is just as tenacious and committed as Ron Paul and while Rand's tactics and strategy may differ, there is zero evidence that Ron and Rand substantially disagree on anything.
In my humble opinion, Rand Paul is the best hope for 2016 because he's the only Republican who is even remotely appealing to voters of all political stripes including independents, crossover Dems, anti-war folks, Libertarians and Paulites.
If Rand Paul fails to secure the Republican nomination for president in 2016, it will be because the liberty activists failed to support a solid liberty candidate and that's a real tragedy. What the hell do they want?