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Book review: The Tea Party Goes to Washington


In the early days of Rand Paul's campaign, back when it was just an exploratory committee, there was only Rand and his campaign spokesman-- a tall, well-mannered, southern man in his early thirties who would tell me how badly our country needed someone like Rand Paul in a position of political leadership. He donated his meager salary right back to Rand Paul's fledgling exploratory committee each month.

Back then the Kentucky ophthalmologist's prospects looked rather bleak. In retrospect, it's all too easy to view Rand Paul's election to the United States Senate with some aura of historical inevitability, but the truth is that no one was at all certain how far Rand would go back in May of 2009, perhaps least of all Rand, who writes in his new book that he told his wife not to worry too much about how his foray into politics would affect their family-- he probably wouldn't win.

That is the magic of both Rand Paul and the Tea Party movement he exemplifies, a certain down-to-earth charm that speaks to every day Americans exactly where they are. Even as cerebral as Rand-- like his father, Congressman Ron Paul-- can be, quoting obscure economists from the "Austrian school" of thought and recommending the works of Russian novelist Dostoevsky in the pages of his new book, there's something incredibly down-to-earth about the way Rand Paul speaks and writes. He just doesn't sound like a politician.

Most of what Paul says resonates with the vast swath of American workers and voters, yet both the substance and style of his approach are considered far too daring by most other politicians. Instead of vague platitudes, Paul offers a specific and detailed diagnosis of what went wrong with the American government along with a clear, common-sense, easy-to-understand prescription for successful reform:

"If the Tea Party can be characterized in a single sentence it is this: We are concerned about the massive level of the debt and worried about passing it to younger generations."


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