The Importance Of Shining A Light on Rand PaulSubmitted by Allegory on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 23:02
From Economic Policy Journal:
Dan Cotter emails:
I think the analysis you've been constantly giving on Rand Paul is essential. Obviously, there are a lot of people in the liberty movement who are missing the important nuances of your message about him. A lot of people like to point out that he is the only senator who is threatening to filibuster NDAA, that he tried to remove foreign aid to some countries, he wants to "privatize" the TSA, etc. If you only look on the surface these things sound good, but his approach is dangerous to the liberty movement when you look more closely.
The problem with Rand is he softens the libertarian message, even though there is no benefit for doing that. Take NDAA for example, he wants to filibuster it in order to get a vote on an amendment that would guarantee American citizens the right to a trial. I would also like to see Americans guaranteed this right (if the constitution meant anything it would be acknowledged we already have this right!), but the fact remains that even if the amendment is voted on it will go down to defeat. So the problem I have is if you are going to threaten to filibuster until you get a vote on an amendment that will be defeated anyways, why water down the libertarian position? Why not threaten to filibuster until you get a vote on an amendment that strips the NDAA of all it's power? He has been able to garner a good amount of press because of this filibuster threat, but instead of people hearing about an attempt to destroy this evil bill in its entirety, they are getting the message that if Rand got his way on this one bad aspect of the bill that the rest of it we could live with.
If I'm in a situation where a mugger is going to kill me no matter what I do, then I'm not going to just punch him in the arm. I'm going to try to do as much damage to him as I possibly can. Im going to try to poke his eyes out, rip his ears off, etc., so that maybe I can do enough damage that he can't do this again to someone else in the future. I think what Rand is doing is analogous to punching a mugger in the arm while he is in the midst of killing you. While he might be putting up a fight, it is so timid that the State isn't coming away with any serious wounds from it. There is a reason why Bill Kristol hates Ron Paul and tolerates Rand. It is because Rand is punching him in the arm while Ron is poking his eyes out.