Rand Paul Sucks
Justin Raimondo, whose opinion I have always respected, delivers the coup de grace to Rand Paul in his latest column for antiwar.com. The short version: Paul has joined the neocons in brazenly and shamelessly lying about the remarks of the Ayatollah of Iran. The Ayatollah disparaged the recent nuclear deal for the specific reason that his fatwa already forbade nuclear weapons. He was saying, essentially, that the deal wouldn’t prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon – the fatwa would. The deal, from his perspective, was superfluous. Rand Paul with the neocons quote him out of context to suggest that the Ayatollah was saying Iran would go ahead and produce a nuclear weapon in spite of the deal.
It’s not just the lie: its the openness of it, the bravado of it. Anyone can see what the Ayatollah was really saying. So you have to just be morally putrid to take someone’s easily verifiable words and intent and just make up a new one for them. This isn’t tactical dishonesty. It’s so open and easily debunked that it makes the people who utter it look to be as evil as they are stupid. Rand Paul’s participation in this lie brings total disgrace upon him.
I can hardly improve on Raimondo’s analysis of the whole disintegrating Rand Paul enterprise, from the campaign to his standing as a representative of libertarianism.
Raimondo highlights Rand’s departure from his father’s libertarian ideals, but Rand Paul was like his father in one respect: he clearly doesn’t want to win. He who will not lead, cannot expect to be followed. Donald Trump acts like a leader, and so people follow him. A man with no ideas, running on sheer bravado, is leading in the polls.
To obtain honor, one can act like the elder Paul, and remain true to one’s ideals, never wavering, though never achieving the power to implement them.
To obtain glory, one can act like Trump, and in spite of having few if any ideals, leading from the front, going on the offensive, refusing to cower, and roaring like a lion.
And what does Rand Paul obtain? Who waffled and wavered on foreign policy among other issues, who refused to court liberty-leaning donors in the tech industries, who was unable to consistently distinguish himself (the filibusters were great, but you have to keep it coming)? Plunging poll numbers that have flatlined at around 5%, a campaign warchest smaller than any of his major opponents, campaign staff openly discussing desertion, and with Raimondo’s column, leading libertarians openly denouncing him and some of his former youthful supporters burning his merchandise in lieu of an effigy, I suppose.
He still polls best against Hillary, and yeah, I’d definitely vote for him over her. But that ain’t saying much.
I’m not that disappointed because I’m not that surprised. Neither was Raimondo. We all sort of saw this coming. We hoped it wouldn’t, but we knew it might, and it did. So that’s that. Rand Paul’s campaign has collapsed. It could recover. If it does, though, it won’t be because of anything I do.