With Rand Paul, tea party movement continues to defy common sense

Tuesday’s primaries in several states are being dubbed a mini-Super Tuesday, with not only Democratic mid-term prospects on the line but also the ballot-box strength of the tea party movement getting a major test. Among the more fascinating primaries is the GOP Senate contest in Kentucky, where it seems that tea party favorite Rand Paul, son of GOP congressman Ron Paul, will easily win over conventional Republican Trey Grayson.
If Paul wins the primary, he will serve as fuel for the GOP’s continuing self-immolation. If he wins the election in Nov., he will serve as proof that Kentucky voters don’t take their politics all that seriously.
Paul has run a campaign in which he has tried to distance himself from some of his father’s nuttier views, but he still occupies a space far outside the mainstream. He has said, for example, that a nuclear-armed Iran poses no threat to our national security. (See video below.)

Some of his views fit comfortably inside the borders of the GOP right wing. From the WaPo:

Paul’s campaign stops are feisty affairs at which supporters hoot and cheer as he weaves his personal biography and a list of grievances with Washington into a populist call to arms. The founder of the antitax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United, Paul rails against what he describes as Washington’s unsustainable spending, crippling debt, career politicians with no term limits, a “socialist” health-care law and a failure to close the nation’s borders to illegal immigrants.
He has become a national hero of the tea party movement by opposing new taxes and deficit spending and supporting such ideas as the abolition of the Department of Education and amending the Constitution so that children born in the United States to illegal immigrants would no longer become citizens automatically. A victory for him on Tuesday would further energize a movement already pumped up by the defeat of Sen. Robert F. Bennett in Utah’s Republican primary last weekend.

“Greece is defaulting right now on their debt,” he told the breakfast group. “One of the next things you’ll see is chaos on the streets. You’ll see violence. . . . And it can happen even in America if we’re not careful.”

But other views of his do not:

But Paul’s libertarian streak could lead to breaks with conservatives on some issues. He opposed the war in Iraq. He has spoken in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. A pro-Grayson advocacy group, trying to portray Paul as out of step with mainstream Republicans, is running a television ad featuring a chiming cuckoo clock.

Paul has reversed his stance on closing Guantanamo Bay, now declaring that he it should be kept open. But he was on the record as recently as last year saying that it should be shut down and that it had damaged America’s reputation abroad. (I think closing Gitmo is a fine idea, but most GOP voters do not.)
As former Bush speechwriter David Frum puts it:

While Rand Paul has delicately edged away from his father’s most provocative statements, he still makes regular appeals to his father’s extremist voting base. Rand Paul gives interviews to 9/11 conspiracy monger Alex Jones and solicits Jones’ fans for money. Jones in turn praises Rand Paul as the “real McCoy.”

Rand Paul’s last-minute conversion to tough-on-terrorism is not very credible. He has been caught on videotape denying the threat to U.S. national security posed by an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Rand Paul makes common cause with left-wing antiwar protesters. He has repeated his father’s view that 9/11 was some kind of logical response to U.S. foreign policy.

Ultimately, Rand Paul is a walking target for Democratic negative ads in a closely divided state with a culture of commitment to national security. But right now running the country – or even winning elections – is not a top-of-mind concern for many Republicans. They are voting to send a message, and it’s no time to be fussy about the background, competence, associations, and inner convictions of the messengers.

119 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

May 17th, 2010
8:44 am

“tea party movement continues to defy common sense”

Because you don’t agree with it? Because it doesn’t defend illegal immigrants? Because it doesn’t have the same beliefs as you? Because it isn’t in line with your so-called “common sense”? Gotcha!

Quick response to lasts weeks “The U.S. needs college students like Jessica Colotl”:
No, we don’t need more students on lie on the college application so they can be accepted. We need more people like Rima Fakih who won Miss America. She’s a Lebanese American who did it the RIGHT way.

lovelyliz

May 17th, 2010
8:44 am

Sounds like another political celebrity.

Jimmy62

May 17th, 2010
8:47 am

At least he doesn’t think Austrian is a language, like our dear ignorant leader, and his even more ignorant VP. And he’s for small government, even if I disagree with his weak foreign policy stances.

joan

May 17th, 2010
8:51 am

Rand Paul is representing a larger, and growing constituency of disgruntled taxpayers who are seeing our country taken for a ride by the Chicago machine into an unsustainable downward spiral. The tea party movement makes all the sense. If you had any concept of economics, or took your head out of the sand for a moment, and looked at what happens to entitlement countries and states that have out of control welfare, pensions, government benefits you would know we are on a doomsday path if this government doesn’t cut back drastically on spending, and part of that entails curbing the tide of illegals.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 17th, 2010
8:54 am

It will be so enjoyable watching Arlen Sphincter to down in flames.

Mid-South Philosopher

May 17th, 2010
8:56 am

Good morning, Miss Cynthia,

Methinks there is an element of this situation that the preponderance of the pundits and political writers are missing.

While there are a lot of “Tea Party” people and there are a lot of radical conservatives who have made the news over the past year, the real danger to the social Democrats and the the progressives is (and GOD, I never thought I would ever sound like Richard Nixon!) a vast “silent majority.”

These folks understand far more about the political system than most of the mouthy radicals, and many of these folks have “read” the legislation that the members of Congress (many of whom have not read) have passed. What the “silent majority” is “urinated-off” about is the total “arrogance” of our elected leaders. When scientific polls demonstrate that various issues are NOT approved by the majority and the elected representatives discount that data, you can “bet your sweet bippy” that the “silent majority” voters will remember.

I suspect the defeat of social Democrats will be greater than expected in the fall. This troubles me. The only thing I fear more than a “social Democrat” is a “corporatist Republican”…both are political diseases to be avoided!

saywhat?

May 17th, 2010
8:58 am

“tea party movement continues to defy common sense”?

That seems a little generous, to say the least. The teatards would actually have to know what common sense is in order to defy it. They are just a bunch of easily led sheep being manipulated by rightwing PR firms to throw tantrums over whatever overblown trumped up nonsense passes as the latest poutrage. Pathetic.

Peadawg

May 17th, 2010
9:00 am

saywhat?, kinda like the way the media built up Obama and convinced/manipulated people to vote for him for? Nevermind he didn’t have enough experience.

Brutus

May 17th, 2010
9:03 am

Funny. Neither the writer of the post nor the quoted detractors give any counter-arguments to Rand’s positions. They only state his position and throw on an ad hominem. And none of the post even considers that maybe, just maybe given that the country is bankrupt and that people’s eyes are opened to the awful Federal Reserve, Republican’s and other voters are realizing what’s really important.

Is a country that hasn’t attacked anyone in several hundred years really more of a threat than a government that is plunging us into depression while handing our money to its pet industries?

Is medical marijuana so terrible that it should be an issue that trumps the destruction of the currency that we are forced to use?

Rand Paul’s success is strong evidence that Kentucky actually IS taking its politics seriously, rather than being distracted by issues that are made to be much bigger than they really are. It is also strong evidence that they believe liberty is paramount. The trends show that such is something you should probably get used to.

Granny Godzilla

May 17th, 2010
9:04 am

I’d be perfectly happy with a Rand Paul win.

I imagine McConnell, Steele and the NRSC might be growing nervous.

It’s a good thing.

Bob

May 17th, 2010
9:04 am

Cynthia, Below is a link to an Obama speech where he states that Iran, Cuba and others are no threat, just tiny little countries. I bet if we had time, we could find proof of you agreeing with Obo. Now you bash someone running for office for stating the same thing.
http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew5qP2oPdtQ

Rev Al Sharptongue

May 17th, 2010
9:07 am

I like watching the tea party crowd squirm.
The clowns they are trying to elect will not pass muster in a diverse society like ours.
They constantly talk about the government going against the wishes of the people, yet they lost the last election and they only represent 18% of the population.
They may take some seats from other Republicans but most other Americans do not buy into their tired bigoted beliefs.
This latest immigration scuffle along with the supreme court nomination of Sotomayor will bring the legal Hispanic voters out in droves.

Bob

May 17th, 2010
9:08 am

saywhat, pathetic is the fact that when the tea party people protested Obocare, they knew more about the bill than the reps pushing it. Kinda like our pardon selling Atty. Gen. that calls the AZ immigration bill unconstitutional and then admits that he has not read the 10 page bill, that’s pathetic.

X

May 17th, 2010
9:08 am

So the only support Tucker has that Rand Paul can’t win the general election comes from David Frum? The same guy who though the Bush administration would bring in an era of permanent Republican dominance and that Rudy would win the the presidency in 2008? FYI to Tucker and Frum: just because you don’t like conservatives (aside from their fellow neocons) doesn’t mean that nobody does.

Joel

May 17th, 2010
9:12 am

Change- yes it is coming. If one could annul a Presidency, the country would do it. How bad do you have to be to cause this action- pretty bad. Last weeks blogs demonstrated that the far left incorrectly view themselves as the moral beacon of the country. I assume as your wonderful child (I say that in full sincerity) Ms. Tucker grows you will see that you want her to receive what is her due her and your hard work. You will realize that sharing is good and moral, but it too has bounds.

X

May 17th, 2010
9:15 am

Has anyone else noticed that after eight years of pretending to oppose the Bush administration, liberals like Tucker have turned into his biggest supporters? Could it be that there really isn’t much difference between the neoconservative-left and the liberal-left?

spinnikerca

May 17th, 2010
9:17 am

You say: ” He has said, for example, that a nuclear-armed Iran poses no threat to our national security. ”

That isn’t true. He doesn’t say it poses NO threat. At the time he was saying that, people were proposing going in to fight to PREVENT there from even being any bombs. This was before Iran (recently) became able to refine its own gasoline. He was saying the fear of one bomb ALONE wasn ‘t ‘a threat’ (clearly meaning, not a threat sufficient to immediately start a preventative war to stop, under the circumstances of that day), when they didn’t have delivery ability, etc.

War needs a more thoughtful approach than it seems to get, is what he is saying, as well as a declaration of war under the Constitution.

Moderate Line

May 17th, 2010
9:17 am

If Paul wins the primary, he will serve as fuel for the GOP’s continuing self-immolation. If he wins the election in Nov., he will serve as proof that Kentucky voters don’t take their politics all that seriously.

They are voting to send a message, and it’s no time to be fussy about the background, competence, associations, and inner convictions of the messengers.
+++++++++++++++
Statements like these are more revealing of Cynthia than they are of Rand Pual.

I believe many people said the same things about the left when they voted for an inexperience senator from Illinois.

I gain nothing of value in reading this post.

Rony

May 17th, 2010
9:18 am

Yeah continue the path of destruction With Grayson and his lobbyists to furthur banktrupt the country.

The Tea party is very stupid ..we must print a few trillion dollars more to further kill the dollar and hope China and the rest of the world keeps stocking them up to prevent hyperinflation.. yeah lets stick with the establishment they have done so well..

Rev Al Sharptongue

May 17th, 2010
9:19 am

Bob

May 17th, 2010
9:08 am

saywhat, pathetic is the fact that when the tea party people protested Obocare, they knew more about the bill than the reps pushing it. Kinda like our pardon selling Atty. Gen. that calls the AZ immigration bill unconstitutional and then admits that he has not read the 10 page bill, that’s pathetic.

**Yea like the death panels, what page is that on? You guys did not read squat you heard a bunch of misinformation. You like to believe that no one in congress read the bill, but we know that is more right wing lies.**

**Its the whole intellectual dishonesty thing from the right wing that most rational people see right through. Even though they know something is factually wrong they will continue to lie and distort to no end. A real irrational and cowardly way to go through life**

Scout

May 17th, 2010
9:20 am

Cynthia:

Headline: “Arab-American From Michigan Crowned 2010 Miss USA”

Hummmmm …………. she said she and her family celebrate both the Muslim and Christian faiths. The problem is Muslims believe you can never convert. The jihadists won’t be happy about this and you know what that means.

Peadawg

May 17th, 2010
9:21 am

Good point, Moderate Line.

Road Scholar

May 17th, 2010
9:22 am

Peadawg, good morning. From your post above I assume you liked McCain. I did too….in 2000. Now, he appears to be out of control, disorganized (reports from his Washington’s staff), and maybe losing it mentally. i.e. “I never considered myself a Maverick” ? His pick of Sarah Palin was the last straw.

As for defying “common sense”; it’s politics…so why the surprise? The Tea party is serving its purpose…. to hear from our citizens as to their concerns…real or not. They do have some good points and questions on immigration, budget prioritization, taxes,… Even though I do not agree with some, they have the right to organize and create a real dialogue that is not coming from the politicians, as long as it is based on real facts.

The next time I hear a reporter ask, esp a Repub , a question of why they oppose any legislation, the reporter should insist on them answering what do they want to see…in detail. This hurling negative statements, encouraging half truths (death squads for instance), and providing no detais on what they support (esp when legislation proposed is rooted in their past proposals) is disengenuous if not lying.

Russ555

May 17th, 2010
9:22 am

The tea party seems one sided. They complain but don’t offer solutions.
I agree with them that we can’t maintain a long term budget deficit, and major cuts need to be made to avoid disaster by 2020. But along with cuts in spending taxes will have to be raised.
But, they complain about big governement and paying taxes, but when a crisis hits, like the oil spill, they complain that government should have prevented it. You can’t have it both ways. Some business and industry reguire regulations, audits and inspections, and to do that we need to pay taxes and hire government employees.
We elect our congressman to pass needed laws and regulations. And the executive branch needs employees and agencies to catch and punish those that violate.
Governement and laws are not to force people to obey the law, but to catch and punish those who do. (can;t remember who said that, but it’s a quote that should be credited)

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
9:23 am

Good morning all. I fully endorse the views of our friend MidSouth @ 8:56 above. A couple of months ago, when Dick Morris first began to forecast a “blow-out” in November, I thought it hyperbole to sell a book. While I acknowledge regarding poli-sci as a voodoo science, I believe Morris is a genius and greatly admire his track record. Like our friend MidSouth, I sense a potential blow-out in November. Strangely Karl Rove says the Republican victories will not be overwhelming; playing down expectations?

The reason for the heightened expectations – the growing success of the tea party movement. My only regret is that we could not find someone to run on such an agenda for the Republican Senate nomination in Georgia. We have the last of the big National Republican spender-Senators ensconced in this state.

Russ555

May 17th, 2010
9:24 am

Scout – don’t lump all Muslims together. Most are reasonable, sane people. Miss USA and her family are a good example.

Dee keith

May 17th, 2010
9:24 am

I was in favor of closing Guantanamo Bay before this brand of conservatism came along. I now agree with Rand Paul we should keep it open and start housing people like him in it. I disagree with David Frum’s politics in most cases, but he is a rational conservative, who is capable of putting rational ideas on the table in order to have a reasonable debate, and as long as people like David Frum are not considered conservative enough for this brand of conservatism, then this brand of conservatism will pose just as much of a threat to this country as the Pakistani Taliban.

Peadawg

May 17th, 2010
9:26 am

Road Scholar, I voted for the lesser of two evils in 2008. Neither candidate was a good choice. But I voted for experience.

Rev Al Sharptongue

May 17th, 2010
9:27 am

Joel,Change- yes it is coming. If one could annul a Presidency, the country would do it. How bad do you have to be to cause this action- pretty bad**. Last weeks blogs demonstrated that the far left incorrectly view themselves as the moral beacon of the country**. I assume as your wonderful child (I say that in full sincerity) Ms. Tucker grows you will see that you want her to receive what is her due her and your hard work. You will realize that sharing is good and moral, but it too has bounds.

I think its your ilk who think they are the moral beacon of society. Hence your need to push conservative right wing bigotry onto people.

You constantly hear them say Obama is not doing what America wants, and what America wants is usually whatever they believe in at the moment. regardless of what the polls say they want to take America back….back to the 50’s when Jim crowe and KKK reigned supreme.

If this was 1950 Jennifer Colotl would have been either taken from her jail cell or removed from her home and killed by some patriotic Americans who feel they are somehow morally superior to others.
**The tea party is just a toothless lynch mob, a call to arms by a few dead enders from the John Birch Society,Council for Concerned Citizens and the good old KKK**

Kamchak

May 17th, 2010
9:29 am

If my daddy had named me after a chain-smoking sociopath, I’d have issues too.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
9:31 am

Dear kamchak, at risk of noting the obvious, “If my daddy had not named you after a chain-smoking sociopath, you’d have issues too.”

Dee keith

May 17th, 2010
9:31 am

(Its the whole intellectual dishonesty thing from the right wing that most rational people see right through. Even though they know something is factually wrong they will continue to lie and distort to no end. A real irrational and cowardly way to go through life)

Rev Al Sharptongue don’t forget they actually get mad when they are proven to be wrong. I have come to the conclusion that conservatives don’t have a problem being ignorant, they just have a problem being told that they are ignorant, and that some how is a violation of their rights.

Granny Godzilla

May 17th, 2010
9:33 am

Morning Rags

Funny the minute I heard Dick Morris forecast a “blow out” in November
I reviewed his past record of election prognostication and felt
secure that Democratic losses in the mid terms would be no greater
than the historical trends.

Worst Pundit In America: Dick Morris (In A Landslide)</A

DeKalb Conservative

May 17th, 2010
9:35 am

Good post! I like that the MSM keeps shunning the power and ambition of the Tea Party movement. As one of America’s newest, and perhaps, one of its largest minority voting groups, it has shown an ability to connect with people that are both of the following 1) taxpayers 2) voters.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 17th, 2010
9:35 am

Dee keith

May 17th, 2010
9:24 am

The only thing u agree with is what Obama tells you is right and good and of course…,…..,…..FAIR!

Rev Al Sharptongue

May 17th, 2010
9:35 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
9:23 am

Good morning all. I fully endorse the views of our friend MidSouth @ 8:56 above. A couple of months ago, when Dick Morris first began to forecast a “blow-out” in November, I thought it hyperbole to sell a book. While I acknowledge regarding poli-sci as a voodoo science, I believe Morris is a genius and greatly admire his track record. Like our friend MidSouth, I sense a potential blow-out in November. Strangely Karl Rove says the Republican victories will not be overwhelming; playing down expectations?

WOW!! he said he thinks Dick Morris is a genius and he admires his track record?

I hope that is sarcasm WOW!!

blutto

May 17th, 2010
9:37 am

CT: “the GOP’s continuing self-immolation”

When lefties start whining about the GOP’s self-destruction you can bet that they are very, very afraid.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
9:37 am

Dear Granny @ 9:30, good morning. Read the link, that seems to verify Morris’s accuracy on practically every point. Why do they call it “worst prognosticator?”

Granny Godzilla

May 17th, 2010
9:39 am

Oh Rags!

It’s a lovely night ain’t it?

A Lumpkin Resident

May 17th, 2010
9:39 am

Look at the above. Instead of trying the convince the Tea Party by the power of your ideology, you Democrats just insulted them with every nasty insult that is fit to print in this column.
It always amazes me that the left attempts to neutralizing the Tea Party movement by insulting and dismissing them. In the political spectrum, if I told you that you are an bigoted idiot brain dead racist for belonging to party “X”, would you quit party “X” and join party “Y”? Or would it just increase your resolve to see party “X” succeed (ESPECIALLY if you were none of those things they claimed)? Instead of attacking the party or it’s members, it is much more affective to attack the party platform or policies using reason. If I was a Tea Party activist reading the above, it would MORE than convince me that the Democratic party is NOT where I want to be. Keep it up. The Democrats are losing the middle by insult and intimidation. The Libertarians, Independents and Republicans may disagree on the war, on marijuana reform, and on so many other areas, but we are agreed that an explosion of welfare is NOT the direction our country should be taking.

Robert Littel

May 17th, 2010
9:39 am

Rand Paul, named in honor of his father’s Objectivist hero, Ayn Rand, is just a continuation of the absurd ideology that sprang from a woman who advocated selfish accumulation of wealth by those clever enough to steal it and then, blaming those not clever enough to jump on the elitist gravy train and steal their cut of the finite pie for all of society’s problems. The Libertarian/Tea party rationale has been exploited by one small segment of the population (corporatist wealthy) to justify greed, and then place the blame on the victims (everybody else) not playing the game, or playing it well enough to build a cushion of power to protect their own interests. The entire rationale is a con played on the entire population, with the generally disinterested mass in the middle given just enough (but not too much) incentive to believe in the nebulous American Dream where the lie that anyone can climb to the heights and become greedily wealthy too. The game is rigged and is nothing more than a highly restricted lottery, that we buy into with the sweat of our labor, that funnels the benefits to the very top, where fully 1/2 of all wealth sits in the pockets of only about 4000 individuals. A permanent underclass (the poor) are maintained in their position to act as the fall guy when the few at the top need someone to focus the anger of the middle when the manipulated system malfunctions, or is deliberately thrown off kilter by explosions of greed, like occurred in our recent economic crisis. As long as the Ultra-wealthy have a cadre of propaganda driven, doctrinaire absolutist fools, like 95% of the people who respond to this forum, they can continue the sham to its logical conclusion when we end up a totalitarian clone of Guatemala. To those on the Right, you are being used and are to stupid to realize it.

ctucker

May 17th, 2010
9:40 am

Yes, Dee keith, Frum is a rational conservative who still speaks out. Most of them — the few who are left — are in hiding.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
9:43 am

Dear Ms. Tucker @ 9:40, you could have added “or abandon conservatism entirely.” Of course, “rational” has a different meaning for conservatives. When a leftist says “rational” it means someone who agrees with the big government ideology of leftists. When a conservative says “rational” it means someone who develops an argument step-by-step.

Rev Al Sharptongue

May 17th, 2010
9:43 am

LUMPKIN It always amazes me that the left attempts to neutralizing the Tea Party movement by insulting and dismissing them. In the political spectrum, if I told you that you are an bigoted idiot brain dead racist for belonging to party “X”, would you quit party “X” and join party “Y”? Or would it just increase your resolve to see party “X” succeed (ESPECIALLY if you were none of those things they claimed)? Instead of attacking the party or it’s members, it is much more affective to attack the party platform or policies

Fine if they had a platform or some policies. Yelling socialist, witch doctor, and take my country back all day is not a policy

Wow....

May 17th, 2010
9:45 am

….he really scares you to death, doesn’t he, Ms. Tucker?

Joel

May 17th, 2010
9:45 am

X- you are spot on. Politics, like the world are indeed round- the further left you go you run into Cheney and Palin- if only it resulted in the Lost island.

Granny Godzilla

May 17th, 2010
9:45 am

Dick Morris: When he predicts doom, expect sunshine

Too funny.

I’m hoping for a Rand Paul win today.

I hear he likes DeMint for Minority Leader…

X

May 17th, 2010
9:47 am

ctucker: Last time I checked, the “rational conservatives” (i.e. your fellow neo-conservatives) were hardly “in hiding”. It’s kind of hard to hide when you’re on television.

blutto

May 17th, 2010
9:48 am

Robert Littel: “finite pie” … “permanent underclass”

In those four words you perfectly capture the ignorance of the left when it comes to matters of economics.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
9:48 am

Conservative definition of rational: read the argument and try to break it. You will rarely find a weak link in any chain developed by Walter E. Williams. Ann Coulter marshals facts better than any other pundit. Tom Sowell can make even the hardest issues comprehensible. On the other hand, when did you ever see a step-by-step argument by a leftist? Probably not since Moynihan died.