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

Steve Dasbach

May 17th, 2010
9:50 am

Rand is short for Randall. He chose the nickname himself. He wasn’t named after Ayn Rand.

jconservative

May 17th, 2010
9:53 am

“…tea party movement continues to defy common sense.”

I would “change common sense” to “political sense”. The problem Paul is facing is by running to the right in the primary he risks losing the independents in a general election. This is why he is backing off of some Libertarian principles and moving to the left on foreign policy/military policy. Good political sense to do that.

And this is a similiar position the Tea Party finds itself locked into come the general election. If they cannot win the general election they are losers.

attila

May 17th, 2010
9:55 am

Gee, the tea party movement scares people-I guess all those middle-aged docile white people are enough to scare anyone, yes even an editorial board at the ajc and its editor-oohh scary stuff!

Dee keith

May 17th, 2010
9:58 am

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

Cynthia is Sexy!! I don’t pay a lot of attention to what the POTUS says, because i’m usually busy thinking for people like you. I think the biggest crime that you and sluggish minded people like you have commited is that because you don’t produce reality based ideas, this Pres. can get by on passing legislation that I may not like, but is something as opposed to NO!

Auburn Fan

May 17th, 2010
10:00 am

Why do they make fun of Tea Party movement if it does not matter? I used to know people that made fun of Barrack Hussein Obama for President.

Terry Taylor

May 17th, 2010
10:05 am

The day Cynthia Tucker is qualified to define “common sense” is the day Satan coaches a hockey team from Hell. I am a moderate Democrat and have no horse in the Kentucky Reublican race. It is OK that a son has different opinions than his father – really, it is – and it is OK that he changes his mind. Any politician who does not learn and grow is useless. Reagan, Obama, Clinton, Specter and even Dennis Kucinich have all changed their minds over time.

On an unrelated subject – yesterday’s editorial titled “An uproar free of all pretense” was, how should I put it, plain stupid. I learned that it’s OK for a self-described liberal to say those troubled by our inability to define who enters the USA and avails themselves of our goods, services, benefits and society are guilty of “brutal, racially tinged nativism – seeking scapegoats for economic failure, unsettled by demographis upheaval, unable to cope with a flatter world.” All of us.

Huh? I learned as a liberal in my student years in the ’70s that stereotyping was wrong. Now I’ve learned that it’s wrong unless Ms. Tucker does the sterotyping.

Ms. Tucker’s next editorial ought to include a list of developed countries that do not control their borders and legal entry in the country. And, Ms. Tucker, you cannot conflate a desire to have legal immigration standards with being anti-immigrant.

As for Arizona’s crime rate, which Ms. Tucker says is actually down, here’s a quote from msnbc.com on Jan. 11, 2010 on kidnapping in Phoenix:
“The abductions are occurring in the Phoenix area at the rate of practically one per day, and police suspect they have led to killings in which bound and bullet-riddled bodies have been found dumped in the desert.

“The kidnap victims are typically drug or immigrant-smugglers, who are seen as inviting targets because they have a lot of money, they can raise large sums of cash on short notice, and they are unlikely to go to the police, for fear their own shady dealings will come to light.”

Yep, seems like everything’s OK.

As for the student in question at KSU, it’s funny to hear that she is outraged. At what??? That she was caught? It’s not fair to get caught!!! Ms. Tucker acknowledges that Ms. Colotl entered the country illegally at 10. She also remained illegally as an adult and paid in-state tuition when she was not eligible for it. And I wonder: what Social Security number does she have? Has she paid taxes? And isn’t it cute that she wants to go to law school. Delightful. I”m sure the terrible system will “make” her lie about her citizenship when she asks to be admitted to the bar. That’s the fault of all the nativists.

Joel

May 17th, 2010
10:06 am

Dee Keith- interesting your choice of words- “crime”. Again the moral beacon at play. “my opinions are in the minority, so I need to be able to judge like a king- screw the rest of you folks.” See you at the next mensa meeting. The best thinkers are those who know others in fact have (and have a right to) an opinion.

blutto

May 17th, 2010
10:10 am

Dee keith: “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.”

Okay! You go hold hands with the Taliban and I’ll stay here and take my chances with those scary Tea Party folks.

Jethro

May 17th, 2010
10:13 am

“…he will serve as fuel for the GOP’s continuing self-immolation.” Hit the nail on the head. It’s much needed. Now if we could just get the liberals to back of the Democrat party, we can start having some substantive debates, instead of the “who’s trying to out-extreme whom” blather.

Tealiban Party

May 17th, 2010
10:14 am

The Tea Baggers are like whining 2 years old. They are kicking and screaming because they didn’t get their way. Until the Tea Baggers start offering solutions instead of just making demands, they will never be taken seriously.

saywhat?

May 17th, 2010
10:14 am

People make fun of the teaparty because they are FUNNY. duh. It started out with them unwittingly referring to themselves, early on in the movement, as “teabaggers”, and the hilarity has been non-stop since then.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
10:19 am

Tea partiers believe leftists should be allowed to tea bag each other.

Dee keith

May 17th, 2010
10:24 am

(Okay! You go hold hands with the Taliban and I’ll stay here and take my chances with those scary Tea Party folks.)

blutto the scary thing is that the Taliban hates america, and they use the lives of muslims to justify it fair, or unfair. Conservatives cling to whatever comes out of the asses of Sister Sarah, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh, regardless of how idiotic it is. It is truly scary when you make the Taliban seem RATIONAL.

neo-Carlinist

May 17th, 2010
10:26 am

CT, you lost me when you used the word “nuttier” to describe some of Ron Paul’s views. Call me “nutty” but I think both the left (healthcare reform) and the right (homeland security/pre-emptive wars) have their share of “nutty” views. and while I am not ready to declare 9/11 an inside job, think about the way the media dismissed and discredited Jim Garrison when he sought information after the JFK assassination? shape-shifting is not necessarily a bad thing in an non-mainstream politician. I see politicians like Rand Paul (and his father) as the by-product of our pointless two-party system. No politician is going to please everyone on every issue, and I salute Paul for rejecting the “you’re either for us or against us” approach to politics. What some call “flip flop” I call pragmatism and growth. Each issue has its own dynamic and to attempt to seek “mainstream” political solutions to fringe issues, gets us exactly what we have every four years; “tweedle dee or tweedle dumb”?

Jethro

May 17th, 2010
10:27 am

Some tea partiers believe we should talk to each other instead of scream political mantras at each other. Mantras on both sides. There’s no discussion any more – only sound bites and one liners. We forget that the people are supposed to define the party, and not the other way around.

ctucker

May 17th, 2010
10:38 am

neo-Carlinist, I agree that politicians sometimes change their positions due to “growth,” but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Rand Paul and Gitmo. Since he is now, more or less, denying that he ever supporting closing the facility, it seems more likely that he changed his mind due to political expediency.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 17th, 2010
10:49 am

Dear Ms. Tucker @ 10:38, many of us think that “not closing GTMO” after proclaiming need to do so would be evidence of intellectual growth. Surely the venue-abyss in which Mr. Holder finds his KSM trial, and the current state department inability to find a “sanctuary” – either domestic or foreign – for many of the angels of that Cuban facility would suggest the administration is also “growing” in that direction?

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 17th, 2010
10:51 am

” seems more likely that he changed his mind due to political expediency.”

Well he certainly would be qualified to run for political office.

neo-Carlinist

May 17th, 2010
10:52 am

CT, maybe so, but as I said, is there a difference between sticking to the party line for political expediency, as opposed to changing one’s mind for political expediency? the former produces what we have (a pathetic “two party” system). at least the latter leads to change. re: Gitmo, it’s a mess. even Obama has “changed” his tune (did he not assure Americans it would be closed in a year?” Gitmo needs to be closed ASAP, with P being the important initial (P standing for possible not politically expedient). but my point is, I don’t find Rand’s dad to by “nutty”. I am a lower case l libertarian, so I don’t agree with much of Papa Paul’s views, but I don’t view them as “nutty”. the same holds true for some of the more media-savvy tea party types and media types looking to make hay off the tea party movement. if the status quo were acceptable, the mainstream would offer solutions. I’m not saying either Paul has all the solutions, but let’s allow them a couple at bats before we calculate their batting averages.

HDB

May 17th, 2010
10:54 am

@ Ragnar…Good morning!!

The problem that no one is really noticing is that when a politician plays to the crowd and adopts mob mentality, EVERYONE loses!! The mentality of the Tea Party mob reminds me of the mob mentality of the 1950’s and 60’s when politicians and people blocked the entrances of lunch counters and universities……..

I understand passionate discourse….but passion without logic is nothing but noise!!

The passion, IMHO, seems quite misplaced…..why is the passion so noticable NOW when the problems commenced in 2001??

First Sergeant

May 17th, 2010
10:54 am

Brutus

May 17th, 2010
9:03 am

“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?”

What country are you referring? Certainly not the US.

T-Town

May 17th, 2010
10:55 am

If, as you say, “tea party movement continues to defy common sense” and others that support your position by stating ” People make fun of the teaparty because they are FUNNY. duh. It started out with them unwittingly referring to themselves, early on in the movement, as “teabaggers”, and the hilarity has been non-stop since then” or the “Fine if they had a platform or some policies. Yelling socialist, witch doctor, and take my country back all day is not a policy” then why does the left and certain members on the right fear them? If this group is so inconsequential, why not as the old saying goes: just ignore them and they will fade away?

ctucker

May 17th, 2010
10:57 am

t-Town, I don’t “fear” them. But I do think that their ability to knock rational conservatives (Like Bennett of Utah) out of Congress is bad for the country.

Kamchak

May 17th, 2010
11:04 am

then why does the left and certain members on the right fear them?

Why do you assume that I respond with “fear” to everything that I disagree with?

John Birch

May 17th, 2010
11:09 am

Cynthia says we need more law-breaking illegal aliens and then purports to know something about common sense! This is my last post on this idiot’s blog.

Granny Godzilla

May 17th, 2010
11:10 am

Kamchak

May 17th, 2010
11:11 am

This is my last post on this idiot’s blog.

If only! :roll:

T-Town

May 17th, 2010
11:13 am

Ms. Tucker; There are irrational members of both the left and right (and as I’m finding out irrational Independents to). I’m curious when you say “But I do think that their ability to knock rational conservatives (Like Bennett of Utah) out of Congress is bad for the country” what exactly is a rational conservative from a left’s prospective, one that is close to the left’s way of thinking? This TP, to most liberals, is just a bunch of old folks getting together to bitch, do you think there is maybe more to it?

And to Kamchak, I see we are still condescending as ever.

ROHANNIG

May 17th, 2010
11:16 am

The last time the republican party demonstrated commom sense was when Eisenouer was President. After that it started to descend into trying to to be be an opposition party regardless of the issue at hand. When Reagen became president they grabbed onto the “Big Government” kick. That seemed to pre-empt a new gimmick to base their hopes on. I used to ba a member of this nut group, however Goldwater was the last one I ever voted for.

Kamchak

May 17th, 2010
11:18 am

And to Kamchak, I see we are still condescending as ever.

Well I do try so hard not to disappoint my fans.

Some People are stupid

May 17th, 2010
11:19 am

T-Town-
I think a rational conservative is one that comes to the table with ideas, listens to the other sides idea and then come to some sort of compromise, as opposed to just saying no to every thing the other side says just for political points.

Mallory

May 17th, 2010
11:20 am

Ms. Tucker, normally a leftists, such as yourself, would welcome the likes of a Rand Paul because he would pull votes away from the Republicans. In this political climate, he will pull from Democrats too.

T-Town

May 17th, 2010
11:21 am

“Well I do try so hard not to disappoint my fans.”

And, you reinforce my point so well.

blutto

May 17th, 2010
11:22 am

Dee keith: “It is truly scary when you make the Taliban seem RATIONAL.”

Only in your mind does such a phenomenon exist. It is you who argued that conservatives who disagree with Mr. Frum are “… as much of a threat to this country as the Pakistani Taliban.”

A more irrational statement cannot be imagined.

T-Town

May 17th, 2010
11:24 am

Some People; While what you say is true, the game is played by all in politics.

Michael K.

May 17th, 2010
11:24 am

Of course Cynthia thinks that ousting guys like Bennett is bad for the country – it represents a move to the right we she despises. Democrats are going to take a big hit in November and it scares the pants off of lefties like Cynthia that, instead of electing political opportunists like Arlen Specter or Mitt Romney, we might actually elect some limited government types.

HAHA

May 17th, 2010
11:25 am

Cynthia is an irrational lib

Scout

May 17th, 2010
11:26 am

Russ555:

You totally missed the point. It’s the people who might come after Miss USA we have to worry about.

There are three types of Islam:

1) Westernized Islam – a minority of Muslims in the U.S. are in this category. They worship Allah in sincerity but they also (because of their education and secularization) embrace freedom and Western democracy. They fear the other two forms of Islam probably as much as we do.

2) Basic Islam – most Muslims in the world fall into this category and many live in the U.S. They embrace Islam in its unbridled totality (educational, societal, legal, military, religious, etc.,). They may not individually murder or terrorize in the name of Allah/Islam but neither to they verbally condemn those who do. Radical Islam recruits from their ranks. This type of Islam must be marginalized in the U.S. as much as possible (including immigration) or given enough time and volume it will ensure the destruction of this Republic as we know it.

3) Radical Islam – these types of Muslims will stop at nothing to physically force their vicious schism of Islam on the world. They are pure evil and every effort must be made to totally eradicate their influence and existance from the face of the earth.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 17th, 2010
11:40 am

Please be aware it wasnt the Pentagon, that on the Natl Day of Prayer, wouldnt allow Billy Grahams son to speak. It was Obama that uninvited him.

blutto

May 17th, 2010
11:41 am

Some people are stupid: ” … as opposed to just saying no to every thing the other side says just for political points.”

No to big government. No to higher taxes. No to illegal immigration. No to government health care. No to the continued distortion of the Constitution. No to courts that rule by “feelings” rather than by law. No to a judiciary that legislates. No to Supreme Court nominees who possess “empathy” but lack experience. No to presidential candidates who read well but who lack experience, knowledge and an appreciation for free markets, capitalism and freedom. No to politicians whose only principle is getting re-elected. No to “hope and change” and to the redistribution of wealth. No to those who never let a “crisis” go to waste. And no to those who, in the name of helping some, harm us all.

I'm here from the Government and I'm here to help!

May 17th, 2010
11:45 am

All I need to remember is the following quote!

From Audacity of Hope: by B. Obama
“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

Catch Up

May 17th, 2010
12:00 pm

No to big government (Bush’s Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008?). No to higher taxes (Like Bush’s tax less, spend more deficits?). No to illegal immigration. No to government health care (like what Bush proposed in 2007?). No to the continued distortion of the Constitution (illegal wire taps?). No to courts that rule by “feelings” rather than by law. No to a judiciary that legislates (Citizens United v Federal Election Commitee?). No to Supreme Court nominees who possess “empathy” but lack experience (Clarence Thomas?). No to presidential candidates who read well but who lack experience, knowledge and an appreciation for free markets, capitalism and freedom (OK Bush couldn’t read – but has Obama shut down our markets?). No to politicians whose only principle is getting re-elected (McCain?). No to “hope and change” and to the redistribution of wealth. No to those who never let a “crisis” go to waste (Rove). And no to those who, in the name of helping some, harm us all (Palin?).

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 17th, 2010
12:00 pm

Buycott.com…check it out.

blutto

May 17th, 2010
12:13 pm

Catch Up: No.

Try to get over the blame Bush myopia. He did what he did. For better or for worse, it is done.

President Obama, on the other hand, is now in charge. While I am sure it gives you both comfort and cover to continue blaming the current administration’s poor performance on the past president, at some point you will have to wake up to the fact that we are now being governed by elite lefties who want nothing more than to control every aspect of our lives and will stop at nothing to do so.

Paul and Ayn Rand

May 17th, 2010
12:14 pm

I have to congratulate Ragnar Danneskjold, whose achievement in punditry, debate, and logic has certainly won votes for the right.

An avid reader, (a book a day; never mind it’s the same book, “Atlas Shrugs”), Ragnar manipulates Democrats like hapless slugs. Unfairly, some think he’s as rude as the double dip he keeps praying to his Own Image for, (a double dip would ruin any party, Democrats no exception).

Ragnar is a crack mouthpiece who persuades not so much step-by-step as inch-by-inch. He grasps an airy confidence in his own debating skills, where he dangles skillfully-shaved premises and then swings them in ways which leaves him holding the winning pair.

This blog is in good hands.

Stay briefed my friends.

Oxymoron

May 17th, 2010
12:14 pm

The Tea Party movement is really chapping Cynthia’s arse right now.

Catch Up

May 17th, 2010
12:26 pm

blutto
May 17th, 2010
12:13 pm

Not the point. I don’t agree with everything Obama does, just as I don’t agree with everything Congress does. Where was your (and the Tea Bagger) outrage 2 years ago?

Alatsea

May 17th, 2010
12:30 pm

Why do those on the left espouse that they are the beacons of all that is fair and right, and then name call and belittle anyone who does not agree with them? That is a childish, ignorant and self indulging view right up there with radical Muslims, oh, excuse me according to you they don’t exist. BO is a talking head nothing more, he is not a leader. When will he face the press again?

blutto

May 17th, 2010
12:55 pm

Catch Up: “Where was your … outrage 2 years ago?”

For those who are informed enough to realize its dangers, bloated oppressive government is always an outrage. For those who like yourself seem to prefer a nanny, government cannot grow too large or tax too much.

As for the childish “Tea Bagger” reference, it really does do nothing to make your argument stronger.

HDB

May 17th, 2010
1:02 pm

Alatsea May 17th, 2010
12:30 pm
Why do those on the right espouse that they are the beacons of all that is fair and right, and then name call and belittle anyone who does not agree with them, call then unpatriotic, un-American, and treasonous?? Why do those on the right profess that they are for all people becoming prosperous, but skew their philosophies to allow a minority to hold and maintain the majority of a nation’s wealth while simultaneously ignoring the majority of the population??

Your statement DOES have a countering corollary………