Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stand with Rand: The Third Dynasty Awakens

Senator Rand Paul

Much has been made in recent months of two political dynasties, both of whom have a candidate or a presumed potential candidate in the race for the White House in 2016. The Bushes and the Clintons. But there is a third person who family has been connected to politics for years past.
That family is The House of Paul. It started of course with Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas, (crazy uncle Ron, they called him) that guy that actually thought that maybe government control of everything is not a good idea, and maybe the constitution actually means something.
Now Senator Rand Paul, with his catchy “Stand with Rand” slogan and the motto “Recapture the American Dream, Defeat the Washington Machine” is also running. And last night, he reminded the nation not only that he is a candidate, but also that he is a conservative libertarian, and certainly his own man within the Republican Party, when he bucked Mitch McConnell, head of Senate Republicans, and for 10 and one half hours, took control of the senate floor to protest the extension of the Patriot Act. Calling it unpatriotic, and saying he wouldn’t let the senate vote to pass it. With the senate leaving town today, he is probably right, with his filibuster, McConnell’s clock is winding down.
Paul’s Filibuster is a bit like his campaign in mini. Paul has said that he is a better man for the nomination than the likes of Ted Cruz, (who supported him) or Marco Rubio, (who disagreed), for, even though he agrees with them on many things, when it comes to the general, he will better appeal to young people and even Democrats. A quick scan of those who stood with Paul and gave him breathers during his 10 ½ hours speech shows that of the ten senators, seven of those who stood with Rand yesterday were Democrats.
Rand Paul is a man in the top tier of candidates for the Republican Nomination. He is loved by far right conservatives, winning the CPAC straw poll two years in a row. He also is a man who often bucks the party elite, as he did yesterday. (It’s alright though, Paul and McConnell are both from Kentucky, and McConnell has already endorsed Paul.)
Whether you agree with Paul or not about the Patriot ACT, or if you think the government should be collecting millions of Americans phone records without a warrant, (hint: they shouldn’t be), there is no question that Paul is a man who knows how to grab showbiz. Every online news site this morning was talking about him, (ok, except for the Huffington Post, some star of something had worn a great dress last night to somewhere, so they had to cover that breaking news), and during his filibuster, which many people tuned in to watch at least parts of, he not only hit the Patriot Act, he also gave a bit of a campaign speech, talking about what a great job he’d do as president.
There is a long way to go in the race, but Paul at least is showing that he is a senator who tries to do things, not just talk. People like that.
Andrew C. Abbott

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