May 14, 2013
In an effort to further woo the Republican establishment ahead of a probable presidential run, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has demeaned the libertarian philosophy of his father, former Texas representative Ron Paul.
“I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot,” he said. “I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative.”
Rand Paul made the comment at a sold-out Republican dinner in Iowa, the state where the first caucuses are held in the lead up to presidential nominations.
Paul will also visit two other primary states, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He will meet with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus later this month in an effort deliver his libertarian and tea party followers into the Republican establishment fold.
He also plans to deliver a speech at the Reagan Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Reagan, who upheld the anti-libertarian policies of big government and the warfare state, is often described as a libertarian conservative, same as Rand Paul is now being described.
In addition to visiting primary states, Paul will meet with evangelical pastors in an effort to woo the conservative Christian vote.
Some of the pastors “who traveled with Paul, a Methodist, said they engaged in deep conversations with him about the Bible and his faith. Several of the pastors said they are still assessing the senator’s views,” The Washington Post reports.
“Straight libertarianism has nothing Christian about it,” pastor Brad Sherman of the Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville, Iowa, told the newspaper. “I know a lot of people attribute him to be a libertarian. My impression so far is that he’s not as libertarian as possibly his father was, but I’d like to explore that more.”
Sherman traveled with Paul to Israel in January. The trip aligned the Senator from Kentucky more closely to the neocon faction of the Republican party and its Israel-centric policies.
“Absolutely we stand with Israel,” he told Breitbart News after the tour. “What I think we should do is announce to the world — and I think it is pretty well known — that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States.”
“The Israel trip served a dual purpose, drawing Paul closer to evangelicals, who identify with the Jewish state and push for strengthened U.S. aid to Israel, and giving him a chance to separate his foreign policy views from those of his father, who is a critic of U.S. financial aid to Israel and other countries,” the Post reports.
Unlike his father, Paul believes the United States should keep many of its overseas military bases. “There are some who want to come completely home. Some want to stay forever. And the answer might be somewhere in the middle that we’ll still have bases in places, but we don’t necessarily have to maybe have 900 bases. Maybe we have less,” he said in April, embracing the neocon military stance.
Sherman said Paul has turned his back on other libertarian issues as well. “He made it very clear that he does not support legalization of drugs like marijuana and that he supports traditional marriage,” he said.
“He’s closer to our philosophy than he is to what I would define as the hyper-libertarian position,” said David Lane, an organizer of evangelical pastors and voters who arranged Paul’s trip to Israel.
Appearing before the Heritage Foundation in February, Paul paid homage to the neocon vision and the war on Islam.
“Radical Islam is no fleeting fad but a relentless force,” he said. “Though at times stateless, radical Islam is also supported by radicalized nations such as Iran. Though often militarily weak, radical Islam makes up for its lack of conventional armies with unlimited zeal.”
In June, we said Paul’s “absorption” of the neocon agenda should have set off alarm bells in the Tea Party.
However, thanks to a successful operation to domesticate the Tea Party – originally a libertarian movement kick started by follower’s of Rand’s father – by seasoned establishment Republican operatives, Rand Paul’s pro-Israel and neocon sympathetic pronouncements did not send even a ripple across the Tea Party pond.
There was little protest after Paul threw his support behind the consummate establishment Republican, Mitt Romney, the favored candidate of the neocons. “Paul’s support of Romney translates into support for more neocon wars, more mass murder, and more tyranny at home,” we wrote before Obama was reappointed for a second term.
“How is it possible Rand Paul would consent to crawling into bed with this gang of war criminals? Is it possible he was a neocon all along a rode the coattails of his father’s reputation in order to get elected to the Senate?” we asked.
Master political manipulator, Glenn Beck, takes libertarians to task for criticizing Rand Paul.
Now Rand Paul is being preened as presidential material. It is yet another slick packaging deal by the establishment. For politically naïve Americans tired of the old left-vs-right board game that invariably puts big government warmongers into the White House, Rand Paul’s middle of the road Republicanism with its minimalisitc libertarian window dressing and constitutional rhetoric is designed to have presidential appeal for a large number of disgruntled Americans.
If Paul is elected in 2016 – and even the optimists agree this is a serious long shot – he will undoubtedly follow the establishment script. Rand Paul is being groomed as the Tea Party candidate now that the Tea Party is user friendly for establishment Republicans and can be counted to stand up and cheer when the establishment requires audience participation.