Welcome to another “Pauluses and Minuses,” which will once again be dominated by Rand’s courageous filibustering and campaigning against the Patriot Act, leading to the expiration of the act’s most egregious 4th Amendment violations. Let’s hit some smaller points, then celebrate and dissect the major topic of the day.
Rand “America’s Liberty PAC” Creates WWE Style Anti NSA Ad
It’s already been established that Rand won’t be following all of the established protocols for running a political campaign, and his hiring of “Libertarian Girl” to run his social media exports is an indication of the man’s willingness to color outside the lines.
A Super PAC that supports Rand’s campaign has clearly taken that lead and run with it. They have created a social media/online ad that paired Rand vs. Obama, Ted Cruz and others in a NSA Battle Royale, WWE-style matchup, with shooting flames, screeching eagles and monster truck voiceover included. The spot promoted Sunday night’s Senate session.
I’ll give it this – it’s decently funny. However, in my opinion this does more harm than good. Rand is already viewed by many as a fringe candidate whose views fall outside the mainstream and who is a little nutty. That’s not a fair assessment, but as of now, that’s how it is. Ads like this, which play well with Rand’s established base, do little to win over new voters. Did it make a splash? Yes. Does that splash garner Rand more support from areas outside his supporter base? Highly doubtful. Even if this is passed along virally, those who aren’t in Camp Rand are going to watch, ask “what the hell is this?” and have a lower opinion of him than when they began.
Content like this isn’t suitable for a man running for the most powerful office in the world. I know these PACs are “unauthorized by any candidate” and technically unaffiliated, but there’s littler doubt this got an unofficial go-ahead nod from Rand’s campaign and thus gets a…
Rand States the GOP Created ISIS
Rand is facing a barrage of GOP missiles today in the wake of the his Patriot Act heroics. However, he was already drawing fire for other comments he made, including saying that the GOP was responsible for the creation of ISIS via the arming of rebels in Syria. This is all true, but leaves out Obama’s role in creating the mess in the Middle East. The legacy that the United States leaves behind in the Middle East, due to decade after decade of intervention, is one that has always led to blowback. Al Qaeda was the original terrorist organization created by the U.S., and ISIS is just the latest iteration – more evidence of repetitive thinking and failed foreign policy.
I can forgive Rand for not going into more depth on the issue with a limited window of time and in an interview session that is a dialogue and not a pulpit, and admire his guts in choosing now to double down on this issue. He’s quickly creating the walls of his campaign that will differentiate him from the gaggle of Neoclones that will oppose him in the upcoming primaries. I’ll presume that given the chance in a debate, Rand will expound on the cyclical blindness U.S. foreign policymakers seem to have when it comes to the consequences of interfering abroad and arming forces in far away lands.
Rand (almost) Single Handedly Kills Patriot Act
As of yesterday it became official: the bulk spying provisions of the Patriot Act are dead. And while there is a zombified version kicking around the House that Mitch McConnell is attempting to use necromancer powers upon in the Senate, it seems that for now the momentum is for keeping the bill buried. This occurred as a direct result of the efforts of Rand Paul, who as we all know, filibustered for 10.5 hours last weekend (virtually without any support from other lawmakers), stalled the session until extending certain nefarious provisions in the Patriot Act vote would be a rushed and virtually impossible affair, and made Mitchy McC. look foolish in comparison. Rand outplayed one of the veterans of the D.C. Machine in the political game handily – he was all ladders to McConnell’s chutes.
The “elders” of the GOP are carrying torches and marching on Castle Rand, accusing Paul of “lying” and in grandstanding to raise money for his campaign, but if they expect the public to buy such petty arguments, especially in the wake of Edward Snowden’s document revelations, they’ll need to package a new car with every ridiculous point to convince anyone to buy in.
The fight will continue now as the USA Freedom Act comes to bear, which is Patriot Act “light,” and in a perfect libertarian world, would also be tossed in the waste bin. Sadly, it looks to have bi-partisan support despite its broader failings. We’ll have to follow along this week to see what actions Rand takes in regards to this new demon.
BONUS! Rand Paul Thanks Matt Drudge
A quick addition, but a worthwhile one to point out. Rand Paul made sure to thank Matt Drudge for his support of the fight against NSA spying in his victory speech. Drudge is the editor and owner of the Drudgereport.com, one of the most powerful men in media, and a good ally in any political fight. Drudge’s readership is second to none and having the man in Rand’s corner can only help financially and via media coverage (many outlets pull content or take leads from Drudge).
The Current “Paulus-Minus” Tally:
59 Pauluses / 22 Minuses / 4 Push
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