A Self-Neutralizing Threat

Will tribble-topped presidential aspirant Rand Paul be able to use libertarian themes like police demilitarization at home and a non-interference policy abroad to attract minority voters and liberals who are sick of an AIPAC-driven approach to foreign affairs? Nope.

To pull off that sort of political ju-jitsu, Paul would have to be able to count on the GOP base to refrain from screeching like a scalded stoat when he makes appeals outside the tent, and he can’t. Here’s the reaction of the PowerTools gang to Baby Doc’s recent remarks on Ferguson:

Paul sees the opportunity to score libertarian points while showing sympathy for the black community, to which he has been pandering for some time. Let’s start with the race pandering.

Paul uses the occasion of the Brown tragedy to say that “given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.” But Paul makes no attempt to show that the disparities in question — presumably pertaining to conviction rates — are the result of “government targeting,” as opposed to disparities in the commission of crimes. Blacks may feel targeted, but U.S. Senators shouldn’t lend credibility to that feeling by disparaging our justice system unless they provide meaningful analysis to back it up.

Remember, the PowerTools represent the civilized segment of the base, the portion one imagines has reliable access to pants and even shoes, the sector who are frequently quoted by wingnut columnists and politicians. Imagine how Paul’s pandering will be received by their less evolved brethren.

Ditto foreign policy. Paul’s wingnut opponents in the primary will use fear of the other as a cudgel to beat Baby Doc, just as they walloped his old man like a rented mule on foreign policy in every one of his quixotic quests for the nomination.

Like clocks gone Galt, libertarians are occasionally right on two issues: 1) the balance of government power and individual liberty, and 2) empire-building is a con job. Unfortunately for them, the party with which they’re most closely associated comprises scads of avid fascists who are eager to break heads at home and bounce rubble abroad. They’ll kneecap Paul without our help.

74 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I read somewhere that when conservatives express empathy toward minority issues, the poor, etc., the goal isn’t to reach out to minorities, but to make white women comfortable with voting GOP.

    In Paul’s case, I think his goal is to make white liberals comfortable with supporting his candidacy.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Like clocks gone Galt, libertarians are occasionally right on two issues: 1) the balance of government power and individual liberty, and 2) empire-building is a con job.

    That’s the other thing. The only good things about libertarianism I can get through liberalism. So why be libertarian?

  3. 3
    Tommy says:

    Charles Pierce over at Esquire has a great line about the Paul’s and libertarians in general. It is the “Paul Rule.” I admit as a far left liberal at times what Rand, more what he father says, I find myself nodding my head.

    But then the “Paul Rule” comes into play. Pierce says they can sound totally sane, you are nodding your head in agreement, for five minutes. But at exactly 5.0001 minutes they totally go off the rails.

    The initial words that come out of their mouth makes total sense. Who can’t agree with that?/ It is like the editor of Reason Magazine I see on a ton of shows. Makes total sense for 5.0001 minutes. Then you ponder what they are really saying. The ramifications and they make less then no sense.

    Paul will run into this if he makes a serious run for the POTUS. Or I sure as fuck hope so.

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    Rand Paul has problems with two kinds of people– Republicans and Democrats. His plan is to attract a constituency from both, but it’s much more likely that he’ll be stuck with neither.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: Interesting theory (about white women being the true target). I don’t see that working out for Paul either. He just comes off as such an arrogant ass.

  6. 6
    Punchy says:

    Has it been confirmed that Senior Ron will NOT seek the Libby nommy in 2016? Cuz I havent seen anything that says he’ll step aside.

    I cant imagine father Ron running against Son Rand (on the GOP ticket) in the same election…

  7. 7
    Dave L says:

    Absolutely right. Remember, when the GOP decided to throw Paul senior a bone after the last presidential primary season, the only part of his agenda that proved acceptable to them was the loony gold-standard stuff. Whenever he brought up foreign policy, he was elbowed off stage.

    More to the point, the GOP has become the white man’s party, to its marrow and DNA. Even if it were possible to attract more minority voters without compromising Republican policy lines — and it’s not — the party base would turn on any candidate responsible for bringing in “those people”. Rand Paul may think he’s broadening the party’s appeal, but to most Republicans he’s going to look like a neighborhood block-buster, trying to integrate a formerly decent community for his own scalawag ends.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @Dave L:

    I think the subtext of Paul’s message to conservatives is, “I’m trolling liberals for their support, but don’t worry, I’m one of you.”

    I don’t know whether it will work, but I think that’s his strategy.

  9. 9

    One of young Paul’s problems is his inability to smooth-talk his way out of a problem such as denying he ever said he was opposed to any part of the Civil Rights Act when he clearly said — and was recorded — saying he had problems with it. If he can’t figure out how to deftly bamboozle the stenographers, then he has a problem.

    Of course that assumes the stenographers will actually look up and say, “Um, excuse me…” Not a lot of hope there.

  10. 10
    Tommy says:

    @Dave L: See I think you are spot on. The Republicans can’t follow his ideas for our military and foreign policy. Clearly we have the best military in the world. There isn’t even a close second. But propose we spend less. Heck just hold our spending at the current level and you are done in the Republican party.

    Say “hey invading other nations isn’t a good idea” is even worse. IMHO there is zero chance he can win the GOP nomination. He might win a few primaries, but in the end the GOP will circle the wagons and screw the dude.

    He’ll end up in the same place his father did every time he ran. From the outside looking in.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    @Baud: No way that works, IMO. Look what Cochran did w/r/t the black vote in MS just to win, and the tea party fucks (read: base) went nuts. Getting “support” from libs is unacceptable, no matter what the greater agenda, because it demonstrates insufficient purity.

    The base lives and breathes Cleek’s Law every second of their life, so appealing to the enemy for whatever reason cannot be allowed.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    Recent Booman post (quoting someone else)

    In recent weeks, [Sen. Rand] Paul has substantially toughened his line against Russia, ruled out containing a nuclear Iran (a position with which he had previously flirted), pledged support for U.S. aid to Israel (another flip-flop), and remained open to bombing Iraq. He’s also hired one of John McCain’s foreign-policy advisors.

    Paul is not staking out these positions to win over actual voters. Given that ordinary Republicans oppose arming the rebels in Syria, want a negotiated deal on Iran, and want America to refrain more from intervening militarily overseas, Paul would probably gain greater public support by sticking with a more dovish line and thus distinguishing himself in a multi-candidate field. What’s motivating him is not the New Hampshire primary but the invisible primary. Paul has been ardently wooing GOP donors, who tend to be far more hawkish than Republicans as a whole, and who have threatened to mobilize against his candidacy. And according to Politico, he’s told several of them that his foreign-policy views are “evolving.”

  13. 13
    Tommy says:

    @Baud: I don’t know any hardcore libertarians. But my gut the “true believers” are worse then the tea party faithful. That Paul can’t have “evolving” ideas as your post said and they will let that go. Seems to me as a libertarian you are either all in or you are not. No middle ground.

  14. 14
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Team Paul reads too many blogs, IMHO. He’s trying to make a play for the people disillusioned with Obama especially over the “surveillance state” stuff and add to them the people harrumphing about Hillary Clinton being too hawkish. And sometimes it works on them. But that’s really not very many people. And it’ll be a cold day in Hell before those people actually vote for him for President.

  15. 15
    MattF says:

    @Tommy: In my experience, the marker for the hard-core libertarian is loony economic theories– e.g., people who go on and on about ‘fiat money’.

  16. 16
    amk says:

    won’t get past IA straw poll. next…

  17. 17
    Liam says:

    But Paul makes no attempt to show that the disparities in question — presumably pertaining to conviction rates — are the result of “government targeting,” as opposed to disparities in the commission of crimes. Blacks may feel targeted, but U.S. Senators shouldn’t lend credibility to that feeling by disparaging our justice system unless they provide meaningful analysis to back it up.

    Boy howdy, the white supremacy is never far, huh? Protip: if your explanation of apparent racial disparities is the inherent qualities of a non-white group, You’re a white supremacist.

  18. 18
    Liam says:

    But Paul makes no attempt to show that the disparities in question — presumably pertaining to conviction rates — are the result of “government targeting,” as opposed to disparities in the commission of crimes. Blacks may feel targeted, but U.S. Senators shouldn’t lend credibility to that feeling by disparaging our justice system unless they provide meaningful analysis to back it up.

    Boy howdy, the white supremacy is never far, huh? Protip: if your explanation of apparent racial disparities is the inherent qualities of a non-white group, you’re a white supremacist. This might be a double post. FY and your inherent criminality, WP.

  19. 19
    jayboat says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Interesting theory (about white women being the true target). I don’t see that working out for Paul either. He just comes off as such an arrogant ass.

    This. Plus… and I am NOT judging here- but, in nearly every photo I’ve seen of him in a room or area with a lot of people in it, he is THE SHORTEST GUY IN SIGHT.

    Might explain the arrogance, but also, does not appear presidential AT ALL.

    I know physical height is totally irrelevant to ability, but it’s the perception that gets me. He’s just a little prick.

  20. 20
    Tommy says:

    @Liam: I am not sure I go as far as white supremacy but they clearly don’t have a clue about how the world works. As a white dude. Brooks Brother suit wearing. German sedan. Well I might have done some things I shouldn’t have and the cops didn’t care and/or looked the other way.

    Bet if I was an African American, jeans hanging off my hip, baseball cap, standing on a street corner, they would not have offered up the same. You know, just saying.

  21. 21
    RAM says:

    …tribble-topped presidential aspirant Rand Paul…

    Made my day. Perhaps my whole week.

  22. 22
    Duke of Clay says:

    @Tommy: Thanks for sharing this. I have often had a similar thought. The Pauls and their ilk remind me of my work in mental health many years ago. You’re doing intake on a paranoid-schizophrenic, and they are telling you about their problems with a crazy, abusive spouse and how the police won’t help. For about five minutes it all sounds very reasonable, and then they mention the CIA involvement and the implant the CIA put in their head so they can monitor the patient’s thoughts.

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jayboat: Plus his voice is raspy and thin and he makes a pained, purse-lipped face while speaking. He seems irritated all the time. Like the kind of guy who goes to a restaurant with a crowd and keeps sending back his order because it’s not precisely how he likes it, and you don’t know whether you should just start eating or not, and when he says it’s OK if everyone else starts, he doesn’t really mean it.

    He’s always going to be far better as a paper candidate than in the flesh.

  24. 24
    Tommy says:

    @jayboat: No offense taken as a male shorter then Paul. Look shit like that matters even if it shouldn’t. Also his hair. Isn’t that a perm? Needs to change that tomorrow. And his suits are terrible. I am a snappy dresser. My suits when I went to work in an office were Tom James, custom make. French cuffs. Even business casual I take pride in my cloths.

    He looks like he shops at TJ Max. Now I am not putting down TJ Max. I got some Bruno Magli shoes and a Ralph Lauren tuxedo there. But at times it looks like he is dressing out of his dirty cloths hamper.

    That won’t work so well running for the POTUS under the bright lights.

  25. 25

    Rand Paul? the same guy that said

    “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and 50 dollars in cash I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

    is going to have a credibility problem if he thinks he can now claim the police are over militarized.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @Baud: This! I might add that Paul is looking for the under 35 crowd.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    @jayboat: I didn’t even realize he was short, but he sure does come off as a cocky bastard. It’s a contrast with Papa Doc, who, despite being nuttier than a hairspray-huffing hyena, doesn’t project arrogance.

  28. 28
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Holy crap, you used comprise correctly.

    Oh, and Baby Doc is a joke.

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    Remember, the PowerTools represent the civilized segment of the base

    I would not go that far.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Papa Doc, who, despite being nuttier than a hairspray-huffing hyena, doesn’t project arrogance.

    G-damn Betty. Laughing here. YOU should get the Meet the Press slot. Better student of politics and nature, and undoubtedly easier on the eyes than Chuck Todd.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    That’s the other thing. The only good things about libertarianism I can get through liberalism. So why be libertarian?

    Quoted For Truth, This, and other forms of approval.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    @Helmut Monotreme:

    “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and 50 dollars in cash I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

    the best thing about this line is, it makes me imagine some white conservative open-carrying shmuck walking out of a liquor store with a case of high life and counting the 50 bucks in his pocket, suddenly looking up and seeing a hellfire missile coming at him.

  33. 33
    gf120581 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Rand sometimes reminds me of Michael Sheen’s character in Midnight in Paris; an insufferable know-it-all who really doesn’t know anything and is floored when someone who actually knows something corrects him.

    You forgot his obvious Kryponite, however. Send a Mexican to see him and watch him do his best Sir Robin impersonation. You might even get a free burger out of the deal.

  34. 34
    Eric U. says:

    @Punchy: agreed about Cleek’s law being the ruling principle that guides the republican base.
    Now if we could just get Cleek’s law to be widely known

  35. 35
    Starfish says:

    @Baud: If a “libertarian” wanted a white woman’s vote, then liberty would extend to abortion issues. But they don’t, so it doesn’t.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Of course that assumes the stenographers will actually look up and say, “Um, excuse me…” Not a lot of hope there.

    One of the things about modern conservatives is that they’ve become so lazy, and so used to the comfort and safety of their echo chamber, that even the stenographers can’t cover for them anymore. Sarah Palin was a terrible candidate, Mitt Romney was a terrible candidate, and nothing the media did was enough to stop people from noticing.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: From what I’ve seen, he’s getting quite a few of them. Plenty of under-30’s of my acquaintance, who I thought were reasonably intelligent, or at least halfway well-informed, are sporting Rand Paul bumper stickers. One, at least, has spent considerable time volunteering for something or other.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: From what I’ve seen, he’s getting quite a few of them. Plenty of under-30’s of my acquaintance, who I thought were reasonably intelligent, or at least halfway well-informed, are sporting Rand Paul bumper stickers. One, at least, has spent considerable time volunteering for something or other.

  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    He seems irritated all the time. Like the kind of guy who goes to a restaurant with a crowd and keeps sending back his order because it’s not precisely how he likes it, and you don’t know whether you should just start eating or not, and when he says it’s OK if everyone else starts, he doesn’t really mean it.

    Perfect!

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    nuttier than a hairspray-huffing hyena

    Sobbing with laughter here.

  41. 41
    jayboat says:

    @Tommy:
    Thanks, I certainly wasn’t slamming short people, it feels amplified somehow with him, maybe it’s the hair, or the voice, or the entire package. It just seems like a large part of the overall equation of ‘presidential’ in today’s world is how a candidate presents himself and whatever we mean when we say ‘stage presence’. Aqua Budda has none of these qualities, imho.

    And your comments about his attire are spot on. There’s a saying among boaters about living aboard a vessel- that to do it, you need to get used to the idea of your clothes looking like they were pressed with a hammer. This would sum up my impression of his look.

  42. 42
    Citizen_X says:

    @Liam:

    Protip: if your explanation of apparent racial disparities is the inherent qualities of a non-white group, You’re a white supremacist.

    Yup. Jesus Christ, that second paragraph. It’s exactly what you’d have heard from any Stormfront/White Power assholes over the last couple of decades. Now that’s mainstream Republican thought? That’s a problem.

    It used to be that Republicans would just be able to say, “We’re tough on crime. We don’t coddle the criminals like the liberals want to,” and that would be enough. But now people are genuinely sick of the drug war, and are starting to notice that we imprison more people than anybody else on the plane, and that there have been hella racial disparities in sentencing over those drugs. So they’re reverting to “But The Blacks commit all the crimes?” Wow.

    Don’t know if it’s going to work–I hope not–but it’s going to cause more problems down the road. (See “Ferguson, MO.”)

  43. 43
    Valdivia says:

    @Baud:
    Exactly in agreement. Yesterday every political journalist on the internet was slobbering over Rand. The most courageous bold pronouncement ever they said! What??? I almost chocked from reading all of the enthused comments about him which completely ignore what he actually votes and proposes. Hope most liberals aren’t that gullible. The Village certainly is.

  44. 44

    @Baud: I thought Rand Paul’s constituency is mostly dudebros not women.

  45. 45

    @Valdivia: He is this cycle’s McCain for the Village.

  46. 46
    Citizen_X says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: If someone calls Paul a “maverick,” Grandpa Nukem will get so cranky they’re going to have to invent new Sunday shows for him to appear on.

  47. 47
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker: Are any of their candidates or up-and-comers _not_ cocky bastards? Arrogance emanates from Paul and Cruz as though it was a sebaceous substance. Maybe Perry, in a weird way, because he’s such a dumbass?

  48. 48
    Valdivia says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: yep. They were screaming like little Tweens yesterday. Gah.

  49. 49
    Shakezula says:

    I know the right’s reflexive poo flinging gives some people heart burn, high blood pressure and migraines. But I’m glad to see one of my predictions has come true: Thanks to careful nurturing by the GOP their supporters now view any attempt, no matter how half-assed, to treat African-Americans like human beings as Race Pandering.

    Even as you put it, the ones who have pants and shoes.

    Lots of well fucked chickens coming home to roost.

  50. 50
    mellowjohn says:

    @jayboat:
    fortune found me standing next to rand paul in a national (i’ll never call it ronaldfuckingreagan) airport men’s room last summer.
    he is a teeny-tiny guy. and being 6’4″ myself, i got a good look at the tribble top.
    p.s. he didn’t wash his hands.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    If you keep in mind that the Pauls are grifters looking to score some sweet sweet “love offerings” from fawning followers, this makes a whole lot more sense.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Valdivia: Yet another reason why the Village must be utterly destroyed.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  53. 53
    ed says:

    Probably a repost, but David Brin examines American Revolution ideas of libertarianism, and I find it very agreeable. HERE

  54. 54
    safeshark says:

    Oh fer Christs sakes. It’s pander and just leave it at that. He doesn’t mean anything of what he says. Clearly this Betty Crocker character cannot even remember recent history with Paul and his contradictory statements. Clearly his pandering works with the naive libertarian curious Cole types who think Griftwald is dreamy.

  55. 55
    sufr says:

    It’s pandering and just leave it at that. He doesn’t really mean what he says when he is pandering to the left.

  56. 56
    CumbucoTrader says:

    What’s interesting is Paul actually staked out a reasonable position on what’s going on in Ferguson, and every comment here is a jab at the guy for one reason or another. In other words, it doesn’t matter if someone on the other side of the aisle actually says the right thing, because our job here in the comments section of this blog is to shit on everyone 24/7, unless their name is Obama.

    A lot of Libertarians have been out front criticizing the police reaction in Ferguson, including at Reason magazine. Sometimes there is an opportunity to stake out common ground. I dropped Senator Paul an email to thank him because I agreed with what he said.

    Okay, now everyone can direct their cynical vitriol my way…

  57. 57
    safeshark says:

    @CumbucoTrader: You do realize you are talking about the same guy who would eliminate the civil rights act give half a chance. Someone who opposes pretty much everything and anything about the federal gov’t and does everything he can to throw a wrench into the gears from the inside. So amazing how naive people can be sometimes to believe his contradictory crap.

  58. 58
    Shakezula says:

    @CumbucoTrader:

    Okay, now everyone can direct their cynical vitriol my way…

    Don’t do it! This is a plot to get your precious cynical vitriol!

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @CumbucoTrader:

    Okay, now everyone can direct their cynical vitriol my way…

    Cute. What a lovely way to preemptively cover yourself against any disagreement.

  60. 60
    CumbucoTrader says:

    @safeshark I realize who I’m talking about, I’m aware of Paul’s positions and past statements. So he’s a big phony. So are 90% of the other politicians in Congress.

    But the PowerLine guys hate him, as does Jennifer Rubin. A point in his favor as far as I’m concerned. I’m not saying I’m going to go out and vote for Rand Paul, but sometimes he says something I agree with, and in politics you need to cobble together alliances where you can. In this case, he’s right about militarization of the police force. I hope he sticks with his position.

  61. 61
    CumbucoTrader says:

    @Omnes Omnibus I have no issues if you disagree with me, but you can save your snarky “cute” comments.

  62. 62
    StringOnAStick says:

    The tribble-top serves to visually make Rand look taller, not unlike the architectural quality of the hairstyles of the current and previous leader of North Korea. I guarantee that’s why he has that ‘do.

    I’ve also seem guys go for the perm thing because it covers their growing bald spot more effectively than a comb-over, for awhile anyway. I don’t know if he perms his hair or not, but if he does it has to be because of the height illusion it creates. It’s about as effective as that thing some hairstylist creates every morning for Trump.

  63. 63
    Shakezula says:

    @mellowjohn: Oh I do like knowing a doctor doesn’t practice the sort of hygiene the rest of us mastered when we were potty trained. That’s actually very gross.

    …national (i’ll never call it ronaldfuckingreagan)

    Thank you.

  64. 64
    StringOnAStick says:

    @sufr: He may not mean the stuff he is spewing to pander to the left, but I am seeing more than a few younger types who would nominally be liberals actually falling for it. If you are under 35 or 40 even, you’ve never known government to be anything other than the mess Reagan started and the TP’s are trying to finish, so Paul comes along, says “gubmint out of your lives, no wars, and lower taxes”, and that looks OK to some of them.

    I’ve seen two kinds of 2016 presidential bumper stickers so far: one for Ben Carson, and a bunch for Rand Paul, with the latter usually on a car with other stickers strongly suggesting for liberal, environmental, and peace causes, with a smattering of hipster.

  65. 65
    Archon says:

    It may not work but Paul definitely has a coherent strategy, try to reach out to black voters especially if you assume that a) Hillary Clinton will be the nominee and b) she’s going to win some votes of (white) people that Obama could never reach

    If those two points are true then the Republican nominee in 2016 will absolutely, positively have to win a non insignificant amount of Obama voters to stand a chance. I think the animus towards the Republican party from blacks is too deep for it to work but it’s better then the “let’s run the same anti-black campaign that got us smoked in 2012 but this time let’s do it against a popular white woman instead of Obama”.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @CumbucoTrader: So you are okay with cynical vitriol, but snarky “cute” responses bother you? How odd.

    Look, I think Paul is a fraud and a grifter. If he says something that makes sense, I look for the catch. YMMV.

  67. 67
    Betty Cracker says:

    @safeshark: Not the sharpest shark in the ocean, are you?

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ed: Brin is absolutely right on.

    The vast majority of people who profess to be Adam Smith fans have never cracked open The Wealth of Nations.

    By the standards of our contemporary oligarch wannabes, he’s an outright socialist.

  69. 69
    Jay C says:

    @Liam: @Citizen_X:

    …are the result of “government targeting,” as opposed to disparities in the commission of crimes. Blacks may feel targeted, but U.S. Senators shouldn’t lend credibility to that feeling by disparaging our justice system unless they provide meaningful analysis to back it up.

    Basically a fancier-worded version of the stock “There’s more [Them]* in jail, because [They]* commit more crimes!” response we’ve seen in this country for several centuries: usually “bolstered” by references to the inherent criminality of [Them]*. Which of course, is a nice way to deflect/divert the issue: if Mike Brown had been gunned down while exiting a recently-robbed bank with a gun in his hand and a satchel of money under his arm, the issue of police violence wouldn’t be salient. But that’s not the case.

    *insert vulgar racial epithet of choice

  70. 70
    Pococurante says:

    liberals who are sick of an AIPAC-driven approach to foreign affairs

    Sigh…

  71. 71
    shortstop says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    One of young Paul’s problems is his inability to smooth-talk his way out of a problem such as denying he ever said he was opposed to any part of the Civil Rights Act when he clearly said — and was recorded — saying he had problems with it. If he can’t figure out how to deftly bamboozle the stenographers, then he has a problem.

    I watch his efforts in this area with great fascination. He’s as bad at sugarcoating his politically suicidal positions as Mitt was at having casual conversations with blah people, women or ethnic Europeans.

    I really think the whole Paul family has been part of a cult of personality for so long that they never learned how to talk to (much less with) people who don’t fawn over them. You can often see real anger in Rand Paul’s face when he’s challenged. He’s not used to it, he doesn’t like it and it shows. This stuff simply can’t be hidden in a national campaign.

  72. 72
    shortstop says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Like the kind of guy who goes to a restaurant with a crowd and keeps sending back his order because it’s not precisely how he likes it, and you don’t know whether you should just start eating or not, and when he says it’s OK if everyone else starts, he doesn’t really mean it.

    Hilarious and dead on.

  73. 73
    Funkula says:

    “Reliable access to pants and even shoes” made me laugh really, really hard. I’m cracking up again just writing it.

  74. 74

    […] depressed that Aqua Buddha was the front-runner and the impact of this Time piece, I peeked over at Balloon Juice, who have a different take (a longish excerpt from PowerLine that rips Rand a new hole […]

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