Friday, March 21, 2014
Lately, the Love him or hate him effect from old and new media for Rand Paul, the Senator from Kentucky who is the current GOP 2016 frontrunner (though hardly announced) has been ramped up a bit. The reasoning is pretty clear to those who are of a political mindset – the Establishment GOP sees Senator Paul as a threat to their preconceived notions of a candidate, and the Democrats see him as a threat for the same reason. Oddly enough, Libertarian ideals appeal to voters on the left and right of the political spectrum, so therefore, Paul is a threat to the status quo.
In addition, with each major political party, there are those who are to the right of the right and the left of the left, absolutists that would never, for example, vote for a Mormon as they might see that religion as a “cult”, and there are those on the left that would never vote for a Democrat if that individual did not have a perfect NARAL (abortion lobby) score. It is the extreme’s that drive both parties, as they are “the base”. The base often lives in print and broadcast, so loyal to party affiliation they fail to see the forest through the trees – believing that a Hillary Clinton – Jeb Bush match-up is, somehow, perfect, (the political dynasty equaling name recognition), or some such nonsense.
Therefore, reading articles on the Senator is conflicting – as it is a love, hate relationship taking form – there are two from Politico one exemplifies the hate and one sits squarely on the fence of neither. This following a week of pluses for the Senator, especially the warm reception received in Berkley, by the millennial – those 18-22 year olds who are itching to vote for someone fresh.
The first is titled “Big in the Bluegrass, In Kentucky It’s already about President Paul”, written by Sam Youngman, who writes for the Lexington Herald Leader. He lays out the Paul phenomenon with clarity – what his challenges are on the right and the left, with personal inflections being confined to reminiscing about past campaigns and the reality of the right and the left. It is worth the read. It may well be state pride, or it may also be a career motivated article, considering there is always a special place for reporters that can become attached to a national presidential campaign.
The second is entitled “Ready for Rand? – by Kevin D. Williamson, a “roving” contributor to the National Review who suggests that American’s will learn to hate Paul, they just don’t know it yet – blaming his Libertarianism. Of course, he also suggests that most American’s would prefer to be government dependent on various programs, which in the end, will prevent them from pulling a lever for a man who may take away social security, or and suggests that Libertarians and Liberals are one in the same – as the labels are from the same root word. From the establishment comes a salvo aimed at suggesting Paul is a non-starter.
One might suggest the most egregious examples will come from the National GOP who undoubtedly has a candidate in mind who will carry the banner right up until the concession speech.
Frankly, at this early point in the game it is impossible to tell where the cards will end up falling, and who will be in the deck – for either political party. Therefore, early stone-throwing accomplishes the ground work for later – just in case. It is the way of it with the D.C. bunch, and as it has happened in the past, and will happen in the near future; those who would decide the issue of who will be the standard bearer may be surprised to find themselves overruled – by the simple act of a vote.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Rand Paul Speaks at Berkeley - image LA Times
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) went to Berkeley and, as the San Jose Mercury News headlined: “found support”…”of all places”! It is not without some humor and irony that the headline reads – “of all places”, simply due to the fact that Republican’s don’t generally stump and fundraise in the California Bay Area. San Francisco, the home of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), is not the area one would anticipate any Republican to dare to tread – why bother, really the entire state is lost, along with Massachusetts. However, Paul is not your run of the mill, standard Republican, as he leans more Libertarians, which is an appealing prospect to a wide-range of voters – from the left to the right, men and women, young and old. Not only did he receive a warm welcome at UC Berkeley, he also received a standing ovation – which, knock one over with a feather!” (Daily Caller).
Outside of a very few articles on the success of the visit, most of the “Mainstream” media are treading carefully on coverage – The New York Times article on the Berkeley visit “Rand Paul, Warning About Spying, Faults Obama” doesn’t really speak to the oddity nor the implications of what Paul has accomplished., rather about a small portion of the speech he made to the students (who then applauded and stood).
The real implications are that a Libertarian, albeit, Republican is gaining more traction than any other candidate at the moment, given the articles rather than the polls, and the schematics of who will and will not vote in a mid-term or general election. The implications are, to this mind, that there is real change in the wind, not a slogan, nor a hypothetical, but a change in the hearts and minds of a populace who are tired of the same “party” lines, and are seeking a breath of fresh air. This air comes with a penchant for piece, individual liberty and common sense as far as social and fiscal issues are concerned, and are tied, hook, line and sinker to the Constitution.
This makes Rand Paul the frontrunner across the political spectrum and one should bet the house there is a proverbial “target” on the man, as he is upsetting the general party (and that is literally and figuratively) that is Washington D.C. entrenched politico’s and their sycophants.
One might see more venom develop from both the RNC and the DNC as they fight to maintain the status quo –a losing battle with the Libertarian minded Paul. For one, he is not shy about speaking out and correcting the press, which is a plus, and second, he does not come across as the politician, more like the family doctor/college professor/guy who eats snickers on the run who has a message which is on point.
Not since casting a vote for Anderson (Libertarian leaning Republican) in the 1980 election, has the prospect of an opportunity to cast one for another in 2016 been more appealing. Anderson did not even make a dent in the bucket – running against Reagan and Carter, however, it was the first time one can recall seeing a national third party candidate, period…or a decent choice between two behemoths, when one does not particularly embrace either “grand party”. Therefore, to have one Libertarian leaning Republican run under the banner of the “grand party”, with a cadre of like minded Constitutionalist (be they Tea Party or Libertarian) growing in the same party, would be historical and personally exciting. It has been centuries since either party truly rebranded as a national party that would allow for a crossover of opposition party members, as well as those who are more independent minded, and Paul, in this time and in this place is the one to carry that water - reminiscent of Washington, George. What more can one nation ask for?
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
An article at KSDK, on the united Democrat and Republican unity on prison reform is an interesting read – following the 2014 CPAC – (read the story here.
Worth watching is the video of a CPAC conference, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and his opposition to stiff mandatory sentences for first offenders, and tales of justice gone haywire in too many cases. The video link at www.youtube.com or below, is a discussion that will, in essence, change hearts and minds. It is through the combined efforts of Libertarian Conservative (Republican in most cases, the arm of the Party that is apparently growing in leaps and bounds) that would reform a system that is badly in need of financial and moral restoration.
Monday, March 17, 2014
From the Boston Globe: Scott Brown, former Republican Senator from Massachusetts, had move to New Hampshire, and now exploring a run at a Senate seat in the Granite State. Brown, who was one of the more bi-partisan – non “hack” Senators in the august body, would serve the independent streak of the New Hampshire voter quite well. Brown his MA Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren, Democrat, College Professor and avowed Progressive in typical Blue State Massachusetts. It was, in this opinion, a loss for Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Ron Paul, the Kentucky Libertarian-Republican Senator, recently won the CPAC straw poll, which he had won the prior year, yet another straw poll The Northeast Republican Leadership Straw Poll, also finds Paul in the lead(Fox News). Straw polls, or political activist polls, are not always a bellwether of a candidates future, however, an early CNN/ORC International poll, shows Paul in the lead. (CNN). That poll combines familiar names that will, in all likelihood, never announce a candidacy – Paul, who combines Libertarian and Tea Party values, would most likely pick up the share of polling (given like minds) of those who are never going to enter the arena. Time will tell, however, Paul is, in this opinion, the most worthy candidate the GOP could hope to have. If there were a third party, Paul would certainly lead, and it would be hoped that the change to a more constitutionally based GOP or third party, would bring common sense to the U.S.