Rand Paul on the Government Shutdown

“Well, I said throughout the whole battle that shutting down the government was a dumb idea. Even though it did appear as if I was participating in it, I said it was a dumb idea. And the reason I voted for it, though, is that it’s a conundrum. Here’s the conundrum. We have a $17 trillion debt and people at home tell me you can’t give the president a blank check. We just can’t keep raising the debt ceiling without conditions.

“So unconditionally raising the debt ceiling, nobody at home wants me to vote for that and I can’t vote for that. But the conundrum is if I don’t we do approach these deadlines. So there is an impasse. In 2011, though, we had this impasse and the president did negotiate. We got the sequester. If we were to extend the sequester from discretionary spending to all the entitlements we would actually fix our problem within a few years.”

-Rand Paul

The bigger conundrum to me, one I’ve been stuck on for a while now, is what exactly is Rand Paul, politically speaking? I remember telling someone in a bar that my biggest concern for Paul in 2016 is that he would run on the crazy side of his dad. That… doesn’t seem to be the case now, does it?

Rand Paul is three different politicians. He is conservative when he wants to win an election in 2010. He is libertarian when he wants to pick up the support of his father’s cult-like following between elections and, right now, he’s a big partner of the establishment GOP. That statement plus his backing of Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Kentucky Senate race. Rand’s problem is one of blind political ambition, and probably listening to too many consultants in DC.

He secured the conservative vote in 2010. In the wake of Ron Paul’s retirement, the libertarian Paul cultists flocked to his son. Now, he wants to shore up GOP support in a 2016 bid for the presidency (which he won’t win a nomination for – that last name won’t allow it). But having support at different times from three different areas is a poor strategy. What’s worse, you’re wanting to get support now from the one group of people that will cost you support from the other two.
Rand Paul is licking his lips at the opportunity to continue his father’s legacy of not winning national elections. And given his current rhetoric, he’s going to be better at it than Ron was.