A look at Rand’s wacky announcement

So Rand Paul announced he was running for President today.   The intellectually shallow demagogue who can endlessly spin off platitudes and meaningless statements whose deepest statements are in favor of isolationism and letting tyranny run amok the world is running!  How will I ever contain my excitement?yay_xander

Rand Paul

You have to love that “not quite stable” look in his eye.

Now some may claim that Rand’s speech was pretty much the exact same speech Ted Cruz gave.  You know a long stream of hollow populist statements with no substance and no thought for the people on the right who like leftist voters are looking to blindly follow a Obama-like demagogue, but who mouths right wing talking points instead of leftist ones.
But in reality they are different.  For instance Teddy repeated the baseless lie that conservative Christians have been staying home in droves and not voting…despite the complete lack of any evidence to prove this.  Also Teddy said in his speech said he was for a Flat Tax…which is interesting because twice he has co-sponsored a bill in the Senate for the Fair Tax (if I had to guess, I would say he doesn’t know what the difference is).  But as intellectually bereft Teddy’s speech was…Rand’s was so much more hilarious.  Here are a few highlights from his speech as we all eagerly await a conservative of some depth to announce…or at least for Jeb to announce and give a whole new round of idiocy to mock.

“I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to take our country back.”

And apparently we’ll be doing that by mincing words and shouting platitudes.  I’m sure it will be an effective strategy.

“We have come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank, the special interests that are more concerned with their personal welfare than the general welfare.”

Like that crony ass who twisted arms to get his state to change the rules so he could run for both president and Senate at the same time and thus be guaranteed a job next term no matter what and have to risk nothing. What was his name?  Rand something or other I think.

Any other politician sends hundreds of millions of pork back to their district, it’s corruption and politics as usual and needs to be booted out of office, Ron Paul does it, well he gets a pass because he’s Ron Paul. Any other politician pays for and collects profits from a newspaper with their name on it and said paper prints racist and anti-Semitic trash, well boot that son of a bitch out of office, Ron Paul does it, well it’s not Ron’s fault, he didn’t write it. Any other politician uses law as their personal plaything to benefit them and them alone, it’s corruption of the highest sort, Rand Paul does it and I’m sure the Paulbots will forgive him too.

“The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped.”

Nice words but exactly what did you have for a plan…oh that’s right why should I ask for a plan when you have talking points.

“I want to be part of a return to prosperity, a true economic boom that lists all Americans, a return to a government restrained by the Constitution.”

As we will see later in the speech these words are as hollow as hollow gets.

“A return to privacy, opportunity, liberty. Too often when Republicans have won we have squandered our victory by becoming part of the Washington machine. That’s not who I am.”

From the guy who used the political machine to change rules to only benefit him.  I just don’t know why I have problems believing him.

I worry, though, that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters. As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, “What kind of America will our grandchildren see”?

Well if we follow Rand’s foreign policy, there won’t be an America for our grandchildren to worry about.

“ If we nominate a candidate who is simply Democrat Lite what’s the point?  Why bother?”

Charles Krauthammer: And whatever name you want to put on Paul’s position, isolationist or noninterventionist he is without a doubt the one Republican who will be running who is the closest to Obama in his view of foreign policy.  Arguably, he is to the left of Obama on NSA, on surveillance, on the use of drones, essentially the war on terror. 
Indeed what is the point of Democrat Lite?

“I fear it can’t be fixed from within.”

Which I guess must be why he’s going for the most inside position ever…

“Congress will never balance the budget unless you force them to do so. Congress has an abysmal record with balancing anything. Our only recourse is to force Congress to balance the budget with a constitutional amendment.”

Rand Paul actually came out for some specifics in his speech…like a Balanced Budget Amendment…ignoring that every wording for a Balanced Budget Amendment proposed to date has been a cure worse than the disease…and the fact that I don’t think he’s ever introduced such an Amendment in the Senate…someone should probably tell him the President has absolutely nothing to do with Constitutional Amendments.  The President has no say whatsoever.  I love it when demagogues talk about the Constitution then shows they don’t know much about the Constitution.

“I ran for office because we have too many career politicians. I believe it now more than ever.”

Except him, if he wants to be a career politician that’s just fine.

“We limit the President to two terms. It’s about time we limit the terms of Congress!”

That’s a terrible idea…it’s a popular idea with populists…the problem is that it will only actually lead to more inept, more corrupt and more liberal legislation.

“That’s why I introduced a Read the Bills Act.”

Oh that’s right, we’re going to save the government through showy bills that have no substance.

“I’ve proposed something truly extraordinary — Let’s read the bills, every page!”

Give them years, and most of them still won’t read it.

“Our great nation was founded upon the extraordinary notion that government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized.”

Did he miss the part where the Constitution was drafted because the wasn’t enough government?  Because I seem to remember the conservatives like the Founders understood it was about balance not about extremes.

“I have a different vision, an ambitious vision, an ambitious vision, a vision that will offer opportunity to all Americans, especially those who have been left behind.”

And here comes the hope and change part of the speech…oh and class warfare apparently.  Who is giving this speech again?

“My plan includes economic freedom zones to allow impoverished areas like Detroit, West Louisville, Eastern Kentucky to prosper by leaving more money in the pockets of the people who live there.”

Okay let’s deal with the economic freedom zones.  Okay first let’s ignore the fact that this changes the rule for some people and not for others, because why should equality under the law matter.  Obama picked his winners and losers and Rand should be allowed to pick his to.  To hell with the government playing favorites being one of the problems we need to get rid of.  Let’s deal with two more pressing parts.  One is the fact that he envisions this in places like Detroit.  Now either he’s only reducing federal taxes in this area which doesn’t get at the root problem of it was the state and local government taxes and regulations that caused the real problem…or he’s going to deal with the state and local issues through federal power, thus ignoring the 10th Amendment and all of federalism.  Cool.  I can’t wait for a third Obama term but with a distinctly right tilt but an equal regard for the rule of law.  Finally there is the problem that these zones are not permanent, they are temporary by nature, and temporary reform does not solves problems—like the Bush tax cuts which everyone knew were ending or welfare recipients who know if they work just a little harder they’ll be thrown off the voter roll…no one will do well enough to ensure that the economic breaks will end, thus it will never lead to recovery.  Economic reform doesn’t work if it comes with an end date.

“Can you imagine what a billion-dollar stimulus could do for Detroit or for Appalachia.”

Holy God?  Did he really say that?  Yes, yes he did.  A billion dollars stimulus should fix everything.  I can imagine, because I’ve seen Obama do more than a billion in stimulus and pick who gets to play by the rules and who doesn’t.  It amounts to nothing in terms of economic growth.  If you want growth you need to permanently lower the taxes, you need to permanently end pointless regulation and you need to do it for everyone.  Rand Paul is just suggesting we just do more of Obama’s plans but for the people we like but the people Obama likes…I believe that’s called cronyism.

“I want to see millions of Americans back at work. In my vision for America, we’ll bring back manufacturing jobs that pay well.”

What the hell?  Is there not a single politician that realize that 3-D printing is going to gut the manufacturing industry the world over.  That the day of high paying jobs in manufacturing is a thing of the past.  But hey, I just love that everyone wants to use 19th century economics as their plan to boldly go into the 21st century.

“We’ll dramatically lower the tax on American companies that wish to bring their profits home.”

I’ll give the devil his due.  That one is good.

“More than $2 trillion in American profit currently sits overseas. In my vision for America, new highways and bridges will be built across the country, not by raising your taxes, but by lowering the tax to bring this American profit home.”

The logic is sound…but shouldn’t any capitalist be arguing that we should move these functions to the the states?

“In my vision for America, freedom and prosperity at home can only be achieved if we defend against enemies who are dead set on attacking us.  Without question we must defend ourselves and American interests from our enemies, but until we name the enemy, we can’t win the war.  The enemy is radical Islam. You can’t get around it.  And not only will I name the enemy, I will do whatever it takes to defend America from these haters of mankind.  We need a national defense robust enough to defend against all attack, modern enough to deter all enemies,”

He names the enemy, yes, but he doesn’t understand it…he thinks you can deter them.  Pal, these are religious lunatics that commit suicide on a regular basis.  Deter isn’t an option.  You can only deter someone who cares whether they live or die, with religious fanaticism the only deterrent is setting up a personal meeting between them and God.

“At home, conservatives understand that government is the problem, not the solution.  Conservatives should not succumb, though, to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow succeed in building nations abroad.”

So he’s arguing that because we do X badly we do Y badly.  Okay fair point.

Most of his speech is that we need to do better at X.  Yet somehow we can’t do better at Y.  I’m beginning to lose him there.

Also he fails to acknowledge that no matter how badly we are at nation building (honestly, our batting average while not perfect would get us into the majors) a nation we do a poor job rebuilding under any Republican is still usually better than the abominations they started out with.

“I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable and unencumbered by overseas nation-building.”

So he envisions isolationism.  A policy that has never worked.

“I envision a national defense that promotes, as Reagan put it, peace through strength. I believe in applying Reagan’s approach to foreign policy to the Iran issue. Successful negotiations with untrustworthy adversaries are only achieved from a position of strength.”

I seem to remember giving weapons to all of their enemies around the world and pushing for SDI a program that promised to reduce the USSR to a pile of rubble…it’s wasn’t so much negotiation as ultimatum…but you’d have to know something about history Rand to know that…or at least studied how Reagan approached his negotiations with Russia.  Reagan “We win, they lose”  Obama and Rand: “Let’s talk.”  You can’t talk about not working with nation building which Reagan did to one degree or another and then said we’re going to use Reagan’s policies.

Also ignoring that the Soviet Union wasn’t based on religious fanaticism and thus cared about whether they lived or died.

“I will oppose any deal that does not end Iran’s nuclear ambitions and have strong verification measures.”

Cool.  I wonder what he would think of the man who said the following one year ago.
“I am not for containment in Iran. Let me repeat that, since no one seems to be listening closely: I am unequivocally not for containing Iran.  I am also not for announcing that the United States should never contain Iran.”  Oh wait, that was Rand saying that one year ago, taking the exact opposite opinion.    Remember all those Paulbots who made up BS about Romney being a flip-flopper when he wasn’t…I can’t wait to see the hypocrisy that goes with explaining this 180 change.

“The difference between President Obama and myself,”

One of you had a Nazi for a father and the other a Communist?

“ he seems to think you can negotiate from a position of weakness. Yet everyone needs to realize that negotiations are not inherently bad.”

Yes, how else will be boldly achieve Rand’s ‘Peace in our Time’ goals?

“Warrantless searches of Americans’ phones and computer records are un-American and a threat to our civil liberties.”

If you watch the video this is really the only part he’s excited about. This is pretty much the only thing he cares about.  I fully agree the NSA needs to be rolled back, mainly because metadata doesn’t work all that well…but for him it’s a jihad.

“The president created this vast dragnet by executive order. And as president on day one, I will immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance.”

Need more proof that this is the only thing he cares about…it’s the only thing he give specifics on.

“America has much greatness left in her. We are still exceptional and we are still a beacon for the world.”

Ummm…does he get the beacon to world, the shinning city on the hill is Neocon language.  Pick a side, Rand.

I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.

To be fair,  I know what he meant, but what he said is he’s going to get rid of laws against robbery and murder.  There has to be a better way to phrase that, Rand.   Oh, but then you just sound like you want to be the Pot President.

“I see an America with a restrained IRS that cannot target, cannot harass American citizens for their political or religious beliefs.”

But one where the IRS gets to determine if you’re in an economic freedom zone or not…trading powers is not going to help us, Rand.

All in all this is just the kind of contradictory speech of platitudes and isolationism I have come to expect from this man.

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