Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – What made Ron Paul Ron Paul was that Ron Paul never changed in 34 years of public electoral life, that he always took his oath and pledge to protect and defend the Constitution seriously and literally, then spent his life becoming smart and intelligent enough on those issues so that when he was pushed on it he could give very historically accurate and salient reasons as to why he was doing what he was doing, thereby attracted all those people young and old? There are some things that are eternal, and some things even in the world that has been created by humans that are supposed to be, at least as long as we live under a certain form of government, eternal. Ron Paul understood that. He never bailed on that. He never wavered on that. It seems that the eternal and those things may not be as appealing to Rand. Check out the rest in today’s transcript…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Interesting post by Dr. Tim Stanley at the Guardian UK Telegraph today: “Rand Paul is no Ron Paul, and he’ll go to Israel to prove it.” AG, I think you and I probably have some personal evidence that this is actually happening, wouldn’t you concur?
AG: I would think so, yeah.
Rand Paul seems to be distancing himself from his father’s ideological image. [Mike: That’s not all he’s distancing himself from.] The actress Ashley Judd is said to be considering a run for the Senate from Kentucky. Asked about the rumours, Republican incumbent Rand Paul was scathing. “She’s way damn too liberal for our country, for our state,” he told an interviewer. Since she owns a home in Scotland, he suggested that she consider running for Parliament instead, where “she’d fit right in.” It’s nice to know that even after 2 years of Conservative government, the UK is still a global byword for socialism.
But what’s up with Rand Paul’s politics these days? There are two things you need to know about the son of antiwar maverick Ron. First, he’s running for president in 2016. The talk of DC is that he doesn’t much enjoy being a senator and his actions since election have suggested he’s more interested in courting the Tea Party than legislating. Second, he’s going to soften his father’s message in order to do it. The word is that he’s building up to a significant speech outlining an approach to foreign policy that distances himself from Ron Paul’s legacy. The events of the last few days seem to confirm the gossip. [Mike: I think that would be a monumental mistake but he is certainly free to make it.] On Tuesday and Wednesday, Jennifer Rubin ran a couple of interviews with Rand that signaled a subtle shift in rhetoric.
Mike: Why is Rand hanging out with and answering Jennifer fake conservative Rubin’s question, one might query? Why? For what reason? This woman is just another neocon, decepticon hack that the Washington Compost hired to try to make some people think that they have bipartisan and unbiased editorials, or biased editorials that are balanced because they have bias on one side and bias on the other.
Jennifer Rubin ran a couple of interviews with Rand that signaled a subtle shift in rhetoric. On Tuesday, she wrote, “Foreign aid is a topic on which Paul has made waves. However, in our conversation he expressed his views in a measured fashion.” His father has always opposed all aid in all circumstances on the grounds of constitutionality. Rand, by contrast, seems to want to move towards a limited aid program that rewards good behaviour.
Mike: If I were Ms. Rubin, I’d ask: Where do you find that in the Constitution? Where do you find that in the post-ratification history all the way up till the last decade or so of the 19th century? Someone is going to call and say that we aided Mexico. That is an isolated story and I don’t know that you would call that aid so much as you would call it prudence. They are, after all, a neighbor of sorts. Back to the story:
For example, “the foreign aid bill he introduced would have allowed aid to Egypt, Paul said, if officials in Cairo ‘could prove they would defend our embassy.’” Rubin approves of this because “at a time when Egypt and other countries’ behavior is antithetical to human rights and U.S. interests” it would be appropriate to reform how dollars are distributed overseas. It might well be smart, but it’s also a departure from rigid non-interventionism.
In Wednesday’s interview, Paul took on the thorny subject of Israel. Although his father always insisted that Israel had a right to defend itself, his opposition to military aid tarred him in the minds of many as anti-Israeli. Keen to distance himself from that controversy, Rand has pledged to visit the country – partly because he’s “fascinated with the 1st century”. More specifically, Paul implies sympathy for Israel’s recent response to rocket attacks from Gaza. “Christian Zionists appear willing to give [the senator] the benefit of the doubt,” says Rubin. “One pro-Israel leader says, ‘The question before me is if he is different than his dad — smarter than his dad — or just making the right noise.’ He adds wryly, ‘Evangelicals believe in forgiveness.’”
All of this is to be expected. Rand certainly isn’t Ron and he won his seat in Kentucky by presenting himself more as a Tea Party conservative than as an antiwar libertarian. The only way to expand upon the Paulite electoral base in the 2016 primaries would be to make friends with other conservatives, and so it makes sense to blunt those parts of the foreign policy issue that cause the most offence. By “making the right noise” on Israel, Paul probably hopes less to reposition himself than to make the issue less definitive: he wants to be thought of as an economic and constitutional conservative (like Jim DeMint) rather than a one issue controversialist (like Ron Paul). [Mike: I guess that would make Thomas Jefferson a one issue controversialist. It probably would make President Monroe a one issue controversialist. That probably would make President Madison a one issue controversialist. That silly, stupid Constitution. It gets in the way of all the things I want to do as leader of the world. I’m king of the world! Don’t brandish that pocket Constitution at me, youngster.] Given that the other leading contenders for the nomination are rebranding themselves as more moderate Republicans, this gives him a great opportunity to become the spokesman for the alienated Tea Party base.
Mike: Who is rebranding themselves as a moderate? Who is he talking about? Is he talking about Santorum? What’s Santorum doing lately? It’s sweater vest weather. Have you seen Rick Santorum out in the public in a sweater vest lately?
AG: He was on I think it was Piers Morgan last week or two weeks ago, just kind of discussing election fallout.
Mike: Was he in a sweater vest?
AG: I was listening to it on Sirius not watching it.
Mike: Piers ought to give you a visual on that. [mocking Morgan] “Rick Santorum is with me, dropping by for some tea. He’s got his trademark sweater vest on. Where can I get me one of those?” Back to Tim Stanley writing at the London Telegraph today:
However, the strategy carries risks. The biggest is that he might alienate the very Paulite movement that made the Paul Family Brand what it is today. Despite their name, Paulites are not North Korean communists who will allow the son of their hero to inherit their support. They’re stubborn, angry individualists who are suckers for ideological purity. Ron Paul’s charisma was rooted in his lack of charisma: he appealed to those who favour ideas over personality. [Mike: What exactly is wrong with that?] The cult of philosophy is so powerful within Paulism that if Rand moves too far too fast towards the centre, he could lose financial and political backing. And unless he enters the 2016 cycle with that Paulite base on his side … what has he got? Sure, he’s still got plenty of issues that appeal to the disaffected (legalized pot, military cuts, etc) but he lacks the personality to pull them altogether into a compelling candidacy. Without ideological rigour, Rand Paul is no Ron Paul.
Mike: Isn’t it safe to say, AG, that what made Ron Paul Ron Paul, despite some misgivings we may have over the last six months, what made Ron Paul Ron Paul was that Ron Paul never changed in 34 years of public electoral life, that he always took his oath and pledge to protect and defend the Constitution seriously and literally, then spent his life becoming smart and intelligent enough on those issues so that when he was pushed on it he could give very historically accurate and salient reasons as to why he was doing what he was doing, thereby attracted all those people young and old? This idea that he only attracted young people is just bogus. I know many, many people my age and older that are Paulites. It’s not because they like his suits. It’s because of the principled stand and defense of something and not letting the something be defined by the hoi polloi in our obsession, our lust for this thing called democracy. There are some things that are eternal, and some things even in the world that has been created by humans that are supposed to be, at least as long as we live under a certain form of government, eternal. Ron Paul understood that. He never bailed on that. He never wavered on that. It seems that the eternal and those things may not be as appealing to Rand.
Moderate voters might baulk at the humanitarian impact of cutting aid, and foreign policy hawks will hate any talk of cuts. On Israel, it’s rather myopic to think that softening on one part of the issue will gain Paul many friends. Support for Israel’s right to exist doesn’t stop at…Would he militarily defend Israel if it was attacked?
Mike: First of all, there’s no “he.” The question is a loaded question, Mr. Stanley, because we don’t have a king here, sir. I know you have one in Great Britain and the UK. We don’t have a king. I know people like to pretend like we have a king and that he could unilaterally act to defend Israel if it were attacked. There’s nothing in our charter that allows a president to do that. He has to get permission from this thing we call Congress, sir. Even answering that question is a loaded question. Would he act as Commander in Chief if the Congress decided to militarily intervene? Would he with a good conscience and great enthusiasm discharge his act of office to protect Israel? That’s the question, I would hope, that Rand would answer it. I guess we’ll never find out unless someone asks the question.
If the answer is “yes” to either question, then Rand Paul will find himself to be a man without a movement.
End Mike Church Show Transcript