A remarkable transformation has occurred in Washington over the last 24 hours. Rand Paul has gone from Tea Party gadlfy to serious statesman, and has moved up the 2016 charts to be mentioned in the same breath as Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan.
Of course, the transition wasn’t that quick. Paul has impressed many Washington insiders with his knowledge of the issues and patience in advancing his ideas.
Jim Geraghty, in his Morning Jolt email, shares some tweets and comments about Paul’s remarkable performance:
John Podhoretz: “Attention everybody in Washington: This is how you make yourself a star.”
Writing at Breitbart, the Ace of Spades declared it genuinely exciting:
I have the same feeling of receding cynicism I did when the Tea Party first exploded on to the scene and began doing things that just weren’t done in America anymore — taking politics seriously, taking the Founders’ legacy to us seriously, showing up at Town Halls to ask their once and future representatives some real questions, engaging, questioning, insisting, demanding.
There was a time 200 years ago when this was commonplace. Americans had just won their liberty and were enthused about it. They treated their civic duty not as a mere duty but as the highest aspiration of political man.
This filibuster excites me for the same reasons — a return to the Old Ways, the ways that actually work, the way American politics is actually supposed to be conducted, with Senators offering thoughtful defenses of their positions and, above all, insisting that this nation is We the People not We the Ministers & Lesser Bureaucratic Warlords of Whatever Current Government the Public Has Had the Folly to Install In Office.
Jon Henke: “Kinda shocking that it takes a filibuster to get back the right not to be killed by our own government without a trial.”
Dana Loesch: “The left just exposed their hypocrisy on waterboarding by supporting drone killing without due process.
Make no mistake. Paul has not abandoned his isolationist views on foreign policy, nor has he moderated what some would consider problematic views on how to cut the budget. But what is far more important is that he is actually reaching people while advocating a message of strict adherence to constitutional principles — a conservative message that resonates with the public.
Rand Paul opened a few eyes in the last 24 hours, proving that he is more than what many thought, and far better than most believed.