Ed Driscoll

Rand Paul: Sleeping with the Enemy at Berkeley


Rand Paul takes the fight behind enemy lines, as Roger L. Simon writes:

Whatever you think of Rand Paul, he’s actually doing something that politicians rarely do — talking at length to audiences who don’t usually agree with him.  And winning over new friends in the process. His recent speech at UC Berkeley, where he apparently got a standing ovation for excoriating runaway government spying on Americans, is only the latest example.

Historically, the Republican Party has been just what the public thinks it is, largely a bunch of risk-averse white men who are totally clueless at public relations, even though they are on the right (correct) side of almost every issue.  Meanwhile, the liberal Democrats haven’t had a decent rational argument about anything for years, if they ever did. They ream young people, blacks and virtually every other “interest group”that supports them with their policies and they still win most national elections.  What a disgraceful group of losers that makes the Republicans. There are literally thousands of chips on the table and they’re leaving them all behind.

Rand Paul is smart enough to realize this and actually goes out and does things about it. Other Republicans should get out their little red book of quotations and Learn from Chairman Rand.  The country is changing.  Whole new groups are ripe for the picking, most obviously the young who are being so completely raked over by the Obama administration via Obamacare and the rest of the entitlements so many of them know they will never see. They were ready to applaud at Berkeley.

And African Americans — when, since the end of Jim Crow, have they done worse than under the Obama administration with its record black unemployment numbers and horrifying statistics on out-of-wedlock births in their community?   Consciously or unconsciously, Democrats have been waging a “War on Blacks” since the days of the Great Society.  It’s been a disaster for African  Americans, a nightmare, in truth.

“Rand Paul told cheering Berkeley students the same thing Gene McCarthy did in 1968: Government is the enemy and I won’t tread on you,” journalist Joel Engel  tweets, adding in a follow-up, “If you were at Berkeley in ’68 and are surprised Rand Paul was cheered the way Gene McCarthy was, you’ve become a reactionary.”

Could Paul derail Hillary’s chances in the same way that McCarthy effectively brought an end to Lyndon Johnson’s bid for reelection in ’68? (Astonishingly, Mark Steyn’s 2006 obit for McCarthy is still online at the Atlantic as a remembrance of better journalistic times at that formerly august institution.) That Paul is willing to take the fight to new territory is certainly a promising sign. Faster, please — to borrow from another fellow PJM columnist.