Yesterday morning the AP touted the potential for Kelley Paul to help her husband become president (“Book tour puts Rand Paul’s ‘secret’ weapon on national stage“):
Once described as her husband’s secret weapon, Kelley Paul won’t be a secret much longer.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s wife of 24 years is stepping onto the national stage as part of a book tour launching at roughly the same time her husband is expected to enter the 2016 presidential race. It’s a big step for the mother of three who has long played a significant behind-the-scenes role in Paul’s political operation, but soon will be thrust into a far more public role on the political world’s brightest stage.
It appears that I was being optimistic in hoping that Rand’s wife would be sensible enough to recognize that the family’s problematic, longstanding history with the conspiracist, racist and antisemitic elements in the paleo-Right would impede any presidential pursuits. She’s getting on board:
Rand Paul has made much of his wife being a hard sell on a presidential bid, yet Kelley Paul hinted Thursday that she’s ready for the pressures of a national campaign and its impact on her family.
For a number of years I really worried about the rise of Rand Paul into the ranks of the Republican mainstream and the conservative movement. I regarded him as the Right’s Barack Obama — a postmodern chameleon concealing the hateful, conspiracist views of his primary mentor (Ron Paul is Rand’s Jeremiah Wright) who was just pretending to be within the mainstream to attain power. He was so much smarter and more talented than his father, who was unable to help himself most of the time.
But I’m much less worried about Rand these days for 3 reasons:
1. I don’t think he’s really fooling that many people anymore.
At this point Rand has parted ways with both the Republican and conservative mainstream on so many issues, aligning himself with Obama and progressives time and again, that it’s more than obvious. There have also been such obvious give-aways as the inclusion of the infamous “Southern Avenger” on his staff and Rand’s shocking defenses of him after he quit.
2. He’s not a very competent or charismatic politician.
He managed to get the Kentucky Senate seat using his father’s political machine and a window of opportunity. Good for him. He won’t have that window for the presidency and here’s why.
3. The Jihad has been heating up. 2016 will be a foreign policy election.
This is not the year to run as a dove. The Boston Bombing, Charlie Hebdo massacre, these Jihad 3.0, so-called “lone wolf” attacks that pop up out of nowhere are going to just keep coming. They’re the spillover from the bigger wars of conquest happening as the Islamic State seeks to expand.
Rand Paul can say whatever he wants in answer to these but he’s going to perpetually be drawn back to dealing with whatever his Dad will say, too. Roger L. Simon made a good point on Robert Spencer’s article “4 People Who Gave the Charlie Hebdo Jihadis Exactly What They Wanted“:
Rand Paul supported his father for president in 2008. Somebody should ask him — and maybe ask his wife, too — what they think the world would be like today if somehow (perhaps through some deal with the devil) he had won. Let’s get that scenario laid out: what foreign policy path should the Republican Party — and America — have taken in 2008 instead that Ron was right on then?
What might it have looked like? On the next page I reprint the second half of my post “3 Impolite Facts About Ron Paul I Hope Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter Mention Next Time” from 2011 which summarizes my general grievances with the Pauls and the whole Paleo-Libertarian, Paleo-conservative, Secessionist/Neo-Confederate, Anarcho-Capitalist, Old Right Revivalist wing of the Right. Here are 3 books one should consider instead of his wife’s if you really want to understand the ideological stew that Rand marinated in his whole life and has yet to escape…
My only concern with Coulter and Hannity’s analysis is a more general problem that continues throughout the conservative movement: a lack of clarity when talking about Paul.
Last night Coulter and Hannity identified Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy as their primary disagreement. They — and most conservatives it seems — tend to have the attitude, “Well if only Paul would just get over these goofy foreign policy ideas then he’d be great!” But Paul’s “non-interventionism” is only a symptom of a far more serious intellectual and spiritual disease. I present these 3 impolite facts about Paul and three relevant books in support of them from some of his movement’s most vocal advocates. Don’t take my word for it — read their books for yourself.
1. Paul’s intellectual mentor Murray Rothbard was the founder of anarcho-capitalism and opposed the legitimacy of all nation-states, including ours.
2. Paul openly proclaims himself a revival of the Old Right, the movement which opposed our entry in World War II. He and his followers proudly reject the New Right tradition established by William F. Buckley Jr., Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater.
“When I was deciding whether or not to run for President as a Republican, I re-read Justin Raimondo’s Reclaiming the American Right and it gave me hope—that the anti-interventionist, pro-liberty Old Right, which had once dominated the party, could and would rise again. Here is living history: the story of an intellectual and political tradition that my campaign invokved and reawakened. This prescient book, written in 1993, could not be more relevant today.”
— RON PAUL, Ten Term U.S. Congressman (TX) and 2008 Presidential Candidate
3. Paul is an antisemite.
This is not a complicated point (as some polite conservatives might think it is). And it has nothing to do with Paul wanting to end foreign aid to Israel and all other nations. (I know plenty of passionate Zionists who think the same thing for different reasons.)
If you believe that the ideas of the Old Right have great value and that we should have followed a “non-interventionist” path during the rise of Nazism, then you are an antisemite. You know good and well that the practical consequence of American inaction would have meant an even higher body count in the Holocaust. But dead Jews are apparently not something that concerns you much.
Just as today Paul doesn’t care if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arms the Islamic Republic of Iran for a nuclear-charged assault against Israel.
Yet when conservatives talk about Paul they just politely note that they disagree with Paul’s policy of standing by while the next Holocaust begins.
When will the conservative movement finally finish the job Buckley started and stop tolerating the racist, anarchist, useful idiots for Jihad in their midst? Ever?
Update: Ex-Conservative Andrew Sullivan endorsed Ron Paul for the GOP nomination today. Perhaps I’ll have a response later…