Sure, New Republic Really Thinks Rand Paul Could Be President! Why Would Anyone Joke About That?
The New Republic ran a profile of Rand Paul Monday with the headline “President Rand Paul.” But why? Does anyone at the usually pretty sober and realistic (except for when they were really excited for the Iraq War) New Republic actually believe Rand Paul is a real contender?
Maaaaaybe not, is Yr Wonkette’s reasoned opinion, especially considering the alternative title in TNR's promotional email: "The Real Rand Paul (Can't Be Trusted)." Are these provocative headlines just click bait, or is this one of those too-clever-by-far "11-dimensional chess" things we've been hearing about? Maybe TNR’s editors are hoping to superficially legitimize the rather weird and squeaky Rand Paul as a 2016 contender, so they can sit back and watch the fireworks as the GOP tears itself apart again in a long, bloody primary? They can't seriously think "President Rand Paul" is anything other than a punchline, right?
Who cares, this article is hilarious either way. There’s a fun anecdote about how, during a speech to some white conservative types (plus one Sudanese fellow), “The room grew noticeably quieter” when Paul started talking about the need for the GOP to do immigration reform and minority outreach. But “it was a good silence, the silence of people listening.” Oh right, just like the silence we get when we float the idea of a threesome with our romantic partners—they are listening so hard!
It was also instructive as well as funny to read about how Mitch McConnell is now pretty much Rand Paul’s lackey:
But perhaps Paul’s biggest coup is the influence he has gained over McConnell. The Senate minority leader faces a tough reelection bid in 2014 -- his poll numbers in Kentucky have been inversely proportional to Paul’s rising ones -- and he has found that his state’s Republican apparatus is being slowly converted into a bastion of Paulism. It is no coincidence that, last fall, McConnell hired Benton, Paul’s political guru, to run his campaign. “McConnell realized that he can’t get reelected without Rand Paul’s support,” says a Senate staffer.
Poor Mitch McConnell, we are so sorry that the monster you helped create, nourished, and loosed upon the world is threatening to eat you next!
The article goes on to recall the time Rand Paul visited historically black Howard University and gave a nice, condescending lecture about how Lincoln was a Republican, did you know that, kids? And many eyes were rolled. (We were actually not aware that Randy followed this up with a visit to Simmons, another historically black college, and managed not to be an enormous dick that time. Partial credit, we guess.) It was also fun to recall the Aqua Buddha incident, and how it somehow did not disqualify him from being in the Senate? Kentucky, we guess.
And of course, we are repeatedly reminded of Paul's “epic” filibuster about domestic drones, which was kinda admirable, except the article neglects to mention that he hilariously contradicted himself like a week later when he said he’d be totally cool if the police wanted to use drones to take out people who robbed liquor stores, or really whatever. If consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, does that mean Rand Paul is a genius? Transitive Property of Aphorisms, maybe?
We think you'll agree, this just had to be block quoted in its entirety:
In the Senate, Paul gained a reputation as an eccentric. Staffers often saw him wandering alone into the cafeteria, buying his own coffee, getting his own lunch -- which, they noted, was not very senatorial. Nor was his reputation for reading every page of every bill. He wrote legislation in his own, Paulian way. He introduced a budget that would have eviscerated the Departments of Transportation, Energy, State, and Commerce; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Food and Drug Administration; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It would have entirely defunded the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Government Printing Office. His amendment to the Parental Consent Act warned that psychiatrists might “label a person’s disagreement with the psychiatrist’s political beliefs a mental disorder.” He authored a bill to legalize interstate traffic in unpasteurized milk. One amendment would have nullified the congressional authorization to invade Iraq; another sought “to end mailbox use monopoly.” He also offered a triad of bills intended to make senators more diligent: the Read the Bills Act, the Write the Laws Act, and the One Subject at a Time Act. None of these measures made it to a vote.
For the really brave, the TNR article includes a photograph of a young Rand Paul gleefully dissecting a cat. Now he’s got the sociopath vote sewn up! (As if he didn’t already…)