…and while I was no fan of his father’s constant presidential campaigns, this is one I will gladly take much more seriously.
Because frankly, if the major candidates in 2016 are, as I fear, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, Rand Paul is your guy. He’s your best hope – because the Bush brand is played-out and exhausted (and that’s unfortunate, because while Jeb isn’t supportable at this point his record as Florida’s governor is a strong indication he would outstrip his father and brother as a president) and if Mitt Romney wasn’t proof enough that bringing a Northeastern moderate to the top of your ticket who can’t even carry his own state is a loser, this party is doomed.
Rand Paul gives you the GOP’s future message. He may give it to your sooner than the party’s establishment is ready for, but make no mistake, the Republican Party’s future lies in a much larger emphasis on libertarian social policy – we’re going to have to become cultural conservatives rather than social conservatives, meaning we’re not going to pursue legal prohibitions on things people ought not to want to do in the first place if we had a healthy culture – and we’re going to have to be passionate, even radical advocates of smaller government. Meaning that Romney’s vague inklings toward moving some federal responsibilities to the states, which were positive but not articulated well enough to be an asset because his consultants were too timid and uncreative to open up a real discussion on what Washington ought to be doing and what ought to be done at all, would give way under a Paul candidacy to a hard smack in the face for the governing class.
Consider this video and think about what a 2016 campaign featuring a Rand Paul and, say, Andrew Cuomo might look like.
Andrew Cuomo is the troglodyte governor of New York who, as Housing and Urban Development Secretary in Clinton’s second term, threw Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the subprime business without any real safeguards in place to keep precisely what did happen from happening. This stunningly incompetent and ethically questionable monument to political nepotism – his father was an overrated New York governor in the 1980’s – who had such a sizable role in creating the mortgage crisis that even the Village Voice made him the face of the collapse is now purporting to assume for himself the moral authority to instruct his constituents, and perhaps the rest of us, what form our 2nd Amendment rights may take. Cuomo is on video purporting to tell gun owners that they don’t “need” so-called assault rifles or magazine clips holding more than 10 rounds – as though somehow the architect of the 2008 mortgage crisis knows better than you do what you need.
Can there be a more striking contrast between the incompetent/crooked/control-freak/attention whore New York governor known for grandiose interventionism in Americans’ lives – and a record of disaster emanating from that interventionism – and the Kentucky Senator willing to point the accusatory finger at federal bureaucrats for that kind of interventionism in an outraged demand that Americans be left alone to buy the toilets and air conditioners and lightbulbs they want?
Under whose governance would you prefer to live? Who offers more freedom? What better contrast can be drawn between the parties?
Cuomo is certainly going to run in 2016. He’s as good a bet to run as any. The Democrats might fantasize about Hillary Clinton in 2016, but refusing to testify about setting diplomats up to be killed in Benghazi due to lax security because of canker sores is an indication she doesn’t have what it takes to survive a $2 billion presidential campaign. She’s finished, though party activists might not realize it yet.
And Martin O’Malley and Joe Biden wouldn’t seem to have access to the money and organization Cuomo would. They come from the same tradition of nanny-state tyranny Cuomo does, though, so fundamentally a Rand Paul candidacy would draw the same distinction with an O’Malley as the opponent as it would with Cuomo.
Perhaps the GOP nominee wouldn’t be Paul. If it’s a Marco Rubio, that’s fine as well. If Mike Pence catches fire, great. If it’s Bob McDonnell, Susanna Martinez, Bobby Jindal or even Scott Walker, no problem.
But the message and the tone needs to be the one Paul showed on that video. The Obama administration’s avalanche of idiotic, restrictive regulations in the face of what can only be an underperforming economy, massive budget deficits, endless politicization of everyday things which should not be political (a lightbulb is now a political statement, which 20 years ago was unthinkable) – all of these things which will only become more stale and more irritating to a populace disgusted with what is seen as precipitous national decline at home and abroad, and the more strident, dismissive and passionate the GOP’s 2016 candidate can believably present himself (or herself) to be in opposing government Obama-style, the better the likelihood of a sizable victory over an obnoxious, overbearing white guy like Andrew Cuomo or Biden.
After all, a campaign trashing Cuomo as a disastrous incompetent and a vapid machine-pol crook – which should have been the GOP message last year against Obama – and offering to get the government out of your kitchen instead can’t be dismissed as racism, can it?