Where the hell was this Rand Paul on Thursday night’s debate? Better yet, where the hell has this Rand Paul been since he decided to run for president?
We may explore what happened to Rand Paul in a future post, but the old Rand Paul made a return appearance this weekend in South Carolina. He went on the campaign trail to try and erase his disappointing debate performance from the minds of GOP primary voters and gave this riff about how much of a clown and phony Republican Donald Trump is.
“How can we have Tea Party conservatives in our country who think that somehow Donald Trump is going to help us?” asked Paul at the beginning his video. From there Paul tears into Trump’s history of flip-flopping on everything from abortion to his party affiliation.
“I have no idea if he is conservative.” said Paul.
Paul also compares Trump to Ross Perot and says he’ll give us Hillary Clinton. Paul also made fun of Trump’s line “the Mexicans will pay for it” on border security.
Rand Paul continued his offensive against Trump on “Fox News Sunday.” He called Trump a “fake conservative.”
Will this make an impact with Trump supporters? My guess is that it won’t.
The Trumpkins at this point are a cult. They’re like the Paulbots of 2008 and 2012 and the Obama supporters of 2008, in fact many of them were both. Nothing can dissuade them from their idol. They’re beyond all reason. The first rule of cults is “don’t question the leader.”
What motivated the Paulbots, Obamaites, and the Trumpkins is not any specific ideology. Many of them are the fringe nutters in society and they’re looking for someone as crazy as they are. These are your Alex Jones fans that worry about chemtrails and GMOs.
Many others are just angry at the “establishment” whatever that is. They have no interest in being a part of the mainstream, both politically and in society.
Finally, there are just some Trumpkins who are simply racists and misogynists who are on board with Trump’s comments about minorities and women. My guess is the relatively few decent people supporting Trump have abandoned him a long time ago.
Serious conservatives on the other hand will be swayed and have most likely already moved on. There are few “RINOs” running for president and even the “RINOs” running; Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and John Kasich are all much more conservative than Mitt Romney was.
Will it benefit Paul, my guess is no. Paul made too many mistakes in his campaign and it will be extremely difficult for him to recover. September’s debate, if Paul even makes it, will likely be do or die for him. But assuming Paul doesn’t get his campaign out of the mud, he could be laying the foundation for a Ted Cruz, among others, to exploit this.