Sounding (and dressing) like a goddamn hippie, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington that the feds need to chill out.
“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss covered. I don’t think we need to name any names, do we?”
“The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. if we’re going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.”
Paul is the rock star of the moment coming off his 13-hour filibuster of CIA director nominee John Brennan in protest of President Barack Obama’s civil liberties policies [on the use of drones]. “Stand With Rand” posters are everywhere at the convention, and conservative pols are being asked by interviewers whether they “stand with Rand.”
In his speech, Paul introduced a slew of issues that Republicans don’t normally talk about, or at least Republicans with 2016 ambitions.
“The president at one time respected civil liberties, but then he signed a law on indefinite detention.”
“Ask the Facebook generation whether we should put a kid in jail for the nonviolent crime of drug use and you’ll hear a resounding ‘no’,” he said to huge applause.
Well, CPAC has been called “Woodstock for conservatives.”
Paul makes some fair points with which a lot of people on the Left agree, even if his specific concern about drones– that they could be used to target American citizens on American soil– seems farfetched. But it was interesting to see how much support he got for his filibuster from fellow Republicans. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans routinely campaigned on the basis of being tougher-on-crime-and-national-security-than-thou.
Christie’s sin was to be overly effusive in his praise of President Obama’s assistance after Hurricane Sandy. McDonnell drew conservative ire for backing a tax-increasing transportation bill.
And once again, the gay Republican group GOProud was excluded.