Rand Paul Is Now The Conscience of The Republican Party
But will Republicans listen?
If there was an annual award ceremony like the Emmys for politicians, but called the Indys and awarded to a politician for exemplifying reason, principle, and independence instead of the typically irrational, unprincipled, cult-like partisan loyalism that has made absolute hypocrites of most party politicians in Congress...
Well Rand Paul would definitely be nominated for 2018's Indy Awards.
And unless Justin Amash does another interview literally saying he hopes both parties (including his own) completely crumble and get replaced by voters using the Internet to decide for themselves who to support, Rand would also definitely win this year's Indy.
Watching fiscal conservatism go up in flames with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and the White House is a serious buzzkill for someone who supported the Tea Party. I supported it from the very moment I saw Rick Santelli live on CNBC, ranting about Washington's taxpayer-funded bailouts of the financial sector's securitized mortgages and threatening a modern day Tea Party in Chicago.
I went to the first Tea Party protest scattered across a few American cities on February 28, 2009, just a week after Santelli started the fiscally conservative protest movement.February 28, 2009 Tea Party Protest, War Memorial Auditorium, Nashville, TN. Photo by: Wes Messamore
Since the Sons of Liberty disguised themselves as Indians to commit the treasonous act of dumping the English tea into Boston Harbor in 1773, I did so as well for the modern day Tea Party. This was to remind the other activists of their country's history and the real risk and sacrifices made by the American revolutionaries in their bid for independence.
I walked up to the edge of the crowd of Tea Party protesters and said, "HEY! I heard y'all were throwing another Tea Party!" to laughter and cheers. The crowd caught my reference. These were smart people that knew their history. My kind of people.
February 28, 2009 Tea Party Protest, War Memorial Auditorium, Nashville, TN. Photo by: Wes Messamore
Reading the former president of FreedomWorks announce the death of the Tea Party in Reason Magazine this weekend was tough. Where is all the outrage against the fiscal insanity in Washington now that a Republican is president and running up the national debt and spending every bit as much and more than his "big government, tax-and-spend liberal" predecessor?
I stuck my neck out for the Tea Party when its critics called it racist. I thought that was absolutely absurd. A tax protest? Racist? How they could draw a connection between opposing the national debt and dog-whistle racism was beyond me.
And it still is.
But now I would certainly believe it was partisan. Just plain partisan. Saying the right things, but for the wrong reason– just to oppose a president with a (D) next to his name in the newspapers. And then stay home and be quiet when a president with an (R) next to his name comes in and keeps growing Washington's budget, after promising on the campaign trail that he would be different. After promising he would "Drain the swamp."
Well, whatever you might say about him, at least Rand Paul – who was swept into the U.S. Senate in 2010 at the height of the Tea Party – is still talking like someone who actually meant it back then when he said Washington spending is at levels that are blatantly corrupt and abusive.
He appears to have meant it when he first said that the economy and the life prospects of future generations are in great peril if America doesn't find a way to stop Washington elites from essentially stealing so much money from the people of this country.
And he's not just talking about it for the cameras. He's voting that way too.
Rand Paul voted against his own party's budget for the 2018 fiscal year. It wasn't good enough for him that his party's name was on the budget. He wasn't interested in "winning" a fake partisan battle between Republicans and Democrats. He was trying to do the right thing.
And Paul isn't making an exception for profligate military spending like many so-called fiscal hawks do, even though it makes up the biggest share of the federal budget. When Trump asked for a big military parade earlier this year, Paul said he'd support it if we brought the troops home from Afghanistan – the longest running war in American history – and then throw them a parade.
The sad thing is Rand Paul's really not doing anything that great. He's just being sensible, reasonable, and decent. He's not that heroic. The rest of Congress is just that corrupt. And he refuses to sink to their level, least of all for something as stupid and fake as partisan politics.