WASHINGTON, DC, March 22, 2013 — In a stunning development at CPAC that was shocking to everybody except those used to pre-determined inevitabilities, Rand Paul won a piece of straw.
Upon receiving the sacred straw, his supporters immediately declared straw as worthless as the dollar. They spun the straw into gold and elected Rand Paul the new King of Paulistan.
All hail the new King. Long live the old King.
So here we go again. First it was the Ron Paul movement that was going to take over the world. Now it is his heir. Nobody with this last name has been President, whether it be rastafarian Sean Paul, the late Pope John Paul, or the politically correct black transvestite RuPaul.
Ron Paul supporters try to have it both ways. Refusing to cover him is either proof of fear or a conspiracy media blackout. Covering him in anything less than a fawning manner (Think MSNBC and President Obama) is proof of hating America and the Constitution.
Now for the reality check for those preferring other presidential candidates (or at this early stage nobody at all and quiet about the subject).
Straw polls are utterly irrelevant. CPAC does matter. The CPAC straw poll does not matter. Two years ago Ron Paul won the straw poll, which was more than his number of primary and caucus victories combined. Even Pat Buchanan won one primary.
Ron Paul won as many contests as Lyndon Larouche, Pat Paulsen, and Bill the Cat from Bloom County. For those who think straw polls matter, just ask presidents Phil Gramm and Michele Bachmann.
CPAC 2013 had over 10,000 attendees, but only 2,930 people voted. While this is the third highest total ever, it is also the second straight decline from the 2011 peak of sightly more than that. The poll was closed before Ted Cruz spoke.
If this had happened to Ron or Rand Paul everybody from Ben Bernanke to Zionist Neocons would be blamed. Chris Christie came in fourth place, and he was deliberately not invited to CPAC.
The focus on the CPAC straw poll is a distraction that takes away from something more important. Rand Paul seems like a very serious individual.
The late New York Mayor Ed Koch referred to himself as a “liberal with sanity.” Rand Paul is doing his best to be seen as a “Libertarian with Sanity”.
Most people agree that Rand Paul is not his father. Yet supporters lament this while the rest of the GOP sees this as a major positive. Unlike the father, the son manages to discuss serious issues like drones without catering to the tinfoil hat crowd.
In a thirteen hour filibuster, he did not mention legalizing marijuana.
When Ron Paul spoke to 10,000 college kids at UCLA, his biggest applause line came with legalizing drugs. If Libertarians do not want to be portrayed as stoners, then they should stop celebrating being stoners.
Rand Paul understands this. Presidents have to come across as normal.
Barack Obama understood this. He is every bit as radical as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, but those people came nowhere near the White House. Obama talked “sane.”
To this day he throws around words like “balanced,” “reasonable,” and “sensible” in the hopes people will portray him that way.
Rand Paul is offering the sobering reality of a fiscal meltdown without the lunacy of conspiracy theories. He may have his father’s beliefs, but he is smart enough to stay silent on them if he does.
He also showed that he is a team player without compromising his beliefs. When Mitt Romney won the 2012 GOP nomination, Ron Paul refused to fall in line. Rand Paul did. His endorsement of Mitt Romney was smart and honorable. Nobody can accuse him of disloyalty when it counted most. Senator Christie did not understand this.
So far he has been a serious Senator that has gotten most things right. He was wrong to vote for Chuck Hagel, but nobody is perfect. He is going out of his way to separate himself from the Gary Johnson-Bob Dylan Libertarians. He may very well succeed.
Rand Paul will lose some Libertarian diehards who regret that he is not his father. Yet the remaining 90% of the GOP who lined up behind Romney may give Rand Paul a chance for that very same reason.
This is why his supporters should stop undermining him. Praise him for substance, such as his magnificent filibuster. Ignore meaningless metrics like straw polls. Iowa may get rid of their straw poll altogether before the 2015 contest.
The 2011 CPAC Libertarians acted like out-of-control savages, a cross between “Barbarians at the Gate” and “Animal House.” The 2013 CPAC Libertarians were polite, well-behaved, and for the most part, clean-shaven and well dressed. For the most part they looked and acted like serious individuals.
If the Rand Paul supporters stick to economics and avoid Code Pink anti-war rhetoric, leftist anti-Semitism, discredited conspiracy theories, and Harold and Kumar stoner rhetoric, they may become a serious political force.
The 2011 group acted disrespectfully, and deserved disrespect in return. The 2013 group seems to have learned. Time will tell. Rand Paul deserves the benefit of the doubt. He should not be downgraded because of his father. He should not be upgraded based on meaningless straw polls. He should be judged on his record.
He has only been a Senator for two years. Let’s see what the next couple years brings. Forget straw polls. Let’s look at his deeds, and judge him in the exact same manner as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and every other potential 2016 contender.
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