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More Chasing the Culture War Stick

Looks like even Rand Paul can’t help himself, to the point where even the FRC doesn’t particularly appreciate the Senator’s remarks. Yeah, I can see a couple of college students making a crack like that over some beers. I can’t see a sitting United States Senator thinking that kind of humor is a wise thing. I was hoping that perhaps Rand Paul could avoid beclowning himself like his father accomplished by trawling the paelolib/paleocon fever swamp for support back in the 80s. Now, not only has Rand Paul chased the stick, but he gnawed on it so viscously, even the SoCos don’t want to play fetch with him anymore.

20 Responses to “More Chasing the Culture War Stick”

  1. Andy B. says:

    It troubles me that those of us who seek things like economic liberty and firearms rights are increasingly having to weigh how far we’ll go in supporting legislators like Rand Paul, just to see our issues given lip-service in legislatures, and hopefully a favorable vote when some issue reaches that point. There is no rational connection between, say, gun rights and the brand of social conservatism that borders on, or crosses the line, into bigotry. But more and more it seems the RKBA issue is being dragged into associations that many of us can’t tolerate.

    • Sage Thrasher says:

      I live for the day when the SoCos walk out of the conservative coalition. I respect their right to their opinion, but the way they constantly push it on others is just, what’s the phrase, “right-wing social engineering.”

      • That will leave what, 15% of Americans in the conservative coalition?

        Remember that the “constantly push it on others” problem started not with social conservatives, but with the crowd that went from “the love that dare not speak its name” to the crowd that can’t ever stop talking about it.

    • You will notice that the social conservatives chided Paul for his tone on this, and failing to recognize that genuine disagreements do not justify being snotty. (I hope someone on the left tells Dan Savage that, too.)

  2. Sage Thrasher says:

    I’ve never been too impressed with Rand Paul, starting with him giving himself his own professional credentials. That said, his ultimate sin as far as the GOP is concerned is that he’s shown from the start that he isn’t a team player. If he doesn’t realize how gleefully every stumble of his is going to be taken by the party establishment, he soon will.

    His remark kind of reminds me of that scene in “Meet the Fockers” (a cinematic triumph, to be sure) where Ben Stiller’s character is goaded into taking a volleyball game waaaaay too seriously and ends up breaking a bridesmaid’s nose with a spike. Suddenly everyone who’d been calling him a wuss seconds earlier suddenly turns on him for playing too hard, “it’s just a game, sheesh, chill out, man.” So chill out, Rand; you’re not ever supposed to SAY it’s all really about not respecting gays–stick to the code words and dog whistles, dude–didn’t you get the memo?

    • No, he didn’t get the memo, because he’s not a social conservative. He’s a libertarian playing to what he perceives as a social conservative base. My guess is that his contacts with social conservatives are pretty limited.

  3. Andy B. says:

    He’s a libertarian playing to what he perceives as a social conservative base.

    Funny — I would assess him as being exactly the opposite.

    What exactly makes him a “libertarian?”

    • As another commenter has pointed out here, Rand Paul on major issues is libertarian, not conservative. I suspect that he has little or no idea what social conservatives regard as the problem with gay marriage, and so he is reduced to engaging in what he imagines is the correct response. It would be like a progressive politician showing up at Gun Rights Policy Conference dressed in camo, and joking about shooting black people.

  4. NUGUN says:

    The irony is that his father Ron Paul pretty much is the only guy with the “right” of the matter.

  5. Andy B. says:

    “I live for the day when the SoCos walk out of the conservative coalition.

    Not a chance. Everything they’ve done in the past 30 – 40 years has been for the purpose of infiltrating every corner of it. Having succeeded, do you think they’re suddenly going to take their ball and go home? They largely define what it means to be a “conservative,” and even managed to pervert the word “libertarian” to such an extent that a Rand Paul is now defined as one in the media.

    • Conservatives have historically been defined by their reluctance to embrace change for change’s sake. Because Western civilization has for about 1600 years regarded sex outside of marriage as something to be socially discouraged and legally prohibited, there is nothing terribly startling about the social conservative point of view defining what it means to be conservative. I understand that not everyone regards this narrow perspective on sexuality to be correct, but guess what? That is part of our tradition, and to be irritated or surprised that it would be considered conservative makes little sense.

      This is why libertarians exist: free markets and limited government without the traditional Anglo-American traditions concerning sexuality, intoxication, and the primacy of Christianity.

  6. MicroBalrog says:

    Against the war on drugs? Against gun control? For deregulation? Yeah, sounds pretty libertarian to me.

  7. dustydog says:

    Man up, and stop your hysterics. Voters pick the Alpha male. There is no wisdom in being afraid to insult your political enemy.

  8. Peter O says:

    Is it wierd that I just saw this and shrugged? I’m in that college-age group that he and his father are courting (Though I’m in some big disagreements with paulbots). And to me, this just seemed like a joking/sarcastic way of saying “We all knew that he personally supported gay marriage before, so what else is new?”. Not some so-con attack on the president, but pointing out that it took him this long to say what he actually thought on the issue.

  9. Andy B. says:

    “Against the war on drugs? Against gun control? For deregulation? Yeah, sounds pretty libertarian to me.”

    FWIW, Google “Rand Paul is not a libertarian” and you’ll get 40,000 hits to pursue. The top one is from the LP in his home state, Kentucky.

    • Peter O says:

      So he’s small l instead of Big L. I tend to see the Libertarian Party as a bit of a “no true Libertarian” with more mainstream politicians

      • Sebastian says:

        Libertarians spend way too much time arguing over what it means to be libertarian. My definition tends to be anyone who wants to reduce the size of government. But I also tend to believe that means reducing government’s role in private life as well as economic life.

        There aren’t enough ideological libertarians to win elections, so you have to coalition. My problem with what Paul did here is he tried to pander and succeeded not only in pissing off social liberals, but the very people he was trying to pander to.

  10. Andy B. says:

    “There aren’t enough ideological libertarians to win elections, so you have to coalition.”

    But, that coalitioning will never be reciprocated by SoCos, who take pride in never, ever, advancing what they consider to be their enemies’ issues; while they will use those “enemies” shamelessly to advance their own agendas. So people who value individual liberty will find themselves having contributed to the expansion of government power in the social arena, while the nominal “shared” issues have gone wanting. (E.g., I arguably advanced the fortunes of private prisons — an industry that now lobbies for any and all public policies that will increase the rate of incarceration — in the name of conservative “privatization,” as a step-in-the-right-direction toward minimizing government.)

    As much as I might allow for “coalitioning” is being co-combatants with “conservatives” on specific issues, like the RKBA, on a case-by-case basis. But that should never extend to advancing the fortunes of personalities or candidates or organizations we believe to have net anti-liberty agendas, just because we share one or two issues.

    Oh, and if you want to know where I acquired that attitude — I was trained by “conservative” front organizations, who emphasized “no compromise” on their core (social) issues.

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