And hits one out of the park. I'm no fan of Mr. Friedersdorf--or metro sexual weenies in general--but I have to give him kudos for his recent article "Is Rand Paul crazier than anyone else in D.C.?"
The gist of his article is that Rand Paul is being excoriated for his naive libertarian views, but Conor points out many other crazy views that are "mainstream" inside the beltway." Heh, his views are not as crazy as these other peoples' crazy ideas. I believe that is called "damning with faint praise."
But he does have a point. Talk about your crazy ideas. The war on drugs. Farm subsidies tobacco. And Obama's claim to have the right to assassinate any U.S. citizen whom he labels as an enemy combatant. [I have not thoroughly thought through the implications of that policy, but it gives me great pause because I don't trust Obama further than I can throw a Chicago thug.]
Mr. F's point? Those and other arguably crazy ideas are considered mainstream, while Rand Paul and other libertarians oppose them. So, yeah, sometimes extreme libertarians' thinking leads them to embrace ideas that are outside the realm of political mainstream thought. But often it leads them to oppose clearly idiotic ideas that are within the mainstream.
I have no emotional capital invested in Rand Paul. Never heard of him before. Other than considering myself a Tea-Partier and a conservative, I have no reason to support him, other than the fact that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That said, I admire men of principle, and he seems to be one. I also would not rule him out, were I a voter in Kentucky, just because he would not have voted for something that occurred 45+ years ago (before he was born) because he was against it on principle.
Let's think of some other crazy ideas that Rand Paul (and most correct thinking libertarian and conservative voters) likely opposes but his opponent and liberals in general support. How about the law that requires us to add ethanol to our gasoline? How about those who want us to stop using coal when we have no viable substitute? How about those who want to turn this country into a welfare state? Rand Paul needs to go on the offensive and deal with real issues, and forget about answering idiotic questions about policies that will never come up because they have been settled for the past several decades.
I am not so sure that position will hurt him. Liberals and blacks would never support a Republican anyway. The real fight will be can he recover, and appeal to the mainstream center and right. Sure, he had a terrible first couple of day. But the leftist media is making this out to be much worse than it really is. Were I a betting man, I'd say that Rand Paul is still a 5-4 favorite to win in November.
[Just kidding about the "were I a betting man" comment. Of course I'm a betting man!]
John Doe (cross posted at Smash Mouth Politics)
p.s. OUCH! That last anti-Rule 5 post hurt my eyes.