If you’re like me, you may have been wondering over the last year or so why Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has started out with such a good conservative voting record, yet as he started unofficially running for president, he also started pandering to the Left with his rhetoric.
In case you weren’t aware of some of this, I’m talking about his call for the Republican Party to surrender on social issues, pandering to the illegal alien crowd, going soft on abortion, banking liberal on voter ID, and endorsing a liberal RINO like Susan Collins.
And let’s not forget his recent attempt to blame “hawkish” (i.e. people for a strong defense, including protecting American interests around the world) Republicans for creating the radical extremist ISIS group, sounding more like a blame-America-first liberal than a conservative Republican.
So how does a guy with a pretty solid conservative voting record over the past four years or so start talking like a liberal on the presidential campaign trail? It seems Rush Limbaugh has provided the answer.
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From Rush’s Friday show:
CALLER: Hi, Rush, I want to talk about Rand Paul. He was in the news a few days ago talking about how Republicans were responsible for the creation of ISIS. I started thinking about all the other ridiculous things that Rand Paul has done and said in the past that no one really talks about.
Rand Paul met with Al Sharpton to discuss criminal justice reform. He wants to restore voting rights to convicted felons. He attacks Republicans on Cuba, basically takes Obama’s foreign policy stance on Cuba. And I just don’t understand how this can possibly be a good thing to happen in Republican debates —
RUSH: Let me see if I can help you understand.
RUSH: Rand Paul I met here at the EIB Southern Command complex a little over a year ago. He came by and he spent about an hour here. He was unannounced, but it’s clear he was seeking higher office, presidency, and he already had his game plan formatted.
He already knew what he was gonna do, and he shared with me some of it, and I didn’t announce any of this at the time because he hadn’t officially announced. And he didn’t come by here for me to make it public, but now it’s no big deal because he’s out there executing the plan, so I can tell you.
He told me, the first thing he told me was that, “Rush, the Republican Party cannot win the presidency without votes from Democrats and independents and moderates.”
CALLER: Oh, God.
RUSH: He said, “There aren’t enough Republicans that we can only turn out our own voters and win.” And then he started telling me how he was going to get these non-Republican votes.
He was going to reach out to the African-American community, and he was gonna reach out to the Hispanic community, and he’s gonna reach out to college students. He’s done all of it. I mean everything he told me he was gonna do. He went to Berkeley, he’s done it.
Well, that would explain the fact that while Rand Paul started out with a good voting record in the Senate, he’s been pandering to the Left on several issues for the past year or so.
But he couldn’t be more wrong.
Oh, yeah, it’s doubtful that a Republican candidate could win without getting 100% of the Republican vote out for him–something that isn’t going to happen, and probably couldn’t ensure victory even if you could get every Republican out to vote for the Republican candidate.
It’s pretty much a given that, in addition to the votes of most Republicans, you’re also going to need a sizable chunk of the votes from independents and even some Democrats.
But what Rand Paul is completely and totally wrong about is what RINOs are always wrong about: the lie that you have to pander to the Left in order to secure votes from independents and some Democrats.
In fact, precisely the opposite is true.
Ronald Reagan didn’t win his historic victories with only Republican votes. My parents were registered Democrats (and I believe they died as registered Democrats), but I know that when Ronald Reagan came along, Mom (don’t recall for sure about Dad) had had enough of Jimmy Carter’s liberalism and fecklessness, and voted for Reagan. In fact, I believe she saw the light and voted mostly Republican for the rest of her life.
I know I did. I was too young to vote for Reagan both times (I was only 13 when he was elected president the first time). Growing up in a Democrat family, I naturally considered myself a Democrat, too.
But I remember that when Jimmy Carter was finishing up his miserable term as president and Ronald Reagan was running for president, that was the time I started taking a serious interest in current events, reading newspapers and watching the news regularly on television.
As I saw the differences in what I believed, coming from a conservative Democrat (yes, there were still a few back then) family, and the weak, evil-appeasing, America-hating, socialist Democrat Party (yes, it had already gotten that way by then), I realized that I was really a Republican after all.
I spent the next four years lauding Ronald Reagan and his pro-American stances during current affairs discussions at school, and lamented the fact that I was seven months too young to vote for Reagan in 1984.
So I know for a fact that a real conservative, one who actually believes in America and isn’t ashamed to say so, can pull votes from the Democrat and independent camp. I know it because Reagan made a Republican out of a Democrat (me, and for all intents and purposes, my mother and probably my father).
Reagan made Republicans out of a lot of Democrats, as people got a chance to see the real contrast between a Democrat Leftist and a real conservative Republican.
Today’s “Republican” establishment types pee their pants at the thought of running on the documented conservative values of their own party. They’re scared ****less that the public might think they’re (gasp) a conservative…yet conservatives win big nationally and usually locally.w
On the other hand, feckless, mushy RINOs always (ALWAYS) lose at the presidential level (if you don’t believe me, check the records of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney). Americans are sometimes willing to abide a RINO in the legislative branch (after all, they’ll bring home the
bacon pork to enrich their wallets), but most Americans are still smart enough to realize that for the presidential post, you need someone strong.
A gutless RINO doesn’t inspire confidence in anyone, and the Republican base will stay home rather than throw their vote away on an uninspiring gutless wonder.
Many people alive today–certainly those under the age of 30 or 35–have never even seen conservative leadership on the national stage.
The last time that was seen was in the early days of the “Republican Revolution” in the mid 1990s when conservative Republicans gained control of both houses of congress for the first time in 40 years, and actually turned back major chunks of the Leftist rot that had been infecting this nation for so long (that is, until they lost their nerve and started listening to the “mainstream” media and other liberals).
And people haven’t seen real conservative leadership in the White House in 27 years, since Ronald Reagan left office (George W. Bush was conservative in some areas, but not all, and fell far short of Ronald Reagan’s bold, inspiring vision). The American people would be invigorated and energized to see a real leader at the top of America’s government for a change–one that believed in the traditional American values that produced the greatest nation in history, was passionate about those principles, and who was determined to see our nation free itself of liberal rot and return to greatness.
But everyone alive today has seen the devastating toll liberalism has taken on America. Yes, many in the Democrat Party have also seen it, and love it. But there are far more Republicans and Independents (and even a few Democrats) who are heartbroken over it.
And even more heartbroken over the fact that there is very little leadership from the Republican Party engaged in fighting that devastation. With a precious few exceptions, all Americans have seen from the Republican Party for the past 7 years or more is capitulation, surrender, and sellout.
Oh yeah, there’s been plenty of conservative talk and bluster from the Republican Party…but when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, the Republican Party leadership heads for the tall grass, waves the white flag of surrender, and sometimes sells us out outright.
The American people–Republicans, independents, Democrats–will not follow that. They are not inspired by that. They will not lend their support to that. In the last two presidential cycles alone, the miserable campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney have proven that.
If Rand Paul really wants to secure the votes of Republicans, Democrats and independents, he needs to stop this Leftward pandering, repent of his recent misjudgment, and start acting like a Republican.
Paul should strive to be the candidate who believes in the conservative values the Republican Party claims it believes in–you know, the same limited government, freedom-expanding, constitution-respecting, moral virtue-embracing values that produced the greatest nation in history.
That’s how you inspire people to vote for you; that’s how you inspire a nation to renewed greatness.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.