Senator Rand Paul wants to be President. While he has not explicitly said so, his recent posturing and pronouncements make this a reasonable assumption.
His problem is the Republican establishment hates his father, Ron Paul, and him by extension. They’re showing him no love.
When Rand Paul ran for Kentucky’s open Senate seat in 2010, the establishment, led by Karl Rove and Kentucky’s senior Senator Mitch McConnell, did everything they could to destroy him. But the Kentucky Tea Party muscled the establishment aside and elected Paul.
Since then, Paul has tried to advocate for the conservative/libertarian views he espoused while campaigning, while at the same time he’s tried to cozy up to the establishment. Evidence of this and his Presidential aspirations is his genuflecting to the Zionists. He dutifully donned a yarmulke in January and prayed to the wall and made neocon sucking noises in meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and rising right wing leader Naftali Bennet, backing far away from his previous hard-line stance against foreign aid. “I came here to show that I am supportive of the relationship between Israel and America,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
He’s even thrown his father and a former campaign aid under the bus for the sake of his relationship with the establishment. Former aid Jack Hunter was the latest victim of a smear job by neocon establishment propagandist Jennifer Rubin.
Despite this, the establishment still hates him. CINO (conservative in name only) Senator John McCain recently called him a “wacko bird.” Beltway Republicans do all they can to marginalize him. They even sent out faux conservative New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to engage him in a food fight reminiscent of a schoolyard playground yah-yah match.
Still, he’s cozying up to establishment CINOs like McConnell and Senators Lamar Alexander and Mike Enzi. He’s endorsing them for re-election even though McConnell has a Tea Party challenger and Tennessee Tea Party groups are looking for a suitable replacement for Alexander. Enzi’s only opponent so far is Liz Cheney, daughter of warmongering chicken hawk Dick Cheney. She’s not a Tea Party candidate.
As The Washington Post notes, Rand Paul’s bonding with establishment types is a sort of symbiotic relationship. Paul could use some good will in the party — and from powerful donors backing them — and McConnell, Alexander and Enzi could use some of Paul’s Tea Party mojo.
Yes, establishment types want that same Tea Party they so regularly denigrate to jump on board at election time so they can then discard them once the election cycle is over. It’s clear that Rand Paul is not his father; he doesn’t have the same backbone or the same principles.
What isn’t clear is how the long the Tea Party is going to allow itself to be used and abused by the Beltway Republicans — Rand Paul included. And if Rand Paul loses the Tea Party, then the establishment will have even less use for him.
Hat Tip: Economicpolicyjournal.com