Rand Paul’s Upcoming Defeat Is a Failure of Libertarian Ideals

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 12.49.35 PMYesterday, Rand Paul livestreamed his entire day, which is a gimmick that just reeks of desperation. Here’s the best moment:

So if Paul hated doing that “dumbass” livestream, why was he doing it? For media attention? To prove his transparency? Uh, maybe. But it certainly couldn’t be an attempt to draw attention way from the fact that Paul’s dad, Ron Paul, took the stand yesterday to testify in a trial, could it? Two 2012 Ron Paul aides have been charged with devising “a scheme to pay an Iowa state legislator for a primary season endorsement.” The elder Paul claimed to have no knowledge of the alleged scheme:

Paul, who appeared as the government’s witness, appeared to take a benignly neglectful approach to campaign nitty-gritty. Asked how well he knew Kent Sorenson, the disgraced state senator whom Benton and Kesari are accused of paying for his endorsement, Paul said they “probably crossed paths,” then recounted how he was actually irritated when Sorenson showed up at a pre-Iowa caucus press conference.

“I was annoyed, because I was thrown off balance,” Paul said. “Here I was, ready to give a speech, and I was told three minutes beforehand that a state senator was there to endorse me.”

Quite a coincidence that Ron Paul’s appearance on the stand happened on the same day that his son decided to livestream his entire day, isn’t it? Anyway, the above video isn’t the only dumb thing Rand Paul said yesterday. He was asked about his feelings on workplace discrimination against LGBT employees, and his response was a misguided attempt to revive Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for the American workplace:

I think, really, the things you do in your house, just leave those in your house and it wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth… I think society is rapidly changing and that if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you.

So after his asinine attempt to revive DADT, Paul argues that discrimination against gay people is fine because there are plenty of places that don’t discriminate, which gets the idea of civil rights exactly wrong. (That’s not surprising; Paul’s been bad on civil rights for his entire career.) It’s a dumb statement from a dumb man.

The truth is, Rand Paul is not a serious candidate for president. His donors have abandoned him and he’s circling the drain. How can you tell Rand Paul is not going to be in the race very long? His campaign just released a statement this morning insisting that Rand Paul is “Here to stay.” When that kind of thing happens, you know it’s just a matter of time before the clock runs out.

It’s getting so bad that news outlets are releasing pre-postmortems of the Paul campaign. The best one of that very particular genre is this Pando story by Mark Ames that digs down into the Paul presidential campaign’s many problems, from fleeing donors to an alleged lack of ethics. Ames argues that Paul is guilty of running a “corrupt shitshow” of a campaign, but he also says that Paul’s failure is actually a failure of libertarianism. You should go read the whole story. It’s about as damning of a preemptory eulogy that Rand Paul’s going to get.

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Paul Constant
Paul Constant has written about politics, books, and film for Newsweek, The Progressive, the Utne Reader, and alternative weeklies around the country.