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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 06, 2014

 
Rand Paul is the new Howard Dean? Not bloody likely

by digby

Mark Murray at MSNBC says that Rand Paul could be the Howard dean of the GOP:
... someone promising to change his party's thinking who has the potential to catch fire, but who also has the potential to fizzle out.

Like Dean with his opposition to the Iraq war, Paul wants to fundamentally change the Republican Party’s hawkish national-security and foreign-policy tendencies. “America has never backed down from a fight-but we should never be a nation that is eager to get involved in nations' conflicts that work against our own national security,” he said in a Nov. 2013 speech.

Like Dean with the young voters he attracted, Paul wants to bring more young and minority voters into the GOP fold. “We need young people in the party. The president won the youth vote 3 to 1,” Paul said back in January. “Since we’ve had the different spying scandals, I think if there were a Republican who stood up for privacy, who stood up for the Fourth Amendment, I think the young people will come back to us.”
I guess anything's possible. Except the Democratic party has been the home of the anti-war faction in American politics for the past 50 years while the Republicans have run on law and order and national security. Howard Dean tapped into an existing strain of voters who were already Democrats and who were with the Party on most other issues. I suppose Paul can theoretically get a few libertarian isolationists out there who have never voted, but I suspect he'll have a big problem with anyone who currently identifies as a Republican.And young people as a whole may be anti-war but they're not anti-government, anti-taxes or pro business.

In any case, I'm going to guess that unless we're involved in WWIII (always a possibility) "war" is not going to be the salient issue in 2016, and even if it were, the Republican Party of Taft died out long ago and is a long way from resurrection. I think the beltway is succumbing to the idea that because Rand Paul is espousing these ideas and getting some respect among the GOP faithful, it's because the GOP faithful believes in it on the merits. This is not correct. The GOP faithful believes in anything that is in opposition to Barack Obama. Look at them today with the Ukraine crisis. Rand Paul cannot thread that needle. Nobody can.

But it's fun to play these games because we'll be able to come back and make fun of these absurd notions down the road.


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