OK, I don't normally fisk, but I gotta do this one. From The New Republic's rather alarmed profiling of Senator Rand Paul:
In the Senate, Paul gained a reputation as an eccentric. Staffers often saw him wandering alone into the cafeteria, buying his own coffee, getting his own lunch—which, they noted, was not very senatorial.
That's a damning indictment of the Senate, frankly.
Nor was his reputation for reading every page of every bill.
He wrote legislation in his own, Paulian way. He introduced a budget that would have eviscerated the Departments of Transportation, Energy, State, and Commerce; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Food and Drug Administration; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It would have entirely defunded the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Government Printing Office.
I give ground on the CPB and the NEA, on the grounds that liberal Americans should probably have some toys, and frankly they're cheaper than HUD. But I suspect that TNR has a different definition of 'eviscerated' than I do.
His amendment to the Parental Consent Act warned that psychiatrists might “label a person’s disagreement with the psychiatrist’s political beliefs a mental disorder.”
He authored a bill to legalize interstate traffic in unpasteurized milk. One amendment would have nullified the congressional authorization to invade Iraq; another sought “to end mailbox use monopoly.”
...I'm pretty sure that most TNR readers are all for one or more of those positions; a good percentage would be for two; and that a measurable proportion would be willing to back the trifecta if they got the first two.
He also offered a triad of bills intended to make senators more diligent: the Read the Bills Act, the Write the Laws Act, and the One Subject at a Time Act. None of these measures made it to a vote.
And there's the third damning indictment of the Senate. Note, by the way, that there's no need to bother explaining what the bills actually were, given that the titles are almost alarmingly descriptive.
When the Foreign Relations Committee introduced a bill condemning North Korea’s nuclear tests, Paul insisted on language explicitly stating that it didn’t authorize the use of force. McCain was livid: The act was already nonbinding, and he felt Paul was mocking the process.
Because mocking the process is apparently John McCain's job. For that matter: what's the matter with mocking the process? The process is kind of absurd.
Anyway, read the whole thing: because Ben Domenech described it best.
@moelane The abiding tone of the piece is one of fear at this new animal.
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) June 17, 2013
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Speaking as a neoconservative and a foreign policy hawk: Rand Paul bothers me very little. I disagree with him quite a bit on interventionism and I'm not as libertarian as he is on domestic issues; and he probably wouldn't get my primary vote (I want governors, dagnabbit. Proper ones, who have won re-election). But I can easily enough see myself voting for him in the general, which was something that would have been a REAL problem when it came to his dad.