With Rand Paul almost certainly running for President, it's very important we evaluate just what his views are on the issues of the day, and what influences shape what his gut instincts are, which will shape his reactions to the unforeseen issues that crop up during any Presidency.
Given the younger Paul's constant support of his father's candidacies, and his currying of favor from his father's supporters, this means we must continue to look at what Ron Paul says, and look to Rand Paul to support or deny those remarks.
So, let's look at National Journal's latest, calling Ron Paul "Putin's best friend." Despite evidence coming out that the launcher that shot down Malaysian Airlines MH17 was held by the pro-Russian separatists and moved back to Russia after the plane was shot down, and the US Government gathering evidence that the launcher was moved in from Russia to begin with, Paul is pushing a conspiracy theory angle here.
Ron Paul is out in force claiming that the demonstrations in Ukraine that took down the pro-Russian President were "US Sponsored," portraying military actions against violent rebels as murders, even while apologizing for the lawless rebels. He's accepting rebels as 'civilians' while declaring any counter-revolutionary action as 'military' or 'government'. It's a ludicrously biased position, one reminiscent to me of the way the left portrays Israeli IDF action vs Hamas "civilian homes and schools."
Ron Paul closes by wimping out, hedging his bets, and saying:
At this point it would be unwise to say the Russians did it, the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it. Is it so hard to simply demand a real investigation?
Why would it be unwise? Who's to say people haven't been monitoring this situation all along? Just because crackpots like Ron Paul weren't paying attention to troop and weapon movements across the border from Russia into rebel-controlled Ukraine and back, it doesn't mean Kyiv and Washington weren't.
Heck, the rebels themselves took credit for the shooting* until it was deleted, presumably under instructions from his Russian minders that such credit would be damaging to Putin's international position.
It is not wisdom to pretend not to know things when evidence exists in abundance for those things. Ron Paul however seems more interested in apologizing for Russian authoritarians. Does Rand Paul agree with this? Or will he hem and haw and take both sides, as he seems to do in every foreign policy dispute these days?
Ron Paul is obviously a huge influence on Rand Paul. We need to know just how deep this goes, if Rand Paul wants us to take him seriously as a candidate for President.
* I know, AmericaBlog isn't the best site around, but it was what I could find quickly that cataloged the mounting evidence that Russia did it.
Photo by Gage Skidmore from the Wikimedia Commons