Great headline from Politico: “Paul not sure why Mitch is so popular.”
Mitch McConnell, also from Kentucky, had endorsed Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who lost 35% to 59% against physician Rand Paul, endorsed by Sarah Palin and Erick Erickson, among many other reform-minded conservatives.
If I were a Kentucky voter, I would likely vote today for Rand Paul over Trey Greyson, with the following frame of mind and expectations:
- Rand Paul: My expectation is that Rand Paul is no worse on ideology than Ron Paul (and perhaps better), and that “the politician” side of Rand Paul will be better (that his actions will more often be consistent with his words). And that, for better and worse, Rand Paul will be a loose cannon in the US Senate, that it will be fun to watch, and that the good will far outweigh the bad.
- Trey Grayson: that he very much will mirror a typical Republican Senator from 1998-2006, meaning I’d love to have him as a neighbor and a friend, but that in the Senate he would be overly-loyal, he’d be not willing enough to ask tough questions, and he’d spend way too much money. And that this type of Republican-led US Senate would then AGAIN lead to larger-than-necessary defeats, through the loss of respect from independent voters.
I’m not going to defend Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy. I will defend George W. Bush’s general military philosophies. But I will attempt to challenge you with these questions:
- Is it not accurate that the Republican party used to be more “hands-off”?
- Did Republican leaders at all come close to asking enough questions on foreign policy, from 2000-2008? Questions that would have legitimately led to fewer lost lives (US and foreign), and questions that would have saved US taxpayers billions upon billions of dollars?
- Does the Republican party not welcome a large spectrum of thoughts on the issues of abortion, education, economic development, and the role of faith/religion in government? Are we not being inconsistent, in that we appear to be less welcoming of a heavily libertarian view for war, a mentality of “to err significantly on the side of not engaging in military conflicts?”
- Many will use the word “offensive” with Ron Paul’s foreign policy views. Again, I’m not defending Ron Paul’s opinions, but I do ask, why is it less offensive for Governor Haley Barbour to veto property rights legislation (which, as I understand it, should be unnecessary if Kelo had been properly decided)? Why are we more welcoming of US Senator Kit Bond, who wants your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood?
If there’s one thing that seems to be timeless in politics, it’s that it’s tough to find people willing to say, “No.” These people are often then labeled as “controversial,” or “mavericks,” or whatever, when all they’re doing is asking questions and stating, “I demand that others persuade me into voting ‘yes,’ and not the other way around.”
Like many readers, I’m not sure how a Senator Trey Grayson will vote. But I’m confident enough that Rand Paul is more likely to ask questions, and that the results of those questions will be healthy for America, that I’d err on the side of Rand Paul.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).