Rand Paul: Killing Five Birds With One Stone
Rand Paul recently started running attack ads on some Democrats that opposed his efforts to end foreign aid to Egypt, Libya, and Pakistan. It’s a really clever move on Paul’s part, actually.
His efforts were widely opposed by both Republicans and Democrats. In fact, only 10 people voted in favor of ending foreign aid to those countries. They were all Republicans, but there were plenty of Republicans opposed to his efforts.
Since Paul is a Republican senator, he won’t be running attack ads against fellow Republicans. If he were running against them in a primary election, sure. But when he’s not running against them, he won’t be attacking members of his own party. Here’s one of the ads he’s running.
It’s not that Paul wouldn’t be willing to do something to upset members of his own party; after all, he’s still his father’s son. But for now, he’s targeting the Democrats that opposed him. It’s a brilliant move on Paul’s part for a few reasons.
1. It makes those Democrats look bad.
It’s a pretty vicious ad that connects those Democrats to the issue of sending money to people that actively hate us. That’ll play well in an election season, even though the idea of ending foreign aid – even if only to countries like these – is not yet a widely accepted concept.
2. It sets a trap for Republicans to make themselves look bad.
Rand is brilliant. He’s not attacking Republicans, but some of them are speaking up to oppose these ads. That makes Paul’s ads doubly effective. Republicans open their mouths, side with Democrats on a fiscal issue, and end up speaking out against a fellow Republican.
Take, for example, Lindsey Graham. If you can count on Graham for anything, it’s opposing some level of sanity in government. He’s come out in full opposition of his fellow Republican senator. With these ads, Paul is able to have necessary conflict with Republicans without instigating it.
3. It brings attention to the foreign aid issue.
We borrow and print money to send to countries around the world. We’re bankrupt, and we’re continuing to send big piles of cash abroad. At the very least, we need a discussion around that concept that goes beyond the “OH NOES!!!!!1!!1!!!” response we’re getting from people like Lindsey Graham.
4. It gets people thinking about ending foreign aid.
One of the things people revolted against during Ron Paul’s presidential campaign was the proposal to cut foreign aid. The idea is still opposed by many, as indicated by the 81-10 vote on Rand’s proposal to cut aid to three countries that hate us. Its time will come – it’ll have to, given our fiscal crisis – so having people thinking about it now will help win the fight in the future.
5. It raises his influence in the Senate
As this tactic works to win Republican seats in the Senate, we’ll see Paul’s influence in the Senate rise. It’ll take a little time, but with Paul standing on issues of principle and getting Republicans elected at the same time, he’ll become a force to be reckoned with in the Senate.