Don’t Believe The Media Hype About Rand Paul Hypocrisy

rand reporters

The media may be tipping their hand at how they’re going to treat Rand Paul during the 2016 election cycle. Purity testing and alleged hypocrisy.

It started last month when Time.com put out an article on the Kentucky Senator’s proposal to increase defense spending. The piece claims Paul did an “about-face” and a “stunning reversal” from past stances on giving money to the Pentagon.

But that isn’t what Paul did.

He did propose $190-billion in defense spending, but tacked on $212-billion in cuts from other places, including foreign aid, HUD, and the EPA. Paul’s reasoning is simple: if the U.S. is going spend money on something, it needs to be able to pay for it. This is sound policy and certainly better than Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s proposal to increase spending without cuts.

It’s interesting Time didn’t bother getting a quote from Paul’s office. They instead just wrote the office confirmed the amendment was his, without getting context. Both Reason and Huffington Post were willing to get quotes from Paul’s office. That should say something about the context of how Time is treating Paul.

For those who are angry about Paul’s proposal, it’s important to remember he’s in the minority of the majority. He’s a libertarian, who is surrounded by people who aren’t. Paul may want to drastically cut the federal government back to sustainable areas, but he’s one man.

Paul is also a politician. He knows when to be flexible, as long as it doesn’t betray his core beliefs. A senator has to be willing to negotiate a bit in a chamber where there are only 100 members, instead of in the House where there are 435. That’s why his father, ex-Congressman Ron Paul, was able to be rigid. Rand Paul can’t, as much as he may want to.

The Defense Department doesn’t deserve any more money. It needs a full audit to find waste and cut. But Paul’s amendment isn’t hypocrisy, or a sign he’s turning into John McCain or Lindsey Graham. He’s trying to check the growth of the government. That’s something libertarians can at least understand, even if they don’t support it.

It’s not just defense spending the media is trying to claim Paul is a hypocrite on.

The Daily Beast put out a piece March 28th with the glaring headline “Rand Ditches Federalism for Fundamentalism on Gay Marriage.”

The piece alleges Paul started pandering to pastors at a prayer breakfast because he called for a “Great Awakening” and said there was a “moral crisis” in the country. It completely misconstrues and misinterprets several comments made to the pastors. The way the article is constructed, it makes it seem like Paul mentions the “Great Awakening,” then says government has a role in marriage.

But Paul talks about the government and marriage before he even mentions a “Great Awakening.” He also explicitly states, “don’t always look to Washington to solve anything.” It’s funny how the article completely ignores this comment.

When Paul talks about revivals and reform, it seems he’s talking more along the lines of a cultural reform, not reform through the federal government. That’s not how The Daily Beast characterizes the comments.

This doesn’t mean Paul is right about saying state and local governments should legislate marriage. But he’s not some raving social conservative who wants to legislate bedtime behaviors or who shacks up with who.

It’s obvious the left is worried about the inroads Paul has made with people who don’t normally vote Republican. Their strategy will be purity testing everything he says as a way to chip away at the base he’s trying to build.


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