Apparently explaining the reasons Senator Rand Paul couldn’t connect with Republican voters in his now-suspended presidential campaign makes us here at United Liberty “haters”, according to Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel.
In an interview before the Republican debates in Boulder, Paul told me ruefully that he had more haters than anyone else running for president, visible at blogs like United Liberty; fans of Ron Paul obsessed and condemned any Paul feint to the center-right.
Despite that silliness, the whole thing is worth your time, as is everything Weigel writes. He is among the best political reporters of his our generation. But really, what in the world, Dave?
There is plenty of Rand Paul hate to go around, to be sure, but you will find none of it on this server. Here’s a sampling of some of the Rand Paul headlines on this site since the presidential campaign started last year:
Three of the five are by yours truly. There is only one post in the last two years critical of Rand, but it can hardly be considered “hate”:
Alternately, there’s another post that gives you a hint just how wrong Weigel is that we’re Rand “haters” here:
And I’m sure Martin wasn’t the only one supporting Rand with more than just blog posts. I personally contributed to his campaign three times, once by buying a bumper sticker I still have on my car.
Two years ago, before the presidential campaign cycled started, I wrote a post explaining why Rand Paul is the future of the GOP.
Since 2006, the party has been largely devoid of such clear direction. Rand Paul represents that direction, whether he wins the next presidential nomination, or even runs at all. He has lead the party on issues of privacy, anti-militarism, decriminalization, foreign aid, prison reform, and due process.
Whether he gets the nomination or not is mostly irrelevant (and some would argue, counterproductive); he is influencing the conversation more than anyone else on the right. Rand Paul is the ideological bow of the Republican ship, slicing through uncharted waters and dragging the rest of the party along with him.
Apparently that very post found its way to Rand himself, who wrote me personally to thank me for it.
Even my post Weigel links as evidence belies his claim.
Despite these missteps and pitfalls, Rand Paul’s campaign was a unique and worthwhile one. He was the strongest (though tellingly, the aurally softest) voice in the party on the crucial issues of privacy, criminal justice reform, and racial equality. He will be a vital voice in the US Senate for a long time…unless someone makes him a VP candidate.
We don’t “hate” Rand Paul here. We’ve been critical of him when called for and supported him when we thought he deserved it. Has he been as purely libertarian as his father? Of course not. Do we hate him for that? Hardly.
Maybe if Weigel hadn’t blocked me on Twitter for speaking ill of a band he likes, he’d know that.