Monday, June 01, 2015

How Rand Paul is playing his GOP enemies like a fiddle

Rand Paul is playing his GOP establishment enemies like a fiddle. It's actually fun to watch: Rand sets the trap, which consists of some clever political stunt to try to get valuable media attention, and the knuckleheads in the establishment fall right into it.

Every time.

Paul's latest escapade was his filibuster of the Patriot Act, under which, in the name of counter-terrorism, the government is allowed to spy on you. The result? More valuable airtime for a politician who has already become a media magnet. There is simply no other politician in either party who is able to get the media attention Paul gets. I have no concrete evidence of this, but I would be willing to bet that Paul gets more media time then all the other Republican presidential contenders combined.

And Paul doesn't suffer from media scrutiny. In practically every minute of camera time he gets, he sounds lucid, cogent, and well-informed. You may disagree with him, but you've got to admire the cleverness with which he is able to garner this kind of attention.

But, you ask, is it good attention? Isn't a lot of the attention Paul gets negative? And isn't this bad? Well, that's certainly what the establishment thinks. But, quite frankly, the establishment is stupid.

This is the establishment that successfully pushes for an establishment candidate to win the Republican nomination every presidential election and which, having gotten shellacked, then blames the very people who pointed out that if the establishment nominated an establishment candidate it would get shellacked.

It happens every time.

Now this establishment has convinced itself that Paul is risking his political credibility by going up against it. The Sunday news shows this last weekend featured a parade of grim Republican analysts, each wagging his finger at Paul for his transgressions against Republican orthodoxy and proclaiming that Paul was politically immolating himself in plain daylight.

It really makes you marvel that there are people who are this politically tone-deaf.

The establishment is clueless about the fact that getting the establishment to oppose you is a good thing, not a bad thing. The establishment, being an establishment, is blind to its own unpopularity. The only people who get excited about the Republican Party establishment is the Republican Party establishment. No one else is impressed with them except themselves.

If you took a survey, the "Republican Party establishment" would rank somewhere between termites and stray dogs on the scale of popularity.

MEMO TO THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT: Yo, Establishment, are you complete idiots? Do you not get the fact that Rand Paul wants you to oppose him? Do you not realize that every time you get up on the Senate floor or on Fox News and condemn him you not only put his name in front of the public once again, but make him more attractive to voters, not less?

Every time these people run Paul down on some news show or in some floor speech, Paul's campaign officials are high fiving back at campaign headquarters. Every time Charles Krauthammer or Brit Hume predicts that Paul is cutting his political throat by going questioning some establishment shibboleth, his campaign staff pops another champagne cork.

There are depths of political imbecility that have yet to be plumbed, but few have delved as deeply as the people running the national Republican Party.

1 comment:

Rob Mattheu said...

Rand Paul will say anything. If it doesn't stick, he can always claim he didn't say it the next day. He can't win a national election.