No. I'm no suggesting Paul has his act together. But he does make the dangers clearer.
There are some gaping holes -- inconsistencies -- in his politics -- in the nuttiness of "conservative" policies. The Washington Post's EJ Dionne goes after those inconsistencies -- and self-destructiveness -- in a particularly interesting way.
“As government grows, liberty becomes marginalized,” Paul declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which announced Saturday that the libertarian senator from Kentucky had placed first in its 2016 presidential straw poll. I think the evidence of all the years since World War II proves Paul flatly wrong. But then I am not a conservative.
But what of conservatives who endorse continued American global leadership but would drastically reduce government’s investments in our citizens and our infrastructure, in economic security and in health care?
Do they honestly think voters will endorse the military spending they seek even as they throw 40 million to 50 million of our fellow citizens off health insurance and weaken health coverage for our elderly? Can they continue to deny that their goal of an internationally influential America demands more revenue than they currently seem willing to provide? Have conservatives on the Supreme Court pondered what eviscerating the Voting Rights Act would do to the image of our democracy around the globe?
And do conservatives who say they favor American greatness think they are strengthening our nation and its ability to shape events abroad with an ongoing budget stalemate created by their refusal to reach agreement with President Obama on a deal that combines spending cuts and new taxes? Would they rather waste the next three years than make any further concessions to a president the voters just reelected?
I keep stumbling the same problem with what comes out of the political right in the US: who they like to think they are. Language matters. They call themselves "conservatives." But they're about as far from conservatism as they can get. "Radicals"? Better. The great miasma of do-nothingness we're fighting our way through has nothing to do with conservativism. It conserves nothing. On the contrary, it's deeply and willfully destructive.