Standing With Rand

Rand Paul NewA little over a week ago, Rand Paul filibustered the Senate’s confirmation of John Brennan for the head of the CIA in an effort to get a concrete answer from the White House on whether or not the administration thought it was legal to kill Americans in the United States with drones and without due process. This event went a long way to highlight the growing divide in the Republican Party between those of the old guard and the new movement.

The old guard, including the likes of John McCain, is essentially the stereotypical image of the Republican Party, that is, old white men whose greatest claim to fame is their ability to compromise. When John McCain was nominated in 2008 as the GOP candidate for president, he was acclaimed as one who had experience reaching across the aisle, and represented  the moderates in government. This is essentially why the right has failed to produce a strong presidential candidate two elections in a row. When a party touts its ability to water down its principles in the name of bipartisan cooperation, you know it’s in trouble.

The problem with the Republican Party today is not its base. It is not mid-westerners who hold on to their guns and religion. It is the stale leadership at the top that has no purpose other than to halt the expanse of progressives while keeping the radical conservatives down. After all, the reason they can get elected continually is because they point to their success at fighting Obama while not rocking the boat. Their political ideology amounts to nothing but existing to fight the Democrats. They’d be out of a job if the liberals lost theirs.

This neo-conservatism was the hallmark of the Republicans for several decades. First, they were the party that opposed the New Deal. Then they were the party that Opposed the Great Society. Now they are the party that opposes Obamacare. Basically, they’ve been moving backwards since the 1930’s. And failing since the Roosevelt administration. Yet, for some reason, the GOP leadership has the assumption that continual nay saying without purporting any particular set of standards will inspire the populace to return to conservative principles.

Back to Rand. I can’t speak for all thirteen hours of the filibuster, but for the several hours that I watched at various points along the way, he stayed on topic. His question was whether or not the administration viewed it as within their prerogative to kill American citizens on US soil with drones without due process. Essentially, he was taking a stand directly defending the Constitution from the executive branch. This is precisely the leadership that is needed in this day and age, and it is disgusting that the senior members of the Republican Party in the Senate chose to attack Paul for it.

However, the momentum is decidedly in favor of the younger conservatives now. Right now, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where all the who’s who in the Republican Party today make appearances, there is a clear shift towards those who are standing against the established leadership. Other than a short speech from Mitt Romney, the center-right is being poignantly ignored.

Now is the time that the soul of the right is being decided, and there is a bit of a battle being waged. On one side are those who continue to stand behind failed policies and compromising viewpoints, on the other is a group dedicated to returning America back to its founding principles, with all of the passion that has been so desperately needed in the past decade. The question is, who will win out? Will it be the party of no, that quixotically opposes the Democrats? Or will it be the party of principle and opportunity that has a clear vision for America’s future that doesn’t run away from something, but drives towards a clear goal? I’m standing with Rand and putting my money on the new right.

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