While Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) makes an earnest effort to discover why African Americans won't vote for states right conservatives, his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), is doing his very best to answer the question in his new role outside of Congress.
Paul, who retired this year from the House, is running a new think tank aimed at supporting his "non-interventionist" foreign policy and libertarian domestic politics. But rather than a new chapter for the longtime representative, The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity looks more like a return to the old extremist ties he tried to shake off in recent years as his movement gained a more mainstream following.
As Jamie Kirchick reports in The Daily Beast, his group's advisory board includes incendiary columnist Lew Rockwell, who has been identified in news reports as the most likely author of a series of racist, homophobic and conspiracy-laden newsletters Paul published in the '80s and '90s.
Despite being marketed with his endorsement and sometimes presented under his name, Paul denied any knowledge of their content in his recent presidential runs. But Rockwell's re-emergence into Paul's inner circle suggests he hasn't put the past behind him.
Other board members profiled by Kirchick include John Laughland, who made defending Slobodan Milosevic from ethnic cleansing charges a personal cause, and economics professor Walter Block, who argued on Rockwell's website that the country would be better off if the Confederate states had successfully cut ties with the "monster Lincoln." This is not far from Paul's own comments -- in a 2007 Meet The Press appearance he said that the "iron-fisted" Lincoln should never have fought the "senseless Civil War."
Rand Paul, who has presented himself as more mainstream on foreign policy than his father, has not attached himself to the think tank and did not speak at its launch this month. But his father's career continues to make Paul's professed naivete as to the roots of conservatives' minority outreach problem all the more puzzling.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Like it or not, the Boston marathon bombing and its two foreign-born suspects have become an unavoidable topic in the immigration debate, prompting strong reactions from reform opponents, supporters, and everyone in between.
Nowhere was the tension greater than in the Senate's second hearing on the "Gang of 8" immigration bill Wednesday, where lawmakers clashed over whether it was fair to draw lessons from the Boston attack in crafting reform and, if so, what policy response was needed.
Jon Stewart on Thursday tore into a recent speech by Sen. Rand Paul at Howard University, where the Kentucky Republican stumbled a bit trying to explain black history to a crowd at the historically black college.
Paul explained that Republicans founded the NAACP and reminded the audience that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. But that has very little to do with the modern Republican Party, Stewart said.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Rand Paul suggested to Howard University students on Wednesday that the very notion states rights conservatives are -- or ever have been -- tied to race-baiting is a figment of their imagination.
But students at Howard took issue with the idea the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln was no different than the southern-dominated GOP of the last 40 years or so.
"Are we discussing the Republican Party of the 19th century?" one questioner asked Paul afterwards. "Or are we discussing the post-1968 Republican Party?"
"The argument I'm trying to make is we haven't changed," Paul replied. At another point, he said that "the Republican Party has always been the party of civil rights and voting rights."
A group of hardline conservative members of the House are coming out in favor of immigration reform, writing in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) dated March 21 that they support his efforts to negotiate a comprehensive bill.
How many ultra-conservative lawmakers do you need to pack into a room before one of them objects to immigration reform? Apparently more than nine.
On Wednesday, a panel of House conservatives hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation offered nothing but praise for Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) speech on immigration in which the tea party favorite backed the same broad planks of comprehensive immigration reform favored by the Senate's bipartisan working group and by the White House.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Republicans can now count the leading tea party senator, their brightest 2016 prospect, the speaker of the House, and the chairman of their party as supportive of immigration reform. Meanwhile, anti-reform -- even just anti-citizenship -- politicians can't seem to find any oxygen. Among the party's elites at least, the battle over whether to support the basic planks of comprehensive immigration reform looks like it's over.
There's still plenty that can go wrong for reformers: negotiations could get bogged down in the details of a guest worker plan or border security or rank-and-file Republicans could get spooked by a revolt in their home districts. Already, a handful of GOP senators are asking to slow the legislative process down (which is itself a sign of reform's current momentum), and if it languishes too long its opponents could take the opportunity to organize more effectively. But if immigration reform does pass, this week may mark the tipping point.
Let's review:PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to give visas to America's 11 million undocumented immigrants that would allow them to stay and work in the country. And if they apply for green cards and eventually become citizens, that's fine, too. But, for whatever reason, Paul really does not like calling this idea a "path to citizenship."
That's the upshot of a press call Paul held on Tuesday after a daylong struggle to make his position clear.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Count Jon Stewart as a supporter of Sen. Rand Paul's talking filibuster of John Brennan's nomination to become the next CIA director.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
After six hours of a Republican-led filibuster on the nomination of John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) came to the floor to wrap things up.
"I think the rest of the body needs to know if we're gonna finish tonight, or tomorrow or the next day," Reid said.
Reid called for a unanimous consent agreement to move to a direct vote and effectively end the filibuster on the nomination. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who began the filibuster a little before noon ET, objected, demanding to hear from the administration directly whether President Obama carried authority to target Americans within the United States with drone strikes. Reid relented, ceding that he did not speak for the administration.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Jeb Bush's reversal on immigration reform throws a wrench into the conventional wisdom surrounding the 2016 presidential election, where many expected Bush would run as a moderate antidote to Mitt Romney's hardline campaign. His latest stance could put him to the right of a number of potential rivals, several of whom only recently came out for reform themselves. Here's a rundown of five top tier Republicans' position on a path to citizenship, from clearest to vaguest:PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)