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Rand Paul: Swapping conservative principles for GOP acceptance

Written By | Nov 11, 2014

SAN ANTONIO, TX – November 11, 2014 – Sen. Rand Paul is widely expected to run for President in 2016. The Senator was elected in 2010 with strong support from the Tea Party and since then every one of his actions has been calculated to bolster his chances at winning the Republican nomination in 2016.

Skirting over to the dark side, Paul has become a manipulative, power-hungry politician whose guiding principle is whatever his advisors tell him will lead to more power. In essence, Rand Paul has sold out to the Republican establishment, and in so doing, has altered many of his policy positions to conform to those of his fellow Kentucky Senator, and soon to be Majority Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell.

The day after the Republicans won control of the Senate, Paul said the following in an interview with the Washington Post:

“You know I think gridlock is going to end. Senator McConnell knows how to make the Senate work and I think he will make us a bigger party, a better party, by crafting bipartisan legislation.”

He also warned that “conservative firebrands in both chambers should not expect the new GOP Senate to pursue an aggressive agenda on every front.”

In 2010, Paul would have been one of those “conservative firebrands” he just insinuated should abandon their principles to embrace a bigger, less principled Republican Party.

Its a real shame, but conservatives must understand that Rand Paul, like Marco Rubio, has been completely co-opted by the establishment conservativesand the following flip-flops further represent evidence thereof.


Paul gained his fame and notoriety by being a thorn in the Republican establishment’s side, and unfortunately, as the previous quote about conservative firebrands makes apparent, he now completely supports the Republican establishment and its’ leader – Sen. McConnell.

Paul has completely abandoned his principles and has endorsed McConnell for Majority Leader wholeheartedly, and in return, McConnell has already announced his support for Rand Paul’s bid for president in 2016, securing Paul as a critical ally in the Senate for the next two years.

The following quote from an aide to a Democrat Senator that was included in a Yahoo News article sums up Sen. Paul’s recent evolution perfectly:

“A lot of the senior politicians around here see Rand as someone they recall as like themselves when they got here: at first very idealistic, then you evolve and start to make friends on the other side.”


Paul has recently wholeheartedly bought into Saul Alinsky style, racial politics. Instead of continuing to support the common sense requirement to show a state-issued identification card in order to vote, Paul has “evolved” on this issue.

In a recent interview with the New York Times Paul said, “Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing. I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”

If Paul has made his new benchmark for supporting a position whether or not it may offend some people, than he has adopted the Democrat position of political correctness.

The old Rand Paul would have described how racist it is for Democrats to claim that voter ID laws are discriminatory against minorities. He would’ve told the black audience he was speaking to that he believes they are just as capable as white people of getting IDs and that having an ID to vote is legitimate and necessary.

On this issue, he absolutely abandoned many, if not most, of his libertarian principles, and has adopted the progressive mentality that everyone has a right to not be offended.


Paul has made a complete U-Turn on both abortion and gay marriage. On March 8, 2013 Paul sponsored the “Life at Conception Act,” which would have outlawed all abortions and any drug that took affect after an egg is fertilized, like “Plan B” and the morning after pill.

Although this is completely contrary to the libertarian position on this issue, it gained Paul strong support from the religious right. On April 22, 2014, less than one year after he sponsored the Life at Conception Act, he had the following to say in an interview with Obama’s first chief of staff, David Axelrod:

“My personal and religious belief is that life begins at the very beginning,” Paul told interviewer and former Obama adviser David Axelrod. “Where is the law going to be? I think the law could find something in between [that and where we are now]. Maybe there is an in-between … when the baby is able to react to pain, or viability… I think where the country is, is somewhere in the middle, and we are not changing any of the laws until the country is persuaded otherwise.”

Then, on October 3, 2014, Paul had the following to say in regard to his position on the “Plan B” pill:

“I am not opposed to birth control,” he said. After a pause, he elaborated. “That’s basically what Plan B is. Plan B is taking two birth control pills in the morning and two in the evening, and I am not opposed to that.”

Plan B is a pill that kills an egg after it has been fertilized. The bill he sponsored would have outlawed this pill. This is another example of Paul doing and saying whatever the current audience he is speaking to wants to hear.

Paul previously has strongly supported traditional marriage.

On October 3, 2014 he told CNN the following about his position on gay marriage:

“Society’s changing,” he said. “I mean, people change their minds all the time on this issue, and even within the Republican Party, there are people whose child turns out to be gay and they’re like, oh well maybe I want to rethink this issue. So it’s been rethought. The President’s rethought the issue. So I mean, a lot of people have rethought the issue.”

The reporter then asked Paul if that meant he would reconsider his support for traditional marriage. The article describes how Paul reacted:

“He (Paul) shrugged, and gave me a half-grimace. It wasn’t a yes or a no, but it revealed Paul’s complicated dance as he tries to color outside the lines of the Republican Party.”

In addition to the flip-flops mentioned above, Paul has also drastically changed his position on the following issues to conform with McConnell and the establishment:

  • Foreign aid to Israel
  • Comprehensive immigration reform
  • A border fence
  • American intervention in the Middle East and confronting ISIS
  • The Civil Rights Act
  • Obamacare

In the same Yahoo News article cited earlier, one of Paul’s aides said the following about whether Paul will join Sen. Ted Cruz and pledge to do whatever within his power to repeal and destroy Obamacare:

“He won’t be in the middle of that fight,” the Paul aide told me last week. “I don’t think he’s going to get all wrapped around the axle. He’s supportive of the idea of repealing Obamacare, but he’s not going to be the tip of the spear.”

Paul will need to be the most manipulative politician since Bill Clinton to keep the conservative base happy while doing Mitch McConnell’s dirty work. Regardless of what happens, Paul has made it more than evident that he is an unprincipled, manipulative and power hungry individual and he has gotten the one thing he wanted most of all – the support of the Republican establishment machine.

The only good thing about Paul being co-opted by the establishment is that it clears the path for conservatives to support the only true, principled politician in Washington for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016: Ted Cruz.



James Richard

James Edwards is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives.