Rand Paul, son of Ron, scourge of government overreach and champion of that species of liberty which flows naturally from being somebody’s kid, has announced his candidacy for president. He joins Ted Cruz in challenging that guy who is the son of one president and the brother of another for the nomination to run against the wife of yet another former president. The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with blood of the same type as whoever watered it before. But although his father has drawn a paycheck as a US Representative since he was 14, “Rand Paul has been fighting big government his entire adult life.” So says his announcement page, which mentions his father exactly once. He’s his own man. All his father gave him was a ready-made constituency, a bunch of contacts in Washington—which he despises as his sworn enemy, of course—and a famous name.
Yesterday, Governor Jay Nixon issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Missouri “to protect civil rights” ahead of a grand jury’s decision on whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. You may remember Wilson from August, when he shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and touched off protests followed by riots in the largely black suburb of St. Louis. You may also remember the term doublethink from George Orwell’s novel 1984. I quote Gov. Nixon’s executive order:
I further direct the Missouri State Highway Patrol together with the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to operate as a Unified Command to protect civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region. I further order that the St. Louis County Police Department shall have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson relating to areas of protests, acts of civil disobedience and conduct otherwise arising from such activities.
If there’s one thing guaranteed to protect civil rights, it’s the Highway Patrol, city and county police departments acting as a unified command over areas of protest. If there are two things that do that, it’s a unified police command with plenty of tear gas.
Good news, everybody! Non pixel-mosaic photographs of Rand Paul are now available on the internet. As usual, “good news” is shorthand for “good news for everybody except for Rand Paul,” since the sudden ubiquity of his image is due to his briefly held and brutally corrected position on the Civil Rights Act. In his first dive into public discourse, Paul executed a series of contortions before landing on his neck, becoming only the third person ever to cancel an appearance on Meet the Press. Rand Paul has met the press, and they are dicks. All he wanted to do was make a generalized point about his political views, and everybody treated him like he was talking about applying those views to specific laws. Can’t a man run for the Senate in peace?
Those of you who question the value of newspaper journalism should check out the New York Times’s torrential coverage of Tuesday’s midterm congressional primaries, which appear to portend a vast wave of anti-incumbent sentiment. The emerging narrative is one of Tea Party-style rage gone mainstream, at least in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Kentucky—where GOP-chosen and Mitch McConnell-sponsored senatorial candidate Trey Grayson was defeated by Rand Paul. Yes, that Rand Paul. The man who has argued that the Federal Reserve, the Department of Education and pretty much all of the New Deal are unlawful infringements on the Constitution, who said in his victory speech that “capitalism is freedom” and declared himself a card-carrying member of the Tea Party, if only they issued cards, will now have to sell a specific, non yelling-based political platform to a general populace. Candidate Paul, welcome to compromise country, population: the rest of us.