Rand Paul and the art of authenticity

As our unhealthy fixation on Rand Paul continues to grow, we at Combat! blog are impelled to consider the other prong of his narrative prod: authenticity. Paul and his ilk are, by their own avowal and by media announcement, outsiders—folks who feel the same way you do about the shysters in Washington because, like you, they watch ’em from afar. It’s a reform year. Two big stories dominate the news: 1) the entire country being economically, politically and environmentally fucked plus we’re losing two wars, and 2) people who cannot necessarily articulate the specific elements of #1 blaming the dang government. The trick, if you want to get elected in 2010, is to make yourself part of story #2. Hence the popularity of Rand Paul and his father, Ron, whose views are extreme but whose personae are paradoxically that of the everyman. As Meghan McCain put it, “I can’t help but interpret the congressman’s cult-like, libertarian-leaning following as yet another indicator of a growing resentment of all people incumbent and in power in Washington.”

Continue reading