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Thread: Rand Paul, Russian Stooge

  1. #1

    Rand Paul, Russian Stooge

    Senator Rand Paul has been making the rounds in recent days touting deeper U.S. engagement with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It’s often the case when Senator Paul talks about foreign policy his pronouncements are a curious admixture of odd conspiracy theories, pacifist banalities, and ahistorical analogies—all delivered with the confident condescension of someone who doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about.

    So it is with Paul’s lonely effort to provide intellectual backing for Donald Trump’s instinctive desire to make nice with the increasingly provocative regime run by the anti-American former KGB agent. Examples of Paul’s foolishness are legion but the most revealing came in an interview that the senator conducted on August 16, 2018, with The Liberty Report, an internet television show hosted by his father, libertarian gadfly and former congressman Ron Paul.

    Senator Paul has lately made a cause of conciliation by concession—seeking to reverse sanctions on Russian lawmakers, blocking proposed sanctions on Russian oil interests, and more broadly, preventing punitive measures on Putin’s Russia in favor of dialogue and conversation. These efforts build on his past work downplaying Putin’s aggression and attacking those who highlight it.

    In late February 2014, with Russian troops on “high alert” and amassed on the border with Ukraine, Paul spoke out not against the Russian strongman who’d put them there, but against conservatives who warned about Putin’s expansionism and the possibility of an imminent invasion. “Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don’t think that is a good idea,” he said. For good measure, he echoed Russian propaganda messaging at the time, that “Ukraine has a long history of being, you know, either part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere—common language, etcetera, so I don’t think it behooves us to tell the Ukraine what to do.”

    Is it any wonder, then, that Senator Paul was welcomed with open arms by Putin’s allies on his recent trip to Russia? Not really. But Paul nonetheless sounded surprised when he told his father he’d been “lucky enough to get meetings” with Russian lawmakers. Paul reported that while he doesn’t take everything he’s told as the unalloyed truth, he found that Russian legislators “are more open to dialogue and do want to meet and do want better relations with the United States.” He told his father that his travels in Russia made clear to him that while most Russians today might not find things perfect, they prefer life under Vladimir Putin to the old Soviet Union and the “difficult time” of the “crazy, Wild West” 1990s that followed the dissolution of the Soviet bloc.

    Senator Paul recounted for his father a meeting he’d had with the head of the Libertarian Party of Russia who, the younger Paul reported, “has been getting crowds of 10-, 20-, 30,000 people to show up” to hear the libertarian message in Russia. “It’s not perfect, he’s not allowed on the ballot there,” Senator Paul explained, but “at least he was able to speak with us while we were there.”

    “It’s not perfect” might qualify as an understatement, as Putin’s government rather routinely targets for assassination, at home and abroad, his political opponents, real and perceived. Maybe such understatement is part of Paul’s determined effort to avoid tweaking Russia all the time.


    Paul acknowledges that Russia “probably” interfered with the 2016 presidential election, but he downplays this meddling as inconsequential while offering the kind of absurd framing for which Kentucky’s junior senator has become famous. “Do I think that they probably hacked into Hillary Clinton’s emails? Yes. But they are never, ever going to admit to that. But if I were to weigh hacking into Hillary Clinton’s emails with nuclear war, they sort of pale in comparison.”

    Either we let Russia’s hacking slide or we have nuclear war. It’s the kind of logic that leads to arguments like the one Paul offers as a follow-up.

    In rapid succession, the senator says that a) sanctions on Russia haven't done any good and poison relations, b) the reaction to Russian meddling in our elections, including the sanctions, have made clear to them that their continued meddling in our elections would harm US-Russia relations, and, c) sanctions on Russia will have the opposite of their intended effect.

    “You can try to put sanctions on Russia and punish them but their response is to become more firm in their resolve not to do something,” Paul explained. “Like election meddling: In all likelihood, yes, Russia probably did hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails. I don’t think they expected the reaction in our country or how big a deal it would become. But I think they’re seeing now that if they did this, it’s backfired on them.”

    Why have they come to this conclusion? In large part, because of U.S. sanctions and other punitive measures.

    “They’ve got worse relations, less dialogue, less trade, more sanctions—and so I think it’s important for Russia to understand what’s going on in our country, and I think some of it is hysteria in our country, in order for them to decide because countries that have the ability to spy will continue to spy and countries that have the ability to hack into computers will continue to do this. What we need to do is to make sure they understand that if they want better relations that it’s not in their best interest. ... They’re annoyed with the sanctions, but they’ll actually resist change more with the sanctions.”

    In short: Sanctions don’t work, sanctions have worked here, but sanctions won’t work in the future.

    If logic isn’t Senator Paul’s strength, neither is history. In arguing for leniency on Putin’s Russia, Paul invoked Ronald Reagan’s nuclear talks with Mikhail Gorbachev, whom he met during his recent visit. Trump needs to buck the remnants of Cold War orthodoxy if he’s to have any hope of forging better relations with Russia, Paul argues. This means, first, rejecting the kind of punitive measures favored by the hawks in both political parties. And, second, it means ignoring the kinds of criticism that Ronald Reagan got for his meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev. To make his point, Paul turns to his favorite villain: the neocons.

    “For Reagan and Gorbachev to come together, Reagan had to defy some neoconservative criticism, the Bill Kristols and a whole, you know, ah, group of the neoconservatives who criticized Reagan for talking to Gorbachev. Reagan had to rise above that, rise out of the orthodoxy of the Cold War to meet with Gorbachev.”

    Set aside the rather significant fact that no one was more responsible for the “orthodoxy of the Cold War” than Ronald Reagan. Ignore the fact that the Cold War “orthodoxy” Paul rejects—the kind of confrontational rhetoric Reagan preferred and the aggressive anti-Communist policies that defined his foreign policy—gave the United States precisely those advantages that allowed diplomacy to succeed. And focus instead on Bill Kristol.

    Bill Kristol wasn’t leading criticism of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy in the 1980s. He was working in Reagan’s administration.
    https://www.weeklystandard.com/steph...russian-stooge



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  3. #2
    They are afraid of Rand.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    They are afraid of Rand.
    Why would they use "kooky" otherwise? Are we in the danger zone?

  5. #4
    More to the point, any Cenrtist/Conservative GOP dialectic brings about a Roget's Thesaurus
    cluster of adjectives and nouns not unlike the coverage given to Doctor Ron Paul, often like a
    brisk dusting off of & makeover mix~mode laid onto an older mass media story, indeedy yes.
    Last edited by Aratus; 08-21-2018 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Loose Lips Sink Shippes

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bergie Bergeron View Post
    I am shocked, shocked to find that a neocon-RINO tool like Stephen Hayes at a neocon outlet like the Weekly Standard would try to falsely smear a Paul.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
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    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
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    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  7. #6
    I participate in other forums that are not dedicated to any specific point of view politically and it's my experience that the spin in the bit quoted in the OP is pretty pervasive amongst the Joe Sixpack out there (at least, amongst folks who aren't on the Trump train). If Rand is considering another POTUS run, he's got some serious work to do in countering public perception of his motives.
    I compiled a "brief" history of events since October 2008 that are defining the global currency war and the role that gold is playing:

    Tin Foil Hats, Economic Reality and the Total Perspective Vortex

    Also, have you contacted your Congressional Rep and asked them co-sponsor Ron Paul's Rep. Paul Broun Jr.'s HR 1098 77: Free Competition in Currencies Act?

  8. #7
    Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol's neocon rag. No surprise Rand drew their anger by calling out Kristol by name.
    "Let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    The entire internet is the domain of paid shills and bots. If you don't know this by now....

    Israel, under control of the Crown and, ultimately, the Vatican, own the USA. If you don't know this by now....

    Talk to people about liberty. You won't find it on websites, you won't find it in politicians.

    Visiting the Outer Banks of NC?
    Outer Banks NC Fishing Boat Rentals

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by devil21 View Post
    Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol's neocon rag. No surprise Rand drew their anger by calling out Kristol by name.
    You have to admit they have great skillz. It worked really well on Ron before it became known he's an idiot.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bern View Post
    I participate in other forums that are not dedicated to any specific point of view politically and it's my experience that the spin in the bit quoted in the OP is pretty pervasive amongst the Joe Sixpack out there (at least, amongst folks who aren't on the Trump train). If Rand is considering another POTUS run, he's got some serious work to do in countering public perception of his motives.
    Majority Americans Want Diplomacy With Russia Over Sanctions

    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  12. #10
    The fact they spend this much effort shows how much emotion and anger they feel toward Rand and its awesome.
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  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    The fact they spend this much effort shows how much emotion and anger they feel toward Rand and its awesome.
    This was low effort, no good counter arguments were even made. The funny part is Rand got them to watch the liberty report, and I think people will see through the ad hominem when they don't entirely disagree with what Rand Paul is saying- I don't think many people really want world war 3, that's the real reason a lot of people voted for Trump over Clinton. Russiagate is just fake news the deep state is using to try subvert our democracy.
    Last edited by nikcers; 08-21-2018 at 11:32 PM.

  14. #12
    Is this the best they got?

    “Force the normies into taking sides. At the moment they are just like "meh, I am minding my own business" retreating culturally into their private bubbles and "safe-spaces" since they don't understand what is going on. When the actual "us vs them" starts, they will be forced to fight or they'll die.” - Anonymous Poster

  15. #13
    Rand is no one's stooge, in reality, but his recent strategy makes him appear Trump's stooge, to no one's benefit but Trump's.

    There was an opportunity for him to take the leadership position among the GOP's small government types (contra Trumpkins) in 2016.

    He chose to play it safe and not exploit it.

    The next, and perhaps last, opportunity will be if and when the GOP suffers majors losses this November, and Trump loses a lot of popularity.

    We'll see what Rand does then. In the meantime, he's playing the stooge, but certainly isn't one (and certainly not the Russians').
    Last edited by r3volution 3.0; 08-22-2018 at 07:25 PM.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    Rand is no one's stooge, in reality, but...

    He chose to play it safe and not exploit it.

    The next, and perhaps last, opportunity will be if and when
    the GOP suffers majors losses this November,
    and Trump loses a lot of popularity.

    We'll see what Rand does then. In the meantime...

    You do bring up an interesting November scenario,
    Especially if a Blue Wave hits the GOP by surprise.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Aratus View Post
    You do bring up an interesting November scenario,
    Especially if a Blue Wave hits the GOP by surprise.
    There's every reason to think the GOP will lose a lot of House seats, maybe or maybe not enough to lose the majority.

    Either way, the question is what effect this will have on Trump's popularity.

    If anything will break his support among the base, it will be losing elections.

    But, it could be that nothing will break his support among the base...

    We shall see.

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    There's every reason to think the GOP will lose a lot of House seats, maybe or maybe not enough to lose the majority.

    Either way, the question is what effect this will have on Trump's popularity.

    If anything will break his support among the base, it will be losing elections.

    But, it could be that nothing will break his support among the base...

    We shall see.
    Is Hillary still on track to be elected in 2020?



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  20. #17
    Lousy header, brilliant OP article.
    My mini-review of this here thread.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by timosman View Post
    Is Hillary still on track to be elected in 2020?
    Why rule out poor honest Bernie??? They both may go at it in full grudgematch mode.
    Not until a raft of people who are greatly YOUNGER than Barack Obama realistically
    POTUS run in both our parties will we see all the wise Boomer/Hippies retire gracefully.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by timosman View Post
    Is Hillary still on track to be elected in 2020?
    90% likely.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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