Washington incumbents woefully out of step in dismissing anti-establishment politicians
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
Commenting on Rand Paul’s historic victory in the Kentucky primary, the Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine called the would be Senator an “extreme candidate”, while other Democrats suggested Paul would be an easy target for them in the November general election.
While Kaine was happy to note that the result was a “stunning loss” and a “show of weakness” for the GOP establishment in the form of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the hand picked candidate, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the DNC head also took the opportunity to slur Rand Paul’s anti-establishment credentials.
“Unfortunately for Republicans, ordinary Americans are unlikely to be receptive to extreme candidates like Rand Paul in the general election this November,”Kaine said in a statement.
“Rand Paul’s positions fail to resonate beyond the far-right Republican segment of the electorate that supported him tonight,” Kaine also stated.
Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Robert Menendez, echoed Kaine’s sentiments by stating that he believes Paul is an easier opponent to defeat in the general election.
“Rand Paul would abolish the Department of Education, would disband the Federal Reserve, and would end farm subsidies for Kentucky’s farmers,” Menendez said in a statement.
Paul responded in typical fashion by defying his critics and sticking steadfast to his principals.
“People are already saying now you need to weave and dodge, now you need to switch,” Paul said in his victory speech. “Now you need to give up your conservative message. You need to become a moderate. You need to give up the tea party. … The tea party message is not a radical message. It’s not an extreme message. What is extreme is a $2 trillion deficit.”
Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C), a prominent fiscal conservative who endorsed Paul, said that “The Washington establishment threw everything they had at him and yet he prevailed.” DeMint said Paulâ€™s victory represented an “American awakening” and predicted that voters would send more fiscal conservatives to Washington this year.
Paul also repudiated claims that his anti-establishment position represents a fatal division in Republican ranks in Kentucky.
“We’re going to unify. I’m going to meet with Senator McConnell on Saturday. We’ve been talking, actually, for weeks now about unifying. I’ve been talking with the Republican party structure, and I think we will be unified going in to the fall,” Paul told CBS
Both McConnell and Grayson also rallied round Paul.
“Now Kentucky Republicans will unite in standing against the overreaching policies of the Obama administration,” McConnell said Tuesday evening. “We are spiraling further into unsustainable debt and Kentucky needs Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate because he will work every day to stop this crippling agenda.”
“We’ll be standing side by side on Saturday at the unity rally,” Grayson said, referring to an upcoming Republican rally in Frankfort.
Paul noted that in addition to unified GOP support, the attraction his position offers to independent voters puts him in a strong position going into the race for the Senate.
“I say, bring it on, and please, please bring President Obama to Kentucky. We’d love for him to campaign down here…. The Democrats will have to run away from President Obama if they are to have any chance down here.” Paul added.
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Rand Paul’s opponent for the Senate seat, state Attorney General Jack Conway, who has been described as a rubber stamp for President Obama, also hit out at Paul’s anti-establishment position using somewhat inflammatory language.
“We have a fundamental decision to make in this most important of Senate races,” Conway said. “Are we going to use that passion to heat the building? Or are we going to use that passion to burn it down?”
Washington incumbents are displaying just how ignorant they are of the feelings of American voters by rounding on independent, anti-establishment and tea party candidates. They are beyond foolish if they still truly believe that candidates such as Rand Paul represent a fringe minority.
Multiple recent national scientific polls indicate that the portrayal of the tea party / the libertarian movement / the freedom movement – call it what you will – as a lunatic right wing fringe group is a complete fallacy.
The American people have woken up to the false left-right political paradigm and the woes of the two party state. They also now crucially realise that in addition to operating outside that system, they can also use it to their advantage by advancing anti-establishment candidates within it.
If it is the objective of the establishment to continue to play the lunatic fringe card, even in the face of the huge victories of Rand Paul and others, then he and those like him will effectively waltz their way into Washington.
Rand’s father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, said the outcome signaled that “the country is shifting in our direction.” adding that establishment Republicans and Democrats “ought to pay close attention to the grass roots.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:54 am