What Does Rand Paul Really Believe?

I suppose this week’s must-read is Ryan Lizza’s long New Yorker piece on Rand Paul, which fills in some of the man’s history while meditating extensively on the relationship between Ron Paul’s “Revolution” and whatever it is Paul the Younger can be said to represent. Lizza confirms the impression that Rand was from a very early age the old man’s chief political strategist, forever coming up with ways to better popularize The Cause (which were sometimes rejected by the candidate himself). So from one perspective, the son is carrying out what the title of the piece calls “The Revenge of Rand Paul,” a continuation of the family war against the GOP Establishment with much shrewder tactics.

And Lizza doesn’t appear to doubt that deep down Rand and Ron share the same ideology, which could well mean that Rand still doesn’t believe there should be a government remedy for private racial discrimination, or that paper money is real, or that 9/11 was anything other than “blowback” for U.S. meddling in the Middle East going back for decades.

If that’s true, of course, Rand Paul is not only an extremist but a liar. And there’s every reason to believe that is exactly the line of attack his Republican opponents in 2016 will take with him. Get ready to relive some of the strangest moments of the Revolution, from the racist newsletters to the very public defense of Iran, with young Rand at the controls.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.