Rand Paul’s Top 5 Bad Ass Moments
Now that Super Tuesday has faded away; liberty candidate Rand Paul has suspended his presidential campaign to focus on keeping his senate seat; and the prognosis for the 2016 general election is likely to be a false choice between two authoritarians who want more war, more spending, and more power it may be appropriate to look back on Dr. Paul’s short lived presidential bid. So below, in no particular order, are what I consider to be Dr. Paul’s top five bad ass
1. Getting Congress to Admit to Robbing Social Security
In October 2015, after Paul’s filibuster of the debt ceiling increase was blocked, he proceeded to force members of the Senate to go on record, admitting to stealing $150 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund, in order to pay for increased entitlement spending.
The following day, Senator Mike Lee posted video of the vote on social media, with the following statement:
“Last night while you were sleeping the Senate voted to steal $150 billion dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund. I joined 34 of my colleagues in a vote to prevent this raid. I would like to thank Senator Rand Paul for leading the fight to protect Social Security from the thieves in Washington, who seem to think that if they steal from the American people at night while they are sleeping that they will get away with it. I was proud to vote with Senator Paul on his point of order that would have protected Social Security, and I ask you to help me shine a light on what Washington has tried to hide from you in the darkness of night.”
Consequently, the video proceeded to go viral, immediately garnering more than 25 million views and 1.5 million shares.
2. Flipping Off the Media
After key polls were withheld from the media and Dr. Paul was relegated to the kiddie table, he made the decision to boycott the Fox Business January GOP Debate, telling CNN “I won’t participate in anything that’s not first tier because we have a first tier campaign.” Instead, Paul opted to do a Twitter town-hall with supporters.
In the next 48 hours after announcing the boycott, the Kentucky Senator conducted numerous television interviews, yielding estimated combined ratings of 7 million, thought to be nearly twice the exposure he would have gotten had he participated in the FBN under-card debate.In an interview with ABC News Radio, correspondent Aaron Katersky asked if Paul had anything he would like to say to the media. It turns out he did, literally flipping the bird to them.
Following the debate, US News & World readers decided, with an overwhelming 95% majority, that Rand Paul had won the debate, by refusing to show up.
3. Drinking Kentucky Bourbon With Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show”
Following Paul’s exclusion from the January 14th FBN GOP Debate, he made an appearance on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, with a substantive discussion on topics ranging from foreign policy to the economy. Billed as a “Singles Night” debate, Paul loosened up, enjoying quality bourbon from his home state of Kentucky.
4. Getting Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to admit her Abortion Position
Back in April of last year, on the New Hampshire campaign trail, a reporter pressed Dr. Paul of whether or not he would support exceptions on abortion for life of the mother, rape, or incest. Frustrated by the gotcha journalism, he cleverly responded “You go back and go ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby that’s just not born yet… Ask her when life begins, and ask Debbie when she’s willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.”
In response Wasserman-Schultz, DNC Chairwoman and Florida representative, retorted “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”
Later that day, in a CNN interview, Paul commented on Debbie’s response, asserting “It sounds like her answer is yes, that she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby…Debbie’s position, which I guess is the Democratic Party’s position, that an abortion all the way up until the day of birth would be fine, I really think most pro-choice people would be uncomfortable with that,”
This bad ass moment demonstrates how quick-witted and adept the accomplished ophthalmologist is in effectively communicating his message despite the press’ attempt to discredit him.
5. Calling BS on the NSA
A strong proponent of individual privacy, Paul has been a vocal opponent of the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program, citing 4th Amendment Constitutional concerns. Last May, he held a 10 and 1/2 hour filibuster to end the controversial NSA spy program. Therefore, it comes at no surprise that he made this a central theme in his 2016 presidential bid.
In a November 2015 speech to students at George Mason University, in Virginia, Paul attempted to dispel the myth that collection of metadata make us safer, explaining “So when they stand up on television and say ‘the tragedy in Paris means you have to give up your liberty. We need more phone surveillance…’ That’s Bullshit!”
Here’s to Rand Paul-the man, the myth, and the legend. May he set an example for his colleagues so that we may have more liberty candidates in the future. Feel free to comment on these five bad ass moments and to add any I may have missed.