Bill Kristol: Rand Paul is ‘spokesman for the Code Pink faction’ of the GOP

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Rand Paul’s filibuster united and excited disparate wings of the conservative movement, but not everyone is happy.

Over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol writes,

[P]aul’s political genius strikes us as very much of the short-term variety. Will it ultimately serve him well to be the spokesman for the Code Pink faction of the Republican party? How much staying power is there in a political stance that requires waxing semihysterical about the imminent threat of Obama-ordered drone strikes against Americans sitting in cafés? And as for the other Republican senators who rushed to the floor to cheer Paul on, won’t they soon be entertaining second thoughts? Is patting Rand Paul on the back for his fearmongering a plausible path to the presidency for Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz? Is embracing kookiness a winning strategy for the Republican party? We doubt it.

… “Code Pink faction”? … “fear mongering,”? … “kookiness?” — come on Bill, why not tell us what you really think?

Look, I think I get Kristol’s point. This issue shouldn’t be the GOP’s leitmotif. And the notion that Paul — or anyone else — could ride this issue to the White House is highly unlikely.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important and worthy debate. As technology advances, violations of liberty never thought possible before all of a sudden become relevant. You don’t defend freedom once, you do it every day. We must be vigilant. In the pursuit of security, we must not sacrifice our freedom.

So I like having Rand Paul be my watchdog. Defending civil liberties isn’t “kookiness.” We need someone in the room, asking tough questions — even as other Republicans make more hawkish arguments. Rand Paul is performing a very important function.

We want him on that wall. We need him on that wall.

H/t: Tom Bevan

Matt K. Lewis