Ron and Rand Paul Stay Calm in Shutdown Mania

Leave it to the Pauls to realize there are more important things
than procedural squabbling over the “government shutdown.”

First, Ron, as is his wont, leaves the day to day of policy
behind to focus on the big issues,
as U.S News and World Report reports

 Paul told U.S. News the shutdown isn’t as significant as
some say and he finds the ongoing squabble between party leaders
“rather annoying.”

“It’s less of an event than everyone’s claiming it to be,” he
said. “The closedown doesn’t close down people who want stuff, it
didn’t close down [the National Security Agency] and all the other
things the government may be doing to us. The government marches

“Republicans are supposedly on the side of cutting and watching
that we don’t get too much government intrusion in medical care,
but when they were in charge they increased the size and scope of
government intervention in medical care,” he said, “so I don’t
think they’re sincere about it.”….

“The shutdown is actually a distraction from the debate
that I think they should be having,” Paul said. He’s particularly
upset by domestic and foreign U.S. policies, and says Federal
Reserve policy and deficit spending should have taken precedence in
the current government-funding debate.

“Republicans and Democrats are basically in agreement with
authoritarianism,” Paul said. “They believe that one way or another
you have to be an authoritarian, to tell you how to spend your
money [and] both of them tell you how to run your personal life.
And they’re both very excited about telling every country what to
do, and giving them money if they behave or bombing them if they

Paul said “the wave of the future” is a coalition of
anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian
Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed
to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on

“The so-called shutdown is more of a political event,” he said,
“The government doesn’t really shut down, they do the symbolic
things: you can’t go up in the Washington Monument, you can’t visit
the White House and you can’t go in the parks.”

I can hear the bored sigh in Paul’s voice, one I became familiar
with from reporting
my book Ron Paul’s Revolution
, when people try to get
him to focus on things he finds pointless minutia.

And pundits are noticing that Ron’s son, Sen. Rand Paul, is
staking distinct ground from some other right-wing heroes of the
Republican Party.

As Mediaite quoted
from his Sunday appearance on

Face the Nation
in which he seems more open to compromise
and negotation than many colleagues, not laying out non-negotiable
demands re: ObamaCare or spending:

“Historically, Bob, the way it worked is if the House is
Republican and passed something and the Senate was Democrat and
passed something you had a conference committee, equal number of
Republicans and Democrats, and you hashed out your differences. Why
don’t we have a conference committee on this? You could appoint one
today, they could meet tomorrow, and hash out the differences. That
is the way it is supposed to work. Republicans and Democrats are
supposed to find a middle ground. But right now the president is
saying my way or the highway.”

Frank Rich in New York magazine

 I direct you once again to the shrewdest politician in the
GOP’s 2016 field, Rand Paul. Though he is second to no one in
opposing Obamacare, he stays clear of vilifying Obama and endorsing
a government shutdown, has been largely quiet during this whole
drama, and has come out in
favor of a clean House resolution
to keep the government
running. He knows Cruz is on a kamikaze mission.

And National Journal:

My hunch today is that the more visible Ted Cruz is over the
next two and a half years, the more acceptable Rand Paul will
appear to Republicans who are true to their conservative principles
but would still like to win the presidency.