If anyone follows what I have written for Little Green Footballs or United Liberty, you’ll know I was pretty harsh on Ron Paul’s son Rand, who is now the Senator elect for the state of Kentucky. While in Washington D.C., a Kentuckian of high rank in a libertarian organization told me that “racism” was catapulting Rand to the Kentucky seat in the U.S. Senate. This was before his painful Civil Rights interview on Rachel Maddow’s show or having discovered that Rand was the generous recipient of donations from white nationalist organizations.
As is said over at Disinfo, both Senator Paul and Congressman Paul being the subject of a New York Times spotlight is a sharp break from the treatment of Paul during 2008. Read for yourself:
As virtually all of Washington was declaring WikiLeaks’s disclosures of secret diplomatic cables an act of treason, Representative Ron Paul was applauding the organization for exposing the United States’ “delusional foreign policy.”
For this, the conservative blog RedState dubbed him “Al Qaeda’s favorite member of Congress.”
It was hardly the first time that Mr. Paul had marched to his own beat. During his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, he was best remembered for declaring in a debate that the 9/11 attacks were the Muslim world’s response to American military intervention around the globe. A fellow candidate, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, interrupted and demanded that he take back the words — a request that Mr. Paul refused.
During his 20 years in Congress, Mr. Paul has staked out the lonely end of 434-to-1 votes against legislation that he considers unconstitutional, even on issues as ceremonial as granting Mother Teresa a Congressional Gold Medal. His colleagues have dubbed him “Dr. No,” but his wife will insist that they have the spelling wrong: he is really Dr. Know.
Now it appears others are beginning to credit him with some wisdom — or at least acknowledging his passionate following.
After years of blocking him from a leadership position, Mr. Paul’s fellow Republicans have named him chairman of the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, which oversees the Federal Reserve as well as the currency and the valuation of the dollar.
Mr. Paul has strong views on those issues. He has written a book called “End the Fed”; he embraces Austrian economic thought, which holds that the government has no role in regulating the economy; and he advocates a return to the gold standard.
Many of the new Republicans in the next Congress campaigned on precisely the issues that Mr. Paul has been talking about for 40 years: forbidding Congress from any action not explicitly authorized in the Constitution, eliminating entire federal departments as unconstitutional and checking the power of the Fed.
He has been called the “intellectual godfather of the Tea Party,” but he also is the real father of the Tea Party movement’s most high-profile winner, Senator-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky. (The two will be roommates in Ron Paul’s Virginia condominium. “I told him as long as he didn’t expect me to cook,” the elder Mr. Paul said. “I’m not going to take care of him the way his mother did.”)…
Ron Paul did in the 2008 Republican presidential debates what no one from either party had ever dared to do in public: democratize and hold for discussion the merits of foreign policy and drug policy. In the Democratic Party, Dennis Kucinich has played a similar role but, perhaps because of the inherent contrarian nature of Paul’s libertarianism, was never as unapologetic. When Paul discussed drug and foreign policy, he sounded a whole lot more like normal people who don’t hold office or work in a think tank in Washington D.C.