Are Rand Paul's Most Extreme Views those which are in accord with the Democratic-Republican Political Establishment's Policy Consensus?

Though somewhat belated, I've been meaning to touch on this story for a number of days now. Since Rand Paul's victory in the Kentucky Republican primary election last month, and the ensuing controversy over a number of positions he holds, both Republican and Democratic commentators have sought to tie his overall policy stance to libertarianism. The motivations of such commentators are not difficult to discern: Republicans seek to distance themselves from his controversial views, while Democrats seek to associate Republicans with them. The great irony, however, is that the controversial views for which Rand Paul has been most publicly criticized are not libertarian in character. This is not surprising for at least two reasons: 1) Rand Paul is not a libertarian; and 2) ideologues of the two-party state and duopoly system of government are not generally known for their intellectual honesty. Back in March Time Magazine, of all outlets, published the following refutation of Paul's alleged "libertarianism":
Paul is edging toward the center: Pure libertarians, he says, believe the market should dictate policy on nearly everything from the environment to health care. Paul has lately said he would not leave abortion to the states, he doesn't believe in legalizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine, he'd support federal drug laws, he'd vote to support Kentucky's coal interests and he'd be tough on national security.

"They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I'm not a libertarian," [emphasis added] Paul says between Lasik surgeries at his medical office, where his campaign is headquartered, with a few desks crammed between treatment rooms. "Frankly, I'd rather be coming from the right than from the left like [Republican primary opponent] Grayson, who not too long ago was a Democrat and Bill Clinton supporter."

Last week the Libertarian Party of Kentucky published a lengthy press release demonstrating that Rand Paul is not a libertarian, but rather just another statist Republican. Moreover, the release also reveals that many of Rand Paul's most controversial views are actually in perfect accord with the official policy consensus of the Democratic-Republican Party political establishment:

Rand Paul is not a libertarian. There are clear differences between the Libertarian Party, including the philosophy upon which is it based, and the philosophy and campaign rhetoric of Rand Paul. While the Libertarian Party shares some stances traditionally associated with the Republican Party, the LP also shares common ground on positions traditionally associated with the Democratic Party, and not always for the same reasons. We are an alternative to the two party system, not constrained by the model that defines both major parties.

Libertarians want a complete repeal of the PATRIOT Act, closure of Guantanamo Bay, and an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rand Paul has stated that he wants to continue military detentions at Guantanamo Bay, a retroactive official declaration of war by Congress, and has denied that he seeks to overturn the PATRIOT Act.

In further contrast, libertarians want to provide a mechanism by which non-traditional couples can receive equal protection under the law. Rand Paul has voiced his support of the discriminatory “one man, one woman” definition of marriage and his opposition to any other civil contract option.

In 2009, social conservatives in Kentucky outlawed adoption by anyone not living in a traditional, legally-recognized marriage – a concept so extreme that even family counselor and conservative talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has opposed it. The Libertarian Party stood in strong opposition to this legislation. Rand Paul has acknowledged that he agrees with his party in this, squarely placing himself at odds with the Libertarian Party of Kentucky and libertarians nationwide, who have a strong record of fighting these inequities . . .

Rand Paul’s statements regarding all forms of discrimination are not consistent with, nor do they reflect the views of, the Libertarian Party of Kentucky. Rand Paul does not speak for us or for our party. We condemn all bigotry based on any and all factors.

The real question, then, is the following: when will Democrats and Republicans alike distance themselves from Rand Paul's most extreme mainstream views, for instance, his support for the PATRIOT Act, his opposition to closing Guantanamo Bay, his support for continuing the failed war on drugs, and his opposition to free choice and equal rights?

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