Rand Paul Now Leads Liberty Movement

It has only been a little more than a month since Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster on the floor of the U.S. Senate.  But it is looking more and more like a defining moment in American politics.  It may be a defining moment in American history.


The dramatic sight of Rand Paul standing all alone, in the well of the Senate on March 6, 2013, speaking up for the U.S. Constitution, asking the questions that the media and the power establishment was too busy or too indifferent to ask, is a picture that will be forever burned into the psyche of many Americans.  And the key point here was that he was alone.  The rest of Washington, D.C., the politicians, the television producers, the White House staff, had scattered across town to posh restaurants enjoying their cocktails, regaling each other with tales of the day’s successes and making their deals for tomorrow, smugly content that they had put another day of work behind them.
That afternoon, Senator Rand Paul had begun what would be a 13 hour filibuster, promising to hold up confirmation of the new Director of the CIA until the president answered this simple question. “Does the president’s newly assumed power to kill a U.S. citizen, without arrest or trial, apply to non combatants here in the United States?”
It was a reasonable question.  Under president Barack Obama, the U.S. government had begun an unprecedented policy of killing U.S. citizens if they were deemed as terrorists.  Forget Miranda rights, they couldn’t even have a trial.  And this could happen anywhere in the world. The United States did not have to be at war with a country.  They could violate the air space and commit these killings in the Middle East, Asia, even Europe. In 2010, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was killed in a drone missile strike on a desert road in Yemen.  Two weeks later, his son, born in Denver, Colorado, with no ties to terrorism, searching for his father’s body in Yemen, was likewise killed by an American drone strike.  The killing of al-Awlaki was justified because of his rabble rousing sermons which had inspired terrorists.  The son’s killing, was oops, sorry, a mistake.  
The media has been remarkably silent.
In February, when asked about drone missiles now circling key locations here in the United States, the White House was asked if the president had the power to kill U.S. citizens  without trial, on American soil, or was this just something he could do overseas?  The White House assured the amazingly docile American media that the Justice Department had agreed that the president had this power.
President Barack Obama can be thankful that his predecessor, George W. Bush, did not or Obama, himself, might not be around.  By such reckoning, Barack Obama’s own pastor could have been “droned out” for his tirade, when he famously chanted, “God damn America,” from his pulpit.   And Obama, had he been in the audience for those sermons might have been collateral damage, much like al-Awlaki’s son.
The country seemed to be lulled into a trance.  This included its once fierce and uncompromising, professional, watchdog media, now held tightly by its corporate leashes, reduced to reading press releases and providing entertainment.  The trance included its corrupt politicians, too busy making money off of insider trading to take time to defend something so esoteric as a Constitutional right.  It included its courts, now as malleable to public opinion and as intimidated by American culture as the politicians.   Even the public was silent, too intellectually lazy to care.  No one could move lest they be stamped racist, liberal, conservative, unpatriotic or some other unpopular sticker.
So Rand Paul, like the sassy kid in the proverbial story, The Emperor Has No Clothes, asked aloud the question that no one else dared ask.
The White House sniggered.  The media ignored it. President Barack Obama would not answer.  Nor would anyone else.  Former president George W. Bush was silent on the subject, as was former president Clinton and Democrat Party leader, Al Gore.  Republican leaders, John McCain and House Speaker, John Boehner didn’t peep.  This was apparently a tough question.
And so, as it appeared to the nation, Rand Paul, all alone, without a single ally to hold his water, took to the Senate Floor in a filibuster, demanding that this simple question be answered.  If he was out of line and the rest of the country knew what they were doing, so be it.
At first there was not much of a reaction.  In the afternoon, when a member of the White House press corps asked about it, the president’s spokesman openly laughed. While Fox News Channel and MSNBC mentioned the event, mostly the national media ignored it, much as they had Rand Paul’s father, when he raised issues of civil liberties. After three hours, fellow Senator, and Liberty ally, Mike Lee finally made an appearance.  Everybody else, including the president, went out to dinner that night and then home for the evening.  The vast Liberty online community was remarkably calm.
But as the night wore on and Americans finished their meals and sat at their monitors or picked up their I-Phones to answer some mail, word of the drama unfolding on the floor of the U.S. Senate began to spread.  Some called it a Twitter Blizzard, a mocking reference to the snow storm that was not happening as predicted. First it resonated among the Liberty Movement base.  Rand Paul had launched a filibuster.  He wouldn’t stop talking until the President answered his question.  And then it began to spread across political and partisan lines.  What’s a filibuster?  Why won’t the president answer such a simple question?  What happened to the watchdog media?  How could they let such a question go unanswered?  By 9 pm,normal television viewing was skewed. NBC’s popular Law and Order was losing its audience as people rushed to online streaming or YouTube captured videos of the drama.  C-SPAN viewers spiked.  Cable television began to be dominated by the spectacle.
With the public aroused, the politicians reacted.  A parade of Senators, Republican and Democrat, rushed back to help Rand Paul.  Mike Lee made another appearance, this time with Ted Cruz and likely presidential contender, Marco Rubio.  Mitch McConnell and the GOP leadership fell into line.
They were all a minute too late and a dollar too short.  Senator Rand Paul, all by himself, without any help, had electrified the nation.
The next day, the politically savvy and thorough White House hauled out a canned moment that had been carefully preserved in case the filibuster went wrong.  Attorney General Holder had already answered the question to a Senator before the filibuster began, they now insisted.  But one wonders what they would have done with that canned moment if the public had not reacted.  Thursday morning, as Rand Paul began recovering from his 13 hour filibuster, the president finally answered the question.  And his CIA director was promptly confirmed.
A lot of other things were confirmed as well.
1.) Rand Paul is an unquestioned leader of the Liberty Movement and can inspire it whenever he chooses. Others will have to wait their turn.
2.) He is no political slouch, he is gutsy.
3.) Rand Paul is the first candidate since Ronald Reagan to actually lead a movement.
4.) The old left-right, Cold War paradigm is dead.  Rand Paul represents a new philosophy back to the constitution and it attracts support across the political spectrum from left to right.
5.) The fact that the country is moving in his direction and the packaging of his message is more palatable than that of his father’s, Rand Paul can win the presidency.
From a purely historical perspective, one wonders how much further we will go in gutting our Constitution and sacrificing our rights to keep us “safe.”  How much bigger will government get?  How many more powers will be seized by the executive branch and how much future legislation will be accomplished by executive fiat?  At what point will it go so far down this road that we cannot find our way back?  And we learn that our form of government has changed before our eyes, without a discussion?
Will Rand Paul’s filibuster be nothing more than an empty moment of theater on our way to a future government run by a single chief executive, serving at the pleasure of fifty television moguls?  Or will it mark the hi water mark of the new, post 9-11, tyranny and the beginning of a self examination that will take us back to a renewal of our hard won Constitutional Republic?  We can only hope and pray for the latter.

Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

45 thoughts on “Rand Paul Now Leads Liberty Movement

  1. i hate the word “lead” when we’re talking about liberty. I just don’t trust Rand as much as his father and some of his positions are to status quo-y like on keeping bases open and being on israels side. i think the founders intended we be skeptical of politicians. Its not to say i dont trust him or wouldn’t vote for him in a heart beat, but im not going to let everything slide if he ever softens his position

      1. Ron Paul successfully inspired us. Now, perhaps not a leader, but we are definitely in need of a champion or spokesman for Liberty minded people who can influence the mainstream.

  2. Is Rand a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus? I signed up last Saturday and would like to know if Rand has. Thank you Doug. Good to hear from you again.

  3. Rand has taken a stance of giving Amnesty to over 11 million illegal aliens this is a status move and a blow to many Americans who suffer every day because there aren’t enough jobs to go around. America first and it has to start now!

    1. Agreed. We also need to rein in the excessive legal immigration until the job market improves. There are 12 million unemployed, and 8 million underemployed Americans and the lowest labor participation rate in a generation per official government figures. After losing millions of good paying jobs as a result of the financial crash of 2008, in the past 4 years our economy has created 6 million jobs (60% pay less than $14/hour with no or few benefits). However, we have brought over 5 million people into the country on work visas during this time frame, and well over half of the visas are issued to entry level people with no special skills, while many highly qualified, experienced Americans, like me, are long term unemployed. I’ve contacted my Congressman and Senators about this issue many times since being laid off years ago and unable to find another engineering position. One of my Senator’s offices told me that I have to understand that “we have responsibilities to the global community”. For those of you who have heard of the supposed shortage of engineers in the country that is mentioned quite often in the corporate run news outlets, this is just one of the many lies. There has never been a shortage of engineers during my career, and I graduated with my MSME in1983.

      1. tex2, It is not just me – there are many highly qualified experienced American engineers over 40 that are unable to find engineering work after being laid off, However, in a sense your comment is not far from the truth in that many corporations want to hire engineers as cheaply as they possibly can, so they have created this false idea of an engineering shortage and have successfully lobbied Congress and the past few administrations to get access to cheap foreign labor via work visas that can be treated as indentured servants (to come hereto work on a work visa, one must be sponsored by a company; if the visa holder doesn’t like the demands of the job his/her only recourse is to go back to their home country and re-apply for another visa).

      2. tex2, Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll take a look at it. I have been open to using my experience and knowledge in other industries as an engineer and in other careers outside of engineering but have found it extremely difficult to even get interviews. Having a master’s degree seems to make finding a job much harder – in fact I was recently told by a hiring manger that if i want to be hired in private industry to take my master;s degree off of my resume. I’ve talked to a number of people that had to stripped the graduate degrees and major accomplishments off of their resume to get hired after being laid off and long term unemployed, and that was back in the 1990’s when the job market was much better than it presently is. if you look into the engineering field further it is not difficult to see what the problem is. Many government agencies funded graduate level engineering research at universities across the country. Under the contracts, the government agencies reimburse the university for the tuition of the grad student doing the research. Tuition for foreign students is much higher than tuition for in-state students at public universities, so in essence the government agencies are incentivizng the universities to preferentially recruit foreign students over Americans. I know this to be true from a friend who was a faculty member at a public university who went on recruiting trips overseas 3 -4 times year, then found a 2010 article online at the Center for Immigration studies that discussed this issue in detail. This has created a glut of foreign engineers that industry then lobbies Congress for an ever increasing amount of visas so that they can hire as many as possible for wages below the going rate of American engineers, thus creating a terrible job market for engineers. Then add the many engineering jobs that followed the 20 million manufacturing jobs overseas to China since 200 when they joined the WTO, and to other slave wage countries in SE Asia, there is just no basis in fact to justify bringing engineers into the country on work visas. And yet in the Immigration Reform bill currently being written in Congress, the number of work visas will be greatly increased to make bad engineering job market even worse. So, my big picture question is: “Whose interests are our so-called Representatives, Senators, and President really representing – surely isn’t the best interests of the country especially with so many Americans currently unemployed or underemployed (and Presidents and most candidates for Presidents since George Bush, Sr. was elected were no better on this issue than our current President). If we really want a smaller government, we must insist that our representative government listen more to Main Street and quit governing primarily for the best interests of Wall Street.

      3. A majority of elected Democrats and Republicans receive much of their campaign funds from Wall Street and are more than willing to do what they ask to goose profits. Even with our current terrible job market, the immigration reform bill will greatly increase the number of work visas for engineers, and greatly increase the number of legal immigrants into the country. It will also allow those that are currently here illegally to continue to work here, but not require employers to pay them at least minimum wage. As a result, there will be a continually increasing number of Americans who would rather be gainfully employed and providing for themselves applying for government assistance… so much for a smaller, limited government.

      4. Wall Street investment banks and corporations as a group are one of the largest campaign contributors and have been for quite awhile. if you do a little research online as I have you will see that true. I posted my comments on this blog because it was pertinent to the discussion and many who follow Ron and Paul are among the most vocal political activists. I have contacted my Congressman and Senators, the gang of eight Senators that are writing the current immigration law, the few in Congress that have a background in engineering, and most of the members of the House immigration subcommittee, as well as Sen Rand Paul, and Rep. Ron Paul before he retired. I have also posted on a number of well read blogs, and frequently called a number of radio talk shows near where I live. I’ve also talked to a staffer on the House immigration subcommittee – i started the conversation with “I have a BSME and an MSME and 19 years experience …” and she cut me off and responded “and you can’t find a job’. We talked ~ 20 minutes and she went on to say that the staffers on the immigration subcommittee have been well aware of the glut of engineers in the country and the difficulty that many highly educated and experienced engineers are having in finding a job in their field. Even so, nothing has been done in congress to reduce the number of work visas issued to engineers, and the current immigration bill is likely to make the job market for all Americans, including engineers, much worse. Quite frankly, if the immigration bill passes without reining in the excessive legal immigration, I am considering running for congress against a well-entrenched neoconservative Republican incumbent if I can figure out how to get better known and raise enough money from the grassroots to have a reasonable chance of winning.

      5. tex2,

        I forgot to mention that I sent a detailed email to Ben Swann at Fox19 in Cincinnati, hoping that he would run a story on the adverse effect of excessive immigration on the engineering profession and the job market in general. I saw he is leaving Fox19 soon and will forward the email to him again when he moves over to his new position. i also contacted all the Pittsburgh news stations but they all decline to cover the story because it was a national, not just a local, issue.

        I didn’t intend to not identify myself when I posted my first comment, but just hit the “post comment” button before typing in my name, then didn’t correct it for my later comment. Here is my website for my internet research business I’ve been doing while continuing to apply for engineering positions – http://www.scottcully.com

      6. Doug Wead,

        Do you think Sen. Rand Paul would be up for filibustering the immigration bill to bring attention to the ridiculousness of bringing significantly more people to the U.S. to work while there is still a serious lack of jobs for Americans, including many highly educated and experienced engineers like myself?

        Scott (www.scottcully.com)

      7. Thanks for the info tex2. I know it is an uphill battle or it would have been addressed years ago. I’ll contact you later this week to discuss this further.

        Excessive immigration is effecting the job market in the U.S. enough to warrant a filibuster – I’ll call Sen. Rand Paul’s office again and suggest it to him. The lack of enough jobs and the suppression of wages across the board by importing an excessive amount of cheap labor for many years, is one of the reasons (along high risk financial wizardry among the Wall Street investment banks, and the implicit guarantee of a bailout that our government gave to the banks) that the housing market collapsed.

  4. Rand Paul is the leader because he understands Bastiat, Hayek, Rothbard, Friedman, and Mises. Rand is the leader because he is the one giving the clarion call for less government and a balanced budget in 5 years.

    Randal Paul has earned my vote and my support will go to fund the PAC of Human Action.

    Rand Paul 2016.

    While Rubio is quoting rappers, Rand is quoting Bastiat.

    Doug Wead better be working with the Rand Paul campaign!

  5. Mr. Wead, great and eloquent as always; Rand Paul is not his father, nor is he trying to be.. once the ‘liberty movement’ realizes this, i’m excited to see what happens with the support of many others (amash, massie, cruz, lee), many of whom were inspired by the great Ron Paul.
    I’m 100% with you Doug, and I’m 100% with the liberty movement, including Rand

  6. I hate to get your hopes up Doug but Rand is even more unelectable than his father. He is on record saying he would allow businesses to discriminate not only against minorities but the disabled as well , advocating local governments to decide whether disabled individuals EVEN DESERVE rights.Where his father’s name only comes up in SPLC database in mention of his supporters, Rand is actually listed as an extremist. He’s a PR nightmare if he even attempts to run for higher office on a national level. The Dems propaganda machine ill have a field day as there is so much more I haven’t even mentioned (like the beating of a woman by one of his aides captured on film). I understand you need to make a living, Doug but if you feel the GOP did a number on his Dad just try to run Rand. He will embarrass the party like no other candidate before him.

    1. Edgar, I can assure you I am not in the Liberty Movement to make a living. You leave money considerations behind when you betray the statist, New Order, oligarchy. I am in this as a true believer. Your point is well taken and if there is such negative out there, his campaign will have to get it out early and answer it. Meanwhile, I am not part of his campaign, just an admirer.

      1. Great question, Tex2. Doug, if ‘get it out of the way early’ means crashing and burning at Howard University I hate to see what his plans are to get his status as an extremist removed from the record.Justin Amash and Ted Cruz are beginning to look pretty good compared to Rand, who just digs himself deeper each time he opens his mouth.

      2. I can’t say I’m a fan , tex2, but posted as an example of the many pundits lining up to slam Rand. Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow have weighed in, and Comedy Central just leaked that comedian Jon Stewart will rip Rand a new one on his show tonight. And with his threatened filibuster over gun control falling flat in the Senate today, Rand is on the fast track to being a bigger clown than his father. Any chance of winning the 2016 GOP nomination is looking bleaker and bleaker.

      1. Here’s Rand’s “I would have opposed” Civil Rights comments in a nutshell (don’t get this guy started on a Americans With Disabilities Act)

      2. “My” argument, Tex? It’s the same argument many African Americans across the country such as myself are making. The section Paul claims he would have ‘modified’ is Title 2, which prohibits private business from discriminating against people such as myself.It’s a principle tenet of the CRA. Without it I would still be forced to sit at a separate lunch counter, forced to use a separate restroom and or drinking fountain than Rand Paul and he seems perfectly fine with that. Whenever he has been questioned on it he either (a) avoids an answer or (b) brings up his stance on the drug war which is actually a civil liberties issue and not a civil rights one.

  7. I wish Doug had said these things and more about Ron Paul. As it is he is just on the “hope” train. If he backed Ron Paul with powerful words and shown how many people were behind him that would have been great. He didn’t do this, he was silent when he should have been loud.

    Rand is no Ron, Rand sells out when he wants to.
    Doug had said “there is no left or right.” He wouldn’t stand with us then and he won’t now. Romney couldn’t hurt Ron Paul with all the money in the world but that stopped Wead from attacking Romney and his shredding of the Constitution.

    Doug Wead is just anotherJesse Benton, don’t let him fool you. Johnson is much closer to Ron Paul than Rand Paul will ever be. I’ll go with Rand if he is the only choice. But as we have seen since 2008, it’s more important to have a paper-trail than who we vote for. Don’t have another election without a paper-trail

    1. Wead was a great spokesman for Ron Paul. He represented Ron Paul very well and I hope he represents Rand Paul for 2016.

      1. tex2 Ron opened Doug’s eyes to the fact you can rake in millions upon millions of dollars by pretending to run for a nomination you have no intention of winning.

      2. tex 2 is a few chromosomes shy of a full set.

        If tex2 is happy to tear down the best prospect we have in Rand Paul, I have to wonder what tex2 would prefer to lead the liberty movement?

        Maybe shooting off the mouth is more fun that critical thought.

      3. Rand Paul is not advocating anarchy. He is advocating for more personal responsibility and a 2.6 trillion dollar government.

        2.6 trillion to match our revenue.

        I notice you didn’t actually state who you would prefer to have leading the liberty movement.

        You are nothing more than a recalcitrant, griping, impotent voter if you don’t have anything constructive to add.

        If all you have are critiques, maybe you should run for office and get yourself into the game.

        I’d bet everyone will agree with you. Your charm is demonstrably abundant.

      4. So you don’t answer questions and you think a balanced budget would result in anarchy.

        It wasn’t anarchy in the 90s.

        You just sound like a grumpy fella who needs a laxative.

        Party on.

        Your version of the truth is what you are entitled to when you post opinions.

        Now that you have stated you don’t have anything constructive to offer, you have tipped your hand as a tool of the status quo.

        Maybe you can keep John McCain company on a rocking chair somewhere soon complaining about loud music.

        Rand advocates school choice
        English as the official language of the USA.
        Balanced budgets in 5 years.
        Bill of Rights supreme.
        No militarism without Congressional Declaration of war.

        Tex2 offers lots of complaints.

        I’ll go with Rand Paul 2016.

  8. Dear Mr. Weed:

    The murder of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, son of Anwar al-Awlaki, was no accident. His murder was a cleanup action as a result of the federal lawsuit his grand father, Nasser al-Awlaki, lost last three weeks earlier.

    A good, detailed summary of the cases is here in Esquire:


    The money quote from the Esquire article is:

    “Nasser al-Awlaki did not win. Legal pre-emption was no match for the policy of lethal pre-emption. A federal judge ruled in December 2010 that despite the “profound questions” raised by the lawsuit, the father lacked the legal standing to sue on behalf of his son”

    The father, as an adult of the age of majority, had no special interest (read standing) in the life of Anwar al-Awlaki. This is because the father could not demonstrate any direct, specific, and particularized harm that would come to him if his son, Anwar al-Awlaki, died. Ironically, if he had been in business with his son, then he easily would have had standing. The death your business partner does cause you direct, specific, and particularized harm.

    Federal courts Nasser al-Awlaki: There is no harm to the father if your son is murdered and in the US federal courts “No Harm, No Foul.”

    The son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a MINOR, is a whole different kettle of legal fish. If Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, could have gotten to a US federal court before his death by US drone fire, Abdulrahman would have standing to file (at a minimum) a 1983 lawsuit. Every minor child has as a legal interest in the continued life of his parents (read standing to sue) and comes to direct, specific, and particularized harm when that parent is murdered.

    The murder of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was about preventing the federal lawsuit he would filed the second he landed on US soil. His murder does not even have the false veneer of national security.

    The murder of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (the son) was all about the money and how not to pay that money after losing a high-profile lawsuit to the ACLU.

    1. No, it was murder.

      You did read the comment I posted, correct?

      I hope that when it is you child “droned” to death to forestall an expensive lawsuit against a powerful, politically connected person, there will be more people with more understanding than you coming to help you.

  9. I think Senator Paul should talk about the competing currencies issue **before** the dollar collapses. He should also talk about dismantling the department of education, which Reagan promised to abolish, and never did.
    And he should talk about how much damage have agricultural subsidies have done to America **before** the crisis comes with the shortages and rising of prices of meat, grain, vegetables, dairy, and whatnot.
    He will not win points if he starts addressing these issues after the proverbial Sheep Hits The Fan.
    About Marco Rubio: the run for 2016 started Nov. 7th, and he has been losing points since then. He’s lost six months. He has roughly five semesters more to do something. Obama did not start his campaign in 2007, nor in 2006. He has been campaigning since he was in womb of his mother. Like Hilary, like everybody else. So I hope no one dare to criticize Rand Paul for being on campaign mode already. Senate has been the launchpad for many Presidents. Very few were “outsiders”, if such thing actually exists.
    One more thing. Rand Paul must keep hitting on the so called “black vote”. It’s actually a good thing that the other day’s gig in that University irked so many people. Bad publicity is better than no publicity, and audience’s perfect aquiescence is very suspicious. Black vote and Hispanic vote are much more important than jewish vote. And about evangelicals: if the pastors were capable of endorsing a Mormon, they should have no problem in endorsing a quasi-Libertarian! The crazy Christian-Political people must choose between defending America and the State of Israel, because very soon doing both is going to be materially impossible.
    On the other hand, I’m sure that there would be millions of American volunteers to go to Israel and join its military in case of war.

  10. You, Tex, are hanging out with sedition and dangerous men on this forum. Careful for what you wish for.

    When the Devil turns round on you where will you find refuge?

    Perhaps you should listen to a man for all seasons discuss this point. The setting is that his country’s special forces were hunting down the terroists of his day.

    1. The guy in the White House who give *orders* to special forces personnel should be feared but one should not fear the instruments of violence which follow his orders?

      That is an odd world view there, Tex.

      Abdulrahman al-Awlaki should have been accorded the Rights of the Accused “for out own safety’s sake”.

      If you miss that point then I think we are at an debating impasse. We will agree to disagree on the murder of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki by Obama using the “not to be feared” special forces who merely followed White House orders and carried out the drone hit on Abdulrahman.

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