Admitting that his father, constitutional purist Ron Paul, was his “first pick,” Senator Paul dutifully recited the Party Line, insisting that the highest priority should be to defeat Barack Obama in November.
As Sen. Paul noted, his father has a “legion of young followers” who have been drawn to him because of the congressman’s unyielding commitment to his principles – individual liberty, sound money, non-intervention in foreign affairs. The Senator did what he could to present Romney – a stranger to principle – in the most favorable light.
Referring to a recent private meeting with the former Massachusetts Governor, Sen. Paul suggested that Romney was “right there with us” on “many issues that are important to me, important to my dad, and important to many of his followers” – such as protecting the freedom of the internet and “greater transparency” at the Federal Reserve. Of course, Romney has a well-deserved reputation as a human mood ring, whose positions and priorities change according to the company he keeps and the constituency to which he is pandering.
The chief reason Ron Paul’s insurgent campaign has earned the unalloyed hostility of the GOP elite is his principled opposition to the vaunted “Bipartisan Foreign Policy Consensus.” He has opposed the undeclared aggressive wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and elsewhere. He has likewise distinguished himself by his opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act, the NDAA, the institutionalization of torture as an interrogation method, summary assassination of suspected terrorists and “militants” by presidential decree, and the so-called “war on terror” in general. He is also emphatically opposed to aggressive military action against Iran.
Romney, by way of contrast, has supported the ongoing wars, endorsed the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran, applauded the use of torture and indefinite detention – at one point calling to “double Gitmo.”
In trying to make the case for Mitt Romney’s foreign policy perspective, the best Rand Paul could do was to promise that he would not be “reckless” or “rash”, that he has “mature attitudes toward foreign policy,” and that he agreed that war is not something to “rush into willy-nilly.”
Some GOP-aligned pundits predicted that Rand Paul’s endorsement of Romney would help shepherd his father’s followers back into the Establishment’s fold. However, the initial reaction to Rand’s endorsement – judging from comments in social networking sites – has been overwhelmingly negative.
On the same day his son endorsed Romney, Ron Paul – receiving his now-expected “rock star welcome” – addressed the Texas Republican State Convention in Fort Worth. The father displayed not a whit of his son’s willingness to compromise in the interest of “party unity,” according to a Washington Times report:
Congressman Paul prefaced his remarks by saying that he had been asked to speak on uniting the party and balancing the budget. Not a strange request given the fact that his fiscal conservatism is almost as well known as the fact that dissension within the Republican Party primarily emanates from the ideas he has championed.
But Paul made it clear that he wasn’t going to play ball, or shall we call it what it is – politics.
His speech was a virtual litany of the positions that have defined his candidacy, and there was no hint of compromise. Instead, he said, “Unity is important but what do we unify behind? No Child Left Behind? What about uniting around principle, around the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence?”
During the long war for Scottish independence, the English throne was occupied first by King Edward I and then by his effeminate son Edward II. Robert the Bruce, who fought against both of them, eventually defeating the army of Edward II at Bannockburn, said that he was more afraid of “the dead king’s bones than of the living heir.” Although the moral roles are reversed, the Power Elite could well make the same comparison between Ron Paul and his son and supposed political heir.
See the video of Rand Paul’s Romney endorsement here.