WSJ Columnist: Nominate Rand Paul Because GOP Needs ‘Another Humbling Landslide Defeat’

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. walks towards waiting reporters in front of federal court in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Claiming the Obama administration is violating Americans’ constitutional rights, Sen. Rand Pa... Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. walks towards waiting reporters in front of federal court in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Claiming the Obama administration is violating Americans’ constitutional rights, Sen. Rand Paul and a conservative political group are filing a lawsuit over the National Security Agency’s surveillance program. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) MORE LESS
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Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens revisited one of his favorite themes on Monday, arguing once again that what Republicans really need is another defeat in a national election.

According to Stephens, a Rand Paul presidential nomination in 2016 ought to do the trick. The columnist offered an endorsement of the Kentucky Senator that oozed with sarcasm.

No, what we need as the Republican nominee in 2016 is a man of more glaring disqualifications. Someone so nakedly unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of sane Americans that only the GOP could think of nominating him.
This man is Rand Paul, the junior senator from a state with eight electoral votes. The man who, as of this writing, has three years worth of experience in elected office. Barack Obama had more political experience when he ran for president. That’s worked out well.

Stephens took aim at Paul’s former staffer Jack Hunter, whose troubling past includes a defense of Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist also mocked Paul’s suggestion in 2009 that Dick Cheney wanted a war in Iraq to deliver profits to Halliburton.

If Mr. Paul wants to accuse the former vice president of engineering a war in Iraq so he could shovel some profits over to his past employer, he should come out and say so explicitly. Ideally at the next Heritage Action powwow. Let’s not mince words. This man wants to be the Republican nominee for president.
And so he should be. Because maybe what the GOP needs is another humbling landslide defeat. When moderation on a subject like immigration is ideologically disqualifying, but bark-at-the-moon lunacy about Halliburton is not, then the party has worse problems than merely its choice of nominee.

This isn’t new territory for Stephens. Anticipating President Obama’s eventual re-election, Stephens wrote in early-2012 that “Republicans deserve to lose.”

A week after the GOP’s disappointing showing in the election that year, Stephens urged the party to “get a grip.” He wrote that the GOP base should “demand an IQ exam as well as a test of basic knowledge from our congressional and presidential candidates.” He also called on Republicans to stop “demonizing Latin American immigrants” and “tone down the abortion extremism.”

“Our republican experiment in self-government didn’t die last week,” Stephens wrote following the election. “But a useful message has been sent to a party that spent too much of the past four years listening intently to echoes of itself. Change the channel for a little while.”

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  1. He’s right and wrong. Nominating a Paul, Cruz, Santorum, Huckabee, etc is just what the party and the country needs in that it would only result in a Democratic landslide and we could finally have some serious debates about what kind of country we want to be. That said, I’m fairly certain it would doom their party for a generation. Black folk are probably gone for at least that long and will likely stay that way unless there’s some huge political shift like we saw in the 60’s. Asians and Latinos are probably still potentially receptive to a fair-minded Republican. He or she wouldn’t need to win those demos yet could win the election with respectable numbers from those groups. If they nominate Rand Paul, all bets are off. I suspect Asian and Latino voters would overwhelmingly solidify as Democratic voters and tune out Republicans much the same as black voters have. So, Rand Paul 2016!

  2. I guess he recognizes that 8 mores years of Democratic control of the White House is coming. Why not make it a teaching moment for republicans.

  3. Stephens wrote "… that the GOP base should “demand an IQ exam as well as a test of basic knowledge from our congressional and presidential candidates.”

    One of my favorite riddles,probably more true than funny goes like this…

    What has eleven teeth and an IQ of 87?

    The first fifty rows of a Sarah Palin audience.

  4. I think the first question I would ask any generic candidate on either side is, “how old is the earth?” Things like that. No bullshit nor creationist pandering answers allowed.

  5. Progressives are going to need to take back seats from several red states somewhere along the way, I think 2016 could be a good year for that.

    It was great to see President Johnson honored last week… I think people are finally appreciating what a great president he was. Who,in our current day and age, would take the political risks he did in doing what he knew was the right thing to do at the time and motivate, twist arms and cajole congress to get the Civil Rights Act passed?

    Honoring President Johnson should serve to remind all progressives and Democrats just how long it takes for good policy to take hold. And make them double down on the ACA.

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