Skip to main content

A few weeks ago this article raised the ire of many. It explored whether Hillary Clinton was the president we needed at this time. It examined some of her major weaknesses. It also wondered if an Elizabeth Warren-like candidate would be a better fit. The conclusion:
If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, as a Democrat it would be better than any Republican getting elected. Given Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street baggage however, the triangulation used by the Clintons against the Republicans in the past may just be used against them in 2016. A populist Republican with limited Wall Street ties, with a fairly liberal social stance on marijuana, marriage equality, immigration reform, incarceration (mandatory minimums), and women’s rights is out there waiting. Anyone following the news can see that Republican in the making.
Many believed that the populist Republican being referred to was Rand Paul. That was not necessarily the case then; however, it is now. This is not some naïve judgment. It is something that Democrats better take seriously before the coronation of our candidate. We better have a credible populist in the wing, as you'll see beneath the fold.

Rand Paul recently visited Howard University, one of the bastions of Black "intelligentsia." Yes, he had a few bouts of condescension. That said, Black folks are used to unnecessary pandering when visited by white conservative or liberal politicians who generally do not mingle with them. What he had to say about many policies that rank-and-file Democrats seem to run from have legs in communities that have seen the status quo maintained on drug and prison policies.

Paul’s recent immigration comments are lacking, but the truth is that a statement like the following has traction even with some Latinos, Africans and South Asians who simply want papers to stay:

"Are you willing to try to bring the 11 million people who are here, bring them out of the shadows, give them an existence, try to be more humane, and try to get a better situation for them? That could happen tomorrow,” Paul said on ABC’s "This Week."

"The problem is, is the sticking point going to be we have to have immediate voting privileges for those who came here illegally," Paul added. "If the Democrats are willing to come halfway, I think we can pass some meaningful reform."

Paul has also visited the lion’s den of liberalism, the University of California, Berkeley, letting lose a speech in which he attacked the NSA and the CIA. This is something many young voters like. And this exchange appearing in Politico’s article is probative:
During the question-and-answer portion of the appearance, the moderator began, "There’s been pretty extensive media coverage of your recent visits to places that don’t usually vote Republican, like students at Howard University …"

"You mean like Berkeley?" Paul interjected, to laughter and applause.

Asked whether such efforts are an attempt to broaden his "personal appeal" ahead of 2016, Paul responded coyly, "Maybe."

"Part of it might be that," he said. "Part of it might be that the Republican Party … has to either evolve, adapt or die. … Remember Domino’s [the pizza chain] finally admitted they had bad crust? I think the Republican Party finally admitted it. OK, bad crust, we need a different kind of party."

Anyone who reads Daily Kos and other liberal and progressive blogs cannot be fooled by Rand Paul—he's a true Republican Libertarian with a touch of "Dixiecratocracy." The problem is that most voting Americans are not the well-informed, and most members of the traditional media are lazy or programmed to misinform by the plutocracy.

Paul does not need to blow up the Obama coalition to win—he simply needs to skim the fat. His little excursions into the liberal base can do just that. And the truth is, his base is much more committed to winning and voting than our base.  Just take a look at the recent FL-13 special election for evidence.

It would be irresponsible if liberals do not start taking concrete steps now to be inoculated on the populist flank. Taking the threat seriously will help not only in the presidential race, but in every district.

The biggest fear is that if there is a coronation of a select few, many potential candidates will remain undeveloped. Worse is the inability to recover from an unknown. The fact that Ronald Reagan and George Bush were elected presidents of the United States means it is not all that farfetched to wake up and discover that Rand Paul could be our next president.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site