Sunday, June 10, 2012

Is Rand Paul a Bismarck, a Quisling, or a Chamberlain?

Rand Paul's endorsement of Romney may be realpolitik, or it may be an appeasement policy.  Barry Lyndon of Policymic argues that it was a political masterstroke. Nevertheless, realpolitik is difficult to execute; it frequently fails.  In choosing to play ball with the GOP, Rand entangles himself in the GOP's all-encompassing nexus of corrupt special interests.  Few politicians have so entangled themselves and survived without fundamental compromise.  Did it make sense for Neville Chamberlain to appease Hitler?  My point is not that Romney is Hitler; rather, Romney is a more powerful competitor who has little to lose from deceiving the Pauls.

The best example of realpolitik is its inventor, Otto von Bismarck, the German minister president who fashioned the German Empire, created the modern welfare state, and developed a complex set of alliances.  Yet Bismarck's system led, in a little more than two decades, to World War I, and I would argue his welfare state contributed to the rise of totalitarianism.  It is just as likely that Rand Paul's realpolitik will turn out to reflect that of  Vidkun Quisling.   Quisling was a Norwegian prime minister who assisted Germany as it invaded Norway; his aim was to lead a puppet government. 

Realpolitik is sometimes necessary, and Barry Lyndon may be right that Rand Paul's strategy will turn out to be effective.  At the same time, even Bismarck's realpolitik led to Germany's humiliation.  It is understandable that the Pauls' supporters are concerned.  Might Rand inadvertently be exploding the movement that his father has assiduously developed?  Even if his tactic works in the short run, might he be diverting and confusing the nascent millennial libertarian movement, causing its ultimate abortion?


Anonymous said...

I vote for Quisling. What Rand has done is give a big wet kiss to der Fuhrer - that collective Borg known as the GOP - and shouted "Heil Hitler" on Hannity.

Or to use another analogy, I had hoped that Rand was a Frodo, willing to go to Mordor and toss the ring of oppression into the fire. But it turns out he's just another in a long line of Boromirs who think if only they can get the levers of Leviathan they can use it for good. Never works.

Let's remember with all this talk of "team player" how well that worked out for Santorum in the debates. It was the nadir of his campaign.

The cause of liberty is older & bigger than the Pauls. What was compelling about Ron was his transparency and his integrity - never willing to capitulate no matter how unpopular. This is capitulation. We're angry because we all know that the cause of liberty is not helped when you support wannabe dictator/war monger/crony capitalist/ police state defender Romney. Liberty is NOT helped, but Rand's career might. Back room deals and hidden agendas speak loudly about a person's character.

Rand doesn't have to get anything in exchange for this sellout -- betrayal doesn't always pay 30 pieces of silver. It's the thought or the act that counts. Don't be surprised when Rand runs for President and Hannity brings up Aqua Buddha or some other red herring as he has done time and again against Ron or other GOP candidates (Huckabee comes to mind) when his masters at Fox pull his strings. said...

nice written