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In my last post, I focused on Jeb Bush as being a very formidable threat to Hillary should he decide to run in 2016. In this post, I will focus on the threat Rand Paul would pose to Hillary should he decide to run in 2016.

In the interest of making this post shorter than my last one, I brushed aside any rehashing or summary of the arguments I've made over there- with a few significant exceptions.

I want to make one thing very clear at the outset: I am very much a Democrat, and I will never hesitate to support any Democratic nominee for 2016. However, as I explained in my last post, if the Republicans are smart this time around and nominate a Centrist Republican in 2016 and if we nominate Hillary Clinton, there's a high probability that voters will not see any meaningful difference between Hillary as Centrist Democrat and Jeb as Centrist Republican. And at the very least, this will depress the Democratic vote, and at the very worst, cause Centrist Dems to switch sides. Jeb would have a very good chance at grabbing so-called œIndependents, and given his embrace of traditionally Progressive issues, even some Progressives as well.

With the added danger of being more appealing to a growing populist segment of Democrats, I will explain why that would likely be true if Rand Paul runs against Hillary in 2016.

A few preliminaries. I assume we can all agree there is an insurgence of populism on the left of the Democratic Party, and in the Party itself. I also assume we can all agree that there is still a strong anti-Wall Street sentiment within a huge faction in our Party. And that the debate between Centrist Democrats and these Progressive insurgents are getting louder and louder while gaining more and more exposure. We're all good on this? Great. Now time for a brief thought experiment.

Without clicking on the links below, who among the politicians we all hear talked about for 2016 besides Elizabeth Warren has been railing against Wall Street, said œ"we cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street", wants to bring Glass-Steagall into the 21st century, said Ronald Reagan was bad for the economy, and has strongly criticized bank bailouts? Who has also strenuously opposed voter ID, opposes NSA surveillance, voted to transfer prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay, and opposes imprisoning marijuana users and other non-violent offenders arguing that doing so disproportionately affects inner cities? Who has also received a standing ovation for a speech at UC Berkeley and blasted Dick Cheney for pushing us into the Iraq War for corporate profit? Would you vote for this person, and do you know other Democrats who would vote for this person? Did you answer yes to that last question? Yes? That would be absolutely horrible for the Democrats. You know why? That person is Rand Paul. Go ahead- click on those links now.

No, no- we’re not done with our thought experiment. I promise we’ll end soon, ok? Ok, good. Again, no peeking! Who recently delivered a great populist speech, yet told Wall Street that she genuinely believes that today’s anti-Wall Street climate and Occupy Wall Street was “foolish” and “unproductive"? If you’re a Centrist Dem, you might agree with such diagnoses. But you’d also have to admit that if we all agreed that the pull against Wall Street is becoming stronger and the populist-progressive insurgency is on the rise, such labeling of genuine grievances is at the very least tone deaf. Who supports the death penalty, opposes marijuana decriminalization, opposes giving undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses, opposed same-sex marriage, endorses legal status over citizenship for immigrants, and supports fracking? Would you vote for this person? Would any of your friends? No? That’s bad news for a Hillary Clinton-led Democratic Party. The person who has all those positions described above is Hillary Clinton.

Now, it is undoubted that Rand Paul’s arguably liberal or even progressive positions described above are unknown across a large swath of the electorate, and that Hillary’s more conservative positions are not anywhere near as well-known as to cause her problems among Democratic and/or Progressive voters. But in the era of media-soaked elections and attack ads, can you say in all honesty and confidence that these will never come up as liabilities for Hillary if she is our nominee for 2016? Perhaps you can say that the Tea Party would never support Paul’s endorsement of updating Glass-Steagall or his opposition to bank bailouts, two of his decidedly most progressive economic policies. But if this featured article in the Tea Party Tribune is any gauge of Tea Party and/or conservative support, we may want to change those opinions fast.

Yes, you can say that Hillary is polling extremely well among Democrats, even much better than in 2008. But I urge you to look at an Economist/YouGov poll from earlier this year, this poll in the primary state of New Hampshire, this poll from the battleground state of Colorado- the state that gave Obama the win in 2012-, and the fact that Rand Paul has a built-in infrastructural advantage over Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire should at the very least concern us.

Harry Enten of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight wrote a very interesting and fun counterintuitive analysis which slams the DC insider idea that voter turnout is much different between midterm elections and presidential elections. That should scare Democrats banking on an easy win for Hillary for 2016- Nate Silver’s analysis shows a Republican advantage in the Senate and the House, The Washington Post also predicting a Republican victory in this year’s midterms, and Harry Enten predicting that Democrats can have bigger losses than even 2010.

Many of you might argue that the overwhelming majority of Republican voters would never support Rand Paul in the 2016 Republican primary. I urge you to pause for a moment a reconsider these polls aggregated by Huffington Post. As you can see, he’s not even 1% behind Jeb Bush in most polls, and he wins in a matchup in 24 of these polls. As to the popular argument in our Party that all of this doesn’t matter because Paul would never get the nod from the GOP establishment, this unfortunately ignores Paul’s rising popularity among the establishment.

Next, we will look at a possibility I offered above and in my previous post: the Centrist Democratic strategy to appeal to Independent voters by shifting to the right will fail- because the idea of an Independent voter is largely a myth. While it is arguable that Hillary is trying to moderate her message between a populist and a pro-Wall Street one, I think we can all agree that a larger part of her efforts have been devoted to reaching out to the mythical Independents. Below, I hope to show you why that is going to only serve to alienate her from the Democratic base, further eliminate her appeal among “Democrat-leaning Independents, and why that is bad for our Party if they continue to rely on such a strategy for 2016.

As the graph below shows, the visions of Independent Republican voters Centrist Democrats are reaching out to is simply an illusion- nothing more than a ghost:

Self-identified Independents who indicated that they leaned toward either of the two major parties showed a remarkably similar distribution of party deviation scores to individuals who identified as members of that party. This was particularly true for Republican-leaning Independents, whose average Republican Party deviation score ranged from 0-21.5 with a mean of 6.72 and standard deviation of 3.63.
The same tendency is reflected among self-identified “Democrat-leaning Independents”, though to a slightly lesser extent:
Democrat-leaning Independents displayed a similar pattern with respect to the Democratic Party platform. Deviation scores for this group ranged from 0-24 with a mean of 7.56 and a standard deviation of 3.65
As these two graphs show, it is simply a fool’s errand for Democrats to pander to Independents by reaching to their right. Not only are there very few “pure Independents” to be found in any part of the electorate, but there are more “Republican-leaning Independents” who vote with their Party than “Democrat-leaning Independents.” Reaching out to the right to grab Independents will not only be grasping at straws- it seriously risks alienating Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents. The Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter concludes,
This suggests that voters are not abandoning their party labels because the party has become too extreme in its policy positions. Instead, many may be leaving because they see the party as getting too moderate or insufficiently aligned with its core values. Plenty of "not strong" GOPers believe the party needs to change its position on gay marriage. Yet many of those who say they are independent are actually Republicans who are committed to keeping the GOP platform anti-gay marriage.
In December of 2011, Pew found that the label “libertarian” was very popular among Democratic voters under 30 (50% to 28%), Democrats as a whole reacting more positively to the label than Republicans, and self-identified Independents reacting more positively to the label. Presumably, this means that both Democrat-leaning and Republican-leaning Independents favor the term “libertarian” more so than either core base.
This further indicates that Centrist Dems reaching out to the illusive “pure Independent” by shifting right will only serve to push Democrats and self-identified Independents (both Democrat and Republican-leaning) towards a libertarian candidate. And considering that thus far there is only one libertarian being considered for a 2016 run, this would mean that these votes will go to Rand Paul if the Centrist Dem strategy persists.

There are various aspects of this post I want to expand on, but in the interest of keeping this shorter and a bit more readable than my last post, I will save any further exploration to future posts. In summary, my argument is as follows (I integrate many of my points in my previous post in this summary): in an increasingly progressive climate, the Democrats should not hedge on a Centrist Democrat- such as Hillary- beating Centrist Jeb or even libertarian Rand, both of whom undercut Hillary with the Democrat’s progressive base by adopting some of the strongest and most prominent progressive issues. Paul’s transformation into a curious hybrid between libertarian and progressive is certainly convincing some figures in the progressive movement who have very devoted and stubborn followers, and it may mean our loss in 2016 if we ignore that.

Tue Jun 24, 2014 at  7:21 PM PT: The first part of this blog series can be found in my diaries section. It is entitled,Democrats Should Want Elizabeth vs. Jeb. If It's Hillary vs. Jeb, We Have Problems'. It can also be found here:


As A Democrat, What Would You Prefer: Elizabeth vs. Rand, or Hillary vs. Rand?

23%50 votes
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1%4 votes
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0%1 votes
5%12 votes
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| 209 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  rand paul (50+ / 0-)

    is a racist, homophobic, anti-environment, anti-regulation tool of people like the koch brothers. when very concerned supposed liberals figure that out they will lose their concerns.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:35:10 PM PDT

    •  Don't forget a pro-drone warmonger (16+ / 0-)

      Yes, I said PRO DRONE. Rand Paul loves him some drones when they'll be used to blow up the "Kingpins of the Taliban that Obama traded for a traitor" or whatever babble is coming out of his pie hole this week.

      GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:46:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And so stupid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis

      He couldn't pass the exam to be a board certified ophthalmologist. So then he cheats and makes up his own board and self certifies. The man is cunning and evil, but in an electorate that gets dumber every year, he would probably win!

    •  Rand Is A Stupid Man-Child Loose Cannon Twit nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, AoT

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:03:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rand Paul does not appeal to Bush voters (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allie4fairness, unfangus, VClib, blackhand

      Rand Paul is running as a populist who is anti-war & anti-Wall St.

      His greatest concern to any democrat who is running is his pro-marijuana and anti-war stance (Hillary lost to Obama b/c she voted to authorize war).  His libertarian bend often appeals to naive young voters.

      Rand Paul recently remarked, "A Chamber of Commerce republican cannot win the presidency."

      After getting caught spewing racist remarks on Rachel Maddow his first month in office, he has tried to soften his tone.  For example, he has remarked that voter suppression tactics by republican pols are scaring people.

      Rand Paul would be a formidable opponent to Hillary (more so than Elizabeth Warren) because he could syphon off young voters from Hillary.  But he needs to win his party's nomination by winning against the Chamber of Commerce crowd he rails against.

      Jeb Bush has all the opposite problems - he is the Chamber of Commerce candidate who has to get past the social conservatives who are tired of being courted during the primaries, while being shafted by the nominee who has to run as a centrist.  Also, Jeb Bush has a problem with his Spanish-speaking immigrant wife and his pro-immigration stance.  And his last name is akin to presidential failure.

      Ted Cruz is a blend of the two and likely the smartest.  However, he has pissed-off too many members of his own party with his filibusters and support by and for Sarah Palin.  And his Canadian birth certificate will not endear him to the Birthers who were troubled by the myth of Barack Obama's heritage.  Polling has continually shown that his negatives are greater than his positives…..amongst republican voters. Nevertheless, he also has the highest positive with likely primary voters.  He's an enigma and the most dangerous.

      With all of her known flaws, Hillary has net positive polling.  Her book tour will likely provide her with insight as to whether she can smooth out the negatives and win both a primary and general election.

      Elizabeth Warren certainly appeals to progressives, but she would likely have to beat the very formidable Hillary that many democrats have determined to be inevitable.  Elizabeth Warren would certainly be a worthy VP for Hillary that can smooth out the problems Hillary might have with progressives.

      Democrats will nominate Hillary if she runs (with many holding their nose as they vote for her).  Her choice for VP will include the calculus of who hew GOP opponent will be.

      Republicans are a toss-up.  No one candidate has an easy path, and each can get bloodied during the shortened primary season that favors the 'establishment' candidate (Jeb Bush).  However, Ted Cruz is the smartest who appeals to the social conservatives.  Rand Paul would be the candidate most likely to appeal to anti-Hillary democrats.

      •  young people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        care about the environment. i also suggest you check head-to-head polls.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:11:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree that young people care (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          about the environment and the climate change denial by republicans may be what keeps many (young) voters leaning to democrats.

          Climate change denial is a very net negative for republicans.  I definitely missed the issue in my overview.  Thank you.

          And while I also agree that head-to-head polling is not good for republicans (Hillary trounces each of them), this is merely an early indicator that rarely captures the theoretical independent voter who is willing to vote for either political party or it overstates independents.  After all, Chris Christie still polls the best against Hillary, but his embrace of President Obama post-Sandy, appointing a Muslim to NJ bench, and the impending indictments are, in my opinion, not being captured in current polling of likely republican primary voters.

          Let's also remember polling at this point prior to the elections in 2008 had Hillary trouncing Obama.  

      •  I take exception to this statement, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jon Says
        After getting caught spewing racist remarks on Rachel Maddow his first month in office, he has tried to soften his tone.
        I saw this episode, he did not "spew" anything, when asked about the civil rights act and whether he would have voted for it he said he had no trouble with all of it except the part about private businesses.  I realize I may be splitting hairs but what he said was not racist as much as potentially ill informed or unprepared.  

        Other things he has said may be racist, do not think I am actually defending him or his viewpoint regarding the civil rights act, but he did not say anything I consider to be racist that night on Rachel.

        "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

        by padeius on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 07:25:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right, he did not spew racist remarks, (0+ / 0-)

          You're correct, Rand Paul did not spew multiple racist remarks on the Rachell Maddow Show, but he lives racism chapter and verse.

          The apple does not fall far from the tree, as they say, and Rand Paul has shown an utter disregard for both the racism his father and political party have enabled and continue to foment.

          To that same end, his (as you say) ill informed remark that he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act is proof positive of his utter disregard for plight of minorities.  Nothing in his remarks since shows that he has learned anything.

          This quote from Martin Luther King says it all for me:

          "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

          These words ring true today.  Those who stand silent, like a person who remains ill informed after a very public backlash, against the dog-whistle and euphemisms from things like the Willie Horton commercial from Ronald Reagan to the Bitherism of today are proof positive of the racism that is at the core of republicans party, tea party, and libertarian thinking.

          The recent tragedy in Las Vegas punctuates the notion that libertarians, those who seemingly honor the Gadsden flag over the Stars and Stripes, are the very base of Rand Paul.  The silence against those who use the swasticka shows a disregard for religious minorities; the Confederate Flag is just as appalling to others.

          At his core, and at the core of the republican party, Rand Paul is a racist who has repeatedly spoken ill informed remarks.  His brand of libertarianism would further enable an erosion of minority rights at the expense of granting states rights.


  •  I've always considered Rand Paul the biggest th... (13+ / 0-)

    I've always considered Rand Paul the biggest threat to democrats in 2016. He can win the young vote and his speech at Berkeley that received a standing ovation was a prelude to his attempt to appeal to young voters. I can't stand the guy and I don't think he actually stands for anything he says but he is showing himself capable of pushing popular topics and appealing to a populist portion of the electorate

  •  You really overestimate the number of people (10+ / 0-)

    that care about "Wall Street".  I know it is a big issue here but not in the general populace and especially not among independents.  

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:40:53 PM PDT

    •  than why (6+ / 0-)

      was so much time and money spent in 2012 on trumpeting Romney's wall street ties??

      not by people here but the Obama campaign and everyone involved.

      and why was OWS so threatening to the people that really run this country that they were stopped by force?

      •  I think you really overestimate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bush Bites, AlexDrew, lordcopper

        how much attacks on Romney's Wall Street ties even made the radar in the campaign.

        and why was OWS so threatening to the people that really run this country that they were stopped by force?
        I don't think it was as much threatening to people as it was annoying. With all do respect, people don't step on ants because they're dangerous.
      •  localokie - I don't think it was Wall St ties (0+ / 0-)

        It was more specifically about the demonization of private equity, downsizing companies and offshoring jobs. Romney never worked for a big Wall St bank. He ran a private investment firm in Boston. The Obama administration did a masterful job of defining Romney through the actions of Bain Capital, nearly all of which happened well after Romney had left the firm.  

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:37:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not so sure about that. (6+ / 0-)

      My redneck relatives are pretty sure they hate Wall Street, everything about it.  And they hate politicians, all of them.  But they hate "liberals" even more.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:52:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you have anything to back that up? (5+ / 0-)

      If we're using only anecdotal evidence, I can attest that my working class family and friends are still angry at wall street.  

      Also, wall street is a stand-in for all of the economic inequities in our current system.  It includes financial and corporate power/entities as well as the 1%.  Do you really think people's displeasure (to put it mildly) at this confederacy is limited to the politically active?  Seems very naive to me.  

  •  All you have to do is bend space and warp time (9+ / 0-)

    to get Elizabeth Warren elected in 2016. And by that I mean a serious challenge to the status quo type of candidate would've needed to start running in 2013 gathering a movement, building a campaign war chest and the machinery necessary to run a national campaign. Because for all that I loathe about Hillary she's got the access to the billion or so that it's going to take to run a Presidential campaign in 2016. The oligarchs have forced the price of the presidency so high they're all but guaranteed the ultimate winner will treat them favorably. Welcome to America, home of the "Best Democracy Money Can Buy". Do you want fries with that?

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:41:10 PM PDT

  •  I don't know about Rand Paul, (10+ / 0-)

    but if the Republicans end up picking a candidate that isn't immediately recognizable as crazy by the majority of politically unaware Americans we could be in trouble with HRC as our candidate.

    "Not Too Scary Republican" versus Hillary just sounds like a recipe for a super low turnout election. I don't think that Rand Paul is this Republican, but I also don't want to bet all my chips against the Republicans somehow getting their shit together in the next year or two either.

    •  Name one... (4+ / 0-)

      ..."not-so-scary" Republican.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:04:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are all pretty scary if you pay attention, (0+ / 0-)

        but most people don't.

         I don't have anyone specific in mind, but I'm not going to just assume that the Republicans are going to pick some Ted Cruz type either.

          If the Republicans pull it together and pick someone that at least can pretend to be reasonable, and we run HRC, we are probably going to see a whole lot of voters stay home. That never works out well for the Democrats.

    •  THerein lies the problem (0+ / 0-)

      Of course, if they nominate a "not too scary Republican" it will also be trouble for any of our would be candidates, probably worse trouble.

      •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        I think that the right kind of inspirational, populist Democrat could motivate a lot of people to vote that otherwise might abstain. Think 2008 Obama. Hillary isn't this candidate.

         I think having Hillary at the top of the ticket depresses Democratic turnout in 2016 and provides very little incentive for the poor and working class to mobilize, absent a terrifying Republican alternative.

         In my eyes nominating Hillary is only a "sure thing" if we are counting on the GOP to totally botch their primary, which I will admit is still a very real possibility,

        •  But there's no one like Obama (0+ / 0-)

          And no Liz Warren is not like Obama at all.

          •  You're right; she isn't. (0+ / 0-)

            And that's a big part of the reason that she would make an absolutely fantastic President.

            As far as mass appeal goes, I think that Warren is every bit as good as Obama. She's not quite as polished maybe but there is time to fix that. She is very likable though, and becomes much more so once you hear her message.

             Hillary has the rock-star name recognition, but the closer you look at her and her loyalties the less appealing she becomes as a candidate. If she is directly challenged on any number of economic topics by Warren (or a candidate like her) I think that Hillary's numbers start to nosedive. There are a lot of Americans in bad financial shape that aren't going to be interested in putting Wall Street's chosen candidate into the White House.

  •  AIPAC will never let the son of Ron Paul (0+ / 0-)

    near the White House.

    They will hand Hillary a blank check and ask her to fill in whatever amount she feels is necessary.

    •  Not only AIPAC but.... (6+ / 0-)

      ....what about the entire neo-conservative, pro-war wing of the republican party?  You think McCain, Cheney, et. al., are going to turn the party over to an isolationist?  They will destroy him in the primaries.

      And the anti-immigration wing will go after Jeb in the primaries.

      The ideological splits within the republican party are a huge issue for them.

      •  Our saving grace is that our cohesion (4+ / 0-)

        on social issues keeps us from fighting over economics and foreign policy. If not for the fear of a more conservative SCOTUS, our splits would be just as public as the GOP's.

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:24:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would think they'd be happy with Clinton. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allie4fairness, aseth, unfangus, blackhand

        How many more wars would we be in today if she had gotten her way? She's right there with McCain, thinking the solution to every international problem is bombs and boots on the ground.

        This is a serious liability of HRC that the diarist overlooked - she isn't merely a hawk, she's a war-monger.

        Another overlooked liability, while I'm at it, is her staunch support of inequitable free trade, something most Americans, but particularly those on the Left, strongly oppose.

        I could go on, but let me simply say that the majority of the people I know, all of whom voted Democratic in the last several elections, feel (as I do) that they could not stomach voting for Clinton.

        Because in the end, when you vote for the lesser of two evils, what you get is still evil.

  •  the problem with your point (3+ / 0-)
    rand paul is a racist, homophobic, anti-environment, anti-regulation tool of people like the koch brothers.
    when very concerned supposed liberals figure that out they will lose their concerns
    the problem is the majority of voters don't know it either.  
    •  The problem is, being racist and homophobic (0+ / 0-)

      don't necessarily lose elections. The environment is popular but regulations are not. So I don't think those features will necessarily lose the election for him.

      •  They will in this case (0+ / 0-)

        Especially given that Rand has walked back any support of civil liberties if the violations may be used against a person of color, although he didn't use as many words.

        He supports drone strikes against people who rob liquor stores. His campaign in the general is over before he's done.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:00:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is some silly shit (11+ / 0-)


    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:50:23 PM PDT

  •  OK, the poll is amusing (10+ / 0-)

    in a cut-to-the-chase kind of way.  We get it.  You'd rather see a Warren candidacy.  And lots of us agree that Warren is terrific.

    But it ain't gonna happen this time around.  So it's a waste of pixels.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:51:01 PM PDT

  •  No way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leu2500, Amber6541, cazcee

    Paul is WAY too far to the right. On the issues he probably is in sync with only about 15% of the population. He is truly a radical right winger.

    The Dem candidate would need to make it clear just how out of the mainstream he is.

    Of course he may be very skilled at deceiving the voters into thinking he's something he's not.

    Dems need to do a much better job at communicating just how out of the mainstream the current Republican party is. They want to destroy every popular program like Medicare and social security and they oppose the minimum wage.

    A lunatic like Paul who is way out of the mainstream would only get 15% of the vote if people voted on the issues.

    Unfortunately many voters don't vote on the issues, but can be deceived by radical lunatics like Paul.

    The Dem candidate must do an effective job at keeping the voters focused on the issues on which they agree with the Dems and make it clear to the voters just how radical and out of the mainstream the Republican candidate (Paul or whoever) really is.

  •  What are our problems and priorities? (to voters) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, AlexDrew, lordcopper

    At least 15 polls and not a single mention of Wall St/big banks.

    Senator Warren cannot run on opposing Wall Street.  It will never work.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:57:09 PM PDT

  •  Care to comment? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
     Tip Jar (6+ / 1-)

    Recommended by:
        Louisiana 1976, bluenick, localokie, ChuckChuckerson, elwior, shrike
    Hidden by:
        DEMonrat ankle biter

  •  HR for attempt to divide Dems against Hillary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cazcee, DEMonrat ankle biter, atana

    Exactly like your last and only other diary.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:03:54 PM PDT

  •  Part of me wishes Rand would run (10+ / 0-)

    so Americans could get a good look at the ugly underbelly of what constitutes "Libertarianism" in this country.

    A lot of people would have their eyes opened, that's for sure.

  •  I am enjoying the show. (8+ / 0-)

    There are many reputable reasons for Democrats to wish for an alternative to Hillary Clinton.  You have applied your laser-like focus to a completely ridiculous reasons.  The idea that someone's order of preference would be Paul-then-Warren-then-Clinton is, while not totally impossible in a country of 300+ million people, not statistically significant.  And you're omitting the relevant fact that out-of-the-box Paul will necessarily be crammed back into the box if he's to win Republican primaries and become their nominee.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:11:34 PM PDT

  •  I would prefer Elizabeth to Hillary, hands down. (9+ / 0-)

    I don't like Hillary AT ALL and the feelings are much stronger now than they were years ago.

    That said, Elizabeth isn't positioned to run, imho.

    As for Rand, well, our job, much like it was in Romney's case, will be to educate people on the far right wack he is. That's entirely doable.

    I can't stand the Libertarian Party for many reasons. And while I vote dem, I'm far to the left of most. It's as close as I can get given I'm much more a Bernie Sanders type.

    People like me are screwed no matter what. It's just a matter of degrees of "screwedness".

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blog:

    by cany on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:26:12 PM PDT

  •  Nader! Nader! (5+ / 0-)

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard

    by illinifan17 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:32:09 PM PDT

  •  You are jumping the gun (0+ / 0-)

    by just a wee, tiny bit.

    The presidential election isn't till late in 2016. This diary comes off as a tad fear-mongering, and not in any solid way.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:37:24 PM PDT

  •  I Love Elizabeth Warren, She's Amazing (6+ / 0-)

    That said - the suggesting that Americans' order of preference would be Warren -> Paul -> Clinton is kind of ridiculous.

  •  He's a pipsqueak. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I really believe people wouldn't vote for him simply because he doesn't look "presidential."

  •  Wrong question. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, ypochris
    Would you vote for this person, and do you know other Democrats who would vote for this person?
    Would I vote for those policies?  In a heartbeat.

    Would I vote for that person?  47 different kinds of hell no.

    Not only do I not trust a single word that comes out of his mouth, he has plenty of other noxious positions that I am 100% certain he would pursue first and with more vigor.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:58:44 PM PDT

  •  The old man is an eccentric crank on (4+ / 0-)

    a good day.  He's a racist throwback all the other days.  

    But at least he had a slim notion of how to organize a political profile, wildly flawed thought it was.  

    Rand is his father's son, but acts like he's still in high school.  He's a blithe nitwit with wet-cat hair.  He's allegedly intelligent enough to realize the GOP will require outreach to be viable, but he's clueless enough to try said outreach and fall flat on his face.  

    I'm not seeing the electoral college math that puts Rand Paul in contention for the White House.  

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:19:48 PM PDT

  •  I don't think Rand would win, but the damage (7+ / 0-)

    to the Democratic Party would be huge from a Paul vs. Clinton race. Many young people and anti-establishment progressives would vote for Paul or be tempted to do so, or at least sit out the election. Clinton would be the clear pro-establishment candidate in the race, and Paul would be the choice for anyone who wants to register their disagreement with business as usual in Washington.

    Even though Paul would likely lose, the more important outcome would be to cement the image of the Democratic Party as the party of the establishment and the Republican Party as the party for people who oppose the establishment. This would undermine the progressive movement and leave it politically homeless. Clinton would win a pyrrhic victory. Furthermore, Rand Paul's loss would cause Republicans to blame it on his liberal views on marijuana, foreign policy, surveillance, etc., and therefore these positions would never be allowed again for any other Republican candidate. These positions would therefore be banished from both major parties.

    All around, a Paul vs. Clinton race would be a disaster for progressives and for America. Let's hope it doesn't happen.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:24:58 PM PDT

    •  I do agree on many of your points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stetson, unfangus

      Eric, I do agree on many of your points. In my previous blog, I do talk about how Democrats have won by default for some time now, and this would apply to a Hillary win.

      I also looked at over in my last post how a Ross Perot candidacy unnecessarily nudged Bill Clinton center-right, and I am afraid Paul would play a largely similar role for Hilary, albeit in different ways (for one thing, he is so far still a Republican, and Perot didn't run of either established party's ticket.

      If Hillary wins, Paul likely will have a two-fold effect: nudge Hillary to the right of the progressives, and push GOPers further to the right.

      I do agree that many progressives would become politically homeless, but I also believe Rand will have succeeded in realigning many other progressives and left-leaning populists with populist Republicans. This probably would create a fissure in the GOP, much like Rockefeller Republicans who first appeared in the 1960s and Progressive Republicans in the 1910s and 1920s.

      Both these two types of Republicans did have a few major successes, but they gradually died out, one dying out faster than the other. Many switched back to the Dems, many others just became apolitical, and others became libertarian.

      Eventually, the electorate might reach equilibrium again, but this will most likely sort itself in such a way that we have faux "Independents" who merely vote along polarized lines. Others would probably re-sort back into their previous parties, but this would mean that both suppress their progressive/populist wing just as much as before any Rand Paul-inspired realignment.

      So, I do agree with your overall assessment if we assume Hillary wins, but I also believe there will be some time when many of the populist left would find their home among Republicans. And don't forget what happened to the politics of many of the White working-class and white middle-class who previously identified as New Dealers- they gradually transformed themselves into obscenely xenophobic and nativist social conservatives.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It was certainly more thoughtful than many others here, so I do very much appreciate it.

      •  A libertarian-left alliance is possible, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm skeptical that many liberals would ever be willing to join the Republican Party. The GOP brand is simply too repulsive for all but a few liberals to be willing to join.

        However, I know a few libertarians who are actively courting liberals and supporting compromise with the left and formation of an alliance. For example, one libertarian I know even goes so far as to advocate for a guaranteed minimum income to replace all welfare/entitlement programs, which I think could be a viable libertarian-left compromise. Economics is the main area of disagreement, so if a compromise policy can be reached there, the sky's the limit in terms of such a potential alliance.

        But the Republican Party is probably too far gone into crazy land for any significant number of liberals to work within the GOP, even if Rand Paul becomes their standard bearer. Keep in mind that Paul would have to appease the conservatives in the GOP in order to get the nomination, which would turn off liberal potential crossover voters. He can't do both at the same time.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:19:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Btw, I'm rec'ing your diary for excellent sourcing (0+ / 0-)

        and a thought-provoking argument, even though I tend to disagree that Paul could realistically beat Clinton.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:20:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Leave" the progressive movement (3+ / 0-)

      politically homeless?

      In case you haven't noticed, the Democratic party doesn't exactly welcome progressive ideas. The party is further Right than the Republicans were in the Nixon era.

      But don't even get me started on that...

      •  I see your point, but it would be worse than now. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemProgStrategist, ypochris, unfangus

        Imagine if a significant number of liberals decided to sit out the 2016 race or leave the Democratic Party as a result of a Paul vs. Clinton race. Then the Democratic Party that remains would be even further to the right. At least now, liberals can marginally participate in Democratic politics, but imagine how hostile it would be if Clinton is the party's standard bearer and ideas such as marijuana decriminalization, reining in the NSA, and a non-interventionist foreign policy become the province of a Paul-fueled populist right. These ideas would be seen as part of "the Republican enemy" and anyone who supports such ideas instead of Clinton's corporatist economics and neo-con military-industrial-surveillance complex would be told that they belong with Ron Paul and unwelcome in the Democratic Party.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:12:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meant to say Rand Paul, not Ron. (0+ / 0-)

          Same difference though. lol

          The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

          by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:22:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, Hillary would win against Rand Paul. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    Without a doubt. And I'm not a particularly big fan of Hillary.

  •  I think a lot of people who care about (11+ / 0-)

    women's issues would not cast a vote for Rand Paul.  

    I don't think he inspires a good deal of confidence on social issues generally and I think he would lose the support of women voters in very significant numbers.

    I'm not seeing which constituency Romney lost last cycle would be more inclined to vote for Rand Paul.  If anything, I think Rand would be even less competitive than Romney, and Romney, after all, got his butt kicked.  

    I wouldn't vote for Rand Paul under any circumstances.  

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:36:27 PM PDT

    •  Women don't matter. (3+ / 0-)

      Every time a commenter claims Hillary will depress turnout with liberals or be no different from the GOP completely disappears women, who have had their rights more under attack in the last four years than any time in modern American history.

      All polling indicates that it is women and liberals that are most enthusiastic about a Hillary candidacy, with highest intensity among younger voters ans non-white voters.  It's the Obama coalition on steroids.

      Has there ever been a more visible advocate for women's rights and their own agency with such a good chance of winning the presidency?  

      •  There are voters who will give all (0+ / 0-)

        our primary candidates a fair and thorough look over, as I think most of us would anyway, but as things stand now, HClinton is the prohibitive favorite.

        The GOP knows this, and of course, we hear them squawking about Benghazi and brain trauma and other trumped up hoaxes.  

        The Republicans have lost on issues alone.  If they lose the presidency yet again, there's an increased chance that the GOP will split open or maybe even dissolve.  Wishful thinking on my part, but there's a chance that they cannot withstand this many years in a row with nearly every major constituency rejecting their bigotry and cluelessness.  

        She's historically positioned to rewrite a few of our grandkids' history books.  

        "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

        by Remediator on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:19:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a lot of fatuous nonsense (eom) (6+ / 0-)
  •  Ridiculous diary. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, emelyn
  •  Rand Paul will be bugsplatter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, aimeehs, Lysis

    on Hillary Clinton's windshield.

  •  Blarp. Wumpawumpa. (h/t Ahianne) (0+ / 0-)

    Blarp. Wumpawumpa.

    (h/t Ahianne)

  •  Interesting info, entirely diffeent conclusions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In a post awash in useful info, this is what I found the most telling:

    In December of 2011, Pew found that the label “libertarian” was very popular among Democratic voters under 30 (50% to 28%), Democrats as a whole reacting more positively to the label than Republicans, and self-identified Independents reacting more positively to the label.
    What we see here is that in the context of overall Reaganite hegemony, the "centrist" wing of the Democratic Party has succeeded in placing any and all left-leaning courses in complete marginalization, beyond the pale even for younger "progressives".  Instead, they, too look rightward for political solutions to social problems caused or aggravated by rightist orthodoxy.  In the present situation, they turn to "Libertarianism" (American-style).  If this were Germany, the choices that seem viable would be the Christian Democrats and the Free Democrats.

    In this conjunction, the centrist Dems are likely to find, to their own shock and disappointment, that they've not only defeated their partisan "progressive" rivals, but that in doing so they have also undermined their own position.  The snall trappings of "goo-goo" liberalism that they have retained in order to make a claim to historic continuity within the Dem Party become their own undoing.  Presumably the two forces which will contest American politics in the 21st century are, on the one side, the Reaganite hegemony of economic neoliberalism and foreign policy "national greatness" neoconservatism marked by perpetual interventionism,  and its challenge by the pseudo-Libertarianism of the Paulians.  The only open question then is which party becomes the home to which.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 09:14:07 PM PDT

    •  I don't see how this is different (0+ / 0-)

      I really appreciate your comment and insights.

      Though, In all honesty and with all due respect, I don't see how these are entirely different conclusions than my own. I agree there might be a few in the details, but overall, I don't see how your conclusions are fundamentally different than my own.

      This is not any kind of "gotcha" question; I am genuinely interested in why you think our conclusions are entirely different.

  •  Warren vs. Paul (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would actually be a very fun election! Clinton v. Bush . . . ugghh.

  •  Rand Paul is America's Marine Le Pen. Like her, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he follows in daddy's footsteps, a slightly updated version.

    Tired of the two parties you can't tell apart? Check.
    Want a candidate that stands apart? Check.
    Hate TTIP, the transatlantic free-trade agreement? Check.
    Reject American militarism while staying strong? Check.
    Transcend obsolete categories like left and right? Check.
    Lower taxes AND balance the budget? Check.
    Hostile to your own people released after being held in a foreign land? Check.
    Had enough of the bankers and the bureaucrats? Check.
    He supported a Nullify Now founder for North Carolina senator and has neo-confederate tendencies. She went to court to stop people from calling her a fascist and proved their point.

    In a race between Rand and Hilary there would be no regular polling to predict how they'd split the vote between them. Instead, the polls would measure the percentage of people who would never vote for them.

  •  Non-argument (0+ / 0-)

    GOP will never ever nominate Rand Paul.  Besides I whole heartedly believe that it will not be any of the field most talked about.  Watchout for Sandoval thats the candidate that should frighten Dems.

  •  Despite the Dem delusion that the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    are all but finished, they effectively control the Congress now, along with most statehouses and legislatures.
       And the Electoral College is the ultimate gerrymander.
       The Republicans are in an excellent structural position to take the Presidency. It comes down to the relative strengths of the candidates.
       A relatively young, attractive Republican candidate is likely to be matched against an elderly Democrat who is running against the background of a lackluster administration and a high unemployment economy. It will be a tough row to hoe for that Democrat.


  •  Paul doesn't scare me (0+ / 0-)

    as a candidate. I think he's highly beatable. A President Paul would scare me, but it is very unlikely to happen. How long can a campaign for president by Paul last before he says the Civil Rights Act of 6 4 was a mistake? The GOP will never allow him to be their standard bearer.

  •  I completely agree with your analysis (0+ / 0-)

    but I still think that Rand Paul and Jeb Bush had too many known negatives to succeed . OTOH, an unknown of either stripe could work.
    One thing I would consider though, is a faux libertarian vs Warren race. Hillary's Wall Street supporters would withdraw support and Warren would have hard sledding getting out her message.

  •  Calling yourself a strategist doesn't make you one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger

    Whatever threat Jeb Bush or Rand Paul are to Hillary, she's still our strongest candidate.  Do I prefer Warren's populism?  Of course.  Can she win the nomination? No.  Whenever there is a true establishment candidate in the Democratic nomination process that person has a great advantage because four major constituencies tend to vote with them in big numbers: African-Americans; Latinos; Rural Democrats; Seniors.  This is what stopped Gary Hart in 1984 and why Bill Bradley's challenge to Gore never really took off in 2000.  Obama survived Clinton in 2008 because he peeled off African-Americans, but look at all those primary results.  Wherever there were not enough African-Americans and suburban liberals to put him over the top, Obama lost.  In states with a large rural vote, or a significant percentage of Latinos Hillary did better.  There were exceptions of course, but the biggest problem for an Elizabeth Warren candidacy is that it would be almost impossible for her to peel away African -Americans, Latinos, and Rural Democrats from Hillary.  I distinctly remember Gary Hart's frustration in 1984: "My record on Civil Rights is every bit as good as Mondale's."  He was right. But it didn't matter.
    The general election with Hillary is even more encouraging.  Women (and a lot of men) are dead serious about electing the first woman President so there will be a lot of energy in this campaign.  In Obama's 2008 race, most of the benefit he got in the general election from the African-American constituency was in increased turnout.  Hillary in 2016 seems likely to persuade a lot of women who are true swing voters, Independents and Republicans  who only occasionally have supported the Democratic nominee for President in the past.  We won't know until November 2016 of course, but Hillary has the potential at least to put a number of states in play that Obama did not carry in 2012 including North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, and Arizona while holding on to the Democratic base.

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