Saturday, August 15, 2015

Extremely Brutal: Rolling Stone on Rand Going After Trump

The highlights from a scorching piece by Jeb Lund:
It's a bad sign when your campaign is starting to resemble a comments section flame war. Especially when you're doing it wrong. And Rand Paul — the sort of young, sort of hip, sort of libertarian presidential candidate with a campaign that likes to think it's sort of good at the Internet — is doing it wrong.
Paul isn't just screwing up; he's screwing up comprehensively. His attacks on Donald Trump this last week have been an effete shitshow. He's drawing negative attention back on his own campaign, and he's undermining his default brand – that of the semi-cool academic type who can't be bothered with how wrong everyone is. He's coming off as the thirstiest dude in a field of candidates whose thirst baseline already looks like a bunch of guys who got stranded in the desert after going to town on a salt lick... Look, if you're going to take a swing at a dude who's bigger than you, you can't miss. Trump is crushing Paul in the polls, and rather than cut Trump down to Paul's size, Paul's just leaving his side exposed to effortless hooks: In his response to the Paul campaign's Trump video, Trump cites Reagan as an example of a true conservative whose ideas evolved away from pro-Democratic positions, he mentions that he kicked Paul's ass at golf, and he closes with astonishment that there's anyone left in Paul's campaign unindicted enough to make ads like these...
Paul's ideological inconsistency charge is a wash the moment it emerges from his mouth. You could throw three darts randomly and hit three different policies he's had on undocumented immigrants. He was for reducing aid to Israel, until he met billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is for giving money to candidates who like Israel. He was against all intervention in the Middle East until he realized that everyone running in the Republican Party has to oppose the Iran deal. He shamed other Republicans for not reaching out to the black community, then lectured Howard University students with the old (and to them wholly non-revelatory) fact that the NAACP was founded by Republicans, then met with slavery apologist and militant criminal Cliven Bundy. He wanted to reduce the military budget before he called for increasing it by 16 percent. He deplores overseas adventurism, but something something about Syria and ISIS, and he's going to milk the word "Benghazi" until it's raw. And it's only a matter of time until his principled stand against government surveillance turns into an all-out rush to have Hillary Clinton's skull borg-implanted with a polygraph and a GoPro.
Incoherent argumentative self-sabotage is what happens when a campaign is probably falling apart...
He's trying to burn Donald Trump by throwing stones through his glass house, bouncing them off the tree outside and doinking himself in the forehead on the ricochet. Which would be bad enough, but he shouldn't be trying to burn Trump at all. You can't burn this man. Here you were shouting at him while he was at the most luxurious and exclusive resort in the world (everyone loves it) and didn't know you were still talking about him until he got back and saw you still here. He mentioned your name to his wife, a very very beautiful woman you could never date, and she'd never heard of you.

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