Rand Paul speaks hard truths to GOP
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spoke to the GOP convention last night, telling both parties that they must "slay their sacred cows" in order for the nation to get its fiscal house in order.
Sen. Rand Paul urged GOP delegates tonight to embrace the Constitution and adopt the mantra of small government, as he urged them to elect Mitt Romney to the White House.
Paul is a Tea Party favorite and the son of the Texas congressman who was an adherent of the movement long before it had a name. For Tea Partiers, having one member of the Paul family on stage here onight might be small consolation.
The senator was applauded for his talk.
"Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows," he said. "Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed."
The Kentucky senator, elected in 2010, was preceded to the stage by a short video tribute of his father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who fell short in his White House bid this year. The Tampa Bay Times Forum erupted in cheers when the film began playing, and members of the denim-shirt clad Texas delegation began waving their hats in glee.
"Ron Paul was the only one I know who made a difference by making a point," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in the Paul tribute film.
Senator Paul made his peace with the GOP establishment by endorsing Mitt Romney. His father refused to do so, and many of his followers are at the convention not to support Romney but to lay the groundwork for what they hope will be a revolution come to fruition 4 years from now.
Will Rand Paul take his father's place as their standard bearer? Many of those who support Ron Paul's Liberty Agenda will not look kindly on the son who bargained with the regular GOP. But Senator Paul's place in the movement will be determined by how pragmatic its members are. Rand has shown a streak of pragmatism in the Senate and has demonstrated he can work with Republicans from all factions. That may work to his advantage in coming years as the movement grows beyond its founder and enters serious electoral politics.