I’m intrigued and oddly impressed at how obviously Paul’s maneuvering for 2016. First the trip to Israel, then the bill to nullify any executive actions taken by Obama on guns, now this double-barreled shot at grassroots conservatives’ new bete noire. One of the things about the elder Paul that some people loved and others found off-putting was that he never seemed terribly interested in ingratiating himself with mainstream conservatives. If you’re a fan, maybe you took that as proof of principle, that he was above gladhanding political nonsense towards people foolish enough not to embrace libertarianism wholeheartedly. If you aren’t, you took it as evidence that he disdained the rank-and-file Republicans whose votes he’d need to win and wasn’t willing to bend towards some of their concerns. It’s an open question how similar Ron and Rand are on policy, but from a pure retail standpoint, Rand seems way more willing to play to the wider GOP base. The clearest example to date was him endorsing Romney last year while Ron predictably refused. But dumping on a guy who’s irritated everyone to the right of “Morning Joe” lately is another small yet effective way to do it:
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