Rand Paul’s star rises: His first floor speech compares Tea Party to abolitionist movement

by editor on February 10, 2011

Somebody grab the smelling salts. When a confirmed liberal like Slate’s Dave Weigel commends a newly-minted Tea Party senator, we get a bit weak in the knees.

Slate.com has Weigel’s report on Rand Paul:

The junior senator from Kentucky just gave his maiden speech on the Senate floor. It was, unusually for this sort of thing, memorable. Paul remarked that he had been assigned the desk once used by Sen. Henry Clay, Whig-KY, the great compromiser. Was it a mistake, Paul asked, to “lionize” Clay, since his compromises had prolonged the lifespan of slavery? Why not lionize the abolitionists like Clay’s cousin, the abolitionist Cassius Clay?

“The activists who didn’t compromise — William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Cassius Clay — are heroes because they didn’t compromise,” said Paul.

Paul delivered a caveat — nothing in our current politics could compare, morally, to the debate over slavery. But wasn’t it odd that our current political debate called for people like him to compromise? “Should we compromise by raising taxes as the deficit commission proposes?” he asked. No: We have a “spending problem,” not a revenue problem.

But the speech folded back on itself. Paul didn’t follow the abolitionist comparison to its conclusion. He suggested that everyone needed to compromise.

“Can the Tea Party work with others to find a solution?” he asked. “The compromise must come in where we cut spending. The compromise that we as conservatives must acknowledge is that we can cut some money from the military. The compromise that Democrats must acknowledge is that they can cut domestic spending.”

Rand Paul is never going to be the Great Compromiser like Henry Clay, but if he gives a few more speeches like this he may end up being the Great Communicator like Ronald Reagan.

Source: Slate

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Conservative Kentuckian
Conservative Kentuckian

Maybe it’s long since overdue that we had another president from the Bluegrass State.


Or Tennessee… We need another James K. Polk.


Do you think he would recognize his Democratic Party?


Hell no Arlan! Polk would more than likely be a TEA Party member, and he would declare war on the Mexican border again over illegal aliens… not to mention what he would do for the economy by giving foreign companies the boot and boosting American production… he’d probably abolish unions as well.

I guess you could say Polk would be the Anti-Obama.


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