How Rand Paul bombed at Koch brothers gatheringThe libertarian myth tells us that capitalists are idealistic visionaries devoted to the pursuit of profit as an almost spiritual exercise. To a large extent, Rand Paul probably believes this myth. He probably thinks that capitalists are, to a large extent, mystics. Unfortunately, at the Koch confab he found himself among actually existing capitalists, and he didn't understand what really makes them tick: They want to be deferred to. They want their rings kissed. They want those who approach them to grovel.
Some of the most influential players in big-money conservative politics gathered late last month to discuss government’s role in society, but their focus kept shifting to a less weighty topic: Rand Paul’s outfit.
The Kentucky senator and prospective GOP presidential candidate ... appeared at the annual winter meeting of the Koch donor network wearing a boxy blue blazer, faded jeans and cowboy boots.
Some attendees commented that Paul’s appearance was “cavalier,” said Frayda Levin, a Paul supporter and major donor who attended the conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, California.... “This is an older crowd and much more establishment crowd. They are used to a Romney. They are used to a Jeb Bush,” Levin said.
“Jeans might work for a younger audience,” said another attendee, “but these are old bulls who put on a tie every day to go to the office.”
Anyone who's paid attention to the billionaires bemoaning their fate in the Obama years and comparing the alleged disrespect they've experienced to the suffering of Hitler's victims would have understood this going in. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush also get it, because they've had more years of experience trying to do deals with billionaires, both in politics and in business (and, of course, it's their world too, by birthright). But getting all your knowledge of capitalism from Ayn Rand novels and "philosophers" of laissez-faire is a bit like getting all your knowledge of sex from Internet porn: Um, real people don't act like that. As Senator Paul has now learned.