Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Politico tells us that attendees at a recent Koch brothers donor conference that featured Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio liked Rubio best:
In an informal straw poll of some conference donors, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida came out ahead of four other would-be GOP presidential candidates who had been invited, according to an attendee familiar with the results. The poll was conducted by Frank Luntz, a veteran GOP pollster....

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul -- who received the least enthusiastic response from donors during a Sunday night forum of prospective candidates that also featured Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz -- finished last in Luntz’s poll, the source told POLITICO.
Dave Weigel thinks that Paul's presentation at this shindig might not have been as forceful as the donors would have liked -- but he also thinks this may have to do with decades of libertarian infighting:
Paul libertarianism is not Koch libertarianism. Rand Paul has actually spent a lot of time finding common ground between the Koch movements and the "liberty movement," which found an icon in his father Ron Paul.

... It's really a grassroots thing. After his 1980 campaign for vice president, as a libertarian, David Koch poured his political money into think tanks. Charles Koch was doing the same. The most famous result of this was the Cato Institute. Ron Paul, at this time, was closer to Murray Rothbard and a more pugnacious and minarchist form of libertarianism. Cato built its beachhead in Washington; the Rothbardians built theirs in Auburn, Ala., at the Mises Institute.

The Cato wing of the libertarian movement was slow to embrace Ron Paul. In 2007, when I worked for the partially Koch-funded Reason magazine, the worry was that Paul's brand of populist, Federal Reserve-bashing libertarianism was not the best way to sell the philosophy....
I could quote more, but I'll stop there. I'm sure Weigel lost you at "minarchist," if not earlier.

Sorry, but I'm pretty sure Weigel's overthinking this. Paul didn't lose these donors because the libertarian Judean People's Front has differences with the libertarian People's Front of Judea. Paul lost these donors because they're standard-issue billionaire wingnuts, not libertarians at all, and, as Weigel's Bloomberg colleague Julie Bykowicz reported on Monday, Paul said a few things that aren't politically correct in Wingnuttia, particularly on foreign policy (I'm sure the gathered potentates would like our foreign policy to be as muscular as humanly possible):
On display was Paul's nontraditional approach to defense spending and foreign policy. Seated between two colleagues whose fathers fled Cuba, the junior senator from Kentucky alone made the argument that Obama's outreach to the country was worth a try. Paul also called it problematic for Congress to authorize new sanctions against Iran in the middle of international nuclear negotiations—a view neither Cruz nor Rubio shared. Cruz, in fact, said it's worth remembering that the leaders of Iran are "radical religious Islamic nutcases, and that is the technical term."

Donors in attendance seemed to side with Rubio and Cruz on those issues, judging by their applause. Paul reiterated that while he believes national security is the government's most important job, the Pentagon should be audited and reduced in civilian ranks. Rubio said the country ought to spend more on defense research and development, otherwise it will be "eliminating options for future battle chiefs."
These people are rich, influential CEOs, but they watch Fox News just like every other wingnut. If you want their money, before you open your mouth in their presence, ask yourself: Would Sean Hannity say this? If the answer is no, shut up. Rubio and Cruz understand this (although Rubio was a bit of a slow learner on immigration). Paul still doesn't completely get it.

It does seem as if Rubio gave a successful pitch:
Rubio said the country ought to spend more on defense research and development, otherwise it will be "eliminating options for future battle chiefs."
That's what Rubio said. Here's what the titans of industry heard, presumably: KA-CHING!

Rubio said the "anti-business rhetoric" out of Washington is contributing to the U.S.'s diminishing role as a global economic force.
Run your tongue over this side of my loafer, Marco. I think you missed a spot.


Victor said...

When people like Sean "Uni-brow" Hannity and Bill O'Raly are the Republican politicians guiding stars on foreign affairs, then we're beyond even "Idiocracy" territory...

Double oy....................

Anonymous said...

"Battle chiefs"? Good God. That would embarrass the people writing copy for that barbarian-ish video game whose commercials have Kate Upton in them.