- - Monday, October 19, 2015

To determine when a campaign is on the brink of extinction, the experts will usually cite lagging fundraising and sinking poll numbers as evidence the end is nigh.

However, since I went to public school, I usually bypass all that technocratic stuff. Instead, I believe the deathly hallows looms for those whose last remaining loyalists descend from the sublime to the ridiculous. For when your best argument for maintaining even a shred of legitimacy is to actually undermine your own cause, then you’ve lost the argument.

Enter Rand Paul 2016.

Now, I work in politics and the media, so I see stupidity and self-contradiction all the time. Therefore, expectations for integrity and intellectual honesty in our world are already breathtakingly low. Like subterranean. Like the odds of my Detroit Lie-Ins (permit my clever word play there) actually winning a Super Bowl. Like the odds I’m not eating something chocolate today.

OK, maybe not that low, but I digress.

Anyway, they’re really, really low. But apparently they’re still not low enough for whatever’s left of Rand loyalists desperately attempting to fend off a challenge for liberty supporters from Sen. Ted Cruz.

Maybe you’ve seen their latest and most futile butt-hurt … err … I mean argument yet? It goes a little something like this:

“Ted Cruz isn’t really liberty, dude. He’s a ‘neo-con’ Trojan horse. Oh, and his wife used to work at Goldman Sachs, which means she’s a tool of the Council on Foreign Relations, and that makes Ted a tool of the globalists and the Trilateral Commission. I read it all on Bilderberg Exposed.com so it must be true. They said Goldman Sachs secretly bankrolled the whole Cruz for Senate campaign, and that’s how Cruz has actually raised all this money for his presidential run.”

Of course you’ve seen this, because the few, the proud, the last remaining Rand slappies are incessantly posting this stuff in social media like it’s some kind of pagan mantra. Let’s set aside for a moment, difficult as that may be, this entire line of attack sadly reinforces all the worst (and mainly false) conspiratorial stereotypes of the Paul movement. Even if it’s all true there’s just one small problem with it.

See, one of the first major endorsements Mr. Cruz received in his underdog run for U.S. Senate back in 2012 was from…wait for it … wait for it … wait for it … none other than Ron and Rand Paul!

The Pauls jointly endorsed Mr. Cruz for U.S. Senate at the Texas State Capitol on May 5, 2012. At the time, few political observers gave Mr. Cruz a chance to win the Republican nomination, which he eventually did months later in a run-off against the Texas lieutenant governor. According to the Texas Tribune, here’s what Rand Paul said about Mr. Cruz at the time: “If you give [Cruz] a chance you’ll have a real hero from Texas.”

Like most conservatives and libertarians, I had no idea who in the Sam Hill this Ted Cruz guy was until that day. All thanks to the Pauls. Given the fact Mr. Cruz now has more cash on hand than any other 2016 GOP presidential candidate (including millions more than Mr. Rand), it’s obvious the grass-roots agrees we do “have a real hero from Texas.”

So let’s assume for a moment Mr. Cruz is really a progressive plant of the one-world government conspiracy, and out to assure that Team America remains the world’s mall cop at the directive of the “neo-cons.” Then what you’re really telling us is that the Pauls themselves helped get elected a “neo-con” plant, who’s a secret tool of the globalists to the U.S. Senate as a young Hispanic from Texas. Which would then make him virtually unbeatable in elections for potentially decades?

Dude, what does that say about the Pauls?

I mean who’s the bigger fool? The fool or the fool who follows him? Shouldn’t the Pauls and their sycophants repeating this banal tripe then instantly have their “liberty cards” revoked for granting such cherished street cred to a usurper? Or does endorsing Ted Cruz get explained away like endorsing Mitch McConnell did?

Sorry not sorry for bringing that one up again.

If all the things the Rand slappies are saying about Cruz are true, then the real blame lies at the feet of the Pauls themselves. For they opened the gate wide and invited the Trojan horse inside. Worse yet, they bestowed upon him favorite son status. Therefore, if Mr. Cruz is guilty of such deception than the Pauls are even guiltier for approving of it. And if Rand Paul was bewitched by this Cruz guy, just imagine the crop circles the mullahs and Russian President Vladimir Putin would have him running in as president.

So congratulations Rand Paul 2016 – you are now owners of the absolute dumbest argument of the campaign thus far. And considering this campaign includes the Democrats desperate for the pearls of wisdom the brain of Vice President Joe Biden frequently defecates, that’s saying something.

Oh, for the record, Mr. Cruz’s campaign is actually funded by a grass-roots army of more than 120,000 donors, who have given an average of less than $200 apiece. Goldman Sachs did donate to Mr. Cruz’s 2012 Senate run,  according to Open Secrets, but it was less than a third of what they gave Barack Obama and about 5 percent of what they gave Mitt Romney. The $69,000 Goldman Sachs has given to Mr. Cruz (which is chicken feed in Washington) hasn’t seemed to impact his voting record in the U.S. Senate, where he has the second most-conservative record, according to the Liberty Scorecard frequently updated by Conservative Review.

Which, by the way, is a higher scorer than – you guessed it – Rand Paul.

(Steve Deace is a nationally syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.)

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