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The National Review’s latest piece on Rand Paul is online, and it’s generating some minor buzz. Perhaps most notably, the article mentions Paul’s concept for a Tea Party Caucus within the Senate. Or, as Politico describes it:

In an interview with National Review, Paul said that if elected he would like to partner with other tea party-friendly senators to provide a block of representation for the loose affiliation of grass-roots conservative groups.

“I think I will be part of a nucleus with [Sens.] Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who are unafraid to stand up,” Paul said. “If we get another loud voice in there, like Mike Lee from Utah or Sharron Angle from Nevada, there will be a new nucleus.”

If able to put together such a coalition, Paul said the group would fight for “term limits, a balanced-budget amendment, having bills point to where they are enumerated in the Constitution — those issues resonate with the tea party.”

Last week, Paul said he favors a limit of two 6-year terms for Senators and six 2-year terms for Representatives. Paul’s father Ron Paul has served more than six terms in the House, but Rand Paul says he doesn’t support voluntary term limits.

Elsewhere in the piece, Paul says he wouldn’t necessarily support Senator Mitch McConnell for minority leader.

Asked if he might even potentially vote for a candidate other than fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell —the current Senate minority leader — to head the GOP’s efforts in the Senate, Paul responded: “Maybe.”


After November, it will likely be noted that many incumbents held on to their seats. In fact, Steven Taylor at Outside the Beltway argues that the 85%-plus re-election rate for incumbents is proof that the anti-incumbent fervor being reported is overblown.

Even if we have a result that is “historical” and is in the 80% range, it is hard to make the case that an incumbent re-election rate of that magnitude demonstrates a massive amount of voter anger.  The bottom line is that a substantially large percentage of the current House is returning in January (and in the Senate too, although the numbers under discussion are for the House only).

For those who are wondering, the Senate re-election rate is lower than for the House.  The range over the same period of time is 55%-96%.

This argument, however, seems logically flawed, and Ken Silverstein of Harper’s says the whole thing is bogus.

Yes, the overwhelming majority of congress is going to be re-elected, because the rules are so heavily rigged in favor of incumbents–unless the member of congress is stupid enough to get caught in bed with a hooker or taking bribes, he or she is almost certainly going to win reelection. But concluding that this means that voters aren’t angry and frustrated misses the point by a million miles.

The first national Coffee Party convention will be held in Louisville. The Coffee Party is a response to the Tea Party, though it does not advocate an opposing ideology. Rather, the organization’s main credo is “Government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

As the AP reports, the convention’s location is not a reaction the Rand Paul’s recent primary victory, but Paul’s national fame will likely boost interest in the convention.

Organizers of the Coffee Party, formed last year as an alternative to the Tea Party, said Tuesday they expect up to 2,000 people to show up for the Sept. 24-26 “Wake Up and Stand Up, America!” event just six weeks before the November general election.

Brian Endicott, a 30-year-old Lexington graphic designer who chairs the Kentucky chapter of the Coffee Party, says the group chose Louisville before last week’s primary. But Endicott says Paul’s victory in the U.S. Senate primary will hopefully provide a boost in membership for the Coffee Party, which advocates providing members with information to help them make up their own minds about issues.

WHAS also has a story on the convention.

Chris Cillizza wants to know…what did yesterdays primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio mean for Republican establishment candidates?

Cillizza wrote that the establishment candidates won, but POLITICO says the establishment is ‘bruised.’

Back to Cillizza, who is now splitting the difference:

On the one hand, establishment candidates like former Sen. Dan Coats(R-Ind.) and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D-Ohio) — not to mention endangered incumbents like Reps. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Mark Souder (R-Ind.) — managed to emerge from their respective primaries.

On the other, Coats couldn’t break 40 percent against two little known candidates divvying up the conservative vote, Fisher beat a candidate with almost no money by just 10 points and Burton won the GOP nod with just 29.7 percent of the vote.

So essentially, the incumbents and traditional Republican favorites won, but the victories weren’t strong. In some cases voters weren’t moved to cast ballots and in others the vote between outsider candidates was split. It will be interesting to see how these candidates do in the general election. Those who voted for other candidates or who didn’t vote at all may not vote in the general election, unless they decide to cast a ballot for the GOP candidate as a vote against the Demcoratic party.

Whether these Republican voters (who in many races are likely Tea Partiers) are willing to vote for the candidate they see as the lesser of two evils remains to be seen, and it will definitely be something to watch for in November.

BBC World News America recently produced this story on the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul and the significance of his success.


As we reported on WFPL, this year’s tax day tea party in Louisville was largely a chance for various Republican candidates to make pitches to voters. Former county GOP chair Brad Cummings was there. He attributes the increased campaign presence first and foremost to the upcoming primaries and general election. Second, though, he says the tea party is a key group of voters for many conservative candidates.

There were lots of campaign signs, but not everyone was campaigning or supporting specific candidates. Here are some photos from the 2010 tea party.

John Galt is the hero of Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand is a hero to many libertarians and small-government conservatives. That’s led to many of the Tea Party attendees and town hall protesters to hold signs answering a question posed in Atlas Shrugged.

“Who is John Galt?” asks the book.

“I am John Galt,” says the sign.

I think I have another answer. John Galt is running a bindery in Dayton, Kentucky. Dayton is near Ohio, where the fictional Galt is based in the book. You can call on the John Galt bindery to make a case for your diploma, but you may not want to tell them it came from a public or state school, just in case it’s the same Galt.

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