We learned today that Rand Paul has bowed out of the GOP Race. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that there are a few other *ahem* GOP candidates we’d rather see doing something else with their time. Here are five reasons why Democrats are going to miss Rand Paul.
- His fiscal conservatism. No other candidate hammered spending restraint quite like him. It was his main platform plank, likely to his detriment. Despite what Republicans say, Democrats are against pork barrel spending and inefficient government too.
- His constitutional understanding and intellect. Even if we’re not strict constructionists like Paul, Democrats respect his understanding of the Constitution and his dedication to its underlying values of liberty. We’re not sure Donald Trump could name the Third Amendment or explain the Fifth. And we think that matters, because we’re a constitutional republic, and that document has to underpin every law and every government action.
- His support for criminal justice reform. We’ve seen Rand Paul reach across the aisle on a number of issues, few more important that slowing our incarceration rate for non-violent offenders and putting processes in place so that after you’ve “done your time,” you can go out and be an effective and functioning member of our society and, importantly, our economy.
- His support for term limits. We too, want a government for, of and by the people. We, too, want politicians to be accountable to their electorate and not special interests. This is exemplified by the energy we’re seeing in this cycle around the outsider candidates, and why even insider candidates (like Ted Cruz, who has worked in presidential elections, the federal judiciary, in state government and in Congress) are working hard to be seen as anything but part of the establishment.
- His twitter hilarity. OK, so that won’t disappear entirely. We like politicians that don’t take themselves too seriously. We like it when you make jokes about your hair … and Festivus. These are serious times, and the presidency is a serious job. But, people elect people they like. That came easy to Rand Paul.