This can't be repeated enough: don't believe anything Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) says. He's an opportunist and will say just about anything in order to sucker either the far-right and the far-left into supporting him. But for whatever reason, his target audiences are just sucking it down like Coca-Cola, and they ought to know better.
Take for example his latest attempt to dive head-first into the grown-ups section of the pool. Rand Paul wrote an op/ed about the tensions this week in Ferguson, Missouri, and the upshot was this:
The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.
Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security.
Clap... clap... clap...
Nice try, senator. It might've played well with the short-attention-span demographic or troglodytes incapable of using Google, but the rest of us definitely recall the last time you discussed the militarization of law enforcement. Rewind to April, 2013, when Rand Paul said the following on the Fox Business Channel:
I’ve never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him…
If there’s a killer on the loose in a neighborhood, I’m not against drones being used to search them out, heat-seeking devices being used, I’m all for law enforcement.
To repeat for emphasis: "I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him." So Rand Paul supports the use of military-style weaponized predator drones in local law enforcement scenarios. Now, if we want to peel back the Rand Paul onion a little more, we find this:
I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the President has the power to kill American citizens not involved in combat.
I rise today to say that there is no legal precedent for killing American citizens not directly involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a President is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court.
That's from his filibuster on the Senate floor in which he suckered the far-left into "standing" with him and his opposition to the use of drones against American citizens. How'd that work out?
To recap: Rand Paul is against the militarization of the police -- but he supports using $12 million predator drones to annihilate liquor store thieves in Anytown, USA -- but he also opposes using drones against American citizens. If you believe he's sincere on any of these positions, I have some robot insurance to sell you.
Again, he will say anything depending on which way the political winds are blowing. Take him seriously at your own political peril.