To get right to the main question: Will I promote progressives support for Rand Paul? The answer is both yes and not yet.
Among likely GOP candidates, Rand Paul is the best. Sure, this is not saying much especially given his latest support of the anti-peace letter to Iranian leadership and his advocacy of a sharp increase in military spending paid for by cuts in foreign aid and domestic investments. This may not mean a neo-con turn but election time feints to the MIC will win him no friends among peace progressives even as it confirms doubts among purist libertarians.
Nevertheless, a strong showing in the Republican primaries and caucuses will be a significant blow to warmongering corporatists throughout the duopoly. A libertarian coup of the GOP remains a consummation devoutly to be wished by all principled progressives. A victory in this year's battle still seems unlikely for all the same reasons as last go around with his father but any damage done to the imperial oligarchy is not only desirable but necessary. Democrats who are already showing their cards for Queen Clinton by trashing him deserve resistance from all real progressives.
But should support mean primary votes? While my friend, Robin Koerner, wants a resounding yes, we need to wait and see what challengers rise to confront the Queen. It is likely that there will be a progressive or two who step up. Bernie Sanders (now a socialist independent), Elizabeth Warren (the most populist and popular progressive) and Martin O'Malley (former Maryland Governor) are all possibilities. I am hoping that Ron Paul's friend, Dennis Kucinich gets in the race as his NEED Act (HR 2990) is a definitive document that gets at the heart of our economic problems.
Progressives need to challenge Hillary by voting for one or more of these or other potential candidates who hopefully give voice to the disaffected base of the the Democratic Party. This is not the year for jumping ship during the primaries. If, in the unlikely circumstance Clinton faces no progressive opposition, then I will be back here or somewhere else encouraging progressives to vote for Rand Paul in the primaries.
Another unlikely scenario is Paul getting the nomination and facing Clinton in the general election. In that circumstance I am going to want to support Paul and if there is no viable Green or independent candidate from the left, I would most likely encourage progressives to vote for him. I would first like to see a reversal on his latest vows to make deeper domestic cuts to support more military spending. There may be a way around this by finding more cuts in MIC spending to fund pay and benefit increases for enlisted personnel. Or maybe he takes a cue from Koerner and stops worrying about government deficits and finds a way to increase government spending to bring down private sector debt.
IN THE MEANTIME...
Progressives need to take more radical stands against the Democratic Party's corporate captivity and be more creative about making alliances with other anti-corporate outsiders. We need leaders like Kucinich, Sanders and Warren to not only stand up to Hillary and her corporate puppeteers but to be extremely skeptical when her rhetoric shifts leftward. My idea continues to be... when the inevitable happens and coronation night arrives, go public at 5pm endorsing the Green Party nominee. The MSM would not be able to ignore a dozen progressive leaders with 3 or 4 of them being primary opponents of the Queen, defiling her party by endorsing Jill Stein, especially if one of them is her running mate.
I know...I know... totally unconventional...not going to happen. Of course, in all likelihood, we are not going to provoke politicians even at the periphery of their parties to chance backlash because of what will surely be seen as a kamikaze move. I understand the harsh realism as I have been ignored by anybody and everybody inside corporate fortress. But what else do we have other than handing a grenade to whoever's reaching out between the bars. This tactic would work even better if it were coordinated and Rand got his Dad, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, etc. standing behind him and Gary Johnson as Paul endorses Johnson.
It will take something as dramatic as well timed defections by widely recognized anti-corporate politicians to force the moment to its crisis. Pulling that off requires that outsiders come together with a willingness to step outside the box they landed in when they stepped out of the corporate box. If we are to make a difference in the upcoming election, we have to get sympathetic candidates and voters to consider unconventional, mutual and cross party endorsements, vote swapping, etc. We are outgunned millions of times over and so we need guerrilla tactics and risk taking and realistic politicians and voters if we expect to make a real and significant difference.
I might come back again if you like.