Many libertarians are justifiably exasperated by Sen. Rand Paul joining the saber-rattling against Iran. But his foreign policy positions have been shaky for a long time. Here’s a review of his 2012 book, Government Bullies, from the American Conservative magazine (perhaps Rand’s biggest supporters in the Washington media). Rand has been getting dreadful foreign policy advise for a long time – as evidenced by his endorsement of the National Endowment for Democracy and his faith that foreign aid can be redeemed. And his “back of the hand” solution for TSA abusive searches remains as ludicrous as when he first proposed it. The review concluded by asking whether Rand would “become simply another conservative who flourishes government waste, fraud, and abuse stories to make supporters believe he is going to roll back Leviathan.” Two and a half years later, Rand Paul has not yet provided a satisfying answer to that question.
Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds, Rand Paul, Center Street, 280 pages
By James Bovard • American Conservative – November 20, 2012
With Ron Paul’s exit from Congress, his senator son, Rand Paul, is now the great hope of many conservatives and libertarian-leaning activists. Senator Paul has done superb work challenging the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. He is seeking to burnish his bona fides with a new book, Government Bullies.
This volume will tell you all you ever wanted to know about federal wetlands policy, which is discussed exhaustively in the book’s first hundred pages. The Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, and other agencies have trampled property owners’ rights time and again on the most arbitrary and unjustified pretexts. Similarly, Government Bullies contains extensive discussions of the government’s abuses of farmers, small businessmen, a guitar manufacturer, and other likeable victims. Continue