From Rand Paul’s speech at CPAC Friday, one gets the impression he thinks that the Republican Party is just another brick in the wall.
While the Kentucky Senator may have gotten the most attention during his speech for quoting Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” making Paul almost certainly the first speaker in CPAC history to mention Roger Waters by name, the real message of his speech was his disregard of the GOP and focus on liberty over all.
As the ballroom filled with young acolytes who were “standing with Rand," if only because there were no seats left for his speech, Paul harped on familiar themes about liberty and the NSA as policy issues ranging from foreign policy to Obamacare went almost unmentioned. The Kentucky senator referenced James Madison where most other speakers at CPAC would mention Ronald Reagan as he told conservatives that “the Fourth Amendment was just as important as the Second Amendment." But the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, didn’t exactly have a lot of love for his own political party.
While he reminded attendees of the importance of having someone who respected the Constitution in the White House, he made clear that wasn’t a partisan statement. “You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans, I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.” Paul went on to note that “ it isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils, we need men and women of principle, conviction and action.”
Paul’s speech came as a sharp change from other speakers, who were more focused on the Republican Party and insuring the role of conservatives within the GOP. Rick Santorum thought the GOP needed to appeal to blue collar voters, Ted Cruz thought it needed to nominate more conservatives and Mike Huckabee thought it needed to appeal to people of faith. But the Kentucky senator wasn’t concerned with what the Republican Party needed to do. He just was concerned about the Constitution.