Posted by: Jeff | October 21, 2010

The Tea Party Divide: Case in Point

With the Aqua Buddha storyline attracting national attention to the Kentucky Senate race for the first time in a while (Democratic candidate Jack Conway had been polling way down before the new ad), Republican candidate Rand Paul is starting to face some scrutiny into his personal life and past.  And he doesn’t like it.

He is currently making his way through the media (CNN, FoxNews, interviews galore) denouncing the Aqua Buddha allegations as unfair, irrelevant, and immoral.  Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has followed the story pretty closely, noting that not only did Rand Paul run the first attack ads in Kentucky using college-age indiscretions as leverage with voters, but he’s also never really denied the charges that he tied up a woman and forced her to pray to a deity named Aqua Buddha.

To Marshall, this all just represents another manifestation of Tea Party candidates trying to be all things to all people.  Paul claims to be a steadfast Christian.  While the Aqua Buddha story may have some traction with voters, Marshall draws attention to another disconnect which may be even more troubling for Paul’s assertion: his continued admiration for libertarian hero Ayn Rand.

(Ayn) Rand of course, in addition to being a hard-right extremist in political terms, was a confirmed atheist who was not only openly contemptuous of organized religion and Christianity but a convinced critic of the element of Christianity that most agnostics and atheists actually find redeeming: namely, altruism.This is only one element of what a fraud Paul is. But this is reality. It’s very hard to see how you can be an (Ayn) Randian Christian.

As the Tea Party continues to be usurped by old-guard Christian conservatives, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the electorate.  The resurgence of Ayn Rand as a political icon may be short-lived as more and more politicians find themselves catering to the traditional Christianist conservative base.



  1. […] can’t be all things to all people, even within an individual political party. Barack Obama found that out, and Democrats stayed away […]

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