Rand Paul Live-Tweets CNN's Democratic Town Hall To Give The Bernie Vs. Rand Showdown You Never Knew You Wanted
Not long after sitting out the last Republican debate day, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul decided to live-tweet CNN's Democratic town hall Monday night, with the specific intention of taking on Bernie Sanders. He certainly followed through with that promise, sending many, many tweets throughout the night. Paul's tweets were often repetitive, occasionally insightful, and in at least one instance, a bit self-defeating.
Say what you want about Rand Paul, but he does seem to legitimately enjoy using Twitter. Back in 2013, with no provocation at all, he fired off a stream of tweets in honor of Festivus, the fake secular holiday from Seinfeld. He ultimately only used it as an opportunity to promote his pseudo-libertarian policies, but it was a creative use of the medium nonetheless.
Since then, Paul has live-tweeted two more years of Festivus and, more pertinently, numerous candidates' debates. The tweets he sent out Monday night generally fell into one of three categories: boilerplate denunciations of big government, boilerplate denunciations of Democrats, and accidental insights.
Yawn. Everyone knows that Rand Paul doesn't like the government. But later on, one of his garden-variety criticisms inadvertently hit on an important point.
This is a snide dismissal of Bernie's tax plan, but it does illuminate a key difference between the two candidates' world views. It was a reference to Sanders' redistributionist economic policies, such as his proposal to use taxes on high-income Americans to fund free education for low-income Americans. While Sanders sees this as simple fairness, Paul seemingly doesn't distinguish between rich and poor Americans when it comes to taxation. Paul's tweet implies that, for him, the main issue is that anybody is being taxed. It doesn't matter who.
Later, Paul admitted that he doesn't disagree with Sanders on absolutely everything.
Let's give credit where it's due. Agreeing with people from the enemy party isn't looked upon too kindly this time of year, and Paul demonstrated integrity in voicing support for Bernie's position. He canceled out that goodwill moments later, though, with this disingenuous tweet.
It's a dishonest criticism for two reasons: First of all, as Paul surely knows, there's a way to tax people that doesn't involve cutting down trees. It is called the Internet. Second of all, Paul opposes pro-environment policies and openly questions whether humans are responsible for climate change. For him to suddenly act like he cares about saving trees in order to push an anti-tax argument is slimy.
Toward the end of his tweet storm, Paul also couldn't resist taking a shot at the lowest-polling Democratic candidate.
Paul currently stands at 2 percent in the polls, which is so low that he wasn't even invited to the last Republican debate. He probably shouldn't be mocking 2016's no-shot candidates, then, given that he is one of them.
The Kentucky senator did, however, make one valid point before signing off:
That's fair. Bernie Sanders does yell a lot.