I think I really would enjoy being at a bar, with the Tanqueray gimlets coming continually, and having a good ole political discussion with Rand Paul. I am sure that I would learn a great deal, if he were really open, about his libertarian philosophy, and I would be happy countering his points when I heard weak or suspect (to me) positions. It would be a fun and fascinating time, and I live for opportunities like that. But I also know, based on what I have heard him say of late on a variety of issues, that I would not want Paul representing me in either house of Congress.
From his ruminations about the "problems" regarding the ability of private business owners to discriminate against customers as the owners see fit (here is a comment from a philosophical ally willing to go there), to his latest declaration that Obama was "un-American" for trying to go hard on British Petroleum (BP) for its culpability in the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (which was BP's fault), Rand Paul strikes me as an individual who is not willing to allow the realities or facts to dissuade him from upholding his ideological perspective. That simply won't do.
If Paul intends to become a good politician, he will have to learn the lesson of ideology versus reality (even Sen. Jon Kyl gave the man a verbal oops upside his head). In the mean time, I suppose we will be seeing less of Paul, as he learns how to temper that ideological purity in the face of national media types and their pesky questions.
Maybe I will get lucky and have an opportunity to have that bar discussion with Paul at one of the Hill watering holes on the Senate side once Kentucky sends Paul to Washington (The Monocle maybe, though I would rather get him to The Pug on H Street, NE).
UPDATE (5.24.2010): I just wanted folks to check out this really informative post over at Jack and Jill Politics regarding Rand and Ron Paul. I found some good points raised that I would be happy to ask about during those drinks.