Barack Obama won acclaim from civil libertarians in 2008 when he pledged to close Guantanamo Bay. Five years later, the prison camp remains open, costing taxpayers $900,000 per-prisoner, per-year.
Rand Paul scored similar praise this year when he challenged Attorney-General Eric Holder on the domestic use of armed drones. Now, the Kentucky senator may be doing a bit of back-peddling himself. In an apparent move to position himself for a 2016 presidential bid, Paul has softened his position on the use of drones over U.S. cities, controversially indicating he’d be okay with drone-fired Hellfire missiles being used to stop convenience store hold-ups, according to Politico. The son of Ron Paul was swept into the Senate with support from civil libertarians of the right-leaning variety but now wants to unshackle himself from that “vocal group” of tantrum-prone “contrarians.”
“Rand is a grassroots champion and has a huge, devoted following that will be with him through thick and thin,” said Benton, who ran Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2012 and is managing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign. “There is a very small, but extremely vocal, group of contrarians that throw a tantrum anytime Rand does something they don’t quite understand, but the vast majority of the ever-growing Tea Party and Liberty movement is with him 100 percent.”