Rand Paul is the P.T. Barnum of the Modern Senate

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Paul Waldman is impressed by Rand Paul:

Rand Paul continues to win my admiration, I have to say. There are people who come into the Senate with a kind of celebrity status and get lots of good press—one Barack Obama comes to mind—but I can’t think of anyone who has gotten so much good press through their own initiative, coming up with one clever way after another to get people to pay attention to them in ways that are almost always positive. His latest move required a subtle ideological tightrope-walk, one that Paul played perfectly. And all it took was a tweet.

It’s true. Rand Paul has a sort of Palinesque native genius for self-promotion. This isn’t going to get him any closer to the Oval Office than St. Sarah, mind you, but it’s still damn impressive. Like Waldman, I was nodding my head in admiration when I saw his tweet about Ted Nugent last night, because I knew instantly that it was perfectly suited to get him a whole gob of attention for a day or two. If he’s lucky, maybe even longer. For a tweet about Ted Nugent!

It’s genius, I tell you. He knows how to play both his own base and the media like a Stradivarius.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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