Freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor Wednesday to deliver a maiden speech that compared the momentous task of 19th century abolitionists to the Tea Party's proclaimed duty of ensuring that Washington addresses its spending habits.
Paul drew historical references from the dais, comparing himself not to the famous Kentucky senator Henry Clay, the lifelong slave owner and "Great Compromiser" who once occupied his Senate seat, but to his cousin, Cassius Clay, a diehard abolitionist who refused to compromise in his quest to end slavery.
"Those activists who didn't compromise -- [William Lloyd] Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglas, Cassius Clay -- are heroes because they said slavery was wrong and they would not compromise," Paul said.
As Paul wound his tale, he tied in the Tea Party's commitment to budget-busting, and implied that any compromise he was willing to consider on the matter would be one that would further the goal of confronting Washington's spending.
"Now today we have no issues, no moral issues that have equivalency with the issue of slavery, yet we do face a fiscal nightmare, potentially a debt crisis in our country," Paul said. "Many ask: 'will the Tea Party compromise? Can the Tea Party work with others to find a solution?'"
In his answer, Paul admitted that there must be "dialogue," but suggested that he and the Tea Party wouldn't waver on the principle that massive cuts must be sought across the board.
"The compromise must come in where we cut spending," Paul claimed. "The compromise that we as conservatives must acknowledge is that we can cut some money from the military. The other side, the liberals, also must compromise that they can cut some money from domestic spending."
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