Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 23, 2010

STEELE 'NOT COMFORTABLE' WITH SOME RAND PAUL VIEWS.... Rand Paul, the Republicans' U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky, has repeatedly stated his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This morning, ABC's Jake Tapper asked RNC Chairman Michael Steele if he's "comfortable with" Paul's extreme ideology.

"I'm not comfortable with a lot of things," Steele said.

"It sounds like you're not comfortable with it," Tapper said.

"I just said I wasn't comfortable with it," Steele replied.

Well, Steele hadn't just said that, but it looks like he got there eventually.

The RNC chief added that Paul is motivated by a "philosophical position" and "philosophical perspective." I suspect that's probably true. But that doesn't change the fact that Rand Paul's political worldview is a) is poorly thought out; b) not even close to the American mainstream; and c) the kind of political philosophy that leads to unacceptable real-world consequences.

In other words, it's not much of a defense. Steele's point seems to be that Rand Paul is motivated by racism. That may be true. But when a U.S. Senate candidate in the 21st century opposes the Civil Rights Act, it's hardly acceptable for his allies to argue, "It's O.K.; his opposition is 'philosophical.'"

As for the electoral context, Steele, who had to know Tapper's question was coming, just handed Democrats a script for a campaign ad in Kentucky: "How extreme is Rand Paul? Even the Republican National Committee has said it's 'not comfortable' with Paul's ideology."

Steve Benen 9:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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What's he supposed to do? Paul is the GOP nominee, and the GOP has enough problems without Steele generating a split in the party by criticizing another Republican. Besides, he's on thin ice already.

Posted by: j on May 23, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

just handed Democrats a script for a campaign ad in Kentucky

BUT WILL THEY RUN THAT AD? That always seems to be the problems with Democrats and their messaging: even when they are handed the "kill shot" on a silver platter, they fail to use it.

That ad Sestak ran against Specter was brutal (but fair). It was also EFFECTIVE as hell. If only Democrats used that kind of savvy when going after Republicans!

Posted by: rob on May 23, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Paul's views about Iran's nuclear program (can't be bothered) are a real potential Achilles heel. A chance to tie the Republicans to totally irresponsible national security positions?

Posted by: bob h on May 23, 2010 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Why does rand Paul hate the troops so much?

Posted by: stevio on May 23, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

I think you mean that "Steele's point seems to be that Rand Paul is not motivated by racism." Always helps to have someone else read your post.

Posted by: Henry on May 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

I still believe the better ad would be to show the photo of Lestor Maddox, pistol in hand, with his son carrying the axe handle "escorting" the African-American customer to a different lunch counter, where he could sit with one of his "own kind".

Then, having a voice of AynRand Paul saying, Well, I, personally, wouldn't want to eat there, but.....".

Posted by: berttheclock on May 23, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Even the Republican National Committee has said it's 'not comfortable' with Paul's ideology.
If the teabagging Republican mainstream paid attention to the RNC, that might be a problem.

Posted by: qwerty on May 23, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Fix that typo(or whatever you call saying the opposite of what you meant to say).

The problem with starting with an ideology rather than a real-world set of facts is that your ideas can be easily analogized to past historical events which prove those ideas faulty. When the president makes the case that he has to do something, he has the ability to acknowledge there are potential upsides and downsides and argue, based on precedent, that the upsides outweigh the bad. When one starts only with ideology, you really don't have that ability.

Posted by: Abe on May 23, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

I would probably stop saying "racism." He thinks those born into shitty situations should just stay there, in the name of LIBERTY.

And again, we are deluding ourselves if we think this will hurt him in Kentucky.

Posted by: dem in 2010? on May 23, 2010 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Ayn Rand is quite popular in freshman dorms. As is the Communist Manifesto, and Mao's Little Red Book.

Not so much in grad school.

Even less in the cold, cruel world, where suddenly one needs a job. . .

Posted by: DAY on May 23, 2010 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Steve - please watch the editing, OK? I know you do a lot and that's great as such. (Maybe as part of that "lot" you could include occasional criticism of the Prez. B.I.O.N., he deserves it from time to time.) But you completely spoiled the point you wanted to make. It just takes a couple extra minutes to scan for really bad semantics flags. Rand Paul is not motivated by racism as best we can tell. His dad attracted some racist oddballs and failed to put in effort to block them, but I don't see evidence Rand has that problem.

Posted by: neil b on May 23, 2010 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

You mean Michael Steele, then spendthrift, incompetent RNC Chairman who is regularly lampooned here at WM (because he's such an easy target) doesn't like Rand either? Even better.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on May 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

"That ad Sestak ran against Specter was brutal (but fair). It was also EFFECTIVE as hell. If only Democrats used that kind of savvy when going after Republicans!"
Posted by: rob on May 23, 2010 at 9:43 AM

You don't think Spectre's still a Republican?
Even after "bolting" his ostensibly-erstwhile Party, he was still loudly, clearly, and repeatedly supporting a good number of Publican stances -- right up until Sestak became a real and undeniable threat.
Spectre then adopted some Democratic positions for the duration of the campaign -- but it's a near-certainty that he, like LIEberman, would have been a problem child for the next 6 years once the threat to "his" (it's obvious that he thinks of it in such terms) place in the Senate was passed.
Thank God enough of the Democratic voters of PA had more brains than some of the Democratic and "independent" voters of CT (or at least were able to learn from the example the CT voters provided).
Of course I do agree that it would be great if Dem's could marshall such passion and efficacy of messaging w/r/t Republicans who are still Republicans in name, as well as in fact -- and at all times, not just in campaigns (let alone the last few days thereof).

Posted by: smartalek on May 23, 2010 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Would Rand Paul even be a candidate, and would we even be talking about him, if he didn't have a famous father? I think not. Having now had his first 'OHAI, media of America' moment, he may be thinking that not going for that cushy city council job first wasn't such a good idea after all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on May 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Would Rand Paul even be a candidate, and would we even be talking about him, if he didn't have a famous father? I think not. Having now had his first 'OHAI, media of America' moment, he may be thinking that not going for that cushy city council job first wasn't such a good idea after all.

Barry Goldwater's son ran for office with no previous experience, too. He didn't talk to anybody at all during the campaign, constantly citing 'prior engagements of long standing'. He lost bigtime, but at least he didn't have to pretend to have a clue about how the game works.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on May 23, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

The news that Rand Paul, winner of the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky, believes that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is too broad is a frightening reminder of the danger of fringe elements in political campaigns.

It took a century to engineer the death of Jim Crow laws in the South, and now we have a Senate nominee who thinks that the government went too far.

As a young child in the South, I could not stay at the Heart of Atlanta Motel, which refused to rent to black customers. My father, a combat veteran, chose to fly to visit his in-laws in the South because he refused to go to the back of restaurants to pick up food while driving through Virginia and the Carolinas.

By the time I came of driving age, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had banned discrimination in public accommodations.

I dont care if Mr. Paul is the darling of the Tea Party or a kaffeeklatsch. The voters of Kentucky can ill afford to send him to Washington.

Roland Nicholson Jr.
Tampa, Fla., May 21, 2010

Posted by: Roland Nicholson, Jr. on May 29, 2010 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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