Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 28, 2010

MAKING A PROFIT FROM PROFITT.... In Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, Rand Paul (R) actually has a fairly compelling response to the awful head-stomping incident from Monday night: don't blame the candidate; he wasn't responsible.

Tim Profitt, who still wants an apology from the defenseless woman whose head he stepped on, has been a prominent Paul backer and campaign coordinator, but after the incident, the campaign "disassociated" itself from the violent activist. Paul was exceedingly slow in actually condemning the assault -- he initially blamed "both sides" and "crowd control" -- but he eventually issued a statement saying the right thing.

Indeed, the right-wing ophthalmologist even announced on Fox News that he would return the $1,950 his campaign received from Profitt.

With this in mind, it's more challenging for Paul's detractors to pin the incident on the Republican nominee. At least it was, before Paul flip-flopped on the two grand.

[O]n Wednesday Paul's campaign said that it won't return $1,950 in contributions from the man, Tim Profitt, who had been Paul's campaign coordinator in Bourbon County before the campaign said it was "disassociating" itself from him. [...]

Paul's spokesman, Jesse Benton, said that the campaign had adequately dealt with the situation and that it would not return Profitt's contributions.

This is bizarre. It's not as if Profitt's $1,950 is going to make the difference between winning and losing this race. If on Tuesday, Paul was committed to returning the money and severing ties between the campaign on Profitt, there's no reason to reverse course and do the opposite a day later.

The significance here is the message Rand Paul is choosing to send. On Tuesday, the campaign disassociated itself from Profitt and his apparent crime. Yesterday, the campaign seemed to be suggesting that maybe Paul is comfortable with this political violence after all.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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You don't do the decent thing, since it emboldens the enemy. In fact, now that keeping the money pisses off liberals, you have to do it, or they win.

Posted by: Buck on October 28, 2010 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe that money is Pauls 'Profitt' margin after the election if he loses.

C'mon, you know someone had to say it...

Posted by: c u n d gulag on October 28, 2010 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Rand Paul, please
I mean that litterally, please don't tread on me.

Posted by: Joyzeeboy on October 28, 2010 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

"Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas."

I'll leave it to others to decide which is which. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 28, 2010 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

Rand Paul is an extremist, but in this case he did the right thing.

You cannot hold a candidate - liberal or conservative, or from either party - responsible for something they didn't know about. When he found out he acted.

Posted by: JEA on October 28, 2010 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

Authoritarians pretty much by definition lack the empathy gene.

Posted by: terraformer on October 28, 2010 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Why is anyone surprised? Simply shows that Paul has no moral compass and his integrity ranks at -10 on a scale of 1-10

Posted by: Greytdog on October 28, 2010 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Let's all hope this "abuser" (I'd be checking his wife/kids if he has them) has to blow all his dough on a good REPUG lawyer!

Posted by: Dancer on October 28, 2010 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Buck nailed it.

If Paul returns the money, he's undermining his side's victimhood. He's admitting that Stomper was at fault. But his supporters know that's just a liberal lie.

Posted by: gussie on October 28, 2010 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

One could think of it as the campaign's contribution to Profitt's legal defense fund.

Posted by: david1234 on October 28, 2010 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Return the money? No way. He should donate it to a charity. Specifically one dealing with violence against women.

Posted by: DR on October 28, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

It's a pity Conway's advisers decided to dredge up Aqua Buddha as a last attempt to stir up evangelical voters allowing Paul to look like a victim, something he plays well. Had he instead focused instead on Paul's insensitivity to miners, mine safety and other out of the mainstream views, he may have reached more voters.

It is sobering to see a young woman stomped on the neck and head by his brown shirts, something that should appall even conservatives, followed by a cowardly interview by the assailant who doesn't have the character to show his face, as he suggests, it is he, that deserves an apology. This incident could have pushed Conway over the line by a hair with sane independents had he not run the aqua buddha ad, in my opinion.

Curly locks Rand is keeping the money because his fanatic followers would be outraged if he returned it, they think Lauren Valle deserved it. Freedom of speech isn't for liberals in Rand world.

Posted by: Kathryn on October 28, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Paul has nothing to gain from returning the loot. He's much rather alienate thoughtful moderates than risk offending his deranged base. The most offensive thing to them is the idea that one of them could somehow be wrong about anything. Where would he be if they turned on him for wimping out?

Posted by: JoeW on October 28, 2010 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Eerie, watching the right wing video of the event. It was night time, with many lights glaring, and a crowd lined up for the incoming Leader. The crowd kept chanting, with furvor, Rand Paul, Rand Paul. With the ensuing incident, my mind flashed back to the '30s in another country, with a crowd yelling, in a frenzy, two words, over and over. One started with S and the other H.

Posted by: berttheclock on October 28, 2010 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Paul has nothing to gain from returning the loot. He's much rather alienate thoughtful moderates than risk offending his deranged base.

No truly "thoughtful" person would vote for Paul in the first place, but supposing just the "moderate" turnoff, Paul covered his bases. Moderates will believe he returned the money like he said he would (FOX will never run a correction). Meanwhile in chain email wingnut land he does the "right" thing and keeps the money, thus quietly sanctioning the brownshirts.

Posted by: BetweenTheLines on October 28, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Paul will keep the money. Even though his campaign is now offically, "non-Profitt." After all, Ron has put his foot down.


Posted by: ed drone on October 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Proffitt can't bend over so he used his foot...wonder if he's on disability

Posted by: bob on October 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

It's not bizarre. How can someone spend every day for the past several years watching the right wing in this country and not realize that it would be bizarre if Paul did return the money. He would be disowned as an appeaser.
For the same reason, I'm constantly dumbfounded when one of these incidents occurs and Democrats "hope Dr. Paul will repudiate this behavior". Why not give him twelve hours and then insist that his silence on the issue proves he endorses repressive violence against American citizens.
I can guarantee you that if these were teamsters, no matter how swift and stern Conway's reaction, the right would still be calling for him to withdraw from the race and resign as AG.

Posted by: Mike on October 28, 2010 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK
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