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May 09, 2014 5:12 PM Some Advice For Rand Paul

By Ed Kilgore

So as part of his rap encouraging Republicans to “expand the party” by talking to alienated constituencies and explaining what they actually think (a risky venture, particularly coming from him), Rand Paul spent some time with African-American ministers, and appeared to have actually listened, per this report from The Wire’s Arit John:

Sen. Rand Paul is now a disciple of the anti-voter ID movement, after the black pastors he met with on Friday showed him the way and the truth about measures that tend to decrease minority voter turnout. After meeting with the pastors, Paul shared the good news with Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times: the GOP needs to “lay off” the whole voter ID laws thing, according to Peters. “It’s offending people,” Paul said. Sen. Rand Paul is now a disciple of the anti-voter ID movement, after the black pastors he met with on Friday showed him the way and the truth about measures that tend to decrease minority voter turnout. After meeting with the pastors, Paul shared the good news with Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times: the GOP needs to “lay off” the whole voter ID laws thing, according to Peters. “It’s offending people,” Paul said.

Well, good for him. I hope this position sticks, because it’s not going to be very popular in the conservative fever swamps where Paul will be spending time if he does run for president.

But I have another hint for Paul that he might want to verify with the next group of African-Americans he meets with, and then pass along to his fellow-Republicans: impeaching the first African-American president is a sure-fire way to ensure Republicans struggle to make it to double digits in the percentage of black voters they attract for the foreseeable future. Yes, it would thrill “the base,” and close it right on up in its own echo chamber.

Bet on it.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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