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Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul defends comments on civil rights

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Dr. Rand Paul, candidate for U.S. Senate in the state of Kentucky, made waves on Tuesday by defeating the Republican Party-endorsed candidate in the state’s Republican primary, and had choice words for President Obama and Washington politicians.  Running as a Republican, and possessing the same libertarian streak as his father, Congressman, 2008 candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, and cult hero Ron Paul (R-Texas), Dr. Paul is to the right of former VP Dick Cheney in some aspects (Cheney’s words). And he is certainly to the right of the senior senator from Kentucky, minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who endorsed his opponent in the primary.

As much as Dr. Paul shook up the world on Tuesday, he jarred its sensibilities on Wednesday, going on The Rachel Maddow show and defending controversial comments about the 14th amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Specifically, Paul noted that though he does not condone and would not defend racism – be it government sanctioned, institutionalized, or of the private “separate but equal” sort – he did not agree with the portion of the bill that governed segregation on the part of private businesses. 

He would not go as far as to say that he would not have supported the bill, or the civil rights movement.  To the contrary, he seemed to show admiration for civil rights protesters and supported thespirit of the law.  But his libertarianism could not be shaken, as he defended the right of private citizens/business owners to say and do “abhorrent” things inthe name of free speech, including, acts that would be deemed illegal by law because of the 14th amendment.

It is hyperbole to say that Dr. Paul does not support the 14th Amendment, is a dangerous racist, or that he would not have voted for it as a legislator. If we are to take him at his word, he said he would have supported the bill, but promoted discussion on the segment of the bill that allowed the federal government to dictate to private business owners what is and is not legal with regards to discriminatory practices (see the video here, at 11:00 in).  I suspect that in this instance, he is no different from many of the “heroes” in the Congress who passed this bill originally.

Rachel Maddow was pining for a gotcha moment on her show, and Dr. Paul would not give her the satisfaction.  However, his attempts to obfuscate at times did nothing to improve his image as a candidate, and considering that he received fewer votes in his state’s primary than the second place finisher in the Democratic primary, last night was a wasted opportunity to brand himself as a political candidate that the State of Kentucky can support all the way to Washington.  So lets call it a draw. 

But I don’t doubt that Dr. Paul will recover from this episode … after all, his campaign spokesperson resigned in disgrace just several months ago after it was revealed that he is a Satanist, White supremacy-endorsing, polygamy-thumbs-upping, nigger-hater. Even in Kentucky, that’s a pretty remarkable recovery.

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Written by demon53

May 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm

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