Thursday, May 20, 2010


If you haven’t heard much about Rand Paul, get ready. You’re going to hear a LOT about him in the days to come. Paul, an ophthalmologist from Kentucky won the GOP primary Tuesday night and is now full throttle in the race to become Kentucky’s next Senator. He may have won under the guise of the Republican party, but Paul is the ultimate hero of the Tea Party.

Remember, the Tea Party would have us believe its tenets have only to do with fiscal reform. Uh-huh. Why then, is controversy swirling bigtime around Paul’s recent comments about the Civil Rights Act of 1964? It seems he supports “most” of the Act, but one-tenth of it bothers him. He says he believes private businesses should not be subject to controls by the Federal government. He also claims he fully disagrees with any measure that would support re-segregating our society. Really? That is interesting, largely because if he had his way, apparently restaurants could still display “whites only” signs, and apartment complexes could decide not to rent to gay people. Paul can frame his comments however he chooses, but the bottom line is that not one political candidate in modern history has even remotely bashed the Civil Rights Act until now. He is treading on dangerous territory, and despite his comments to the contrary, what he is suggesting is clearly racist.

Who’s next on Paul’s hit list? Poor people? Illiterate people? Disabled people? To say Rand Paul is conservative would understate his views. Even Dick Cheney seems to be put off by Paul’s views. He backed the opposing candidate. By the way, Paul is so intent on reducing government in our culture, that he has publicly come out for eliminating the departments of education, commerce and energy. Oh, and here’s the rub: Kentucky has evolved into one of the most conservative states, and Paul has a shot at actually winning this race. Still, the Tea Party heartily endorses Paul’s candidacy. So, the question remains: If the Tea Party was founded for fiscal reform, why would it support a guy who could conceivably usher in a new era of segregated lunch counters? Is there some connection between all things fiscal and civil rights reform? Just asking. Listen to his comments on the Rachel Maddow show, and you be the judge:A couple of quick notes to Rand Paul: If I were a disabled person who went to work in that three-story building you mentioned: If the department for which I was hired is on the third floor, and you position me on the first floor because of my disability, I have a clear cause of action for discrimination. Further, if we roll back the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the point that business owners can choose their patrons, have you considered there may be a number of businesses that do not choose you as a patron? If those businesses are important to you as a consumer, and if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is deconstructed, on what basis would you argue for your own rights? Further, your Senatorial inexperience is showing: There will seldom be a piece of legislation that you support completely. You will have to make concessions and compromises as a U.S. Senator. In 1964, had you believed in “nine-tenths” of the Civil Rights Act, most likely you would have been compelled to vote for it.

Does Kentucky (or any state, for that matter) truly want a U.S. Senator whose views are obviously not fully formed? Is it possible Rand Paul needs to study the legislative landscape a bit more before attempting to become a legislator? Let’s hope so.

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