Thursday, May 20, 2010
Why Rand Paul is in BIG TROUBLE...
The first stop was National Public Radio, where he expressed his view that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans With Disabilities Act were examples of government "overreach" that would be better handled at a local level. Well that bit of audio went viral soon afterwards, and later that day Paul found himself on Rachel Maddow's show over on MSNBC where he was asked to clarify his position. Things did not go well...
The problem with the interview wasn't so much his position, I don't think that Rand Paul believes segregated lunch counters are ok, but the problem was his complete inability to articulate that.
Watching him was truly a train wreck in slow motion. And Maddow kept trying to throw him life-lines. She actually is something of a fan, Paul announced his candidacy on her show. Now instead of being able to clearly explain what he really MEANT, he is blaming Maddow for asking the questions. It's like Sarah Palin calling Katie Couric the "gotcha media" for asking "what do you read?"
There was a moment when he HAD the answer. When he touched briefly on the issue of Hate Speech laws. But then he lost it in a bizarre twister board answer that he was unable to untangle himself from.
Rather than simply saying - Segregated Lunch Counters are wrong and stupid, and his concerns were really about Government trying to regulate how people FEEL and not just how they ACT, instead Paul did this bizarre tango were he tried repeatedly to tie the Civil Rights Act's desegregation provisions to Gun rights. What he MEANT was a hypothetical examination about the implications of Government trying to legislate how people feel. What America HEARD was "If you let Blacks sit at lunch counters then you have to let Whites bring guns into the restaurant."
What made it worse was, he came across as a man who seemed unable to say clearly that segregation and discrimination by a private business is wrong. Instead he talked about being against "any discrimination by Government", and unfortunately left the impression (false though it may be) that he has a complete lack of understanding of WHY the Civil Rights Act was passed in the first place.
Then to finish off the day Paul appeared on "The O'Reilley Factor" over on FOX News, where he stated his support for the complete elimination of a Woman's right to choose, banning abortions in all cases, including rape, incest, and threats to the life of the Mother .
Politics is perception and right now Rand Paul has a HUGE perception problem . The Libertarian movement has made great strides to be taken as a viable alternative to the GOP's evangelical christo-facist tunnel vision. But Rand Paul's performances yesterday make him look like a Lyndon LaRouche looney.
The problem here is Paul didn't understand where he was. This was not a intellectual exercise, these interviews were campaign appearances. Ones that may have doomed his candidacy