Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why Rand Paul is in BIG TROUBLE...

As has been reported  all over the media  today.  Kentucky Republican Senate Candidate and  "Tea Party" favorite  Rand Paul  (Son of  Texas Congressman Ron Paul)  had quite the media day  yesterday.   Looking back on it  I would not be surprised  if Paul  was feeling a bit like  the old Bugs Bunny quote,  "bet you wish you'd stood in bed."

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

No comments: