Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Is Rand Paul Ready For Prime Time

Kentucky Republican Senatorial candidate is a citizen politician, a doctor, seeking political office for the first time. Whatever he is, Rand Paul is not a career politician. He speaks from the heart. He speaks what he believes, and he is a true believer - None of the nuanced language of the professional politician for him.

Rand Paul opposes amnesty and birth right citizenship, as well as same sex marriages and Roe v. Wade, but on both marriage and abortion he believes the states should decide. He supports an amendment that would recognize life begins at birth, and opposes cloning. He also opposes the McCain Feingold Act and the USA Patriot Act, especially warrantless searches. He wants to eliminate the Department of education.
Even Ronald Reagan gave up on that one.

He supports though the morning after pill and the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, also from Kentucky, and the rest of the Republican establishment, supported Paul’s primary opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson. They knew. Grayson is a poised, traditional politician, but Rand Paul could be a loose canyon.

But Rand Paul, weaned on the libertarian philosophy of his father, Congressman Ron Paul, caught lightning in a bottle this year this year of the anti-establishment, anti-incumbent. He ran a campaign based on fiscal conservatism in Washington. The Tea Party embraced Rand Paul. The primary was a blowout.

Then barely a day later, his campaign started to implode. Rand couldn’t control his statements. The fears of Senator McConnell were realized. Several Tea Party candidates, such as Rand Paul and Sharon Angle, may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in November, much to the dismay of traditional Republicans.

If they do, then the Democrats will hang onto their House and Senate majorities.

Paul was asked about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His initial response was to say that he was opposed to discrimination and thought it was poor business. So far, so good, but he couldn’t stop at that point.

Instead, he followed up with the provocative statement that he thought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should not be used to force private businesses to desegregate or accommodate the needs of the disabled. He also threw in a similar sentiments about the Americans With Disabilities Act.

This was definitely a politically tone deaf utterance.

Rand shortly recanted and said he would oppose any attempt to repeal the laws.

Is any serious politician advocating repeal of the nation’s core, hard won civil rights acts?

He subsequently criticized President Obama for being un-American in attacking British Petroleum.

The American public is not concerned with any normative concepts of a special relationship between America and England when a British company is polluting the Gulf of Mexico and its oil is washing ashore on the Gulf States.

He’s right in that the President often resorts to demagoguery in attacking his opponents. That’s who the President is, but no seasoned politician is criticizing the President for his “feigned outrage” against BP. They criticize his lack of action, which goes to his competency, or lack thereof, in office.

Paul’s statements will receive major airplay in the November election, as the GOP sees the Senate seat sinking away.

Or will it?

In this year the anti-Washington sentiment may bring a landslide of Republicans into office. Kentucky is a traditional Democratic state, but it is increasingly leaning Republican. The state also has a strong libertarian streak.

Tom Coburn, also a doctor, received raised similar trepidations in his libertarian Senate race in Oklahoma, but pulled out a victory.

For now, two phenomena are evident. The mainstream media is giving Rand Paul the Sarah Palin treatment, and the GOP has muzzled Rand Paul.

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