The Campaign Spot

Welcome to the General Election, Rand

From the Thursday edition of Morning Jolt:

He Should Be Ready for Rand-dumb Questions

Well, that didn’t take long. For a long while I thought that the reason we were supposed to not like Rand Paul was because he was crazy and because his father resembles Ray Walston circa “My Favorite Martian”. But it took less than 24 hours after his primary victory for the mainstream media to determine that perhaps he has problems on the issue of race: “Paul has suggested in the past — and been attacked for suggesting — that the federal government has no place regulating private business decisions, even on issues like race and accomodations for the disabled, and was pressed on the question — three times — on NPR just now: “What I’ve always said is, I’m opposed to institutional racism, and I would have — if I was alive at the time, I think — had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to overturn institutional racism, ad I see no place in our soc for institutional racism,” he said in response to a first question about the act.”

[It’s the Politico, they’re too cool and buzz-worthy to spell-check “accommodations” or write out the words ‘and’ or ‘society.’]

Okay, fine, I’ll quote Allahpundit: “I don’t like to go back-to-back on the same subject but a hot rumor hit Twitter as the last post was being published that Paul told NPR he would have voted against the 1964 CRA. (Much like certain Democrats who are still serving in the Senate did.) As you’ll see, it’s not true. The reporter, smelling blood, badgers him about it, but Paul never quite gives him a straight answer. And he qualifies his response with enough virtue – he opposes institutional racism, would have marched with MLK, likes a lot of what was in the CRA – that there’s really no wound inflicted here. His reservations about the law have to do not with the ends but with the means of federal compulsion; he wants business owners to serve everyone but clearly prefers using boycotts and local laws to pressure them. It’s not a question of being pro- or anti-discrimination, in other words, it’s a question of how federalism and civil-rights enforcement mesh. The left’s going to give him plenty of grief for that – expect questions soon about whether he would have voted to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment – but the “closet Klansman” narrative that NPR’s going for here is D.O.A.”

Doug Mataconis, writing at Below the Beltway: “I doubt that this story is over. The left will try to pin Paul as a racist, which is absurd, and the press will ask him the question again. Here’s hoping he’s ready for it this time.”

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