Rand Paul — courting the gay-hating evangelical crowd in Iowa to boost support for his 2016 presidential run — made his oh-so-hilarious “gayer” joke Friday night, which became a topic of discussion on the Sunday morning talk shows.
But unlike the straight white male libertarians in the Cult of Paul (freedom for us, not for you) who are defending his joke as hilarious, he did not get a friendly reception from fellow conservatives. While RNC chair Reince Priebus refused to defend him (doing the equivalent of running away), the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins — yes, the leader of a SPLC-certified hate group — denounced Paul:
“I don’t think it’s a laughing matter. I don’t think this is something we should joke about. Ah, we’re talking about individuals who feel very strongly one way or the other, and I think we should be civil, respectful, allowing all sides to have the debate…but I think this is not something to laugh about, to poke fun of other people about.”
That’s right, the man who has spent most of his life blaming gay people for every ill in the world, indoctrinating kids, and thinking they can be “cured”… says that Rand Paul shouldn’t be so disrespectful to the LGBT community.
In the late-1980′s, Ron Paul hitched his movement to Lew Rockwell’s paleoconservative strategy: pandering to white supremacists and crazy people playing pretend soldier in the woods. Though this decision made him boatloads of cash through his newsletters, all it wound up giving him politically in the long-term was a lot of headaches — as he has alternated between expressing regret to denying he ever did this. Though Ron Paul has always been for government intervention into the uterus of women when it comes to abortion, he’s never been able to fully gain the support of the evangelical crowd, partly because of his libertarian views on drugs, but also because he’s never been known as someone who villainizes gay people for political gain.
Rand Paul has obviously studied the political shortcomings of his father and thinks he can overcome this by appealing to the absolute worst instincts of social conservative Republicans — minus the overt racial stuff, following his Civil Rights Act flip-flop. It began in his Senate campaign, when he said the Department of Education was trying to indoctrinate children into homosexuality. His pre-planned, scripted “gayer” joke — in front of an influential crowd of virulently anti-gay activists who will require courting for the 2016 Iowa Caucus — is just the continuation of this strategy. Throw in Rand Paul’s decidedly un-Libertarian call for abortion to be outlawed on the federal level, and all of a sudden Rand Paul assumes he can get the votes that went to Rick Santorum instead of his father back in January.
He just might succeed. But whether or not he does, we should all just note that the “we only care about fiscal issues” rhetoric of the Tea Party is once again nothing but a fraud and shouldn’t have ever fooled anyone.
(P.S. — Just in case you were wondering if the Kentucky Democratic Party might have “evolution” on its mind following President Obama’s statement on gay marriage, this proverbial ducking and running from Ryan Alessi’s questions — on challenging the 2004 gay marriage and civil union ban in Kentucky — by chairman Daniel Logsdon, the answer is a big “NO.”)