Sen. Rand Paul has made a very good effort over the last few years to polish his image and rhetoric, trying to convince voters and big money Republican donors that he is not like his father, and quite willing to “play the game” of politics. All of which made his efforts over the past week to defend the welfare cowboy rancher Cliven Bundy all the more surprising, as he told everyone on Fox News who would listen that the standoff in Nevada is just another example of “federal government overreach.” Never mind the law and multiple court rulings, Paul used Bundy to piggyback on his favorite theme: The gun-toting jack-booted thugs of the federal government are out to get you and good people like Cliven Bundy.
Though it shouldn’t have surprised anyone, this happened today:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids – and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch – they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Rand Paul released a one sentence statement today that read: “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him.”
Paul has made great efforts to reach out to black voters, in addition to saying that the GOP must become more “socially tolerant” in order to win over voters in the west and northeast. Well, he does that in some rooms, anyway. And he’s also done his best to separate himself from the views of his father, the infamous Ron Paul newsletters, Rand’s racist-as-hell staffer, and his repeated and passionate criticisms of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
But just like Rand Paul lied to the students of Howard University by saying that he never questioned the Civil Rights Act, I’m guessing that Paul will not offer his honest mea culpa for siding with Bundy, but rather say that he never defended Bundy and never took his side against the big bad federal government trying to enforce the law and multiple court rulings.
Rand knows that Liberty means never having to say you’re sorry. Cliven, who?