After a resounding victory in the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky on Tuesday, Rand Paul, a tea party favorite and son of Ron, was a new force to be reckoned with in the GOP. For one day. And then people started noticing that last month, in an interview with the editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Paul said he opposed the part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibited racial discrimination in private businesses, you know, because of government trampling on our rights. Our right to tell black people that this lunch counter is for whites only, that is. Paul goes out of his way to stress his abhorrence of racism and his opposition to government-backed institutional racism, but he just can’t allow the government to impede on private enterprise. Paul’s libertarian, anti-government ideology is the basis of his appeal to angry, anti-government voters, but applying that philosophy to the legislation that finally ended segregation in the South may be too fringe-y even for the conservative voters of Kentucky. It’s simply incredible that in 2010, a major-party candidate for Senate has to evade the question, “Woolworth’s lunch counter should have been allowed to stay segregated, yes or no?” Which is what happened with Paul in an eye-opening and must-watch interview with Rachel Maddow last night.
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