I’ll tell you what I think just as soon as Frank Luntz tells me what that is

From Steve Benen at POLITICAL ANIMAL at Washington MONTHLY:

When a Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate publicly announces his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it’s not unreasonable to think news outlets might ask other Republicans for their thoughts on the matter.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who played a prominent role in boosting Rand Paul’s (R) candidacy in Kentucky, was initially reluctant to talk about the matter this morning. But pressed by ThinkProgress, DeMint said he supports the Civil Rights Act, adding, “I’m going to talk to Rand about his positions.”

That’s not exactly a bold denunciation, but other GOP leaders preferred an even vaguer approach.

Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he’s “really not in a position to comment.”

Original DVD cover
Oh, John Cornyn, don’t worry your xpretty littlex giant head about it!

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said, “Not being familiar with the context of his response or his questions, I really can’t opine as to his position.”

Aside from the obvious — no Profile In Courage Award nominations for these two — it’s worth emphasizing that avoiding comment won’t do as a political strategy. Rand Paul was some oddball Kentucky ophthalmologist, but he’s now the Republican Party’s nominee for a U.S. Senate seat. At some point, the party will need a response to Paul’s extreme ideology.

For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), who endorsed Paul’s primary opponent in his home state, issue a statement that was fairly characterized as “frosty.”

Among Senator McConnell’s most vivid memories and most formative events in his career was watching his boss Sen. John Sherman Cooper help pull together the votes to break the filibuster and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has always considered the law a monumental achievement for the country and is glad to hear Dr. Paul supports it as well.


As for the NRSC, Cornyn had no comment, but the campaign committee nevertheless issued a statement attacking Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) for having been on the wrong side of the civil rights debate in the 1960s.


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30 responses to “I’ll tell you what I think just as soon as Frank Luntz tells me what that is

  1. writechic

    (I had the Rand Paul willies all day yesterday)

    Paul told Rachel Maddow he only opposes 1/10th of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Government can’t discriminate, that would be wrong. But private businesses should be able to. And he just happens to believe in shrinking government entities down to mostly nothing…so those that ever have to depend on government have nothing. Kinda like turning government into Bush’s FEMA during Katrina…but for all of America.

    Oh, and an important point on style: Paul’s top of the head home poodle perm bugs. Big time. Who’s hair grows like that naturally? And he talks like a ninny.

    • well, let’s see. if the teabaggers have their way, 1/10th of the civil rights bill will no longer be in effect. however, since we have to go back to the original constitution, each black man is only 3/5 of a person (women don’t count). so does that mean that only 3/50ths of the population should even care?

      i think randal’s hair got mussed when john stossel decided to roost on it.

  2. I heard Paul on NPR, and when the question about the Civil Rights Act was asked, I got annoyed with the interviewer, and thought something like, “Oh, great … this is the kind of stupid question that the Righties use to lambaste NPR.”

    Then Paul began answering with his, “Umm, well, …” stammering nonsense and talking about how it goes too far. Stunning.

    His inability to answer a yes-or-no question was amazing. And it was a good question. I apologized to the radio.

    And called Rand Paul a dimwit. Like his dad, he may or may not be a racist himself, but he’s perfectly willing to enable them.

    • i’m not so sure that father and son aren’t both racists. daddy dearest had a lot of racist rhetoric on his website a while back, but when he was called on it, he claimed that he had no idea who put it there. 🙄 i can’t even imagine what it might have been like at the paul dinner table when randal was growing up.

      • For my own part, I think you’re right. I suspect that neither of them is particularly disgusted by segregation because they are fine with the concept. I leave a little wiggle-room because of the doubt, but I think that they’re probably right there wishing that they didn’t have to associate with “persons of color.”

        I’d forgotten about the racist crap in the Ron Paul newsletter. Good point … There was so much insanity in the Paul campaign, that bit slipped my mind.

        • i think part of the problem is that they don’t think about segregation much at all. i doubt they pal around with anyone darker than taupe on the color wheel. they hang around their country clubs (like the one where teabaggin’ randy, the guy just like everyone else had his victory party), and anyone of color blends into the background as they carry their trays and clean off the tables. they have no concept of what it’s like to be anything but wasps. they’ve never encountered discrimination, so they figure it’s not really a big deal. remember the book and the movie black like me? maybe that’s what ron and randy need in order to feel a inkling of empathy.

    • writechic

      Wken, your enabling point is spot on….and I believe with everything in me that Paul knows how his position appeals to racists. He gives lip service to the nobility of the Civil Rights cause while knowing full well that giving private business the power to do whatever it pleases guts Civil Rights.

      Why didn’t he assert (as the libertarian argument does) that the market will squeeze out the racists because no one will give them patronage (pie in the sky…but at least it’s a point). He doesn’t because he wants bigot campaign money and bigot votes. And he’ll get ’em. Now. Are there enough independents in Kentucky willing to swing left to save it from itself?

      • anyone who enables racists is a racist. you can’t turn a blind eye to the consequences of your actions and say you had nothing to do with it.

        what if poodle-headed randy went to a private hospital, in desperate need of medical attention? he’s bleeding to death, but a few stitches would save his life. however, there’s a sign that says that they refuse to treat libertarians. will he be okay waiting for the market to squeeze out that nasty ol’ private hospital? i don’t think so, because he’ll be dead before that happens.

        • A fellow Christian blogger put up a Facebook group called “Support the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” and wanted to end his first day with more people than the “Repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964” group.

          The “Repeal” group’s most recent post is a quote from Ron Paul about how the CRA made race relations worse.

          Probably ’cause bigots actually had to associate with other Americans …

          • how much you want to bet that most of the people who want to repeal the cra have no idea what it says?

            • That would be better than knowing what it says and wanting to repeal it.

              A friend of mine remarked that it’s one thing to sit around in a college dorm arguing about philosophies and speculating that maybe the CRA is an over-reach. But to make it real enough to say it out loud in a real-life conversation, requires a blindness to reality.

              • i was driving today, and there was a pickup truck in front of me with kentucky plates and 2 guys in the cab. as my bile was reaching my throat, i noticed that there was a sticker on the bumper. it said ‘say no to the party of no.’ i guess there are still some sane people left in kentucky.

                • A friend of mine in college had the bumper sticker “Yes, I’m from North Carolina. No, I don’t support Jesse Helms.”

                  When she switched cars, she had another sticker mailed to her right away so that no one would make bad assumptions about her.

                  • it occurred to me that they might have bought the truck that way or even stole it. however, it still was a kentucky truck, and it still had the sticker, so someone there is sane.

        • How about a black physician refusing to treat him– sworn to first do no harm, deemed Paul was harboring hateful ideologies, and could not in good conscience save his sorry ass?

  3. At least Rand Paul isn’t focus-grouped to death and he’s drinking a different brand of kool-ah, “tea” than the rest of the GOP. With any luck, it will make him easier to defeat.

    • i don’t know how easy it will be to defeat him in kentucky. it seems that no matter how stupid he sounds, he stays ahead in the polls. however, he might poison the well when it comes to other rethug races in states where people can still think. the dems, if they’re smart, will continually ask their opponents to comment on everything that little randy paul utters.

      • just shows you how stupid the people in kentucky are. they would rather have a crackpot with bad hair than a person who actually understands the law

        • more people voting against their own best interests. there are lots of miners in kentucky. are they really okay with him calling the mining disasters just accident?

  4. Our President has his bootheal on the neck of that poor BP! Here you have a giaganto-multinational out there just scraping by making an honest billion now and then and all the “laws and rules” types come by and start trouble. Free enterprise and the marketplace have been asaulted by these government types. AND Rand is to B-P their champion. Way to go chump. Who needs rules and regs. Are we a free country? What about the troops on the eastern front?….A point was well made on Ed mid-week where he detailed what any construction guys go through just to make a driveway. You have to draw up a plan-have to go to the city with plan, pay permit fee, post paperwork on site where city inspector can find anytime-do the work-code man will have to green tag certain stages (will red tag if you screw it up)-get final approval-get paid. This is standard for any city with code. In my own case with a room addition over an older back patio, the city man told us the concrete pour over the old porch had to be minimum 4″ thickness. I had to spend a day and a half on a jackhammer breaking up that top layer of the porch because you do it right or not at all. BP? No proper engineering drawings, schematics on BOP don’t match unit, dead batteries, ripped out annular from BOP, phoney pressure test results, company dickhead on board giving orders about shit he knows nothing about…It’s Obama’s fault. All this ranting makes me hungry. Excuse me while I go heat up some Dr. Pauls Dip Sticks with extra TarTar sauce….and remember Nonnie, if you ever end up in West Palm Beach, the finest establishments in town, especially schools and academies, are restricted!

    • that’s what floors me. if you want to install a new water heater here, it’ll cost you 200 bucks just for the damned inspection! why are people okay with these corporations that don’t pay taxes getting away with not paying for permits and inspections?

      • Because they’re being spoon-fed stupid propaganda by those very corporations.

        Limbaugh has his minions … er, … I mean, free-thinking audience … believing that oil is somehow “the fuel of democracy,” which is utterly absurd, considering how many dictatorships profit from it.

        • have you heard the latest talking point? corporations like bp are now going to be called ‘job creators’ by the goopers. i’ve heard it from 3 different places so far, so word must have come down from the mountain from which frank luntz’s proclamations come.

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  6. anybody who has to say over and over and over and over that he is not a racist and does not believe in discrimination

    well you know the rest. sad thing is, rand – despite the fact he is a male version of sarah palin – is going to win. too many people in kentucky are too stupid to see anything other than a man who will cut their taxes

    the rest is poopy stuff.

    • maybe there will be a reverse-massachusetts. we all thought martha was going to win despite her crappy campaign. maybe, just maybe conway can pull out a victory. he’s articulate and handsome, and he’s won statewide already. even if paul wins, then we can hope that he’ll taint all the other rethugs running in other states, because they’ll be forced to defend his idiocy.

    • princess sarah might regret ever endorsing little randy. he might become the darling of the tea party movement, moving her and batshit bachmann to the sidelines.

  7. Note to Nonnie: there is a huffpo piece linked to the NYtimes book review about how Luntz was brought in back in 2003 by a mainstream Hebrew org. to give advice on the decline of Zionism with American youth. Fascinating read. He gives such sagely advice as not to use the word “Palistinian” because that might imply refugee camps, etc. but instead use the word “Arab” because it conotates wealth and power. Quite a maninpulating dipshit.