Rand Paul just cannot catch a break in the mainstream media. It all started after his primary victory over Trey Grayson in the Kentucky Republican Primary, when he told Rachel Maddow he philosophically disagreed with one out of the 10 titles to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. After that he was pretty much tarred and feathered as a racist, reactionary for an entire week of 24 hour news cycles. They even went so far as to blatantly misquote him. The New York Times wrote:
“Asked by Ms. Maddow if a private business had the right to refuse to serve black people, Mr. Paul replied, “Yes.””
But watch the video, his “yeah” followed a brief pause after they were talking over each other. It wasn’t an answer to her question. His real response, was much more nuanced:
“I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But I think what’s important about this debate is not written into any specific ‘gotcha’ on this, but asking the question: what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking?”
The balance between property rights, freedom of speech and civil rights is a tricky issue, but including the “Yes” in a transcript is blatantly disingenuous. And Paul has explicitly stated he has no intention of amending the Civil Rights Act.
Moving on, there were Paul’s comments about BP. He said “What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP. I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.” Oh the left had a field day with that. Even though Paul explicitly said BP should pay for the entire mess, it didn’t matter. Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s chief of staff said in an interview with ABC News:
“They [the Republicans] see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen… Rand Paul, running for Senate in Kentucky, what did he say? He said the way BP was being treated was ‘un-American.’”
Actually, once again, Rand Paul said Obama’s “criticism of business” was “un-American.” A careless thing to say on Paul’s part, but there’s a big difference. Especially since the raging hypocrite that is Rahm Emmanuel is the chief of staff for a president who took $77,051 from BP in campaign contributions; more than any other candidate. While BP has donated $1,000 to Rand Paul, 96% of the over $3.5 million he’s raised has been from individuals and only 4% from PAC’s. When Rahm Emanuel ran for Congress in 2006, 50% of his contributions were from PAC’s. In 2008, his top contributor was the financial services company UBS at over $64,700! Isn’t it fun when a corporate whore ‘stands up for the little people’ against a big, bad libertarian who wants companies to get off the government dole?
Oh and how about Tyler Collins, an Obama supporter who posed as a racist idiot who supported Rand Paul at one of his rallies. If you watch the video of him, it becomes pretty obvious he’s a troll. It would seem that the Democrats are all about going COINTELPRO on their opponents these days. First they were caught attacking their own headquarters in Denver during the election to gain sympathy, then there was CrashTheTeaParty.org and now Tyler Collins. Honestly people, grow up.
Next it came out that he wasn’t a “board-certified” doctor. Rand Paul’s response to that:
“I took the American Board of Ophthalmology (the largest governing body in ophthalmology) boards in 1995, passed them on my first attempt (as well as three times during residency), and was therefore board-certified under this organization for a decade.
“In 1997, I, along with 200 other young ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology to protest the American Board of Ophthalmology’s decision to grandfather in the older ophthalmologists and not require them to recertify.”
Sounds reasonable enough to me.
So finally we come to this latest brouhaha, “revealed” by GQ Magazine. Apparently, Paul was in some secret society that did some very, very weird stuff back in college. An anonymous woman and former college classmate of Rand Paul said the following:
“He [a friend of Rand Paul’s] and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They’d been smoking pot… They told me their god was ‘Aqua Buddha’ and that I needed to bow down and worship him. They blindfolded me and made me bow down to ‘Aqua Buddha’ in the creek. I had to say, ‘I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.’ At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no.”
That sounds like kidnapping, in the strangest, creepiest manner I’ve ever heard of. And they were trying to force her to take drugs too! But oh wait, in a follow-up interview the anonymous woman elaborated on the whole thing (i.e. told the important stuff GQ probably intentionally left out):
“The whole thing has been blown out of proportion. They didn’t force me, they didn’t make me. They were creating this drama: `We’re messing with you.’ I went along because they were my friends. There was an implicit degree of cooperation in the whole thing. I felt like I was being hazed.”
It’s still weird, but it’s not kidnapping and he didn’t force anyone to take drugs. And it’s certainly not like strange Animal House-esque things are out of the normal when it comes to the good old college days.
Rand Paul may have a knack for saying politically incorrect things, but the media treatment of him is becoming absurd. I guess they like the comfortable system we have now. As Judge Andrew Napolitano so aptly puts it:
“I don’t think we have a two-party system in this country, I think we have one party, which is the big government party. There’s a Democratic wing that likes welfare and taxes and assaulting our commercial liberties. There’s a Republican wing that likes war and deficits and assaulting our civil liberties.”
When there’s only really one party, there’s no sense in knocking the boat if you’re politically well-connected. And the media is very politically well-connected indeed. So why would they want to add a second party that would bring actual change (and maybe a little hope too)? So they ignore the likes of Peter Schiff and badmouth the likes of Rand Paul as much as possible. Disappointing, but not the least bit surprising.