The Palinizaton of Rand Paul
After a humiliating stint on the Rachel Maddow show wherein Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul demonstrated a special talent in the art of the duck and dodge, Paul continued to Palinize himself the next day — wrapping himself in indignation, in order to mask his own deep inadequacy and lack of preparation for the important office he seeks.
On Rachel’s show, Paul avoided – for ten minutes -answering Rachel’s question as to whether or not he would support the Civil Rights Act. Instead, he treated us to his childish, glibertarian but ideologically pure vision of the world, wherein government would just stay the heck outta everything. This would mean that private businesses could discriminate against anyone they chose, since that would supposedly be bad for business and they would suffer from the free market backlash of such a decision.
This from a white man who lives in Kentucky…. I’m just sayin’.
He then went on to compare the rights of minorities to the rights of guns, as if guns have as much right to be in a restaurant as do people. His argument only served to exemplify what the grown-ups know: libertarianism does not work in a civilized society. Shhhhh, Rand. Hush up, now, ye Teabagger Poppet. Time to be quiet.
But just like Palin, Rand is his own worst enemy. He spent Friday flubbing sound bite after sound bite, giving a disastrous interview on ABC’s Good Morning America during which he tried to deflect from his obvious attempt to avoid saying, “Yes Rachel, I would vote no on the Civil Rights Act today,” by accusing the President of being un-American in wanting to go after BP for the Gulf Oil Spill. You know, BP- that foreign oil company whose corporation is more American than our shores, our people, and our ecosystem?
“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,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”
Just a pause here to observe that even I, who am not running for office, have heard talk of BP not paying for the economic damages of the spill. It’s sort of a thing they’ve been debating in Congress all week, Democrats wanting to raise the liability cap on BP while Republicans (under the guise of protecting “small business” – I don’t know when that started, but gosh, it sure sounds great) have voted against Democratic attempts at holding BP responsible for their decisions. In fact, now both sides of the Senate aisle have submitted proposals for how to handle the liability cap issue. Rand is running for senate, right? Or perhaps he doesn’t see economic damages as part of the oil company’s responsibility? Perhaps he thinks the federal government (i.e., taxpayer) should absorb all of that? See, this is another reason why Rand needs to avoid interviews; his ideology fails under examination.
And as for accidents happening, and the “blame game”, even Ayn Rand is cringing over this one, Paul. Personal responsibility for choices and risks is a free market principle. Come on. That position is only applicable within the conservative context of arguing against regulations, not of absolving a corporation from risks they took based on the profit model. The appalling lack of integrity coming from the far right on this issue is making an utter mockery of what little pride they had left.
Both Rand and Palin are firm believers in the razzle dazzle technique of pointing a finger outward so that the press and the public then go to the accused to defend themselves, thereby relieving the accuser of the hot seat. Sort of like little kids do in pre-school. “He did it! Waaa!”
But, the accusation of not being American is even more ironic coming from someone who does not value the freedom and liberty of minorities in this country. Just like Palin’s accusation of “palling around with terrorists” was really an admission of her own sordid past palling around with secessionists. I wonder when someone will have the guts to tell the GOP that extremism combined with ignorance is not an American value.
This is a good time to note that Sarah Palin, who endorsed Rand, is another unvetted Republican candidate who specializes in pretending she’s an “outsider” whilst pocketing big money from big oil and mega churches because nothing says American frontier gal like Jesus and oil (not to infer that Paul took tons of money from big oil- he took around 8k from them, so his sell out speaks purely to his values).
Like Palin, Paul is now blaming the “liberal media” for his own failures (in a shocking reversal from the libertarian principles of personal responsibility, I might add). And like Palin, Rand seems genuinely hurt that America is not embracing him like we should. He seems genuinely perplexed that we are not charmed by his explanation that he would have marched with Dr King, but thinks we should let private businesses discriminate.
Could he be any more tone deaf? Like Palin, he grew up surrounded by white people and steeped in an ideology that is simply too extreme for “Real America”. His Libertarianism is akin to Palin’s AIP/white surpremacist/Dominionist roots. These are things that simply do not go over well with mainstream America, though clearly they have their frothing base of teabaggers all tied up.
But here’s where Rand really went Palin: After Rand painfully flailed about, splashing the national media headlines with his chilling ignorance and naiveté, he pulled out of Meet the Press tomorrow. One of only three people to do so. In over 60 years. His embarrassed handler (it seems Rand has been left to go Rogue with inexperienced handlers, as punishment form the Big Boys for being so ignorant as to say out loud what they all believe) said:
“Rand did Good Morning America today, set the record straight, and now we are done talking about it,” Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton told the Washington Post. “No more national interviews on the topic.”
So, in other words, the GOP is running another candidate who arrogantly announces that they will not do any more interviews, as if somehow the Fourth Estate has smeared them and offended them by reporting on their failures – or just recording them and letting the world decide.
Paul is indeed Palinizing himself; wrapping himself in indignation to masquerade for his own deep inadequacy and lack of preparation for the important office he seeks, and topping it off with a royal huff for good measure.
I suppose next he will tell us that he will “deign” to give interviews when the press shows “deference” to him. You now, like it’s done in the newly revised Constitution according to our friends of the Lord in Texas and as reported fairly on Fox News.
I can only surmise that we will now be treated to an entire generation of these Palinizing, teabagging glibertarians who are anything but conservative. The Republican Party is now the party of whiners, complainers and accusers, who are ill prepared for the hard task of governing. The former half-term Governor of Alaska personifies this inherent inability to govern combined with a self-aggrandizing hubris, wherein verbal violence stands in for policy.
Prepare to be assaulted by candidates running under the banner of the GOP who should not be anywhere near public office.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.