Somehow or other — just one day after crushing it in the Kentucky GOP primaries for U.S. Senate and hurling himself into the national spotlight — the Tea Party's newest new savior Rand Paul found himself on The Rachel Maddow Show defending his position against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
First of all, um, what?
Second of all, for real?
To be fair, I'm not a political strategist, so maybe I'm not seeing the long game being played here, but going on the most liberal television show on cable news and allowing yourself to get dragged into a conversation about whether or not you support segregation* does not seem like a super smart idea for a Republican at the very start of his political career.
Rand Paul is probably not a racist. My guess is that he's as not racist as a guy who is vocally opposed to civil rights legislation can be, for whatever that's worth. What he is, really, is his father's son and a member of The Ron Paul Revolution , which is to say, a bit out there in the ideology department.
Today, in an effort to mop up the whoops, he appeared on Fox News (of course) to set the record straight. Or something…
Apparently recognizing the dangerous political waters he put himself in, and trying to stop the story from growing out of control, Paul reiterated: "In no way do I favor any type of institutional racism or segregation or discrimination or any of that."
Paul repeatedly carped that it was the "loony left" that was after him. But the conservative Ingraham, in an otherwise sympathetic chat, asked Paul why he had agreed to an interview with MSNBC's liberal Rachel Maddow in the first place.
"You're right," he admitted. "It was a poor political decision, probably won't be happening anytime in the near future."
Now, that's some good political strategizin'.
Tags: Civil Rights, Fox, Kentucky, Laura Ingraham, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Racism, Rand Paul, Senate