Of course, little of that pales in comparison to Paul's latest case of verbal diarrhea.
A tea party conservative on a national stage, Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky labored Thursday to explain remarks suggesting businesses be allowed to deny service to blacks without fear of federal interference, declaring, "I abhor racial discrimination."Here's the video that set off the controversey.
In a written statement, Paul said, "I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person."
Paul told CNN he would have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a statement he declined to make one day earlier.
On Wednesday, Paul expressed support for the act's provisions banning discrimination in public facilities, but he had misgivings about extending the same requirement to private businesses — then or now.
"Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don't serve black people?" he was asked by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday.
"Yes. I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form," Paul said at the beginning of a lengthy answer in which he likened the question to one about limiting freedom of speech for racists. "I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things freedom requires."
Paul blamed the 24-hour news cycle for the controversy, a point his father, Rep. Ron Paul, emphasized.
Both broadcast interviews on Wednesday referred to a session Paul had with the Louisville (Ky.) Courier Journal last month, when he was asked whether he would have supported parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that banned racial segregation at private businesses.
"I think it's a bad business to ever exclude anyone from your restaurant. But at the same time, I do believe in private ownership," he said.
Paul, naturally, tried to do some Projection 101 and turn the tables on the liberal media and his opponent, calling such criticism a witch-hunt. Never mind the fact that until Rachel Maddow called him out, he'd repeated the same nonsense for months.
Sorry buddy, but anyone who even bothers trying to explain away such comments is a moron. Assuming that private businesses would have simply stopped discriminating against black folks for purely economic reasons without government intervention is just idiotic. In case Paul forgets, this sh*t still happens today (Denny's, anyone?), even with Federal protection laws in place. Anyone who thinks that such a problem would have eventually just solved itself is either delusional, or quite deliberate about the message he wants to sent. I won't even bother touching on his comments about the Americans With Disabilities Act, because they're probably even more indefensible.
Predictably, the GOP is slowing, but surely distancing itself from Paul, and hopefully the fine folks of Kentucky will do the same.
You can't have your country back, Rand. We'd rather take it forward.
Question: Even if you believe the government shouldn't be involved in everything, is there anything Paul said that's worth defending?
Paul tries to defuse controversy on discrimination [AP]