Rand Paul's surprise, sweeping, Tea Party-backed victory in Kentucky's
Republican senate primary made him an instant hero among conservatives.
But his disastrous week in the national
spotlight has soured some of his support on the right. To be sure, many
conservative pundits and GOP officials remain supportive. But in
possible anticipation of a full meltdown, some conservatives and
Republicans are now using much more restrained language when discussing
Paul, or attacking him outright. Is this yet another way Rand Paul is like Sarah
Palin? Here's what the critics are saying.
Leaders 'Back Away' Talking Points Memo's Christina Bellantoni
reports, "top Republicans in Washington did not seem eager to defend
the party's newly crowned nominee, distancing themselves from Paul's
remarks about the Civil Rights Act." She quotes RNC chair Michael Steele
as "the harshest." She adds, "Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the
National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on Meet the
Press yesterday that Paul is a 'novice.'"
His Ideas Are
'Self-Destructive' The New York Times' Ross Douthat calls Paul's
philosophy "self-marginalizing, and self-destructive. Like many groups
that find themselves in intellectually uncharted territory, they have
trouble distinguishing between ideas that deserve a wider hearing and
ideas that are crankish or worse."
Bloggers Condemn Paul's Civil Rights
Screw-Up Conservative bloggers are taking Paul to task for his
controversial remarks about the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Commentary's Peter
Wehner blames Paul for igniting the controversy and doubts the
veracity of his apology: "one cannot help believing that Paul is
embracing a view he doesn't really believe. Of course, he wouldn't be
the first candidate for Congress to do such a thing." The American
Conservative's Daniel Larison compares
Paul to "all the [Bush-era] people who helped wreck entire countries and
provided the justification for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of
people." Allahpundit sighs, "I guess
he'll follow the Palin playbook going forward, avoiding hostile media on
grounds that they'll never give him a fair shake. But Palin at least
has the good sense to avoid the terrible optics of scheduling a big
interview and then pulling the plug after a rough couple of days. Not
Paul." Even fellow libertarian Brink Lindsay of the Cato Institute declared, "I think Rand Paul is wrong about the Civil Rights Act."
Wall Street Journal Condemns Paul's 'Bad History' The newspaper
writes in an editorial, "it's important to understand why Mr. Paul
was wrong even on his own libertarian terms. ... he was wrong on the
Constitutional and historic merits. ... He owes his supporters, and his
own libertarian principles, better than that."
Paul 'Is Wrong' The conservative Wall Street Journal columnist said on Meet The Press,
"he's wrong about the, he's wrong about the Civil Rights Act, and he
shouldn't get into debate about 46-year-old settled law that is
a--there's a consensus and support of in this country. ... The mistake
he made was to take the focus, political focus, away from all that and
say, 'Oh, well, we're--you know, let's have a libertarian seminar about a
George Will: Paul Is 'Frivolous' Speaking on This Week, the
conservative Washington Post columnist said, "There is no reason to
believe Rand Paul is a racist. There is now reason to believe that he is
frivolous. ... The simple fact is that in 1964, we, as a nation,
repealed one widely-exercised right - the right of private property
owners to serve on public accommodations whom they want - and replaced
it with another right, that is the right of the entire American public
to use public accommodations."
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