Guess what question will now be asked of every Republican senate and congressional candidate in debates leading up to November 2010?
It’s hard to think of a more settled controversy than the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Maybe only the Civil War – which (come to think of it) the elder Ron Paul managed to align himself on the wrong side of in the last cycle.
The Democrats and President Obama faced a huge negative in this election cycle: the failure of their economic policy to deliver positive results to date for young people and minorities, who so enthusiastically voted for them in 2008. Unemployment translates into voter demoralization and demobilization. Many have suspected that the Obama administration has raised the immigration issue now – not with a view actually to enacting a measure – but in hopes of entrapping Republicans into saying something that might rev Latino anger. I participated recently in a political panel at which a Democratic strategist said, “We don’t have a hero on the ballot this year. So let’s give our people a villain instead.”
Thus far, Democratic efforts to create a vote-enhancing villain had failed. Now Rand Paul has contrived to volunteer himself. It’s as if his mission had been to walk across an empty room without tripping. Instead, he stepped out of the room, rummaged through a hall closet, found a vacuum cleaner, plugged it in, extended the wire, took a dozen steps backward, and then raced forward to catch his ankle, plunge face forward and break his nose. As unforced errors go, this may be one of the most impressively self-destroying in recent U.S. electoral history.
As a libertarian, Rand is likely in favor of the right of suicide. But thanks to him, the damage will now be felt by others too, who will now be called upon to explain where they stand on every fruitbat idea ever aired in back issues of the Ron Paul newsletter.