GOP Will Pay the Price for Rand Paul’s Gaffe

May 20th, 2010 at 4:50 pm David Frum | 175 Comments |

| Print

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.

Recent Posts by David Frum

175 Comments so far ↓

  • ktward


    This is an old thread and, perhaps, now defunct.

    I’m as guilty of reactionary rhetoric an anyone. Nevertheless, I’ll qualify my thoughts:

    Smarg, as an individual and even a as collective, concerns me not at all in terms of an influential electorate. You’re right. He’s an idiot.

    But Rove/Cheney/Bush/Frum taught me that an ideo pol collective, otherwise at certain odds, can affect disastrous electoral consequences.

    There are GOP factions that shamelessly exploit the smargs, to their own pol end, and that’s the piece that concerns me.

  • ottovbvs

    Red Phillips // May 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    “So otto, wanting to follow the Constitution as originally intended is an indication of mental illness? Fascinating. What mental disorder is it a manifestation of?”


  • ottovbvs

    ktward // May 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    “There are GOP factions that shamelessly exploit the smargs, to their own pol end, and that’s the piece that concerns me.”

    …….GOP factions?……there’s a whole industry devoted to exploiting bozos like Smarg……the brightest jewel in Newscorp waxes fat on his mania and prejudices……Palin has made a fortune off him and his ilk……these people are a car salesman’s dream…….sheep waiting to be sheared by anyone who feeds their anger and self delusion

  • Oskar

    Slide, so it is OK in your mind to call Paul a racist nazi fascist but not to call sinister powers like the neocons and Marcuse crowd names? Excuse me but you appear to be a goddamned hypocrite.

  • Slide

    Oskar // May 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm: “Slide, so it is OK in your mind to call Paul a racist nazi fascist but not to call sinister powers like the neocons and Marcuse crowd names? Excuse me but you appear to be a goddamned hypocrite.”

    huh? Please show me where I ever called Paul a racist or a Nazi or a fascist. I did no such thing. As a matter of fact I specifically said that I didn’t think that Paul was a racist but hopelessly naive. I don’t view libertarians to be sinister. I view them to be stupid. Some of the silliness I have been reading in the comments about government having no role in regulation and oversight of “private” businesses (like BP) is simply not even worthy of debate in my estimation. That a candidate for the US Senate holds such radical views, which apparently you share, has created the richly deserved “shitstorm” that you are so concerned about. This is a good thing. A very good thing.

    Hey, Paul is a big boy, isn’t he? I mean here is a guy that just called the President of the United States of America un-American and then went back and hid in his hole, canceling his appearance on Meet the Press. What a guy. Are all teabaggers and Pallinites such quitters and cowards?

  • nhthinker

    Rand Paul gave the opinion that the federal government should not be using language like “keep a boot on the throat of BP”- It is fascist imagery that Slide and the left feels is justified because BP made substantial errors in judgment on the safety of the rig in order to try to maximize profits from it. Most Americans would think language like that is totally prejudicial, inappropriate and conceited.

    The left would rather continue to misrepresent what Paul is saying about BP in order to try to paint Paul out of the mainstream. Misrepresentation is what drives the left, whether it is the issue what is written into the AZ 1070, or Paul’s opinion of the wrongness of racial discrimination, or whether the Robert Gibbs and others should be using language like “boot on the throat” when discussing a serious issue.

    But I can understand why a one-time “no-knock” instrument of the government would not be concerned about “boot” and “throat” imagery and totally ignore Paul’s point about the language being unAmerican. I would guess the Detroit SWAT team that lobbed a flash grenade and bullets in a Detroit home that left a 7 year-old dead, at least at one point, didn’t mind “boot” and “throat” imagery either.

    But hey, Slide is a big boy, isn’t he?

  • Red Phillips

    otto, when defenders of the status quo quickly resort to mental health terminology to slur those on the “fringe” (which was yesterday’s mainstream), it is rank bigotry. But I guess that is Frankfurt School approved bogotry, ain’t that right Oskar?

  • Slide

    You know what gets me about guys like nhthinker, they use all kinds of inflammatory language about the President, about Democrats about liberals but they yelp like little puppies when some incoming gets directed at their little fair haired teabagging hero, Rand Paul. Ain’t that a kick in the pants?

    So Paul was only upset with the language “boot on the throat” of BP? That is why he called the President of the United States of America, un-American? By the way the President never uttered those words. They were said by the Interior Secretary and the context of the comment was to make sure the company does all it can and more to address the problems caused by its uncontrolled ocean gusher. Could he have used better words? Sure. Maybe “hold their feet to the fire” would have made Paul happier, who knows.

    But again, here is a leader of the Tea Party. The same group that disrupted the Town Halls on HCR, the same group that shouted down speaker after speaker, the same group that showed up with guns strapped to their legs at events attended by the President, the same group which frequently has the most racist and over the top signs at their rallys, the same group that spit on and called congressmen the N word. The same group that just loves to paint a Hitler mustache onto the picture of the President of the United States of America. Such tough guys huh? Oh, but say a few things about Dandy Randy Paul and he goes into the Witness Protection Program and his little minions like nhthiner whine about the rough treatment he is getting. LOL. Amazing ain’t it.

    But hey, nhthiner is a big teabagger, isn’t he?

  • nhthinker

    “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,’” Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ”I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”

    Slide, like the typical liberal, inflates valid criticism of the language into a claim that Paul characterizes Obama as unAmerican. The language came from the President’s press secretary during an official White House press conference. As of yet, I have not heard the President (nor Slide) calling the boot and throat language inappropriate. (Slide indicate better words could have been used, but that is not equivalent to saying that the choice of words were inappropriate).

    It’s the liberals that exaggerate the language to incite hate. Slide loves to inflate the actions of anyone that would show up to a rally as being the “sense” of everyone at a rally. The liberals’ belief in group-think as how everyone should be training to think goes along way in explaining why they distort things in this fashion.

    And they don’t like it when the “teabaggers”, figuratively knock them down and rub their noses in it.

    In the case of Slide’s statements about Paul and BP: Slide’s been figuratively teabagged and all he can do is flail wildly and impotently.

    Slide’s distortions seem to indicate how irrational and afraid he actually is.

  • Slide

    Oh nhthinker. Always demanding apologies. Now it’s for the use of a poor metaphor because HE interprets it as Nazi imagery.

    Your demand for an apology would be less laughable if you had also demanded an apology from Newt Gingrich who, in referring to the Obama adminstration said, ““The secular socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.”

    No metaphor interpretation needed there. Should he apologize nhthinker or is that acceptable to you?

    Oh how about Rand Paul apologizing for his Senate campaign spokesman, Chris Hightower. It was reported that his myspace page had , “a racially inflammatory picture of the lynching of a black man next to a smiling cherubic picture of three young happy go lucky whites captioned “Happy N***er


    Oh should he also apologize for all the outright racist articles that appeared in his father’s newletter? CNN reported,

    “The controversial newsletters include rants against the Israeli lobby, gays, AIDS victims and Martin Luther King Jr. — described as a “pro-Communist philanderer.” One newsletter, from June 1992, right after the LA riots, says “order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”

    Another says, “The criminals who terrorize our cities — in riots and on every non-riot day — are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are. As children, they are trained to hate whites, to believe that white oppression is responsible for all black ills, to ‘fight the power,’ to steal and loot as much money from the white enemy as possible.”

    Where is the outrage nhthinker? Or is your outrage only directed at poor metaphors by a cabinet secretary that could be interpreted by those with active imaginations to have Nazi imagery? Nothing needs to be “interpreted” in the above comments by people close to Dandy Randy Paul.

    Can you agree that the above comments are “inappropriate” nhthinker? We all await your answer.

  • nhthinker

    The discussion was about Rand, BP and the Obama administration’s boot and throat comments.

    Are you ready to concede on this point because you have been shown to be intentionally distorting Paul’s comments and you would like to move the discussion elsewhere?

    If you are ready to cry “Uncle” on this point, then do so and I’ll be will willing to entertain your other points of view on Paul and who he associates with. I may decide to reference any of your previous discussion of Rev Wright and Bill Ayers.

    Even if Paul is a racist, it does not give anyone the right to distort his language that appropriately calls into question the language used by the administration: Or are you going to disagree with that contention?

  • Slide

    There is nothing to concede nhthinker. I said the metaphor was the wrong one to use only because of the fact that partisan morons like you will twist it to mean something that it was not meant to be. What exactly are we arguing? That the Obama administration is Nazi like because of the term used to hold BP responsible by the Interior Secretary? Is this really what this is about? Talk about idiotic minutia.

    I have no problem with this administration being very very tough on not letting BP get away with this huge disaster that they are responsible for in the Gulf. There is increasing evidence that they cut corners, ignored safety protocols, and lied about what happened. So, who’s side are you on nhthinker, the government who is trying to hold this British company responsible or BP?

    Now on the other hand the comments and myspace page of Paul’s Senate campaign spokesman were objectively racist. Period. No metaphor. No interpretation necessary. Unmistakeably KKK imagery. Clear for all to see. But it doesn’t seem to concern you too much. Hmmmmm…… I suggest that that is rather revealing.

  • nhthinker

    Slide accused:
    “That is why he called the President of the United States of America, un-American? ”

    The quote from Paul was about language of the administration being unAmerican.
    Slide inflates that into an accusation that Paul was directly calling Obama unAmerican.

    “There is nothing to concede nhthinker. ”

    The blindness is inspiring. Thanks for being such a good teabaggee. But this is getting boring.

  • Slide

    The claim that the Obama ADMINSTRATION is un-American because of the comment by the Interior Secretary is absurd. Is that all it takes for you idiots to call someone un-American? A bad choice of words? Christ you guys are just so irrational.

    Care to comment on the photo of a black being lynched with the comment, “Happy N…. Day” but Paul’s Senatorial campaign spokesman? Hmmm? Now THAT is what I call un-American. And disgraceful. And repugnant. And racist. And he was a personal friend of Randy Dandy Paul.

    lol. I thought not. Just like Paul, go hide away and avoid the issue.

  • nhthinker


    Again you are way-off-base and need your nose rubbed in it some more.
    It was the White House press secretary reveling in the language:

    MR. GIBBS: Look, we’re — I mean, in the Gulf, I’m sorry. We’re — I used this phrase yesterday, as Secretary Salazar used this phrase, and that is we are going to do what we have to do. We will keep our, as Secretary Salazar said, our boot on the throat of BP to ensure that they’re doing all that they — all that is necessary, while we do all that is humanly possible to deal with this incident. Absolutely.

    But you ignore that Gibbs used the language multiple times. You again inflate language sounds unAmerican to now the Obama Administration is unAmerican.

    You really ought to quit digging- your hole is only getting deeper.

    For everyone you hate, you seem to need to distort what they say or do not say into the worse possible accusation or innuendo. It would be amazing if anyone every received justice for cases for you were an instrument of the law- your blindness and intentional distortions are overwhelming.

    But have a nice delusional day.

  • Slide

    oh nhthinker… such a silly little teabagger.

    For the record, nhthinker still has no comment on the overtly racist rantings of Rand Paul’s Senatorial campaign spokesman, Chris Hightower. Lets remember. He had on his myspace page (for quite an extended period of time) a picture of an African-American hanging from a tree. A lynching. With white people around laughing and smiling. The caption, “Happy N***** Day”. The occasion? Martin Luther King Day.

    Not worthy of condemnation nhthinker? Don’t want to offend your little teabag friends I suppose.

  • Slide

    still nothing nhthinker? lynching of black people? Happy N**** Day? To commemorate the birthday of MLK? That was Rand Paul’s Senatorial Campaign spokesperson. No comment nhthinker? No outrage? No condemnation? Nothing? Nada?

    The hypocrisy of the right once again exposed.

    Case effing closed

  • Oskar

    One hears a lot of pompous blather here and elsewhere about the mainstream. Years ago it was called the “Middle of the Road”. Back then there was a joke that the only thing in the middle of the road was a yellow streak.

  • nhthinker

    Slide, Slide, Slide,

    I had a nice afternoon outdoors and I come back and you still have not admitted your exaggerations and distortions about Paul, and the “unAmerican” charge, and you are still casting aspersions on me without any facts to back them up. Is that the way they do it in the back waters of Florida and the police departments you were part of?

    Is it common where you are from for people to make accusatory distortions and then be allowed to change the subject without being called on to address their distortion? Like I said, just admit your biased exaggeration of your accusation of Paul and we can move on to the other subjects you want to “litmus test” me on.

    Call me OCD, but I like finishing a subject in question before entertaining new ones, especially those posed by someone that loves to distort at every opportunity.

  • Slide

    Still…. nothing to say on the horribly racist comments and images on the myspace page of Rand Paul’s spokesman? Or of the racist comments in his father’s newsletters? I can only assume by your silence that you agree with these sentiments? Wow. You can’t even bring yourself to say that they are reprehensible and racist can you? Oh wait, I forgot, in nhthinker’s world only liberals are racists.

    I guess that tells us quite a bit about you nhthinker. Quite a bit.

  • ottovbvs

    nhthinker // May 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    ” Call me OCD, but I like finishing a subject in question before entertaining new ones, especially those posed by someone that loves to distort at every opportunity”

    …….take a look in the mirror boy!……you’re either a racist yourself or an apologist……probably the latter……faced with the egregious you spin…..squirm…….dodge…….everything to avoid recognizing the obvious which would mean some uncomfortable admissions…….you’re convincing no one and just demonstrating the bind the GOP finds itself in harboring nuts like Paul……you can’t live a lie forever you know…..ultimatelyl the truth will out

  • nhthinker

    Well since Slide will obviously not admit an exaggeration and distortion when given several opportunities and otto now feels a need to pile on with more vile assertions without merit…

    Obviously, racism is wrong. People that harbor racists are wrong. Lynching is wrong. N***er jokes are wrong. Trying to collect donations based on racism is wrong. Are any of these admissions uncomfortable for me? Absolutely not. Is Paul a racist? I don’t know but I’m certainly suspicious of it- I suspect if he is actually a racist that it will come to light relatively soon. Are some racists more comfortable with libertarians than with “boot on throat” federalists? Most definitely. Are most of our prison inmates and most of our homicides committed by people that would vote Democratic? Most likely. But just because wrong thinking people are attracted to a platform is no reason to cast aspersions on the platform. Doing so would be faulty logic.

    My widowed mother taught 4th grade in one of the worst neighborhoods in Buffalo, NY in the 60s. I was the one naked scrawny white kid in the school’s swimming pool full of black kids and we all had a great time, many times. One of my best friends was a son of a black judge. I try to judge people as individuals by what they say without other trying to distort it to make it sound worse just because I don’t like the person. Have I ever knowing supported or befriended a racist? Definitely not. Unlike Easton, I have never played on the yachts of people I thought were racist. But then I’ve spent most of my life in the Northeast where racists tend to be ostracized. Misogynists are relatively prevalent and I’m fairly good at calling them on it. My mother taught me pretty well.

  • ottovbvs

    nhthinker // May 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    ………seem’s like I struck a nerve with my apparently all too accurate surmise that you’re an apologist for Paul’s racist nonsense which you then try to rationalize with this bizarre leap of what you call logic

    “Are most of our prison inmates and most of our homicides committed by people that would vote Democratic? Most likely. But just because wrong thinking people are attracted to a platform is no reason to cast aspersions on the platform. Doing so would be faulty logic”

  • nhthinker


    That you can’t understand valid logic is your own delusion point of view.

    Words of ottovbvs:
    ottovbvs: “Wolfie and all the other neocons like Perle and Feith Jew at Defense and State”

    Ottovbvs is an obviously racially prejudiced mind by way of UK and NYC trying to pin racial prejudice on me.

    Why not deal with your own racial prejudice instead of attempting vile fabrication of racial prejudice on me?

    There are thousands of postings for NHThinker covering several years available on the internet. You won’t find any racial slurs or racial judgements given in any of them.

    City dwellers are significantly more likely to kill people than suburbanites and rural dwellers. City dwellers are also more likely to be Democrats. Those are facts. But they are not indicative that the Democratic platform is a bad platform. Using such facts would be flawed logic to indicate that the Democratic platform was an improper platform.

  • nhthinker

    You’ve been on FrumForum for the last two days commenting several times on other threads but not a single response for your use of short hand notes where “Feith Jew” as your vile image of a member of group of people that you hate?

    For such a loud mouth, why is it that you no longer want to talk about actual evidence of racial prejudice before accusing someone?

    I guess that tells us quite a bit about you, Otto. Quite a bit.