Outside the GOP rally, about two-dozen protesters held signs rebuking Paul. One read "Rand the Klan's man." Another, held by a black woman, read "Should I not be served?"
One of the protesters, University of Louisville student Perry Green, who is black, called Paul's comments about discrimination disturbing."It's fundamentally un-American to discriminate along the lines of race or gender and these sorts of things," he said.
The media is literally giddy about the prospect of milking this for all it's worth.
I felt he was cagey on NPR, but no cagier than a lot of politicians on a lot of subjects. The sum and substance of his position - that he abhors racism (of course) but has misgivings about the government telling private businesses what to do wasn't so surprising given his ideology.
Then, last night, he was stupid enough to appear on Rachel Maddow's show, for a long segment. She crushed him. You can watch it here, on Joan Walsh's blog. The full segment is 19 minutes. You can skip the first 9:00 and watch the main back-and-forth, or if you want to cut right to the chase go to about 15:00 and watch the last four minutes.
Maddow had something Robert Siegel did not: lots of time. So she really bore down. By the end, he looked ridiculous. She asked point blank if he thought Woolworth's (a private business) should have been able to retain the right to desegregate its lunch counters in the 1960s, yes or no. He wouldn't answer.
All of this is entirely disingeuous and here's why.
The same media now giddy over Paul had to be dragged kicking and screaming to cover the story of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Here we had a Presidential candidate's pastor for 20 years who is blatantly racist and blatantly anti American.
What does the Rand Paul story tell us about Rand Paul? It says that his roots are so libertarian that he is UNCOMFORTABLE with the federal government telling a private business what to do even if they're telling them to stop a blatantly racist policy.
Which is worse exactly? Which is more important? Yet, they will milk this story. They will try and hang this around Paul and define him with it. Meanwhile, the same media wanted to do anything but cover Jeremiah Wright.