by desmoinesdem, Wed May 19, 2010 at 08:54:48 PM EDT
Conservative Republicans exulted last night over Rand Paul's decisive victory in Kentucky's U.S. Senate primary. Today some of his far-out views are receiving national media coverage for the first time.
From an April 25 editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal:
The trouble with Dr. Paul is that despite his independent thinking, much of what he stands for is repulsive to people in the mainstream. For instance, he holds an unacceptable view of civil rights, saying that while the federal government can enforce integration of government jobs and facilities, private business people should be able to decide whether they want to serve black people, or gays, or any other minority group. He quickly emphasizes that he personally would not agree with any form of discrimination, but he just doesn't think it should be legislated.
Democratic nominee Jack Conway plans to make this an issue:
"To say in an interview with your editorial board that the marketplace would take care of that, we don't need a Civil Rights Act, or we don't need an Americans with Disabilities Act, or we ought to do away with the Federal Reserve or Commerce or the Department of Education, I don't think that's where Kentuckians are, so I'll focus on that," Conway said.
He repeated that charge in an appearance on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" program on MSNBC late Wednesday afternoon, going so far as to say that Paul favors repeal of both the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
But a review of video of Paul's interviews shows that Paul never specifically called for a repeal of either.
Even in a conservative state like Kentucky, I don't think opposing the Civil Rights Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act will be a popular stand. Paul may need to walk back some of those comments.
Be under no illusions: it won't be easy to win this Senate election, but Conway hasn't been polling that far behind Paul, and according to a recent survey by Public Policy Polling, "53% of likely [Trey] Grayson voters for today have an unfavorable opinion of Paul to only 23% with a positive opinion of him. More importantly though just 40% of Grayson voters say they'll support Paul in the general election if he wins the Republican nomination with 43% explicitly saying they will not."
In other Kentucky news, losing Democratic candidate Daniel Mongiardo wants a recanvass of yesterday's vote, but with Jack Conway just under 4,000 votes ahead, there is no real chance of a recanvass changing the outcome.
UPDATE: Cliff Schecter: "Rand has a dream. That 1 day sons of former slaves & slave owners 'll be able 2 sit down 2gether..as long as restaurant theyre in allows it."
UPDATE: Sounds like Paul didn't help himself during his appearance on last night's Rachel Maddow show.