By any standard Republican Kentucky Senate nominee Rand Paul has had a terrible week. He followed up winning the GOP nomination on Tuesday with a disastrous appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, which he followed up with an even worse appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America where he defended BP and the oil spill. Most telling is the way that his Tea Party backers, including Sarah Palin have remained silent on his comments.
Paul has found precious little support, outside of John Stossel and Fox News for his position that the Civil Rights Act should not apply to the private sector. (This is a position that Paul has walked back since his original comments), Most people on the right were too smart to defend Paul’s ideologically pure but politically toxic position, but two days after being hailed as the face of the Tea Party’s takeover the right’s silence has been deafening on his comments.
However this was nothing compared to his comments defending BP on GMA this morning:
Paul said, “No, the thing is is that drilling right now and the problem we’re having now is in international waters and I think there needs to be regulation of that and always has been regulation. What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, you know, “I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.” I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think its part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault.”
He continued, “Instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen. I mean, we had a mining accident that was very tragic and I’ve met a lot of these miners and their families. They’re very brave people to do a dangerous job. But then we come in and it’s always someone’s fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.” When asked if he believed the regulation of BP was adequate, and he said he didn’t know, but he thought that the current regulations were justified.
The oddity is that the right wing media, the Republican Party, and the Tea Party have remained mostly silent on Paul’s remarks. The Paul campaign has given them a full blown talking point about how the left wing media and the Democratic Party is out to get them. On GMA, Paul said, “I’ve just been trashed up and down and they have been saying things that are untrue. And when they say I’m for repealing the Civil Rights Act, it’s absolutely false. It’s never been my position and something that I basically just think is politics.”
You would think that the right wing media would just jump all over this and you would be wrong. With the exceptions of Foxnews.com, and Red State no one has seized on this spin. No Rush, no Beck, not even Sarah Palin’s Facebook page has rushed to defend Rand Paul. Even worse, where is all the Tea Party support? These are people that howl over imagined injustice put forward by Fox News, so why aren’t they out in mass supporting Rand Paul?
Heck even Michael Steele came out against Paul’s Civil Rights Act statements, “Certainly the Republican Party has a long-standing history with the civil rights movement and its promotion of the civil liberties and rights of every American citizen. That has not changed and will not change, certainly not under my leadership. We are focused as never before on embracing and reaching out to as many folks who want to be a part of this Republican family.”
Sarah Palin has no problem taking to her Facebook to support a girls basketball team and try to get them to a tournament in Arizona, but she won’t put out a statement of support for a candidate that she endorsed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Republican Party, right wing media, and many of the called Tea Partiers themselves are running away from Rand Paul like he was on fire. In typical fashion, they would rather seek political cover instead of questioning why they would nominate such an inexperienced candidate who is obviously not ready for the big time. The more things change on the right, the more they stay the same.