Louisville is the closest large city to my hometown of Seymour and the Louisville Courier Journal is the newspaper there. The Courier Journal’s editorial policy is reliably liberal, which may be why they are suffering a slow, steady decline in circulation. Their editorials often seem more suited to deep blue California or Massachusetts than to red Kentucky and Indiana. Last Sunday, they ran an editorial about the perpetually embarrassing (to them) Rand Paul. It begins in their usual moderate, even-handed tone.
The tea party has gone to Washington all right and the public is getting a good look at the toxic brew bubbling out of its cracked pot.
Unfortunately for Kentucky, once again it involves Sen. Rand Paul, a Bowling Green Republican with presidential ambitions who swept into office in 2010 on a wave of tea-party enthusiasm.
He’s devoting almost as much time to embarrassing Kentucky as he is making out-of-state campaign trips (Saturday, Las Vegas).
Wanting limited, constitutional government that lives within its means and doesn’t abuse the rights of its citizens is toxic and crack-pot. They quickly move on to the subject of the editorial.
Last week came the latest embarrassment, astonishing news that Sen. Paul employs a former radio shock jock and Confederate sympathizer Jack Hunter, who calls himself the “Southern Avenger,” has appeared in public in a Confederate flag mask, boasted of secessionist views and venerates John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln.
“John Wilkes Booth’s heart was in the right place,” Mr. Hunter explained in a 2004 commentary, according to the Washington Free Beacon, the conservative online news outlet that broke the story. “The Southern Avenger does regret that Lincoln’s murder automatically turned him into a martyr.”
Yeah, that probably is regrettable, under the extremist views of Mr. Hunter and his ilk.
But even more regrettable and astonishing is what Sen. Paul plans to do about it. Nothing.
“Are we at a point where nobody can have had a youth or said anything untoward?” he told the Huffington Post.
Sen. Paul is standing by his man, despite widespread denunciations and the virtually unanimous view of outside political observers — from left and right — that Mr. Hunter must go. Immediately if not sooner.
Let’s be clear here. Mr. Hunter, 39, isn’t just a low-paid flunky who fetches coffee and opens mail.
He is the social media director for Sen. Paul, earning $40,000 for seven months’ work, and helped Sen. Paul write his 2011 book “The Tea Party Goes to Washington.”
I won’t attempt to defend Jack Hunter. I doubt there are many of his views that I would agree with. The point I would like to make is that Rand Paul is hardly the first potential presidential candidate to have a controversial associate. There was one Barack Obama, who I recall had a few friends who might be considered extreme or even criminal. Somehow, I do not recall the Courier Journal running editorials about Mr. Obama’s associates, so I wrote a letter to the editor inquiring about the subject.
I was interested to read your editorial about Rand Paul’s associate Jack Hunter. It is certainly alarming that a man with such extreme views should be close to a potential presidential candidate. I wonder if you could provide me with the dates that you ran editorials about candidate Barack Obama’s unseemlier associates such as the Rev. Jeremiah “God d— America” Wright whose church he attended for 20 years and Bill Ayers, his neighbor who helped Obama launch his political career and just happens to be an unrepentant terrorist and murderer. I hope you can let me know when those editorials ran as soon as possible.
Somehow, I don’t think I am likely to get a response.
- Rand Paul staffer: Whites are ‘always denied fair treatment’ (thegrio.com)
- Top Rand Paul Aide Was Once the ‘Southern Avenger’ (newser.com)
- Rand Paul defends hiring ‘Southern Avenger’ aide, says he has ‘zero tolerance’ for discrimination (dailykos.com)
- Rand Paul’s 2016 ambitions make the front page of the Louisville Courier Journal – and why that matters (washingtonpost.com)
- Rand Paul defends secessionist aide: Confederate flag like smoking pot (rawstory.com)