Since the Kentucky primary was held two weeks ago, I've been fixated on the disturbing rise to prominence of GOP senatorial candidate Rand Paul. The son of outspoken libertarian intellectual Ron Paul, the Tea Party mouthpiece decimated Secretary of State Trey Grayson in a five-candidate runoff on May 18th. I would go in length about what bothers me about Dr. Paul, but blogger Daniel Solzman of The Kentucky Democrat has done an outstanding job of covering this controversy, and has been subjected to character assassination by at least one Paul supporter as a result.
In short, Rand Paul encompasses everything that the Tea Parties don't want to be but really are. He ran on a platform of smaller government and minimizing the influence of lobbyists, yet he has strong connections to the oil industry. Dr. Paul wants to unify a section of the population that feels like they've been ignored by the government, but he's repeatedly criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 14th Amendment. He wants to clean house in Washington, yet his father is a longtime representative of the state of Texas. I can see why there's an anti-incumbent fervor in America right now, and I won't disagree with the general feeling of frustration, but this is what happens when people that aren't qualified to run for office win over the public's support. He's a pied piper, the man that offers solutions but gives you far more than you paid for. (On the other hand, Paul opposes the Patriot Act, so at least he has something that might appeal to middle-of-the-road voters.)
With all due respect to my friend Mr. Solzman, the state of Kentucky is not known for social progress; his fellow Democrats are a minority in the commonwealth, yet these pockets of liberal and moderate-left thinking are the closest thing to common sense in the Bluegrass State. The mainstream GOP hates Rand Paul, but in a topsy-turvy election year like this, Mitch McConnell's opinion couldn't be more irrelevant. There's no chance in hell that Paul will back away from his candidacy; any media criticism is white noise to his ears, and his ardent supporters will defend him to the bitter end.
+ Speaking of being speechless, I don't think there's anything I can add to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of where you stand on government deregulation, corporations, or the environment this is a terrible situation with no winners and we'll be feeling the ramifications for years.
+ In the first two months of the 2010 baseball season, we've had two perfect games, a no-hitter, three one-hitters, and four two-hitters. Ubaldo Jimenez has a 0.78 ERA after Memorial Day and Jamie Moyer, 47 years young, became the oldest man ever to throw a complete-game shutout (which was also a two-hitter). To hell with 1968; this is the year of the pitcher.
+ This Friday I audition for the Second City conservatory. Wish me luck!