Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This past week, Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky, went to Howard University in Washington to talk to students at the predominantly black university about civil rights.
Here’s one of the things the sopping teabagger did to endear himself to the students, according to ABC News:
He asked the group if they knew that the founders of the NAACP were Republicans. The crowd seemed taken aback with one student even yelling, “We know our history.”
Of course students at a predominantly black university would know that when the NAACP was founded at the beginning of the 20th century, the leaders would be black Republicans. The Civil War had just ended just a few decades earlier and the Republican Party under Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. Democrats didn’t even welcome blacks into the party until the 1920s, according to FaceCheck.org. Black people supported the Republican Party up until the FDR’s New Deal, but even then, the GOP was getting at least 30% of the black vote well into the 1950s. When Richard Nixon ran against John Kennedy in 1960, he got 32% of the African American vote.
But to go back more than 100 years to a time when the GOP was a completely different entity and pretend that nothing has changed either shows a total disconnect with reality, or a cynical attempt at distorting the present with a completely different past.
Paul, who spoke against the Civil Rights act during his 2010 Senate campaign, asked:
“How did the party that elected the first black U.S. senator, the party that elected the first 20 African American congressmen become a party that now loses 95 percent of the black vote?” Paul asked the Howard students. “How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race? From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, for a century, most black Americans voted Republican. How did we lose that vote?”
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe by doing things like this, and like this, and like this, and this and this? And that’s just things Republicans have done in the past six months.
Not to mention stuff like this and this and this during the past presidential campaign.
So why does Rand Paul even end up at Howard?
The absurdist cynic in me thinks he got on the Metro’s Green Line and missed his stop.
The realist cynic in me knows he’s running for president and has to tick off the “speak to hostile black people in their environment” box to bolster his right-wing-bravery cred before primary season kicks in.