Rand Paul Comes out Against Repealing the Civil Rights Act

Kentucky Republican senatorial candidate Rand Paul has issued a statement clarifying his comments on the Civil Rights Act. In it, he says, "I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation."

Although he curiously pivots later from his support for civil rights to his standard talking points about the federal government being out of control through this phrase: "This much is clear: The federal government has far overreached in its power grabs."

The connection there—that good federal interventions like the Civil Rights Act should not be allowed to open the door for bad ones, like health-care reform, reflects the school of thought that Paul comes from.

Dave Weigel thinks that this may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Paul: whereas learning that his opposition to government action would mean repealing virtually every popular law and program of the last 50 years, this can now be turned into an "are liberals calling Paul racist, unfairly" question, which is much more favorable to him.

But the most notable phrase in Paul's statement, the one that Politico picked up for its news alert is this: "I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

This is an odd thing to say. No one in Congress is talking about repealing the Civil Rights Act. Saying you are not for that is, though reassuring, meaningless on a practical level. It's like saying you are not for eliminating the federal departments of education, commerce, and energy, and the income tax. Actually, Rand Paul wants to do all of those things, so maybe it's a good thing we know where he stands on Civil Rights Act repeal.

Rand Paul Comes out Against Repealing the Civil Rights Act | U.S.