A reader writes:

I like what you had to say regarding Rand Paul straying "outside the media and political comfort zone." I guess my problem with Paul isn't what beliefs he holds (I don't think he's completely wrong about the Civil Rights Act, just naive). Rather, it's that, in the end, he went right back to the GOP talking points of Obama being "un-American," as if that's the only way a Republican can say that he disagrees with Obama's intervention in the private sector. An intellectual really ought to know better than that.

That's why Paul annoys me so much: a purportedly intellectual candidacy, one that is supposed to be based on everything that the current Republican leadership is not, still uses the same kind of hate-filled rhetoric to, as Obama himself put it, "put people down instead of raising this country up."

Paul is not immune to this -- don't think for a second his calling Obama's BP reaction "un-American" wasn't at least a feint towards the birthers among the Tea Party supporters -- and should be properly reamed for it. Additionally, whether or not his brand of libertarianism is ready for prime-time, it does him a great disservice to champion Rachel Maddow when she's being completely favorable to him, only to get all pissy when she stops lobbing softballs at him. I don't think Rand Paul is a racist; I don't even think he wants to re-open the Civil Rights Act for debate. But I do think that, for all the establishment-bucking bullshit that has been fed to us by his campaign, he still looks and sounds very much like a Republican, not an independent voice.

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