Rand Paul, More Than Just Another Nutcase

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This is gonna be a long day. The interwebs basically have nothing except endless dissections of Tuesday’s primary races, about which I have nothing new to add, so instead let’s take the low road and just gossip a bit. Here’s Josh Marshall on tea party crank Rand Paul, son of ur-crank Ron Paul, who won his race against Trey Grayson in Kentucky yesterday:

I couldn’t help notice something about his brief acceptance speech and I’m curious to hear whether any of you had a similar take. I don’t think I’d ever seen Paul speak at any length. Or if I did I don’t have a clear recollection of it. And he came off to me as arrogant, bellicose and even a little messianic in his demeanor. To put it baldly, he sounded like a jerk.

And a bit later:

News came out overnight that Paul allegedly refused to take Trey Grayson’s concession phone call last night. I think this last charge requires a little caution. The one making the charge is Grayson’s campaign manager, who obviously is far from a neutral observer. And Paul’s campaign manager says it wasn’t a sleight. He was just “in transit and could not take the call.” So who knows?

But I am getting the impression that Paul — aside from just being very unlikeable in personal terms — may be a much more divisive figure than one might from any Tea Party candidate who snatches away a nomination from an establishment party figure….A poll out yesterday showed that Grayson supporters in Kentucky simply hate Rand Paul in a way that goes way beyond the normal aftermath of a contested primary….I get the sense there’s a whole issue of personality (and messianism) that’s going to be in play in that race beyond quite apart from ideology narrowly construed.

That’s what I like to hear: I think it would be great if the tea party cranks lost big in November just because they’re a bunch of stubborn, unlikeable, messianic crackpots. It probably won’t happen, but I can hope. More like this, please.

UPDATE: And before you say, “Hey, at least Rand Paul is good on civil liberties” — well, it turns out he’s not, really.

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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