2010-06-09 / Opinions

Paul a part-time ‘constitutionalist’

Rand Paul’s campaign website says “the federal government has expanded the scope of its power at an alarming rate, while blatantly ignoring the Constitution.”

If elected, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate says one of the first things he will try to do is get Congress to print the constitutional justification for any laws it passes.

For Paul and the tea party movement that has made him its darling, the Constitution represents something of a political/governmental Bible and should be adhered to strictly when they’re talking about shrinking the size and power of the federal government — but not so strictly when they don’t like what it says.

And Paul really doesn’t like what the 14th Amendment says about “persons born ... in the United States” becoming citizens of this great American melting pot.

“We’re the only country I know that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen,” Paul said in a post-primary interview with a Russian TV station. “And I think that should stop also.”

Some might draw a connection between this comment and Paul’s assertion that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 got it wrong when it barred private businesses from discriminating on the basis of race.

After all, since the vast majority of illegal immigrants in this country are Hispanics, Paul was speaking about people who are, well, just not like him in each instance.

But we’ll take Paul at his word that he abhors racism and would join the demonstrators protesting discrimination by a private business. He just thinks government should let racists practice racism.

And we won’t start preaching about America’s multicultural makeup being one of the cornerstones of our greatness as a nation.

We’ll just note that this candidate who proudly bears the “constitutionalist” banner seems to practice that particular religion only when it’s politically convenient for him.

— Lexington Herald-Leader

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