tea party candidate faces civil rights controversy

This is pretty ridiculous... and yet not that surprising, I guess. By now, you might have heard of growing controversy surrounding Rand Paul, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky, who apparently has something against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or at least parts of it: Tea Party Pick Causes Uproar on Civil Rights. Yes, this is the Tea Party's pick.
In two separate interviews Wednesday, Paul seemed to suggest that he did not favor the way the courts settled those issues. He said he did not think the federal government should intervene to force private businesses to desegregate or accommodate the needs of the disabled.

Paul, the son of libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), likened forced desegregation of lunch counters to the government forcing a business to allow patrons to carry guns.

"Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion," Paul told host Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

On National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," Paul discussed accommodations for people with disabilities.

"I think a lot of things could be handled locally," Paul said. "I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who's handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator. And I think when you get to the solutions like that, the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions."
Oh, sure. Since his comments ignited a firestorm, Rand has backtracked and revised his stated views, but the fact remains that he said what he said -- he believes that businesses should have the right to discriminate based on race, gender, disability, or any other factor.

I think it's ridiculous that anyone -- politician or otherwise -- is still debating the merits of the Civil Rights Act, 46 years after the fact. Yo, Tea Party. Really? This is a guy you want reppin' you? Extreme! (And not very smart.) More here: 'Tea party' candidate faces civil rights controversy.

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