Blackwell Likens Rand Paul Controversy To "Lynching"

May 24, 2010 5:45 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Ken Blackwell

As Talking Points Memo reports, Washington Republicans are shying away from Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul's controversial statements about the Civil Rights Act.  Yesterday, for example, RNC Chairman Michael Steele called Paul's views "misplaced in these times," though he refused to offer an outright condemnation.  

Today, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell stepped up to defend the flailing Republican nominee.  Writing at, Blackwell echoed Sarah Palin in blaming the "liberal media" for reporting on Paul's remarks.  Taking his criticism to the extreme, Blackwell described the media's handling of the controversy as a "high tech lynching":

[W]hat Rand Paul got was a grilling from one end of the chattering class to the other about his supposed opposition to the great Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is a fact that he stumbled in some of his answers to questions about individual titles of that act. Dr. Paul was not alive when the act was debated in front of the whole country in 1964. He needs to bone up on his history.

But the high tech lynching that is taking place now is of a piece with what the liberal media put Clarence Thomas through in 1991. Because Judge Thomas is an original construction jurist, he was seen as a threat by liberal activists. Because Justice Thomas is black, he is vilified by leftists who believe that all minorities must support their left wing causes.

To review, Paul argued, repeatedly, that the government should not be able to stop private businesses from discriminating based on race.  The media asked him about it and he sort of backtracked before going into hiding.  Blackwell thinks this is akin to a "lynching." The column continues:

Dr. Paul is an opthalmologist. He is expert on astigmatism. What we can clearly see is the moral astigmatism of the left. For example: As a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama voted not once but repeatedly against giving civil rights protection to newborns who survived abortion attempts. Many of these newborns were black. We know that the abortion license has produced a shockingly disparate impact in the black community. The rate of abortion is 3:1, black-to-white.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the three post-Civil War amendments (along with the Thirteenth and Fifteenth) that deserve to be regarded as a Magna Carta for black Americans. The Fourteenth Amendment says that all persons "born in the United States" are citizens of the United States and of the states in which they reside.

This clear intent of the framers did not matter to state senator Obama. He voted against his state's version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Was Obama hauled before media tribunals to explain his radical position? Not in the least. The liberal media--which views Obama as "a sort of God" (in the words of Newsweek's Evan Thomas)--not only did not grill him on this shockingly radical position, they actively covered up his voting record.

It's probably worth noting that by the time the 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868, the framers were long dead. 

Otherwise, Kyle Mantyla strikes the right note: "Normally, when faced with a column full of falsehoods like this, I'd attempt to set the record straight ... but in this case, Blackwell has written a piece so fundamentally incoherent as to make any such effort absolutely impossible."