Sen. Rand Paul (R-The South Shall Rise Again) finally got around to confirming that his aide Jack Hunter has resigned.
About two weeks earlier, Senator Paul had spoken Howard Fineman about Mr. Hunter: "“People are calling him a white supremacist. If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately" Given that when Jack Hunter had been a radio host he "raise[s] a personal toast every May 10" on the birthday of John Wilkes Booth, (whose "heart was in the right place"), lambasted Abraham Lincoln and wore a ski mask that had the Confederate Flag on it, and went by the name the "Southern Avenger" -- and was a former chairman of the League of the South that promotes secession -- it's a little unclear what it would take for Rand Paul to think someone was a white supremacist.
Anyway, the senator did finally acknowledge parting ways with his former aide, saying it was a "mutual decision." Probably along the lines of "You've got to go" and "okay."
According to the Huffington Post, Sen. Paul said that "he hopes Hunter's tenure on his congressional staff won't stand in the way of the senator's efforts to broaden the Republican Party's appeal. “I think everybody occasionally has people that work for them who sometimes have a background that damages what you’re trying to do. But I think people can judge me on who I am and what I’m trying to do.”
Well...yeah, people can easily judge you by who the senator is and what he's trying to do. He's the guy who not only didn't fire a white supremacist from his staff for over two weeks after the story became public (and who knows how long since he was aware of it), but had defended the aide's actions as merely a youthful indiscretion. "“Are we at a point where nobody can have had a youth or said anything untoward?” the senator asked.
It should be noted that the youthful Jack Hunter had his radio show until last year when he was 38.
In his conversation with Howard Fineman, Rand Paul said about Mr. Hunter that "If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different than others, I’d fire him immediately." Among Jack Hunter's work, he has written, "Americans aren't wrong to deplore the millions of Hispanics coming here." In fairness to Rand Paul, perhaps Mr. Hunter doesn't treat people any differently because of the color of their skin, and he just hates and demeans everybody, and deplores anyone who comes to the U.S. Maybe that's why he wants to secede.
Or maybe to Rand Paul, "immediately" means two weeks of public pressure. Or that deploring Hispanics isn't "untoward."
But in the end, yes, people can judge what Rand Paul is trying to do. He's trying to run for President of the United States and save face from being tarred by have a racist who he hired as an aide and speechwriter, and defended.
Fair enough. Judge away.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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